Searching for the meaning of life is probably the most well-travelled bandwagon in the Universe. What is so fascinating about it? Is looking for life’s meaning really meaningful? Or does our incessant search prevent us from finding what we are actually looking for? 

You have probably read dozens of articles or books, some of those my own, on the big subject “What is the meaning and purpose of our life and how do I find both?”.

Ultimately, the question after life’s meaning and purpose is about a very basic need: “What do I do with the time given to me on this planet? What can I do in this life, that has meaning to me, that is important, that pleases and gratifies me?”. Whatever that may be for you. It might be something big or utterly mundane.

One might ask… how much do we actually do in full consciousness during a given day? What carries meaning for us as individuals? How often do we do things “simply” because we always did them like this, because it is expected from us, because we learned to do them this way and not the other? Get up, coffee, breakfast, commuting to work and some 9 to 5 to finish it off. The French call this “Metro, boulot, dodo.”. Subway, work, sleep. Much of our everyday meanderings is routine. And that is a good thing. Many of our experiences and social interactions happen within the relatively small circle of our colleagues, our family, our friends. That is comforting, that is good.

That being said, is it really THAT important for things to make sense and have meaning all the time? Does our yearning for meaning rather result from our need to spin a retrospective narrative about our last day, our last year?

Let’s shed another light on this. Simple and basal. What unites us, no matter who or where we are or how we live, is our pursuit of happiness and joy.

That’s it. To be happy. That is the common denominator.

That perspective is everything but new. Logically. But let’s look at happiness. It is easier said than done. Look at our Western society. Material plenty, little existential hardship, many many options for the majority of people. Does this make us any happier? Apparently not. Mental illness is on the rise. The complexity and freedom of choice of our modern life may be too tough a challenge for many. So who is happier? Modern, Western man or the African farmer plowing his field for 16 hours a day, because otherwise there won’t be anything to eat come fall. We will never now that and it isn’t really relevant either. What matters is our own perspective, our own measure of happiness and joy.

What I am after with this analogy is this: does our ability and freedom to intellectually and philosophically pursue the meaning of our existence actually make us any happier? Or is happiness and meaning rather the result of a direct, mindless and immediate experience of oneself in the here and now, which is so hard to find?

Happiness is no mind-game. Happiness is a feeling. And the raw emotion behind it is joy. And that’s where the problem is… within us. Happiness and joy are the sweets and treats in our emotional food chart. Three hours of laughter… but please no more. Experiencing and sharing happiness… two hours, but then back into the grinder, please. How often did you hear or speak the following sentence at work, at school, among friends: “Again with the big grin, this one. And it’s not even 9. So happy it is pissing me off. That is not natural. There must be something wrong about this guy.”. Sounds familiar?

All good things come to an end we were told. Happiness and joy are not built to last. But is that really true?

To me, joy flows from the moment. From the here and now. Breathe, feel and be. No distracting thoughts. Focus. Being deeply anchored in whatever is right now. No plans, no to-do lists, no agendas. Simply joy. Without meaning, without purpose. There is your happy wanderer.

Being in the here and now, bathing in this source of joy and happiness is something you can learn and cultivate. To the point that it does not go away anymore, ever. Of course you are still angry and sad. Sure, things turn to a steaming pile of shit sometimes. But your source of joy will be there. In the background.

“Background joy” one might call it. Our children show us how this works. Every day. Does gnawing on a spoon for 3 hours make any sense to a baby (ignoring the 50 expensive toys)?Certainly not. But it’s joy and gratitude are plainly visible.

Some practical thoughts. I personally en-joy combining what I am good at with what I want and with what I can share with others. It is more blessed to give, than to receive. Creating something with others gives me bliss. Co-creation. A great source of joy to me is contact to other people. At work, at parties, watching a game, celebrating at a festival. This is especially true for the workshops I give. And then there is the joy of performing mindless repetitive tasks. Routinely, ritually, almost automatically doing the same thing over and over again is great. Pure meditation.

Many people enjoy challenges. Many relish in enacting their life’s story publicly.

Meditation has helped me locate my mind’s off-switch and deeply anchor myself in the here and now. That is all I need. For it is from this place of meaningless joy, of pure being and sheer presence that I act in a way that only amplifies my joy, my happiness and that of the ones around me. Everything unfolds, synchronistically, from the inside to the outside.

Not doing anything thus blesses you most. That is certainly the point, where most people I talk to, yield. Just be and the rest will follow? That is very much at odds with the way we think things are.

But it works. Very well, indeed.

Maybe the meaning of life is about losing it. And along with it any intellectual concept about ourselves and the world. So that something else may surface.

Pure being.
Existence in the here and now.
I AM THAT I AM.

 

That is meditation.

Have a great week

Benjamin

  1. Whether there is a God or not is irrelevant.  What is important is our belief, for it fills the universe with light. The faith and belief of every single being must be respected at all times.
  2. Thou shalt not kill any sentient and feeling being except for a direct need for your own survival.
  3. Respect the Ancients and Ancestors, for they dwell among us and always will do so. Four people are a man and a man is four. As above, so below.
  4. Grow yourself and your “wealth” in accordance with the cornucopia of Mother Earth. Stop destroying the earth. You are destroying your mother.
  5. You are a wonderful divine being with an immortal soul.
  6. All you need is love.
  7. You are the Lord, you are the Lady. You are your God, you are your Goddess. Thou shalt not have false Gods beside yourself.
  8. If you experience “bad” feelings like greed, envy, desire for you friend’s wife or the wealth of your uncle model yourself upon the categorial imperative (Kant).
  9. Be free!

(MY first attempt at Dadaism ;-);-);-))

Interviewer: John Dandy (a.k.a Junior)
Interviewee: God (Robert Stark)

John Dandy: Well, finally, God has given us the right to broadcast the following interview and…
God: Given, Junior, Given??? I didn’t give you anything. You did!Rob Stark: Behead the Idiot already and be done with it. I have a dragon to catch.

Enters the Fool (a.k.a Benjamin): SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT IT AND STOP WHINING LIKE LITTLE PRISSIES OVER WHAT IS YELLOW AND WHAT IS GREEN. WHO REALLY CARES? i Certainly dont give a shit! And I am still alive. So that shit has to work for everyone.

And so the Fool continued his rant until John, God and Robert were completely worn down. He is a good man, that fool. Really. And in that intention, he feels it is necessary to initiate a massive, preventive strike against all idiocy in this world with the full force of his wrath, which does not exist.

How can you be sure he is not in impostor? IMPOSTOR??? Well, he doesn’t care about appearances, so neither should you.

He kindly asks you to consider the 10 Commandment crap he wrote earlier as null and void and issues a new book called: “The Only Commandment”. It is completely blank, which is the joke. And since he is the Fool. LALALALA

And so the Lord sayeth: Let there be only one commandment added to the 10 so far.
11: Always be true to yourself

The writer of this text is very bold and fearful at the same time. He has a bipolar tendency. That might include killing youself for no reason etc. Luckily. After pressing the “Publish” button, the writer will be healed, thereby remedying all states. I hand the staff to whoever wants it. I really dont wanna do that 😉

Footnote:

I hereby affirm wholy and compelely that I wrote this out of my free will as a child of God.

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Image by lueckbuesser.org