Meaning is the essence of life, and the essence of us.
To me, to live without meaning is to live in the void of the animal; which is good for an animal, but not for us. We, by our nature, need more. Many try to find fulfillment only in physical satisfactions, while others try to find spiritual meaning in ways that wander beyond reason and they fly off into the ether of imagination. The imagination is amazing, but a healthy happy life cannot be attained with either the imagination or the animal nature leading the way. To my way of thinking, even the mind needs to be a servant to meaning and wisdom.
Meaning is water to me, and we can wander along for sometime without it, but in the end, we must drink. I would suggest that real meaning lies in two places; Connection and Purpose. These are part of meaning, the deepest wells, and they feed each other.
Connection with others is meaningful, and purpose rises from these connections. Our children, family and friends are some of the core connections that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Having a purpose also naturally creates new connections with others. So, connection creates purpose and purpose creates connection, and each continually enhances the other.
Meaning gives these life, and these give life meaning.
Meaning comes from caring for our loved ones; children, partners, family, friends and our kind. It is not about spiritual wanderings that just get lost in themselves. Spiritual meaning is a practical reality in the world of being. When it is applied it is real, and it rises from the spiritual reality through us in the form of purpose and connection. Meaning, purpose and connection are inseparable.
In the negative, it is clear to me that purpose, without connection, cannot remain meaningful. Any purpose will lose life if is does not foster connection; no matter how high and noble the cause which drives it. It seems that connection and love are more intrinsic to meaning.
Also, if a noble spiritual thought (meaning), is used only to create separation (not connection), or only creates thoughts on thoughts and therefore no real purpose, it will cease to hold meaning and life. Meaning, connection and purpose are truly inseparable.
Much of where the modern world finds itself today, is in meaninglessness; lifelessness. Disconnection is growing daily. The drive to gain more, or to be seen and desired, or even to have a new experience just to feel alive, are part of a meaningless desert we seem lost in. People are seeking so many things to fulfill them, when only meaningful connection and purpose can. Only focus on self survival too is, in the end, counterproductive for all. Only meaning will fulfill us, support us, and actually make us happy.
We walk almost deliriously the sand dunes of this modern desert we are creating, while getting, here and there, just enough water to survive for that bit longer. We are kidding ourselves. Meaning is in connection, and in the nurturing of those we love and others. The water of life is real love and connection. How long will we wander here? How much pain will we suffer before we see that unity and active concern for others is a requirement of life?
A truly meaningful life is one of love, connection and caring.
And truly meaningful purpose can only be for others, not against them.
If you want a life of meaning, find a purpose that moves your heart, get connected and get into it. If you have meaningful connections then serve them, and find purpose and joy in the every day. Work for your family, visit friends in need, arise for your cause, do whatever your heart calls you too in service of your kind. Even small acts can create big meaning.
In these we find the essence of love and fulfillment. In these we find purpose. In these we find meaning. In these we find true satisfaction, even in the hard stuff.
So…connection, purpose, love, joy and meaning, to you.
Life to you, dear family