Thursday, September 17, 2009

Answering the Why?

All my life I have been questioning why I am here. Attempting to find the meaning of things has been a long and arduous journey. Certainly suffering is so prevalent in today’s culture including a mindset that we are separate from all things. No doubt that love is the antidote to the many pains and difficulties I face. Also compassion is the answer to so many problems and obstacles I face.

When I find myself sad, depressed or out of sorts it is because I have loss my focus on how sacred the small things are. A glass of water, a walk outside, the simple taste of food and numerous other mundane things I can take for granted. Gratitude is usually at the core of me finding happiness.

When I awaken during my daily life I realize that choice is crucial to my inner freedom. Do I remember that the here and now is a gift we call the present? Unconscious acts can put me into a prison of thought and past stories. Yes an active life offers me possibility to create and further enjoy, incorporating this option is crucial to my happiness.

The possibility of transforming work into play frees me to venture forth. Motivated by inspiration opposed coming from a fear based form of desperation. My attitude is a choice to determine things are not a curse rather a blessings. So when I accepting that all external circumstances I have no control over I free myself. Internal ones are what I must focus on to achieve greater liberation.

Meaning comes from this awareness of the chance of achieving an inner greatness or joy. Awakening to the opportunity of our destiny can be celebrates by acts of kindness and beholding beauty everywhere. Such profound attentiveness or I call “listening” can take me out of my boredom or pointless mindset that creates a toxic spirit. Conscious of the now and future possibilities combine both our primal and divine connection.
Key to my liberation is the constant challenge to transform my attitude. From what is wrong to what is right, from being a victim to one who is blessed. Not that I ignore despair or worry rather understand that to focus on these unwholesome mind states does me tremendous disservice. Shifting from what I can get from life to what I can give life is a case in point. Seeing the promise of every difficult situation having a silver lining instead of rain cloud is a skillful technique. Life is filled with suffering, however, how I can minimize my contribution to it is a fundamental goal to concentrate on.

By observing life is filled with cycles of joy, tears, pain, life and death then this big picture allows me to see the unique balance of things. Expecting more from life is self destructive when we are not of service. Suicide is self centered since people become blinded to what is expected of them in the future. The mystery of what happens in the next moment is a treasure. We are constantly working out or exercise our options. As Nietzche said, “that which does not kill me makes me stronger.” Pain is growth, resistance to life is suffering.

Acts that bring forth bare survival provide immediate reminders of the meaning of life. Sacrifice plant seeds for the future for we have let go with material things in order to attain spiritual ones. Did we live for nothing or gave something in the process? Is not life all about a celebration of Thanksgiving? Is not well being about generous acts? Simple kindness is a powerful and meaningful link. Being human means to give and so get. The human soul is not just a taker or user. When we wrong others we do so to our inner self and so when we right others.

Viktor Frankl years advocated “logotherapy “where we focus on the meaning of human existence as well as our search for meaning. This primary motivational force is not invented rather detected or to morally behave according to one’s conscience. The experience of living in a Jewish concentration camp forced Frankl to survive in the worst conditions by finding meaning. Not some abstract concept yet rather a specific vocation or concrete mission in life to fulfill a concrete task. Also, Joseph Campbell calls this “following our bliss.” Each one of us has the chance to enjoy a unique and specific opportunity for becoming fully responsible to his/her divine spirit. This is not a societal judgment rather an inner revelation. Freedom is our responding to one’s ability to be. Each of our life’s tasks presents us the chance to liberate our soul. Otherwise we become imprisoned by a mindless and soulless existence.

Frankl said human existence cannot be found through self–actualization rather self-transcendence. Self actualization becomes a side effect of self–transcendence. Meaning is discovering three ways: suffering; doing a deed; and by experiencing a value (i.e. acts of love). Seeking meaning is not about seeking pleasure and avoiding pleasure yet about seeing how suffering provides clues about what life is all about. Just like when you can embrace death you can find how to live so by looking how we suffer we can find how to be happy. Just the simple act of mindful being we can result in a meaningful existence. Once an individual may transcend themselves they find a responsibleness and determine their very being. Yes, there is meaning if we work toward paying attention to what is happening now.