The Meaning of Life (Wants to be) Revealed!

Throughout time, people have wondered what life is about — is it all meaningless? Am I here to learn certain things? To resist certain things?

Regardless of what we believe about our place in the universe, it appears to be our nature to search for meaning.

And I believe there are patterns in our lives that imply we have lessons to learn during our lifetime.

We may ask ourselves: Why?…

Why do I keep getting into abusive relationships?

Why do I often feel like a victim?

Why can’t I relax in the moment with friends?

Why do people see me as unapproachable?

A HERO’S JOURNEY

Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and other scholars have placed a lot of emphasis on the unconscious mind— the parts of ourselves that we know little about — yet an essential part of mind, as it controls much of our interpretation or experience of life. These wise men emphasize the need to do whatever it takes to make as much of the unconscious conscious in order to live a full, meaningful, authentic life.

So how can we make the unconscious more conscious?

As we journey through our lives, we can learn to interpret our experiences by understanding archetypal characters, looking for symbolism in our dreams, and becoming curious about the characters we relate to in stories.

1. DREAM INTERPRETATION

One avenue of discovery is focusing on our dreams, both day and night, and looking for clues in the symbolism. Keeping a Dream Journal, that is, waking and quickly writing down what we recall from a dream, can be a rich clue for unraveling our personal lessons for living a meaningful life. Accuracy isn’t important — it turns out that the words we choose become the clues to the unconscious mind.

EXAMPLE — I HAD A DREAM … where I had a set of keys that seemed very important, yet I fumbled and dropped them down a storm drain. My oldest brother had to help me retrieve them.

Symbolism:

  • OLDEST BROTHER, for me, represented maturity, authority, intelligence and wisdom.
  • KEYS represented my responsibility to take care of something important.
  • NEEDING HELP reminded me that, although awkward, it was ok to seek the wisdom of someone wiser than me.

2. STORIES

I think another avenue to self-discovery is in reading literature and/or watching shows. The unconscious seems to only be available through indirect means: a kind of charade; or archetypal imagery; metaphor and/or symbolism.

A good novel reaches around our ego defenses and potentially reveals to us the next step in our developmental journey. We identify with particular characters, abhor others, and may be attracted to others still. When we have an emotional responses to a character’s experiences, we grow ourselves without even trying. Unconsciously we have discovered an archetype just waiting to be given a voice. Music, poetry, even astrology, coincidence and tea leaves can lead to similar self-discovery!

Each is a potential window into our deepest parts of being.

  • EXAMPLE– I love the story of “Alice In Wonderland“. I even love the

White Rabbit” song by “Jefferson Airplane”. Without being able to properly understand why I was so touched by the story, I was later able to recognize that it reflected some of my core values:

  • be curious.
  • Question the “rules”.
  • And enjoy the journey — no matter how strange.

3. Getting FEEDBACK

Another avenue to getting to the root of our purpose in life is to be open to feedback from others. As risky as this may feel, asking others about what they think of us can be revealing. The key is having a desire to really know who you are.

“Life is about floating on the seas of turbulence, drifting on the eddies and currents, flowing, and along the way, learning: whatever that may look like for each of us currently experiencing a mortal life.” 

~Joanna Hunter 

We Are the Witnesses of the Magnificent

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Through OUR eyes, the Universe perceives itself. Through our ears, the Universe can hear its harmonies. By being a witness, the Universe becomes conscious! Through our perception of Life‘s magnificence, we see the glory of all created; we experience the awesomeness of the creator. ~ Alan Watts ~  Inspiring words from a great master.

I can’t help but think that such a meditation as this, Alan Watts’s words, could cure loneliness. By broadening our perspective of what life is all about we come to know, on a very deep and real level, that everything, everyone is connected.

Instead of noticing our differences, we can choose to focus on all we have in common.

 

Waking Up From Our Illusions – Alan Watts

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“This is IT! So you don’t need to do anything at all… It’s just the way it is. What’s required is a sort of act of super relaxation.. It’s not just letting go. It’s being with yourself as you are without altering anything.” ~Alan Watts

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“When you look for your own mind, that is to say, your own particularized center of being which is separate from everything else, you won’t be able to find it. But the only way you’ll know it isn’t there is if you look for it hard enough, to find out that it isn’t there.

And so everybody says ‘All right, know yourself, look within, find out who you are.’ Because the harder you look, you won’t be able to find it, and then you’ll realize it isn’t there at all. There isn’t a separate you. You’re mind is what there is. Everything. But the only way to find that out is to persist in the state of delusion as hard as possible….

So if a person believes that the Earth is flat, you can’t talk him out of that. He knows it’s flat. Look out the window and see; it’s obvious, it looks flat. So the only way to convince him it isn’t is to say ‘Well let’s go and find the edge.’ And in order to find the edge, you’ve got to be very careful not to walk in circles, you’ll never find it that way.

So we’ve got to go consistently in a straight line due west along the same line of latitude, and eventually when we get back to where we started from, you’ve convinced the guy that the world is round. That’s the only way that will teach him. Because people can’t be talked out of illusions.

There is another possibility, however. But this is more difficult to describe. Let’s say we take as the basic supposition–which is the thing that one sees in the experience of satori or awakening, or whatever you want to call it–that this now moment in which I’m talking and you’re listening, is eternity.

That although we have somehow conned ourselves into the notion that this moment is ordinary, and that we may not feel very well, we’re sort of vaguely frustrated and worried and so on, and that it ought to be changed.

This is IT! So you don’t need to do anything at all. But the difficulty about explaining that is that you mustn’t try and not do anything, because that’s doing something. It’s just the way it is. In other words, what’s required is a sort of act of super relaxation; it’s not ordinary relaxation.

It’s not just letting go, as when you lie down on the floor and imagine that you’re heavy so you get into a state of muscular relaxation. It’s not like that. It’s being with yourself as you are without altering anything.

And how to explain that? Because there’s nothing to explain. It is the way it is now. See? And if you understand that, it will automatically wake you up!”

~Alan Watts~

Creative by Nature

“This is IT! So you don’t need to do anything at all… It’s just the way it is. What’s required is a sort of act of super relaxation.. It’s not just letting go. It’s being with yourself as you are without altering anything.” ~Alan Watts

luxfon.com_17596

“When you look for your own mind, that is to say, your own particularized center of being which is separate from everything else, you won’t be able to find it. But the only way you’ll know it isn’t there is if you look for it hard enough, to find out that it isn’t there.

And so everybody says ‘All right, know yourself, look within, find out who you are.’ Because the harder you look, you won’t be able to find it, and then you’ll realize it isn’t there at all. There isn’t a separate you. You’re mind is what there is. Everything. But the only way…

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The Way the World… Isn’t

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Tao & Zen, FB

“When you get free from certain fixed concepts of the way the world is, you find it is far more subtle, and far more miraculous, than you ever thought it was.”
~Alan Watts~


“When you can let go of what is bothering you, joy and happiness will naturally re-surface.

The really bad thing is reliving a bad event over and over; holding onto it without being able to let go. The issue is not that bad things have happened. It’s whether or not we want to live and struggle with them – or eventually let them go.

That’s the key to meditation; dissolving and releasing trauma into the clear space of awareness.”

 ~ Bruce Frantzis