The Meaning of Life (Wants to be) Revealed!

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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.

In addition, 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.

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.

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 what the next step is in our developmental journey. We identify with particular characters, abhor others, and admire others. We have emotional responses to a character’s experiences. And we, in turn, expand ourselves without even trying, because such archetypal knowledge is 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.

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

Our Entire Country is at Stake

First, he groped women because “as a celebrity, we can do whatever we want”. He admitted he lusted for his own daughter.

He made international deals that have padded his and his friends $$ pockets, while destroying our world wide reputation. He has used our military to aid the Russian president in destroying neighboring countries in a massively egocentric desire to recreate the USSR.

He has sold off sacred native lands for oil.

He has incited racists, homophobes, womanizers, and mass shootings.

Now…

In 2020, he ignored the warnings of the covid19 pandemic, plummeting our country into crisis with more per capita deaths than anywhere else on the entire planet.

And now he wants the uninsured working class to get back to work, despite the risks. Because economic growth is more important than lives.

When American’s witnessed the murder of George Floyd, we became sick with grief and were outraged.

His solution? He wants all departments of the armed military forces to squash the protesters who are sick of police brutality, especially against the blacks. He had these forces use rubber bullets and tear gas so he could cross the street for a photo op.

Are we going towards a fascist regime? The END of America? A policed country? My own husband believes that the country will finally crash and become a Dictatorship.

I disagree.

I’m proud of our protesters who risk their lives to say we are not going to be quiet anymore. And if you think our country is going to be intimidated by more police brutality, think again.

The response to clear racial profiling by our police forces has been intense, I know. But as my son observed:

“This is what the END of the Rope looks like.”

I know I simply can not stay silent knowing that we are in a real crisis— and it has to end.

Please don’t forget:

November is far away, but we have to remember who put us here. Yes. It’s the man posing as our President.

We have to vote against him with whoever will end his reign.

I’m not for or against the Republican Party, but I am against this individual — who has, nearly single handily, worked to destroy our country’s values as a fair and open society, with respect and true consideration for all living beings.

I want to see our country as progressive leaders again.

Notes

* at “stake” : a risky action where things of value can be gained or lost. 

* Fascists- Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) “is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, as well as strong regimentation of society and of the economy.”

Getting Clear With the Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh

I know I could use a reminder of what really matters…

We do our best when we remember that we are all connected… Let’s remember to look at our judgements with some detachment, and dare to ask ourselves, “Is It True?

The Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh developed the “Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism” in the mid-1960’, at a time when the Vietnam War was escalating and the teachings of the Buddha were desperately needed to combat the hatred, violence, and divisiveness enveloping his country.

Today, there are thousands worldwide who regularly recite the Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism which remain uniquely applicable to contemporary moral dilemmas. These are guidelines for anyone wishing to live mindfully.

“By developing peace and serenity through ethical and conscientious living, we can help our society make the transition from one based on greed and consumerism to one in which thoughtfulness and compassionate action are of the deepest value.”. – Fred Eppsteiner

 The Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism

  1. Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist systems of thought are guiding means — they are not absolute truth.
  2. Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice nonattachment in order to be open and able to hear others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.
  3. Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness.
  4. Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes to suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering. Awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.
  5. Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the aim of your life to profit, accumulate wealth or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.
  6. Do not maintain anger or hatred. Learn to penetrate and transform them when they are still seeds in your consciousness. As soon as they arise, turn your attention to your breath in order to see and understand the nature of your hatred.
  7. Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings. Practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing — both inside and around you. Plant seeds of joy, peace, and understanding in yourself in order to facilitate the work of transformation in the depths of your consciousness.
  8. Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.
  9. Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Do not utter words that cause division and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things of which you are not sure. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.
  10. Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party. A religious community, however, should take a clear stand against oppression and injustice and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.
  11. Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. Select a vocation that helps realize your ideals of compassion.
  12. Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.
  13. Possess nothing that should belong to others. Respect the property of others, but prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth.
  14. Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. Do not look on your body as only an instrument. Preserve vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of the Way. (For brothers and sisters who are not monks and nuns:) Sexual expression should not take place without love and commitment. In sexual relationships, be aware of future suffering that may be caused. To preserve the happiness of others, respect the rights and commitments of others. Be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world. Meditate on the world into which you are bringing new beings.

Question — Which of these will help you right now?

Edited fromInterbeing: Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism” 

Freedom is One Question Away…

If it’s true that the brain creates 3 thousand thoughts per minute, doesn’t it make sense that many of them aren’t even true?

Write one down. Take a break. Come back to it later and ask yourself, “Is it true?” Wait for the answer.

You may break out into a Big Smile… you might even laugh.

Experience the instant freedom!

Here are some examples:

* She’s hates me, so I must be a bad person.*

She hates me.

Is it true?

No. She seems upset, but it’s unlikely that she hates me.

I’m a bad person.

Is it true?

No. I have a lot of great qualities. I’m not perfect though. I’m ok with that, so, no. I am not a bad person”.

* I can’t get through this — this is killing me *

This is killing me.

Is it true?

It’s not true – this is uncomfortable but I won’t die.