Saturday, 27 December 2008

The Meaning of Life

Someone I know recently wrote to me about searching for the Meaning of Life. My first thought to reply was - The meaning of life? That's easy, it's 42. *grin* (for the confused – it’s from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe by Douglas Adams)

But seriously... the Meaning of Life, in my opinion and experience, is living it. That's the meaning and the lesson - living life the way you were meant to live it. Each and every one of us was born for that purpose - to live as ourselves to the best of our abilities within this lifetime. What meaning could be greater than that? So... if you were born to be a tree you grow, you shed leaves every fall, you endure storms and woodpeckers. If you were born to be a tiger your Meaning would lie in camouflage and hunting and long grass. If you were born you... well then you have to be figuring the end of this sentence out for yourself. For some people that means searching deep for answers, but the truth is, just like the tree, you could simply LIVE and still be living your Meaning of Life. Trees don’t know to ask what does life mean? What is my purpose? They simply live. Even Jesus commented on this fact; that we should try to be more like the lilies of the field. Lilies never worry over their purpose or Meaning, they simply grow and live and enjoy the experience of life.

We humans tend to think the Great Mysteries have to be just that – great, mysterious and vastly complex. Yes they are, but they’re also incredibly simple. Like those pictures of a Mandelbrot set, where the patterns repeat into infinity, everything is simple and/or complex depending on how deep you choose to look… and when you do look to the deepest levels you realise the pattern was always there in the simple things from the very beginning. I think God hides the Meaning of Life and Great Mysteries in seemingly complex patterns not because it’s complicated, but because it’s actually very simple. God understands that humans are creatures that love a mystery and a puzzle. We don’t learn from having facts placed in our hands, we learn from poking and prodding and digging deep… because we find puzzles and mysteries fun and humans remember lessons learnt through fun better than any other method.

The only problem is that sometimes humans think those that struggle long on the puzzles are somehow superior to those who simply live. We tend to be an animal that is rather self-aware and “brain snobby”. We think that the very fact we think deep and complex thoughts makes us more important and superior than a tree… or a lily. I’m not convinced it does. It’s like comparing air to water and asking which element is more important to the Earth’s survival. In my opinion there’s nothing wrong with digging deep for answers, if that was your life purpose when you were born, but there is equally nothing wrong in choosing to live simply in trust or faith without searching for deeper answers. I still think there is no greater Meaning of Life than living your life as you were meant to live it – as the best YOU that you can be. Once you accept that then you really are no different to the lily in the field – simply being what you were meant to be and trusting that being yourself really is enough.


  1. I think you're got it down pat,Michelle. Simply, just live and be happy. That's all to it. I like that.

  2. Amen ...
    Wonderful reminder ... fascinating video. Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs and blessings,

  3. I often tell people that the meaning to life is whatever we decide it is, or, more precisely, that our purpose in life is whatever we choose it to be. The lily and the tree both know they only have to be. It's we humans that try to attach so much more meaning to being. I think nature is much smarter than we are.

    For me, your statement that simply being what you were meant to be and trusting that being yourself really is enough sums it up perfectly.

  4. LOVE this post, M! And I LOVE the new header!!!!!!!!

    For me personally, there are times when I dig deep for answers and there are times when I just enjoy living...but I totally agree with you that we're meant to be the best us that we can be in this life. :-))))

  5. Very well written, Michelle. I agree that acceptance of who we are as we are is one of the keys to living a happy and successful life.
    That video was one wild kaleidoscope, technicolor masterpiece. It was rather hypnotizing. :)

  6. Hey, that works! The meaning of life is 42 ;)

    I think you put it all very well.

    I wonder though if the trees aren't just standing there thinking very deep and complex thoughts ;)

  7. interesting blog, I'll have to come back and read more, thanks

  8. Hi Michelle! Great post - "be who you are to the best of your ability" - I like that - I would interpret this as "the journey is the destination" (including all the pit-stops).

    I just finished a post on my blog before coming over here and realised mine does seem to contradict yours a wee bit ;-). I was saying that I think that to a certain extent we all should look/strive to evolve in some way or the other, but I guess its not a contradiction in the sense that I was speaking my truth :-)

    You did made me think though (aaargh, I cant stop thinking!!
    :-D ) To simply grow and live and enjoy the experience of life is equal to be constantly seeking the meaning, as long as it is in line with who you truly are.

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

  9. I hadn't realised I hadn't replied here - apologies, I keep forgetting where I've been... or not, lately!

    Thank you for the great feedback and replies. I'll try to make my new year's resolution "REPLY PROMPTLY"!



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