Posts Tagged ‘purpose of life’

It’s interesting how the wisdom of words can remain, even when your interpretation of them changes completely.

In my last post, I wrote:

Perhaps we have to realise that to be happy, we have to not only want to be happy – we have to be able to accept that happiness when it comes along, even if it feels scary and unfamiliar at first.

What if the scary thing is not the vastness or greatness of the thing that makes you happy?  What if the scary thing is the fact that what makes you happy is small and insignificant and does not make you sound grand?  What if you have been living in the happiness you refuse to accept, determined that it should be found in something that sounds ‘worthy’, that meet the outside world’s definition of success?

What if doing all the things you think will make you feel grand and worthwhile actually makes you vastly unhappy?  What if you experience the purest, most uncontaminated happiness, when you wake up in the morning and look forward to going to your job as a typist?

Maybe one of the problems is that we have a tendency to equate ‘success’ with ‘happiness’.  And we equate ‘success’ with whatever society currently defines as ‘successful’.  And so we assume that happiness will come when we have completed this degree or got that promotion or save the world in this, that, or the other way.  Maybe we get so caught up in thinking that this outwardly defined ‘success’ will bring us happiness, that we lose sight of the things that truly make us happy.

The ego loves labels.  As soon as you have shed one, it will desperately grasp at another to give itself solidity, to enable its existence.  My ego has, for a long time, been caught up in the idea that I have some ‘grand purpose’.  That not to pursue some ‘grand purpose’ is somehow a waste of myself and a cop out.  As if I am some kind of gift to freakin humanity.

What if I am just really happy with my life right now?  I work as a typist, I read, I write, I spend time with friends and indulge in much wine, laughter and conversation, I spend time with my family, I sit on my deck and look at the sea.  I wake up happy, I am happy in the solitary moments, I am happy in company, I go to bed with a smile on my face looking forward to the next day.

I don’t save lives.  I don’t fix world hunger.  I am not materially wealthy or ‘successful’ as society defines it.

I work as a typist.  And I feel like the richest person in the world.  I have everything I could ever want.  I enjoy my days.  I love my life.

I am not ‘grand’, ‘worthy’ or ‘meaningful’ as I have come to define those words.  I just am.  And I find a great amount of contentment in that.

I also wrote in the last post:

We must be willing to sit with the strength of both our fear and our desire if we wish to move forward and do something with our lives.

Maybe the key is in the first few words.  We must be willing to sit with the strength of our fear and our desire.  We must be willing to sit still long enough for both to make themselves heard.  Only then, from that place of stillness, can we make the movement most in line with our true meaning, our true Being.

Even if that movement is out the door each day to a job whose title impresses no one, but which places a spring in your step as you go.


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nonzeroAt the moment I’m reading a book called “Non-Zero: The Logic of Human Destiny”.  In it, Robert Wright applies game theory (non-zero vs zero-sumness – don’t worry, the book explains it) to cultural and biological evolution to “isolate the impetus behind life’s basic direction”.  In the first section, which I’m currently reading, he applies this theory to the entire evolution of civilisation.  The next section will do the same for biological evolution, with the intention in the end to show how the direction of life on this planet so far gives us a clear indication of where it is going.  I can’t wait for that part! 

Basically I’m hoping this book will explain the meaning of life to me.  No pressure, Rob me old mate.

But as this book progresses through it’s sweeping evaluation of the evolution of the world as we know it, I’m noticing another pattern.  A pattern all scientists are aware of (2nd law of thermodynamics anyone?), it was only in reading this book that it’s truth and application to life became clear to me. 

What I noticed is this: chaos breeds growth and progress.  Stability (/peace) breeds stagnation.

Now I guess it depends what you want from life and what you see the point as being.  Maybe stagnation sounds pretty damn calm and lovely and who cares about a bit of algae around the edges.  But personally, I can’t see why we’d come here just to stagnate, why we’d be here if not to grow and progress.  And growth doesn’t happen when everything’s hunky dory – why would it?  There is no impetus for change or innovation when everything is just dandy the way it is.

Chaos breeds growth.

In which case I must be almost 6 foot frickin tall by now. 

Which is a good thing… Right?

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