Looking for meaning in all the wrong places

We all do search for meaning in life, apparently.  Perhaps it is HOW we search that makes the difference.  How willing are we to sacrifice our perceived safety to change and grow? Or do we keep going to the same sources for the same purported “answer” that really isn’t an answer?

I was thinking about all this, and about Frankl’s writings on how people made sense and carried on with their lives during and after the Holocaust.  People who couldn’t find any meaning in their current situation didn’t survive.  So many appear to be content, or even anxious, to get their meaning now out of “safe” sources.  I’m thinking of course of the dismal, abysmal, schizzmal state of politics in the U.S., and the congruent and matching situation in “religious” life.  I listen to how much money the presidential candidates are raising for this atrocious campaign- and I just have to wonder when I see people begging here on the streets in Redding.

Then, of course, one just has to WONDER.  After a bleak period of soul searching and wondering if every single decision I’d ever made in my entire life was wrong given the extraordinarily imperfect connection between me and society,  I finally realized that?  Statistically it just isn’t possible.  The math doesn’t work.  SOME of those decisions had to be right!  Thus heartened I then moved on to the more revealing analysis of the brain’s workings and how they impact the old daily life.

The thing of it is learning how to accept the unexpected, learning how to say you don’t know, learning how to learn,  and moving through the unknown every day.  This isn’t exactly what we’re taught to do, but the truth of it is profound.  That daisy out there, for example.  Yes, it’s a daisy, and yes we know what daisies are.  But each daisy is individual and we should, I think anyway if we want to be truly happy, look at each and every one with attention and curiosity, and not with the attitude that we’ve seen it already and know all about it.  Learning about the world around us and how it works really does make us happier.  Speculating about things we really cannot know (what the blue blazes am I doing here, perhaps, or how much does God weigh- or worse, deciding what God thinks) does not lead to happiness if it becomes the way we apprehend the world.  Which is to say, relying on “outside authority” is not going to provide the answers we seek.  Retreating into our own separate worlds isn’t going to provide them either.  It is, I think, the focused attention on what goes on around you and inside you that makes the difference.  So, Gentle Reader, I’m trying.

The story of the Frog who Loves Us is yet to come.  Stay tuned, if you will.

 

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One response to this post.

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