Life is a lot of things to a lot of different people. Everyone has their own personal opinion to what the meaning of life is. Today we are going to explore what the most objective being in existence says about the meaning of life and dissect it from its perspective. You will be surprised.
The dictionary. Well actually google. All I have done is typed in the word followed by meaning (e.g. life meaning) into google to get these definitions. Just in case you suspect me.
According to the dictionary the meaning of life is…. ‘not dead or inanimate’.
Truly uninspiring but true. I guess every living thing has one thing in common, it isn’t dead and it can move in some way even if it is on a microscopic level.
As humans though this doesn’t feel very satisfactory. We aren’t just not dead but we actually experience life in one form or another. So what does experience mean?
1) ‘an event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone’
2) ‘encounter or undergo (an event or occurrence)’
3) ‘feel (an emotion or sensation)’
So experiencing life would mean we feel life (emotionally and physically). I would agree. We undergo life meaning life occurs, agreed. We encounter life as an event, also agreed. Most interesting is the fact that it leaves an impression on someone. My guess would be us and/or those around us.
Let’s keep digging. What are the meanings of the words encounter, undergo and impression oh great dictionary?
Encounter: ‘Unexpectedly be faced with or experience (something hostile or difficult)’
Undergo: ‘Experience or be subjected to (something, typically something unpleasant or arduous)’
Impression: ‘An idea, feeling, or opinion about something or someone, especially one formed without conscious thought or on the basis of little evidence’
Now we’re getting somewhere. Putting it all together experiencing life is when:
‘We are unexpectedly subjected to something unpleasant or arduous. This gives us a feeling which is generally formed without conscious thought or on the basis of little evidence.’
This is quite morbid.
I hate this definition but let’s be real. Look at people around you. I’m sure if you’re like me you can’t help but think this is true. We were not asked to be born so life is pretty unexpected. Life can be very tough and unpleasant and many people seem to make life A LOT more arduous than it needs to be. And yes most people are sleepwalking, going through the motions in life, letting their feelings and their thoughts control them without being conscious to what is even happening inside their bodies and minds.
Don’t worry there is hope as within this definition there contains much wisdom.
‘This gives us a feeling which is generally formed without conscious thought’
There is hope for some of us. We do not have to be unconscious zombies depressed with the arduous task of life itself. We can actually experience life as something beautiful. But how?
The feeling is formed because of the unexpected unpleasant or arduous situation. It is generally formed without conscious thought or with little evidence.
3 points to consider:
a) without conscious thought
b) with little information
c) unpleasant situation
This is where the solution lies. In 3 simple steps:
Consciously think. This means wake up. Notice what you are thinking and feeling. Be aware of what is going on. Can you tell me what you’re thinking now? From this point keep track of your thoughts. Don’t let them go. Tell me how long can you last?
Know what you don’t know and understand there are many things you don’t know you don’t know. Use this as a way to find out more and obtain evidence about the situation you are subject to. This includes what is causing you to think and feel, about the situation, the way you do. What assumptions are you making? Talk to someone or pick up a book. Many times all we need is a prod in the right direction to produce a solution.
Stop seeing it as unpleasant. I know this won’t apply to all situations, and I don’t want to make light work of some very unpleasant things that happen in this world, but many of the unpleasant things we experience are menial. It’s not that big of a deal. Sometimes it maybe, but seeing it like a problem does not necessarily mean you will find a solution. It will certainly give you worry, anxiety, stress and possibly worse. See it for what it is. A situation. Focus your efforts on solutions. This may take time so be patient.
Once you do this you will stop experiencing life and start to feel alive. I’m not making any promises but this is what the mighty dictionary seems to suggest. What does alive mean?
Definition of alive:
1) Alert and active; animated.
2) Aware of and interested in; responsive to.
The root of the word comes from old English. It meant in Life.
Is it just me or this quite profound? To be alive come from to be in life. To be present, conscious, in the moment. This is the same as being alert, responsive to and interested in.
Now we could keep digging but this is a nice place to stop and ponder what has just been read.
Don’t just experience life. Be Alive.
M. S. Dawood