Saturday, June 15, 2013

Life Does Not Have a Meaning; It Has Two Meanings

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”

Joseph Campbell

Sow your seed in the morning,
 and at evening let your hands not be idle,
 for you do not know which will succeed,
 whether this or that, 
or whether both will do equally well.

Solomon – Ecclesiastes 11:6

The most interesting thing about this morning is the form the Enemy took as I sat down to write.  My first thought was, “It’s not going to work this time.”  Actually, that’s not interesting at all.  That’s the same old thing.  Every time, every single time, I sit down to write, the Enemy, that internal/external voice, throws the same old lines at me:
·       You have nothing new to say.
·      You have nothing interesting to say.
·      No one is reading this.
·      You don’t really feel like doing this anyway.
·      You have other things to do.

But over the last few days the Enemy has been whispering a new line in my ear:
·      Even if you reach your goal, so what?

And I have to confess, that one made me stop…for about three seconds.  Then I got back to work.  But here’s an attack I sometimes use against the Enemy – I answer the accusation.   Now before I answer this accusation, I need to say that I don’t usually do that because my work and determination are the best answers.  I also find it dangerous and distracting to get involved in pointless arguments.  It’s sort of like arguing with my children.  It’s better to just let them speak or to walk away.  Arguing with them just prolongs the unpleasantness. 
Most of the arguments are based on fear and cannot be proven anyway.  For example, I may have nothing new or interesting to say, but so far, that hasn’t proven to be the case.  And people are reading this, not as many people as I’d like, but people are reading this.  So upon examination, most of those arguments are specious.
The more difficult arguments are the ones that have a grain of truth to them.  For example, I don’t feel like doing this.  That’s actually true.  I don’t.  I almost never feel like doing my work.  I just do it.  If I wait for the feeling, I’m going to be waiting a long time.  Now sometimes if I’m upset I have more motivation to write, but who wants to wait for that to happen?  I would rather write from a good place.
It’s also true that I have other things to do.  But when isn’t that true?  I don’t think there’s ever been a moment in my life when there wasn’t a different choice, or several different choices, to make at the same time.  But I’m making the choice to write.  It feels like the best choice and even when it doesn’t at the moment, it will later after I have seen the result of my work.
But I had to admit, I did wonder about that other argument:  Even if I reach my goal, so what?  That’s a very absurdist argument.  It brings up the fear that life is pointless, that we’re all going to die anyway, and there’s no point in working or having fun or anything at all because, ultimately, life has no meaning.  At the end of his life, Solomon espoused this belief beautifully, if not sadly, in the book of Ecclesiastes.  Of course, the problem was that Solomon had married several women, all at the same time and all of whom diverted him from his Purpose.
Life does not have a meaning.  It has at least two meanings – the meaning God gives it to each of us, and the meaning I give it.  With regard to the first, I believe God has given my life meaning that is best expressed in the gifts and abilities He has given me.  He has created me for a reason.  I have a mission and a purpose.  This is why I write.  If I don’t write my words, then no one else will.   No one can write my words.  Only I can. 
The other reason for life is the reason I give it.  Though I have a God-given mission, I am not usually given specific instructions about how to fulfill that mission.  The journey and the discoveries are my own.  God wants to take the journey with me, but rarely does He give specific direction, unless I ask (and sometimes not even then).   In fact, a friend recently reminded me that life is more than a journey.  It’s a quest.  And what am I looking for on this quest?  I’m looking for the following:
·      Mutually loving and healthy relationships,
·      Financial freedom
·      For my children to be emotionally and spiritually healthy
·      To have a right relationship with God
·      To inspire others with my writing, speaking and teaching
·      To study in order to grow intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and professionally.
·      To be joyful and peaceful as much as and as often as possible.

That’s my quest.  How do I find those things? 
The first thing I do is to sit down and write, maybe two or even three times a day.  I have a goal.  Now, with this blog almost done, I’m just a little closer to it.  My enthusiasm and energy have returned.  I am ready to Get Started and Keep Going.