Tuesday, December 14, 2004

It seems that everyone from Buddha, Moses, and Plato to the boys of Monty Python have looked to answer the question: WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?

Well, for the longest time I was clueless about what the meaning of life was. I really had no idea. Which was frustrating because I looked everywhere, read everything, talked and listened and still I couldn't find it. Theology, philosophy, the arts, sciences, all led me down what seemed the right path(s), and I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge along the way, but I still always felt as if it hadn't all linked up and revealed the meaning of life. And then, it happened.

The MEANING OF LIFE found me.

It didn't happen overnight or in a single flash of divine/emotional/rational/scientific revelation, but it did have a start.

That start came in the form of the apex of a severe mental, physical and spiritual trauma. That trauma worsened over two years until it came to a head and I was facing the most clearly marked crossroad of my life. I knew that the time had come to choose a path. Further destruction or a new beginning and I chose the latter.

It took a lot of hard work, dedication, learning and searching, but over two years the meaning of life was revealed to me. What made it especially sweet was that all of the philosophy, theology, myth, science, history, art, books and conversations I had over the previous 15 years finally coalesced. It was as if they were no longer ideas to be studied but markers and talismans on the true path.

It also made me realize you can't (not that I ever did) tell someone what the meaning of life is. You can only hope you are one of the very lucky few who have it revealed to them.

In short, the meaning of life according to the phoenix.

-Overcoming fear and desire. When I overcame fear and desire everything else that is positive flowed from it. Fear and desire are the roots of anger, dissasfaction, envy and resentment. In turn those are the things that kill ones soul thatleave a person ENDURING LIFE rather than LIVING IT.

-When I accepted that I had everything I needed in my own body, mind and soul, desire for anything else became irrelevant.

-And the fear of death. Especially the fear of death. When I accepted that death is the same as life, that they are inseparable and that every death has new life in it I became more attuned to the world around me.

-Acceptance. When I accepted life on life's terms and treated all actions, thoughts, people and events as being exactly as what they should be and what they are I was then fully in tune with the natural, spiritual, scientific and artistic worlds of the human spirit.

-Love and compassion. When I realized that by trying (trying being the key word s as I am not perfect) to live each moment with love and compassion (com-passion literally means to share the passion or pain of living of others) would bring me back (without seeking it) whatever it was I gave, I found the meaning of life.

In short the meaning of life to me is overcoming fear and desire, accepting life on life's terms and projecting love and compassion. By doing these things I come into complete harmony with man, animal, spirit, the scientific, the artistic, the earth and the universe. Finding serenity and peace is the meaning of life and the above is the path to it for me.

The last 5 years have been the best of my life. And I could die happy tomorrow knowing that before I died I found the meaning of life and some serenity.