“But it doesn’t mean anything!”
I can still hear one of the Von Trapp children exclaiming this as Maria taught them the solfegge scale with “Do, a deer.” All of those little syllables were nonsense to them until Maria assigned one word for every note and then, Voila! Meaning was born!
Do you ever feel like if you simply understood the meaning of something, why it was happening to you or what it meant for your life, you’d feel much better, and you would arrive at a place of peace? Well, I was thinking about this, and the energy around meaning and understanding popped into clear and brilliant view. Here’s what I saw: assigning meaning to something is simply judgment. Even if it feels good. Therefore, understanding the meaning of something is judging it in an ultimate kind of way.
We assign meanings to experiences and even thoughts in our lives all of the time, and whenever we do, we are judging those experiences. Interestingly, different people assign very different meanings to the exact same events all of the time. To someone who owns a ski resort, or who loves to ski, “It’s snowing” is good news. If you’re homeless, the same news might mean cold, wet nights and even a threat to your life. Which begs the question – IS there any meaning apart from that which we assign in our personal context, ever? Is there any ultimate meaning for life? I mean, what does “It’s snowing,” in and of itself, mean? Nothing. It just is.
And here’s where it gets interesting. What if the meanings we assign every event, thought, or experience in life are all as equally arbitrary as the example above?
Here’s another, much more difficult scenario. “The World Trade Center collapsed on 9-11.” This was good news for jihadists, very bad news for nearly everyone else. Depending on your position of judgment, i.e. the meaning you assigned the event, it was either divine victory or terror. When we use an extreme example like this one, a sense of “but that was just plain WRONG!” tends to rise up for most people (by contrast, most of us don’t go straight to “Snowing is just WRONG!!” 🙂 ) “Wrong” is one of the most powerful meanings we assign, a potent judgment, and one that ultimately fixes us into a way of perceiving something as well as that which comes after it (“right” is equally inflexible, btw). “Wrong” shuts out other possibilities, and keeps other meanings from coming into view. Such an assignment fixes us into judgment, and there we stay. It’s kind of small and closed there. The more powerful an experience, the more joy or pain it brings, the more likely we are to judge it as good or bad, and to remain fixed in our position.
But coming back to the World Trade Center. Why do we say the destruction was wrong? Isn’t it obvious (you think!)? Because it hurt people. It was costly and callous. People died. Beautiful beings lost parents, partners, children, friends. Life was utterly dishonored.
My next rather radical question: Does that mean pain is our main criteria for “wrong?” Which, extending the formula, would mean pleasure is the definitive indication of “right?” Going further beyond just pain or pleasure, is life always right and death always wrong? Hm….
From the right/wrong vantage point, ultimately every judgment and meaning we assign is a projection of our own need to seek pleasure and avoid pain, and to survive. Which, by my book, makes it arbitrary. Here’s why.
As far as I can see, death is a change of address, albeit a dramatic one from my human perspective, though maybe not such a big deal when I’m in spirit form. It is a shift of dimension, and a chance to continue our life-stream outside of physical embodiment. It is a change, yes, but not an end, because we never cease to exist. Since we can’t ultimately “die,” we can’t ultimately “be killed” either. How am I to say it is better to be here in the 3D stream than there in the non-physical, wherever “there” is? Why is 3D incarnation inherently more valuable than anything else?
That said, as I write to you here from the space of my sweet, beloved earth body, I really do not want to suffer pain, or see those I love suffer pain, or to die or have them die. I’m just saying that pain or death isn’t the ultimate indication of what something means or is. To me life is bigger than that.
Life is a flow, a miraculous, continuous unfolding, an experience of God beholding itself from all angles – as you, as me, as up and down, as the good, bad, beautiful and ugly. What would happen if we surrendered to this flow of life, participated fully, and avoided the stream-side snags of judgment and meaning? Everything! Life with a capital “L.” Our full presence would happen, in every moment. And full presence equals pure love.
What if life doesn’t mean anything, and it just BE’s everything instead? I say, “Thank God!”
My meaningless, infinite love to you –