Many people around the globe, in your neighborhood and in fact, even inside your house are searching for the same thing. Some do not know what it is they are searching for, they only know they are searching. Others know what is they are searching for, yet when asked, have a hard time trying to explain it. Then there are those who think they know and they explain it really well but you just don’t agree with they are saying, simply because their description is different from yours, on so many levels.
Of course, when considering the title of this writing and reading the above paragraph, most people can find the path I am on. It is a clear path but also very misty. Like life itself, a contradiction in terms but true nonetheless. Everyone wants, needs to in some way, shape, or form, find a meaning for their life; a purpose if you will. Yet, we all seem to have different ideas in mind when it comes to the subject. My definition for meaning may be quite different than yours and yours could be different than your spouse, lover, or parents. How are we to find our way to something that has so many variances in its meaning as “meaning”? How can we begin to hope that any of us will find that meaning, that purpose, that direction our lives were ment to take. Were our lives predetermined by that sinister jester we all know as fate?
As we brouch the subject of meaning and its definition to our lives we might find more unanswered questions than we do answered ones. But let us continue, lets be brave, bold, brazen even. To get to the meat we must first rip off the skin, remove the fatty tissue as it were, to reveal the underlying meat left behind.
With this in mind we can set aside a number of notions, presumptions, and ideas. those that may have been given to us by friends, neighbors strangers, or even our parents. Things such as meaning equals purpose, purpose equals action. Notions that we have to do something in order to have found meaning or created meaning. Not quite the direction I am certain alot of people would have had in mind when they first started reading. However I believe this is the correct course to follow. We cannot let any predetermined ideas or concepts enter into the picture, much like editing a photo with photoshop. The more we edit with own ideas, the further we stray from the beginning truth. the original picture.
In keeping closest to the truth, let’s grab the dictionary definition of the word “meaning” and go from there. The American Heritage dictionary(4th edition) defines meaning as-“1.Something simplified; sense 2.Something one wishes to convey, esp by language. 3.Intent; end.” These are the words that the dictionary uses to describe meaning. Can they used in the context I have in mind? Will they allow us to find what we all are seeking? I think they might be exactly what we are looking for.
When I began I spoke of meaning, not just in a general sense, but of a more specific use of the word. I typed we all are searching for it. And we all do indeed search for it in our own way; we all strive to find the meaning of our lives. What is our purpose here? Have we found it yet? Perhaps we have colored the picture too much to see the orginal, to see the “something simplified” as found in its definition. We all “sense” that there should be a reason for our existence. If we did not, religion would not still be big business.
The ways in which we color our meaning of the word”meaning” and the ways the discoloration changes the very difinition of the word”meaning” have led us astray in our search. We lost the path, if we were ever even on one. Meaning is purpose, meaning is reason, meaning is action are just a few of the many ways we have changed the very essence of the word “meaning”. As we saw in the above definition, none of those things were there.
Perhaps if we look closer to the truth and ask the simple questions we will come closer to the truth. Can “meaning” in our life be created? Is it just “there” like we are? We all have a meaning in our life, right? Maybe the meaning of my life already happened and I just did not see it? Is it possible that the meaning of my life, was to create meaning for someone else?
When we look at those simple questions it clear that most of us may have been looking in the wrong direction. We were searching for something that is likely to find us, rather than us find it.
In conclusion, I said there might be more questions, than answers found here and you may think that is true of this piece, however I never said that would be a bad thing. Asking questions is more likely going to lead you to the truth than thinking you know all the answers. If you are not asking questions, then you have edited out that truth you seek. Don’t try and define what having meaning in your life means, instead realize we all have some meaning for our lives and be glad you did your part, even if you never know what it was. Perhaps the “end”(last part of the dictionary definition) is the only way, we will ever know what our meaning of our life was.
© 2010 J.B. Thomas