Archive for August, 2014

What is the meaning of life?

August 28, 2014
Finding the meaning of life

Finding the meaning of life

This is a question, perhaps as a consequence of turning 50, I’ve given some thought to recently. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted: immerse yourself in the mental gymnastics required to grasp this question, if indeed it is one, and you may find yourself with more questions than answers.

This is exactly what I did flying from the East Coast of the United States back to Australia; three flights and north of 30 hours to keep my mind occupied, save watching all three ‘Indispensables’ movies, which clearly proves nothing is forever, especially action heroes.

So where does that leave us with the question?

Perhaps it’s not a question at all, but a rhetorical statement. It may also be possible that there is an answer but we’ll never know what it is. Perhaps that’s the point. Conversely, it may be hiding in plain sight, so obvious that we dismiss it out of hand, preferring to find a deep spiritual revelation that will set off a cosmic buzzer when we stumble across true meaning.

What if the true meaning of life is meaningless? And what if this is too terrible a concept for us to cope with, requiring consoling illusions of our own creation so we can ‘stay calm and carry on’?

Our concept of life may be nothing more than a necessary fiction. Without a huge admix of fantasy, reality might grind to a halt.

Would it be so bad if there was no purpose, and no next … and how would that change our lives? Do we need to create meaning where none exists? Do we look outwards to our God or inwards to our soul? Or is this the same thing?

See, I told you about that whole more questions thing! In future posts we’ll unroll the cosmic carpet and see what the pattern tells us.


A man walks into a bar …

August 18, 2014
The Zen of doing what you want ...

The Zen of doing what you want …

A man walks into a bar …

and strikes up a conversation with a Zen monk drinking tea.

The monk asks him what he wants more than anything else in the world.

The man says, ‘I’d like to have a million dollars’.

‘What would you do tomorrow if you had a million dollars’, the monk asks.

The man thinks about it for a moment, and says, ‘I’d go surfing.’

The monk replies: ‘You don’t need a million dollars to go surfing. Just go.’

What do you really want to do? Are you satisfied with the number of hours you work? Are you doing what you really want? How much money do you need? Why aren’t you doing it now?

If you could change your job to 4 days a week and drop 20% of your wage would you do it?

Strangely, it’s often lower income earners who jump at a chance like this, and higher income earners are more uncertain. Perhaps that says a lot about how we create our lives, what’s important to us and our perception of what, or how much, we need to live.

What would you do tomorrow if you had several million dollars today? Do you really need millions of dollars to do it?

Or would you give up a portion of your income for more time to do what you want?

Even if you wouldn’t or couldn’t, can you make some changes to your life to make more room for what you really want to do?