We want to know what something means, so we can be prepared for the danger or the good fortune that the meaning carries inside it.
But, alas, life is empty and meaningless... intrinsically.
And yet. Meaningful is something we crave... We crave the certainty, we crave the guidance meaningful would give us.
No matter how many times we watch and laugh with Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life"... we are still hoping for some meaning to be given to us. 1
So teachers teach you to create meanings... but of course you know you created it, so the tension between the pretense meaning and the inherent meaninglessness is near unbearable.
Some people stumble onto a meaning, a reason to do things. They can align themselves behind that meaning, align their actions with that meaning... even though they know that life itself has no meaning... but THEIR LIFE has meaning. I am like that!
I have heard: the purpose of life is to be happy. But happiness is a fickle master...
I have heard: the purpose of life is to make a difference... but of course what the heck does that mean? Right?
Lately, doing the steps in the 67 steps, I am starting to "hear" a purpose that is a lot closer to what it could be accepted by the mind, and what it could be a good meaning, even for those of us who have created a meaning already.
And that, that meaning is the good life, defined by being the best you can be in the areas of health, wealth, love, and happiness. The four pillars of Eudaimonia... the good life, the
"it is worth living" life: human flourishing.
You see, that COULD be a meaning most people could align with: flourishing aka flowering.
But most people think it is enough to flourish in one area: sports, beauty, money... or even having a family aka happiness...
But like a tree that only grows high but the trunk doesn't get thicker... that flimsy life will crumble, collapse, and the flourishing will be a thin victory.
You get old. You can't take it with you. Your children will hate you. You'll get sick and decrepit.
I could write a page long short sentences that if and when you have all four pillars developed, if one pillar is attacked by circumstances: you'll still have a sense of life that is worth living.
I've myself had a lopsided, flimsy life for most of my life. And when one "pillar" was in danger, my life was in danger.
Since I have been doing the 67 steps... nothing to do really, just listen and look... 40-60 minutes a day, I have an experience of my life that is more wholesome, sturdy, and less prone to crumble from just one "pillar" crumbling.
Of course most people can't pay attention to four things...
It requires you to have a wider cone of vision. A perspective that includes all four areas, all for aspects of life.
How long will it take? Most students have a qualitative jump around step 40, then around step 77 the 10th step the second time around.
Is it worth it?
Well, you decide. But what else can you do? Where else can you find something that can reliably grow you into a human, poised to live a flourishing life?
When you look around you: do you see people who live that way? Not seemingly, but really?
Even in movies, TV shows... how many? One?
In the TV shows I have watched on Netflix, I have found only one, Madame Secretary. Even she isn't completely there, but close... two of the four pillars have strengths.
Most characters, if you look, are totally one track ponies, no flourishing.
Nothing is further from the truth. In fact, they are growing backwards, because they live in a delusion.
So if you are one of these four people, please start doing the steps.
Or tell the truth that you are not interested in flourishing.
PS: I am really not very good at talking to a microphone... but regardless I created a podcast on the methodology based on the Anna Karenina principle: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Same is true for people who are flourishing.
Avoiding what works against flourishing, pruning them... most of them are really just habits! or cognitive biases (aka wrong thinking, wrong assumptions) makes more difference than the best "good action" advice.
Here is my link to my podcast. Forgive me for the "beginner quality" I am going to get better.
I am looking for people who want to listen to me talk... so I know I am talking to someone.
You can also ask good questions... For example, had someone asked the question: how to I find my way in life? How do I start to live a meaningful life? My answer would have been a lot better, than just whipping out the microphone and talking to "nothing"...
Contact me if you think you'd qualify...
What does it mean "qualify"?
It's difficult to explain. I am looking for the experience that what I am saying is landing. Most people are sooo not present, even thought I am talking to them, that they don't give me the experience of being heard.
You know the type: they are somewhere else. Your boss, your client, your colleague, your husband... or your teenage child.
You want to hit them... Pay attention to me! But they can't.
So if this is people's experience of you, if you are narcissistic, self-involved, or just plain spaced out: you don't qualify.
- Will I pay you to do this? No. I really don't want someone who considers spending time with me of no value.
- Will it be fun? If you expect fun to come from me: hell no. Fun is like happiness: you bring your own and then you'll have it.
- Do you need to make a commitment? No, you don't need anything... Hell... your attitude sucks! lol.