Been struggling a little bit in the last couple of weeks.
Y’see, I’ve been hanging out with my old mate Depression.
But I’ve been trying to use that to my advantage, asking myself a lot of hard questions.
I wonder if everyone eventually gets to the point where they question their very existence? I know I have been.
All around me, I see people with a purpose, or at least it seems that way. I wonder if that’s really the case, though? My own experience suggests otherwise.
When you strip away all the things that we humans do – such as having a job, going to the gym, watching TV, exercising, meditating, spending time with friends, drinking at the pub, and so on… can you relate to yourself?
Do you define who you are based on the things you do? The roles you have in life? Do you believe that makes you who you really are?
If you’re suddenly not those things, does that make you a different person, or are you still you? Can you get by if that role is irrevocably gone? Does that make you less of who you think you are?
Are we really the sum of our experiences, or is that just Abhasavada (theory of appearance)?
We humans devise our own theories and call that reality. We try to get other people to buy into our reality, too. And because we don’t like to be alone, we buy in to both our own and other people’s, to varying degrees (which, is often the cause of conflict).
As human beings, we create meaning and value where, inherently, there isn’t any. We find reasons to do and to be, and we make that mean something about ourselves.
In some cases, that’s called making friends, working a job, having personal preferences, being a traveller, getting into fashion, writing a blog, or collecting teapots, to name but a few. In other cases, it’s called politics and/or organised religion. The list of ways we buy into various meanings is endless… what we say we are, what we say we aren’t… all of it.
Not that this is bad. It’s just part of the process of life.
Perhaps, it could be said that our desire to create meaning is part of the human condition of suffering? Sure feels that way sometimes.
But, when all of that breaks down, when it’s all stripped away, when all the meaning seems meaningless… what do we do then?
How do we find a reason to get out of bed in the morning? How do we find a purpose we can relate to that doesn’t seem contrived or pointless?
I have no answers… I wonder if there are any. Last night I didn’t get much sleep, my brain reeling while I contemplated the seemingly endless abyss of meaningless meaning.
The only thing I’ve worked out is… just to surrender. The self to the Self. And remain open, hoping I can tap into something that makes sense for me within a sea of everything that doesn’t.
I want to matter to other people’s lives. Be of service. Be useful, in a way that really counts. But is that just an oxymoron?