“The ability to seek and find meaning in life is based more than anything on the capacity to hold paradox and maintain an unblushing cognitive dissonance. The objective world and the subjective world lie one atop the other. Spiritual causality and immediate causality are often different yet occupy the same space, and so truth may be less a matter of either/or than both/and. …
“Consider the Zen practice of the koan, the question or problem posed by Zen masters to each other or by masters to students. The koan is a dilemma, a mystery which the rational mind cannot solve. By frustrating and thwarting our usual strategies of obtaining answers, knowing and understanding, it causes us to begin anew. The key to the resolution of a koan is a shift in the being of the student which allows for a new understanding of the question itself.
“In presenting a koan, the teacher engages the student with mystery in a highly personal way. The student becomes intimate with the question, and sometimes struggles with it for a long time. At first Zen students respond to the mystery much as we all do: with frustration, with outrageous pride, with a sense of unfairness and victimhood, with self-pity, even with anger towards the teacher. None of this works. Having exhausted all these ways, we can begin to find the capacity for other ways and these new ways begin to change us.” ~Rachel Naomi Remen
Seek and Find Meaning
We may not realize it, but seeking to find meaning in things is one of the earliest things we do. Soon after we are born our mind starts trying to learn and identify the things and beings around us. But trying to find meaning in life is a bit more complex. To start with, it is not always clear what life is. And if you can’t clearly identify what life is, it is even more difficult to find meaning in life. You might think that spiritual people do not have that problem, yet I see that very question being asked frequently in spiritual groups on social media. Of course, most of those asking the question are probably relatively new students, or not actual students at all, but simply readers of a few spiritual books. Others are just internet trolls trying to annoy people.
A Flawed Question
One reason it may be so difficult to find the answer to that question is that it makes what may very well be a false assumption: that the meaning in life is the same for all of us. It may be that the answer is very personal. It may be species-specific. I doubt that the meaning of life for a frog is the same as the meaning of life for a man. But if we want a very general answer, there is one that applies in all cases.
A Life Force
The simple – although certainly not complete and satisfying – answer is that a life force exists in the universe. Just as gravity pulls objects together, the life force tries to encourage matter to become living beings, and it succeeds far more than most people suspect. Scientists and explorers have found living things in the most hostile environments on Earth where they never expected to do so. Since the life force is universal, it does the same thing on other planets. Strangely, our scientific community has decided that Earth Life must set the standard for the whole universe, and if they can’t find Earth-like life on a planet or star, it is declared lifeless. They are not lifeless. Life exists everywhere.
It seems as if Remen is switching subjects mid-stream, but she isn’t. At least not from her point of view. She sees the question “What is the meaning in life?” as a type of koan, a question that can’t be answered by conventional means. As already shown, that is not really true. There is a simple answer and we can find the meaning of life. We can also seek and find meaning in life on a personal level. We should look more at what the meaning of our own life is before we get too concerned with life on a grander scale. That question has an answer also., but it to might be a form of Zen Koan.
The Purpose of our Life is what we Decide to Make it
Usually, people expect a general answer to the question “What is the meaning in life?”. There is one, but what most people really want to know is what is the meaning of their life. That is largely a matter of what they make of it. Your choices determine the meaning of your life. But you can get help in making the right choices, those being the ones that further God’s Divine Plan.
If you awaken your spiritual faculties, you make it far easier for Angels to communicate with you. They will probably still do it in secret and you will thin their suggestions are your own ideas. That doesn’t matter. They will help you steer your ship through life so you have no reason to ask what is the meaning in life. So awaken and know the meaning of life, and have a meaningful life.