Exploring the meaning of life
It’s a question that’s been asked since life began – What is the the meaning of life?
We are fired into life with a madness that comes from the gods. So say the Greek Stoics. They are right. Our whole life is simply a search to respond to that divine madness inside us, a madness Christians identify with infinite yearnings of the soul.
Victor Frankl, the author of Man’s Search for Meaning, was lucky. He had been clinically dead for a few minutes and then revived by doctors. When he returned to his ordinary life after this, everything suddenly became very rich: “One very important aspect of post-mortem life is that everything gets precious, gets piercingly important. You get stabbed by things, by flowers and by babies and by beautiful things – just the very act of living, of walking and breathing and eating and having friends and chatting. Everything seems to look more beautiful rather than less, and one gets the much-intensified sense of miracles.”
The secret to prayer is not to try to make God present, but to make ourselves present to God. The secret to finding beauty and love in life is basically the same. Like God, they are already present. The trick is to make ourselves present to them. Rarely are we enough inside of our own skins, present enough to the moment, and sensitive enough to the richness that is already present in our lives. Our experience comes brimming with riches, but too often we are not enough inside of it. The trick is to come home. God and the moment don’t have to be searched out and found. They’re already here. We need to be here.
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