Tagged with: meaning

Those of us who have transcended mythical belief systems know without any doubt that there is no God up in the sky. But when we awaken to what I call the evolutionary impulse—the mysterious passion to evolve, to become, to develop on every level—we rediscover who God is. When we begin to experience the aspiration to evolve as that unique ecstatic compulsion in our own heart and mind, that’s when the God who fell out of the sky is awakening within ourselves, as the urge to take the next step.

Fourteen billion years ago, there was nothing. Then, suddenly, there was an enormous explosion—an explosion that never stopped and is still reverberating here and now. So what I’m describing is a perspective and a state of consciousness in which the very first cause is waking up to itself as we wake up to our own impulse to evolve. That’s Evolutionary Enlightenment: when the spark that initiated fourteen billion years of development becomes conscious of itself. When you realize this and recognize this at the deepest level of your being, and then choose to take responsibility for it, it is then that you know without any doubt that it’s up to you to make this world a better place. It’s up to you. In that realization, you discover a reason for living, which is spiritually empowering. It is where you will find dignity, self-respect, ultimate meaning, and purposefulness.

Those of us who have transcended mythical belief systems know without any doubt that there is no God up in the sky. But when we awaken to what I call the evolutionary impulse—the mysterious passion to evolve, to become, to develop on every level—we rediscover who God is. When we begin to experience the aspiration to evolve as that unique ecstatic compulsion in our own heart and mind, that’s when the God who fell out of the sky is awakening within ourselves, as the urge to take the next step.

Fourteen billion years ago, there was nothing. Then, suddenly, there was an enormous explosion—an explosion that never stopped and is still reverberating here and now. So what I’m describing is a perspective and a state of consciousness in which the very first cause is waking up to itself as we wake up to our own impulse to evolve. That’s Evolutionary Enlightenment: when the spark that initiated fourteen billion years of development becomes conscious of itself. When you realize this and recognize this at the deepest level of your being, and then choose to take responsibility for it, it is then that you know without any doubt that it’s up to you to make this world a better place. It’s up to you. In that realization, you discover a reason for living, which is spiritually empowering. It is where you will find dignity, self-respect, ultimate meaning, and purposefulness.

Reflecting on our own impermanence helps us stop following the dissatisfied mind of desire whose impulses are seen as without meaning in the face of death. When we don’t face impermanence and death, our lives become busy, complicated, and stressful. When we do face them, our lives become simpler and more full of meaning. Our fear of or aversion to facing these subjects is a trick that the mind plays on itself, which keeps us caught in the trap of self-centered, compulsive, neurotic egotism. The illusion that we exist as solid, permanent entities is in fact a trap or prison for our hearts; facing the truth about impermanence is the doorway out.

Reflecting on our own impermanence helps us stop following the dissatisfied mind of desire whose impulses are seen as without meaning in the face of death. When we don’t face impermanence and death, our lives become busy, complicated, and stressful. When we do face them, our lives become simpler and more full of meaning. Our fear of or aversion to facing these subjects is a trick that the mind plays on itself, which keeps us caught in the trap of self-centered, compulsive, neurotic egotism. The illusion that we exist as solid, permanent entities is in fact a trap or prison for our hearts; facing the truth about impermanence is the doorway out.

To become a true seeker requires the heroic willingness to suspend, at a fundamental level, our most cherished beliefs. I’m not speaking about suspending our good judgment, discerning intellect, or common sense, but I am saying that we have to be willing to let go, even if only temporarily, of whatever our deepest convictions are about the nature of life, love, purpose, and the meaning—or meaninglessness—of existence. Perennial enlightenment teachings tell us that we have to make room for the unknown. And to make this more specific, I always say that to seek in earnest means that we have to ceaselessly make the effort to peer beyond what we already know. It is only beyond the boundaries of already knowing that we come upon that miraculous domain of unmanifest creative potential and higher knowledge that always liberates and is ever new. And in an evolving world, this will always be the case, because there will always be infinitely more development at every level, more knowledge, and ever-deepening enlightenment to unfold within us.

To become a true seeker requires the heroic willingness to suspend, at a fundamental level, our most cherished beliefs. I’m not speaking about suspending our good judgment, discerning intellect, or common sense, but I am saying that we have to be willing to let go, even if only temporarily, of whatever our deepest convictions are about the nature of life, love, purpose, and the meaning—or meaninglessness—of existence. Perennial enlightenment teachings tell us that we have to make room for the unknown. And to make this more specific, I always say that to seek in earnest means that we have to ceaselessly make the effort to peer beyond what we already know. It is only beyond the boundaries of already knowing that we come upon that miraculous domain of unmanifest creative potential and higher knowledge that always liberates and is ever new. And in an evolving world, this will always be the case, because there will always be infinitely more development at every level, more knowledge, and ever-deepening enlightenment to unfold within us.

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re really seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re really seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

earthdrop
Don’t Go It Alone

Aristotle said that in order for people to become virtuous, we need role models—others who have developed their capacities for courage, self-control, wisdom, and justice. We may emphasize different sets of virtues or ideas about what makes a proper role model, but Buddhism also asserts that, as we are all connected and interdependent, none of us can do it all on our own.

Acknowledging this dependency is the first step of real emotional work within relationships. Our ambivalence about our own needs and dependency gets stirred up in all kinds of relationships. We cannot escape our feelings and needs and…

- Barry Magid

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