the meaning of being
The question: 'What is the meaning of life?' seems
like a boost for duality. After all, it implies time and a personal
life. In nay case, the seeking after and possible finding of an answer
suggests a story, in which experiences ought to have
or get a meaning.
But could we also search for an answer from another point of departure,
with the question as a starting point for a voyage of discovery with
unknown destination, or as Wim Kayzer so beautifully formulates:
'I went searching with the knowledge
that the most fascinating question
could never compete
with the most fascinating answer.'
If we can leave the question to the question there
is room for the marvelous, the unanswerable, the not-knowing. Life
then manifests as a curiosity filled exploration of the non-existent.
then. at the most, we can witness our powerless feints at trying
to behold an answer.
In this sense, words are also answers. Words seem to want to conjure
up the dualistic truth. Everything becomes so-called safe, clear,
predictable and not threatening as long as words and explanations
can be pasted on it. Apparently the greatest fear in our bosom
comes from not- knowing or not being able to knwo.
If we take this fear too seriously there is hardly any room for the
magical, the unimaginable of existence. Fear just makes us glad to
to admire this duality appearing as real life; a wonder that is created
for us every moment like a rabbit out of a hat.
Thinking will always try to formulate answers and switches one answer
for another if it is convenient. That is also an inseparable part
of this marvelous existence.
Asking the question and following up on it is accepting
the invitation to explore this wonderful reality and sharing these
endless stories with your fellow beings. Naturally our personal seeming
life is not always a bed of roses. Much of it is so and so determined
by the everyday. But above all, isn't it wonderful that rose scent,
moonshine, trouble and strife, everydayness, luck, bad luck, right,
and exuberance, crowded shopping streets, a serene starry heaven,
are already there?
If this question is explored, a falling quiet in awe happens
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In this edition about the meaning of life:
• Wolter Keers on Indifference
Jan van Delden on happiness in life
Interviews with Jan van Rossum, Guy Smith, Chuck Hillig and Fokke
• Jed McKenna on where you can find 'enlightenment'
Column by Ruud Houweling
an innerview with and by Ragen
Sometimes you come across stories that describe or
define beautiful moments of revealed insight without the knowledge
of advaita (see for example Hella Haasse's text in this edition).
Recently I saw the Paul Haggis film 'Crash' that plays
in multi-cultural and often racist Los Angeles. Every principal
role character in this film is confronted with his or her belief
in the idea of who they think they have to be.
We see that each character is forced by circumstances to experience
a moment that lies beyond their ideas (for example of 'good' and 'bad').
One of the more beautiful scenes is the moving moment when one
of the leading characters, (someone from former Persia), fed by
his prejudices about the 'others' seeks revenge. In
his eyes, a lock maker of Spanish descent didn't do a good
job causing the break-in and plundering of his store.
When he arrives at the house of the lock maker he pulls out a gun
and pulls the trigger at the moment that the lock maker's
young daughter jumps on his neck. Both the father and the culprit
are convinced that she has been fatally hit. Nothing could be further
from the truth; the girl appears to be untouched. The gun was loaded
with blank bullets... the culprit's face freezes, and
slowly an expression of happiness appears on his face... his
deed and it's terrible consequences is made undone, the time
is set back. He sees through the apparent reality of the world
of his imagination and who he thinks he is supposed to be. He lands
in the direct witnessing and disappears into no-man's land
smiling and without good and bad...