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 forget 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, wrong, timidity and exuberance, crowded shopping streets, a serene starry heaven, are already there?
If this question is explored, a falling quiet in awe happens by itself...

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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 Slootstra
Jed McKenna on where you can find 'enlightenment'
• Column by Ruud Houweling
• an innerview with and by Ragen

no-one's land

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...

[Kees Schreuders]