With The Tibetan Book of the Dead sitting on my arm rest, I’m writing this, having seen a portion of a show this morning documenting Hitler and his rise/demise in Germany. I tell you this, now, to offer you a glimpse of where my mind is at.
Reading the spiritual text, just a bit today, I’m reminded of an event that I experienced a couple years ago. I wrote about it: “I Met The Devil In The Cortez Bar”. For the record, I believe in no ‘devil’, but it makes me wonder what this means. I concluded that whatever this person was, that I met, I was not ready to accept what he wanted to show me.
There was an event in my life back in the early 2000’s, occurring an early morning in San Francisco, while communing with buoyed seals. I refer to this moment as “my epiphany”. It was a simple sentence that popped into my head: There is no truth.
As an Agnostic (in a myriad of ways), I’ve viewed this abstract statement as something close to my core-a certain philosophy. What makes me different? Is it this verbalized belief? What would this belief even mean in this concrete world? I might suggest that it means there is no meaning. Maybe it was a realization that no one can save me.
The Tibetans do not have a belief or desire for “a meaning of life” but the Dalai Lama has stated (for Westerners) that “The meaning of life is happiness.” This probably doesn’t sit well with a lot of our puritanically minded associates. I have no reason to live?
Does a beautifully aromatic lilac have meaning or purpose in life?
Now how could one operate in life with no direction or ‘meaning’? Isn’t meaning needed for us? Aren’t we here-as humans at least-with purpose? Could we continue to exist if the masses believed in themselves and their lives as containing no ‘purpose’? Wouldn’t we all kill ourselves? Would commerce and art cease? Would there be chaos?
Without ‘purpose’ in human existence, war would cease. This much I know.
Having co-pioneered the art movement, NadaDada, I now live in this tiny town and currently hold the title of President of The Goldfield Chamber of Commerce. I regard projects, such as these, as practice or as an education. We go for it. We hold on and we absorb as much as we can. You might suggest that I MUST believe in meaning if I engage in any projects, collaborations or directives.
Being a tiny town with no budget, our Chamber of Commerce has special challenges and we have a certain directive to advance. We want something. We carry out a ‘purpose’ for the benefit of our townsfolk. We engage in meetings and activity for our own benefit, as we live here too. We reject notions of defeat or ‘it is what it is’. We want to encourage change. We inhabit desire. We inhabit purpose.
Having said such conflicting words as I’ve written here, one might question my sincerity. Do I really believe there is no purpose or meaning in life? Isn’t it true that I must believe in truth to sacrifice my hours to this group? Don’t I want something? Doesn’t this prove that I have desire? Am I trusting the Dalai Lama in his statement about happiness if I work instead of play? Isn’t play the epitome of happiness?
I’m happy to say that one relative ‘truth’ that I accept is that money has nothing to do with success in my own life. I cannot bow to that goal and I respect myself for that. It’s not that I would not like to be wealthy, I just trust that it hasn’t come to me because I don’t need it. I’ve been able to succeed without it. This has been a lesson for me-a consolation.
I had not wanted to offer answers here, but rather questions. I’m not purposing an ideal for readers to follow or even something as tangible as an ‘opinion’. I’m only philosophizing. I want to engage in something less than black and white. It’s the journey, isn’t it? I don’t want to dissuade anyone from continuance of their life’s goals but who cares what I want for you anyway? Does my existence have anything to do with yours?
I’d answer that I’m simply offering you some working ideas and perceptions from my own mind so that you may also offer your own from your world. Direct response is appreciated. I wish for an active humanity, one that engages their talents and perceptions, whatever conflicting perceptions they may all have.