Meditations about the search for meaning

Updated: Sep 29

Author: Eddie Vela


Everyday, I begin my day with a cup of coffee. I observe for a moment, the eddy's subtle spiral within the cup, and feel my senses recover back into consciousness by the warmth radiating out of the ceramic. Everyday, every morning, a cup of coffee. I can't help it, but there is two remaining elements to catalyze my satisfaction aside from my coffee to fulfill the ritual I have maintained for years. One; When I step outside and take a deep breath of the fresh Sonoran desert air. As I look out into the desert landscape from my patio and think of the tasks I hope to achieve for the day, as well as reflect on my night before, I torment myself with difficult philosophical questions. Primarily about the topic of meaning. Two; Meaning. From an early age I have taken this topic serious and have considered it ever since. Now that I am a bit older now— married, and with children, a family depending on me and my guidance to pull them in good health and shelter into the future— Meaning, bears a permanent place in my mind and is the driving phenomena that enriches my being when I reflect back on all that I have accomplished for myself. There will inevitably come a point in the life of every individual, where we begin to feel the sense that there may be a meaning to it all. And to others, not at all. But those who do have this sense that there might actually be, we ask the questions; Where does one find meaning? And if there is, what exactly is it? Is it individual or collective? Could it be an amalgam of the two? Is there a meaning to anything? We won’t be going into the philosophical discourse of whether or not there is meaning, but rather, we are going to assume, instead that we have a presupposition that there is meaning. It is there, waiting for us to uncover it. However, we lack the tools and senses to reveal the meaning. Ill-informed or only having to consult our peers— who are just as lost for guidance as we are — we hope drunkenly for a sign and in our desperation, search for our place in the world without true guidance or direction. No one is really told of the great journey. And if it were mentioned, the possibility we were told during our juvenile years is high. During those years, the probability you were taking stock of your life and your future into consideration is pretty damn low.

The journey of all journeys must begin by looking inward. But it seemed like for a while, meaning may have been a phenomena that only existed in a primitive past. How does the world regenerate a sense of meaning and a collective meaning, in this landscape of political warfare and these despots constantly reminding you that the only thing that exist is FEAR. And no one is told, in our current place in time in history, with all of our rights and privilege's, "we" as the modern individual have the capacity and freedom to fulfill your destiny if you really wanted to. The privilege of become who you are. We have had great thinkers and philosophers maintaining the discourse, and the search for meaning, as well as made great efforts to provide words to substantiate the existence of meaning. Those words must be protected. And the freedom to have our own individual thoughts must me protected, and at the extreme, die for them. When we lose sight of meaning, we all degenerate into a tribalism. It may not be tribal towards each other, but a tribalism that plots an involuntary suicide. It might not be a literal suicide but rather a symbolic death. We put on death row the individual we may have been and the potential that could have been. We execute the individual that could have brought positive change to him or herself and the world at large. The longing for meaning—when ever it does walk into your life — do everything possible to preserve and nurture it and you will see how it will nurture you. The search for meaning might bring great pain with it, but it is the small price you pay for your capacity to understand yourself, the world we live in and finally grant you the strength to finally learn to truly Love—even your enemies. Find yourself — and there is where you will find your place.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that a fulfilling life, is one in which an individual made an honest attempt to stretch themselves to their absolute limits. So, we must begin testing those very limitations and try to push them outward every chance we get. The greatest minds have postulated with great certainty; Meaning, and a life worth living, begins with the journey to oneself. And this is the secret in knowing if you found a piece of it; When we become so completely intoxicated with that which we aim for — We forget that we were searching for meaning to begin with — that is when it will be revealed. The idea is to let go to a certain aspect of yourself and there, meaning will become elucidated. You find it, when you forget that you were looking for it to begin with. But when if finds you and it calls to you and asks you to dance, you dance with all your defects and shortcomings. You may have two left feet now, but meaning will bring you the necessary pain to straighten you out until you become a master and in that future, one day, you will have that strength and understanding. It will then be your turn to ask someone you care for to dance.

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