It began with an existential crises when I was in my late teens. That was the beginning of a journey through philosophical ideas, religious practice and personal experience. For over 40 years now, I have been asking the question: What is the Meaning of Life? The question really has been in the background for all those years. I’ve read so much, studied religion and philosophy at university, attended church in France and England, practiced meditation and mindfulness and have only just found the answer. And it is not 42.
While I was laying in bed in the middle of the night, when most of my best ideas come to me, the answer came to me – in a small, innocent moment of realisation. At last I had found the answer. It is the only one that makes sense. The solution had been with me since the beginning of my journey. I practiced it and believed it at times and yet I kept moving away from it thinking that there had to be more. And this is why the journey took so long because I felt there had to be more.
So, what is the answer to the question: What is the Meaning of Life? The answer is: To live in praise* of the Ultimate (which for me is God – so my particular answer is: To live in praise of God). Maybe you would have preferred 42 or some other remarkable solution.
Living in praise of God does not mean going each week to church, or temple or coven… although it may include that if you like. Living in praise of God is not a religious practice that must be dutifully adhered to. Living in praise of God requires a change of consciousness, it requires a waking-up, a realisation that life has a purpose and we can live it if we choose.
I have, in note form, the results of my 40-year journey through thoughts and ideas and I had planned to turn them into a book – as I have mentioned before in this blog – but the answer to the question: What is the Meaning of Life? is so simple it does not require an entire volume to expound. But what does require an exposition in book form, is the answer to these questions: What does it mean to Live in Praise. Why does it require a change of consciousness to realise the answer? And, What do we mean by the terms the Ultimate and God?
So, finding the answer to the ultimate question brings us back to reality. We must master the art of living. Without meaning we exist and there are no rules, save those we make-up ourselves, and no purpose. Being alive is not just about breathing, it is also about breathing in the presence of God.
* Praise could be substituted for Celebrate and Ultimate/God could be replaced by the Real. So the answer to the question: What is the Meaning of Life? would be: To live in celebration of the Real. Which is, upon reflection the better answer.