Throughout time writers and philosophers have grappled with the question of the meaning of life. Most of us have reflected upon the mystery that is life. We look around at all that has happened throughout history, and what is unfolding in the world now, and try to grasp some idea of what it is all about.
Of course, no one can state definitively why we are here, or how we emerged from whatever was here before we were. We can only ponder the miracle of each generation emerging from the one prior, carrying the evolutionary process a little further along each time.
It is fascinating that the progress is the result of what transpires in the minds of individuals. There is no external blueprint we are following. If there is an internal blueprint, then we each carry a part of it. Always, there are individuals who have brilliant insights that allow our species to take great leaps. But those insights have little power until they are understood by and integrated into the minds of others. As in a three-legged race, it seems to take individuals grouping together cooperatively to have any forward movement.
So also, as with flowers, it seems the collective consciousness blossoms with some good cross-pollination as we make our way along the evolutionary path. That is why it is so important to utilize our powers of independent thinking. It is easy to get hypnotized into just following the common culture, like lemmings all running in the same direction. We know what happens to lemmings. We cannot afford to put our consciousness in neutral and just drift along.
We can avoid this by allocating some of our awareness to regular reflection on the meaning of our own lives. That meaning, by the way, is whatever we choose it to be. We must make our own meaning. We decide the part we want to play in this lifetime, whether we are conscious of deciding or not. We decide how we will to use ourselves in relation to others, and what our priorities will be.
In our culture, it is not always easy to talk about these bigger questions. Some are intimidated by such topics, fearing that their lives may have no meaning. It can be easier to tread the waters of superficiality than to take a deep dive to explore the unknown.
Perhaps it is our evolutionary obligation to search the depth of our own souls, and bring the buried treasure we find there to the surface, to add to the collective wealth. Sure, we can still build financial empires, have babies and play golf if we want, but we need to know who it is that is doing these things.
Those things are temporal but who we really are at our depth is eternal. Our soul is on a journey, and all the stuff of life we take so seriously may simply be props we are to work with, and in relation to which we choose our level of awareness and consciousness.
That is why it is important to keep in conscious contact with our own souls. We need to occasionally sit back, and be the observer of our own lives. A good relationship with the soul serves one well both in times of crisis, and later on in life when many aspects of our lives, inevitably, change. The meaning we give to our lives must be something deeper than our present circumstances, for those will change.
First, we learn to connect with our souls. Then, we can work on learning to speak from that level. In a world so filled with things to do, at an often dizzying pace, it is easy to get wrapped up with our friends and families with ego-level functioning and communicating.
To do so is to miss out on the precious opportunity to truly assist one another on our evolutionary journey. We are here for a reason, we are all connected, and the people in our lives are not there by chance or accident. Be curious about the meaning. Ask your ancient soul to tell you. If you listen very carefully, it will.
Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist. For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit www.gwen.ca