To “Look” for Meaning

I’ve often heard people say that we need to look for the meaning or try and find the meaning in what life presents us with, as if meaning is something always hidden waiting to be looked for and found. I’m sure there’s truth in that. I suppose there are times when meaning kind of rewards our looking with its presence and says, “Here you are, this is what it all means.”ย 

But what about those moments or events coloured by a senselessness beyond our ability to grasp and understand, and there are many of them? I think we have two options, either we live with the mystery of it all, or we give it meaning. There’s an essential difference between looking for and giving meaning.

Me, I follow all three, I look for it, I give it, and I live in its mystery. May meaning embrace you all and where it cannot be found or given, may you also find peace in its mystery.

Advertisements

About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Discernment, inspiration, Life, Poetic Imagination, Spirituality, wisdom and insight and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to To “Look” for Meaning

  1. davecenker says:

    I really admire your perception of meaning, all three of them. I might even suggest that I adopt a fourth option. Instead of needing to verbalize a meaning, or explain it, I sometimes simply feel the meaning. There are sometimes no words to convey meaning. It’s only the aura that is created that helps to define some semblance of depth to any given experience. Thanks for sharing such insightful thoughts and best wishes for an inspired day ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Like

    • Don says:

      Thank you Dave for your visit and comment. Much appreciated. I really like what you say about a fourth being to feel the meaning. You’ve just crystallized something for me and I must thank you for that. Good to hear from you.

      Like

  2. nrhatch says:

    Good thoughts, Don.

    When people blithely say, “Everything happens for a reason,” I don’t necessarily agree.

    But when I look back at “negative” events, I see that some good comes out of almost everything. That makes it easier to deal with the next curve ball or senseless happening.

    And sometimes I just shrug my shoulders when asked, “What’s the point?” Because maybe there is No Point. Maybe it’s just a crap shoot and it’s up to us to make the most of the cards we’ve been dealt.

    Like

    • Don says:

      Yip Nancy, I also find that little phrase platitudinous and rather senseless. But the one thing that sheds a bit of light is what you say about looking back. I must confess that at times I’m also driven to the point where I also wonder if its just some kind of “crap shoot.” But crap shoot or not I still like the idea of some sort of meaning behind it all. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  3. ptero9 says:

    I like your distinctions Don. I often think of us humans as meaning makers. It’s so hard to separate out where meaning comes from, well for me anyway, and as you say, sometimes we just need to let the mystery stand!

    Like

    • Don says:

      You know Debra I’ve read that word “meaningmakers” somewhere. I like it. It somehow speaks of being proactive in the face of that which meaningless. I think there is a difference between the choice to live with the mystery and simply to be a victim of meaninglessness. Even mystery has a degree of meaning about it.

      Like

  4. Dan Antion says:

    Giving meaning to things is important. So is bring willing to live with the mystery. Nice post.

    Like

  5. Good post, Don. You are a Word Warrior, and I love that about your posts. I need to try to embrace a little mystery myself these days. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  6. Hudson Howl says:

    i can neither agree or disagree with you. Nor am I suggesting I don’t have an opinion. I can only support your right to question and decide for yourself, which you do and have done. I will say this, I value insight more than meaning. And I loath misconception above all.

    Like

    • Don says:

      Thanks Calvin. Appreciate your thoughts, as always. I’d love to hear your distinction between insight and meaning, if you see such a distinction, that is. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  7. valleygrail says:

    I like knowing meaning; but understanding also helps move me further down the road. I seem to do better with both. Thank you for a thought provoking post.

    Like

  8. Good post, Don – as always. I love the thoughtfulness of them.
    As for meaning, I believe that is why religion came into being. When we don’t understand something, we search for its meaning first, before we finally give it meaning. Thus were created the gods and the spirits that caused things to happen in the natural world.
    Religion has endured precisely because it expounds reasons for everything – and where it cannot provide a reason, religion says “God has a reason that we don’t know about”.
    That is why religion still survives – not because it can be proven, but because it offers enough that people stop questioning and just accept.
    As for me, if I can see no reason for something, I accept that, even if it is just for now, I live with it, usually, though not always, gracefully :-).

    Like

    • Don says:

      Yes, I like what you say Linda. I often wonder to what extent the search for meaning is kind of built in to us as that which is natural, but because we want certainty, which of course gives us security, it kind of translates in to dogmatic religion which meets the need for security because it abhors mystery and provides certainty. I think what I’m saying is that this desire for meaning is far bigger than religion and that religion is simply an overriding package which seeks to control, trap and domesticate it. Just a thought. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for a very challenging comment.

      Like

      • Thanks Don. ๐Ÿ™‚
        I think you are correct in what you say. There is something in us that needs to know in order to gain some kind of security. Once religion became formalised (and that was long, long ago), the way was open for those who wanted control to take it – from the ancient clan ‘seer’ or wise man to the popes, imams and other religious ‘leaders’ of today.

        Like

      • Don says:

        I agree Linda. At the heart of so much religion there is the dominant issue of control. No doubt about that.

        Like

  9. darrelhoff says:

    I really like this. makes sense.

    Like

  10. People want meaning in everything whether there is any or not. Often it’s hard to distinguish between meaning we find and meaning we give. As a result I try to default to simply appreciating the mystery, but as you say, to be honest with myself I must admit I do all three. Great post!

    Like

    • Don says:

      I think it’s a real gift to simply be able to appreciate mystery as you do. I think that’s wonderful. But I’m with you in doing all three. Thank you for your comment.

      Like

  11. Mary says:

    Mystery seems to have been on both our minds this week ~ great thought-provoking post. Now I have to consider the mystery behind what is the meaning of . . .

    Like

  12. Robert says:

    An inspirational approach Don, we’re a curious lot, trying to make sense of everything rather than just engaging with whatever it is.

    >

    Like

  13. Don, to ‘find peace in its mystery’ is one of the wisest and best gifts we can give ourselves. When a young niece of mine died a few years ago I embraced the mystery of it and chose to trust regardless of how I felt. Over and over again I chose to trust.

    Blessings ~ Wendy โ€

    Like

  14. Pingback: Mysteries Beyond The Veil | Spirit Lights The Way

  15. You had me from the first at the gorgeous quote about having an aesthetic,, all the way through your talk about meaning. Great page, beautifully done!

    Like

  16. I wrote a piece some time back on mystery, the gist of which, is we like mystery in books and movies, but not really in our life. We have a need to know the answers to things. It’s what drives for black and white views, because gray feels so mysterious and vague and uncertain. Some of this is biologic, as the brain is designed to sort things out, problem solve and find meaning to things. But a lot of it is based on fear. Our need to know or having meaning ascribed to everything is a fear that we aren’t okay if we don’t know. I think the first evolution of a spiritual path is accepting a lot of ambiguity and mystery. “I don’t know” for a seeker is one of the most freeing phrases anyone could ever utter. Followed closely by, “I guess I’ll just have some chocolateโ€ฆ..”

    Like

    • Don says:

      What a marvellous comment – thank you. I warm to all you say. When you speak of the phrase, “I don’t know” being one of the most freeing phrases anyone could ever utter, I must agree with you. I can pinpoint the moment when that freedom came to me.

      I also like what you said about people wanting mystery in books and movies, but not in their lives. So true. As you say, fear, and might I add, the need to control, drives so many to seek for unrealistic forms of certainty.

      Thoroughly enjoyed your comment. Again, thank you.

      Like

      • Thank you and I would toss back your way that the need to control is really fear, too. If I know I am love and come from love, what would I need to control? In love, everything is exactly as it should be. No machinations required.

        And yes, that moment of “I don’t know” felt deeply on a spiritual level is hard to forget . For me it’s about the only time I think I can remember my mind going completely quiet. I’m amazed the historic event wasn’t reported in the newspapersโ€ฆ..

        Like

      • Don says:

        Wonderful. True. I’m now going to have a piece of chocolate. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

      • Ahโ€ฆ as it should beโ€ฆ.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s