I agree with James Van Praagh who said, “We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own path, and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life.”
“Why not, we spend our lives attaching names or labels to things, and not seeing them for what they really are. Is a label or a name reality? For example, when you call someone ‘learning disabled,’ is that real or just a label? Too many people are labeled in our schools. Maybe the person just learns differently. It doesn’t describe why a person is different or having trouble. In fact, there is no such thing as ‘learning disabled.’ It’s just a label that points to the result of a challenge or problem. The label gives comfort to some people because they can point at what they don’t know and give it a name. Labels can be helpful if they explain how to deal with objects or situations. The problem is labels don’t necessarily point to the causes of the problems and often hold bad stigmas.”
“Linguistic meaning and the meaning of our lives are intimately connected. The words we use capture the significance of our acts and reflect what makes our lives meaningful for us.
“So how I think and what I think about all day determine the quality of my life?”
“From biology we know life is not a passive state of indifference and inertia. The essence of life is intense care and concern. It’s difficult for most people to step outside of the bounds of what is commonly accepted by the majority. The problem is when everyone thinks alike, no one thinks very much at all. Over history, we find new ideas are usually challenged, and the people who offered these new ideas are usually castigated which is tragic. Men fear what they don’t know.
The only reason for life… is life. There is no why. We simply are. Life may be beyond reason. One might think of life as part of a larger whole, and as such, we are only a very small part of it. My guess is we share a collective spirit or life force or consciousness that encompasses and goes beyond individual life forms. There is a part of us that connects to other humans, animals and plants. Ultimately all life forms are trying to reach a harmony or resonance with the other parts of the life force. And our efforts to understand what life is all about often revolve around expressions of compassion and love. We accomplish this by caring about others without any conditions or expectations. When we give without expecting to get anything in return, our motives are pure. Can you picture it? Can this force be with you?” Just then a big bubble floated by with the words
Our unique perspectives help us make sense of our lives which creates a personal security.”
Luke said “I always thought security was an illusion. I’m not being pessimistic, but security is simply not real.”
Plato added “Everyone creates their own unique brand of meaning. Security is something perceived. We all want to feel safe. Maybe nothing has any meaning because unless we provide meaning, none can be discerned. Maybe this is why we are all so important. Everything merely exists as it was created and exists in a constant state of change. Some say everything is complete and perfect as it is, and everything fulfills its purpose by fundamentally being what it is. The only ‘requirement’ for anything is just to ‘be’. Therefore, everything is the potential fulfillment of its own unique essence.”
Man answers for his own life by taking responsibility for who he is, what he does, and even for what he thinks. Life ultimately means taking responsibility for your existence. Ultimately man’s purpose in life is assuming responsibility for his thoughts and actions. When a person discovers the ‘why’ for his life’s circumstances, he can bear almost any ‘how’. Only the unfulfillment of potential is meaningless, not life itself.”
“Luke, I think the unfulfillment of potential isn’t meaningless, it’s tragic.”
Plato couldn’t help himself. The lively discussion had him skipping up the trail. “Never be afraid to sit awhile and think. You’re the authority on your own life. A ‘beginner’s mind’ is a blank slate fully open to seeing things as they truly are in the moment without putting illusory layers of meaning on. We assume we are thinking. Much of the time, it’s more likely we are being thought.”
With new knowledge come new perspectives. You’re familiar with the thought ‘a mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.’
When you come to know a person, you have a better grip on their vested interest in different ideas.”
“Intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth all requires us to broaden our perspectives. We need to continually explore the wisdom of the past. We require a continual critical assessment of our current beliefs with openness to new information, different ways of life, and an eye towards expanding our capacity to feel, to care, and to value alternative beliefs.”
“One test of intelligence is the ability to hold opposing ideas in your mind at the same time while still retaining the ability to function. After all, the paradox is a stimulating source of a true thinker’s passion.
“While it’s the forum of knowledge to speak, it’s the duty and privilege of wisdom to listen. Listening demonstrates respect and shows you value the other person’s ideas.
“People do many things to persuade others to think as they do. Some even go to great extremes to put down opposing opinions. But you haven’t converted people because you’ve silenced them. Louis, the greatest deception men suffer is belief in their own opinions. People believe they are thinking when they’re really only rearranging their prejudices.”
Our true individuality can only be fulfilled when we challenge our habitual ways of thinking. If we continue encouraging and educating only the intellect in our schools, we will inevitably create a purely instrumental conceptions of life where all human activity will be valued as a means to an end, never for itself.”
“When we maintain a steady attention to our thoughts and feelings, we see they are not a permanent part of us. By examining our feelings and emotions without judgment, we can better control them rather than being driven by them. Real growth occurs when you realize you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it. Much of what the voice says is meaningless. Reality shows most things that happen in our lives are out of our control. The real cause of problems is not life itself. It’s the commotion in our minds that really causes our problems.”