Are you trying to find the meaning of life? Perhaps your cosmic conscience wants you to delve more deeply into the meaning of the universe. Good luck. Unless you have 13.5 billion years to spare, you may run out of time.
You want to live a more meaningful life? If you are lucky enough to find it, well done. The only problem is that the meaning that works for you today is usually slightly off tomorrow or even its opposite. Don’t we look back at our lost years and ask ourselves “What was I thinking?”
Our modern world is suffering from the problems we created with the solutions we implemented 30 years ago. The fact we were so certain that we had the fix to poverty and roads, pollution and racism back in those heady days does not seem to have deterred new generations with the same futile search. When someone tells you they have found the meaning of life, run for the hills. A Tsunami is about to hit.
Quests for meaning still remain popular. You read ads on the NYC subway offering you happiness and success. Just pay 10 dollars. They presume life is some big jig-saw puzzle-just fit the pieces together . But we are deluding ourselves. Life is consistently inconsistent. By the time you have found the answer, it has moved on to a different question and didn’t bother to tell you.
Meaning moves. You have to map it to track it. Humans through history have tried to catch it, trap it, hold it, write books about it, but in the process, they freeze it to death. They use language that has no life, no future, and no chance to dance.
Meaning moves because of time. Time relentlessly moves us forward into an ever-dwindling future where, when we have more time, things like death and inheritance are too far off to worry us. Eat, drink, and be merry. When we are running out of time, the end can become too close for comfort. Death and health and inheritance become the big deal.
Strange that, because the end of life is clear at the start, but it only gets meaningful when it closes in on us. When it makes a move on us, we move it up the priority list. Meaning moves, and when it makes its moves on us, something suddenly becomes meaningful. Isn’t that funny?
What we have to understand is that while language stays reliably stuck, Meaning moves at the speed of life. We treat it as if it was a model, posing in a photo studio waiting for us to take its picture. But Meaning does not sit still. The picture we manage to take is always blurred because meaning was jumping off somewhere else at the very moment we pulled the shutter.
When you think you have it, you have lost it. So we keep feeling we are lost, and that the times are out of joint, and that it’s the end of the old world as we know it. But the world is just fine. It has 13.5 billions years under its belt. We will be lucky to last 90.
We feel lost and left behind because we are still on the platform and the reality train just left the station.
The energy of the world is moving at the speed of light, and meaning is moving at the speed of life.
Don’t wait. Get on board.