Meaningful Fellowship

 
What gets me out of bed and doing something meaningful?
 
The question of meaning and human motivation is not an easy question. It might be necessary to first ask, what is meaning? Is the meaning of life to simply survive? To maximize pleasure? Perhaps the “meta” meaning of life, generally speaking, is to discover a purpose within it? Or is it something deeper?
 
I have come to see that the meaning of life is to grow. Interestingly, “growth” is actually crucial for survival and pleasure/satisfaction. When we fail to grow soon our survival and our peace of mind suffer greatly. Beyond this it seems to be a ubiquitous theme from embryology to wisdom to “growing old.” Everything grows, even a crack in ice or a windshield. If we can categorically  accept “growth” as meaning, we should examine more closely the various dimensions in which growth can occur and is needed.
 
Drawing from Christian tradition we find the virtues and the “fruits of spirit” as a reasonable starting point. Each of these aspects requires study, discernment, and embodiment, and perhaps there is a certain mystery regarding their exact nature or essence. This alone can provide a reason to get out of bed.
 
If we look to Eastern thought we find an interesting realm of growth potential in the chakras. Chakras could be seen as archetypal aspects of being, which have a systemic function to our holistic embodiment of what it means to be human. The pursuit of health, development/growth in these dimensions could be seen as becoming fully embodied human, developing innate but dormant or out of balance potentialities.
 
A final reason to get out of bed and an avenue of growth that might seem obvious but deserves a slightly deeper treatment is Love. Love, and the care for what we love is possibly the greatest motivational force of meaning available to us. But Love is no simple, one-dimensional concept or feeling. To me, love is more than gratitude or affection; it is appreciation and importantly, it is a call to compassionate responsibility. As we grow in years we inevitably take on more responsibility by necessity. However, like the Bodhisattva, motivated and compelled by compassion, we can devote our lives to taking on greater and greater responsibility (or potentially the greatest responsibility: that of the healing and enlightenment of our human family.) We can do this by developing our fantastic multifaceted potential, growing in our ability to love and answering its compelling responsibility. Perhaps in this way we can, like the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi, leave this world better than we found it by repairing its cracks with the alchemical gold of our hearts.
 
This is, by no means, a complete analysis.

~Timothy

Review & Commentary