Today there was no need to ponder the Meaning of Life! I observed, not for the first time, how these Big Questions seem to niggle in an unsettling way at times of ennui, restlessness due to lack of vitality, or just being a little out of sorts. Being very out sorts leaves no strength for such musings, and contentedness has no requirement for anything more.
So yesterday, unable to walk far, tired of working, suffering the after-effect of too much champagne, I decided to google The Meaning of Life, only to be reminded that it’s a waste of time and never enlightening. There were the familiar religious banalities, prescriptive Buddhist notions of ‘repaying people for the wrongs of past lives,’ (as if that will help anyone with the here and now), and many other fanciful and unattractive notions. There were clever people posing philosophical or nihilistic arguments that leave me cold. It’s all a game. We can create any meaning we like, I decided, through thought, or by attempting to slip into the
infinite space beneath thought – to suit our own disposition, our own emotional need. Words entangle us. Small comfort for an unsettled mind.
I like the days when it’s enough just to be alive, to relish the sensation of moving, dancing, being in flow, in the moment - when these questions don’t even arise. In bleaker times I should remind myself to eat, rest, and walk – and not to pose unanswerable questions.
I return to the solace of art and love, to Keats’ notion of ‘soul-making,’ to a sense that soul resonates in a realm beyond human, and is therefore unknowable by the thinking, word-full mind.