From the perspective of the spiritual journey, the answer can only come from where we are. Thus the meaning of life is revealed in the unfolding thread of each person. Because of that, the meaning changes as each of us moves through life. If you ask yourself, ‘What was the meaning of my life ten years ago?’ you can easily recognize that what it was then is different from what it is now. Did it make a quantum jump? It might feel that way, but in fact, the meaning has been continuous. Even when there are quantum jumps in our experience, they still follow Einsteinian law, which is based on continuity.
Einstein believed that the notion of quantum jumps is just an approximation of what happens. We assume quantum changes because we’re not paying close enough attention, and our theories are not precise enough, to see the continuity of change. Reality is actually a seamless, self-existing field. We say that it is light, but this light is not composed of particles. It’s a fluid that is not particularized; it is constantly flowing and unfolding. That is how reality is all the time.
Why don’t we recognize our experience in that way? Because we’re not being real, we’re not being ourselves. We are not where we are. We’re not present where we are. The more we are present where we are, the greater the sense of flow, the sense that there is a meaning to our experience, that a continuum, an unfolding, is at play. So our life becomes meaningful because not only are we in touch with the meaning of our life, we are being the meaning of our life. We are at the place where this meaning is unfolding.
Sometimes there might be gaps in your understanding of your experience that you haven’t even noticed. When you recognize one, that in itself begins the process of understanding. If we don’t recognize that there is a gap, we would believe in a continuity that isn’t real. Even to identify a gap before you understand what it is about is immensely helpful.
Through personal inquiry, perhaps the gap will be filled in, and perhaps not. So the meaning might include times of not knowing, times of emptiness or blankness. And as we inquire into that emptiness or blankness, at some point it becomes meaningful and helps us understand the whole picture. We discover that our personal thread wasn’t cut—it just was invisible for a while.”
“So we look for meaning in our life–what the value of life is–but the fact is that it is not somewhere waiting to be discovered; it is always here. We just need to recognize that it is here.
At the beginning of our journey, when we are not able to be ourselves, value appears more in terms of what our mind thinks is valuable. But when we are real, when we are genuine, sincere, we recognize that true value is actually the same as recognizing the truth of the moment. Then we experience a kind of value that is not mental, that is heartfelt, that makes our heart feel satisfied.
As we progress on the journey, we recognize that the value of experience is where we are. True Nature manifests its value directly by revealing its presence, not by camouflaging it in one form or another. Eventually, we reach the advanced stage of the journey where it is revealed that everything is itself and its nature–and hence inherently beautiful, inherently precious. At that point, we realize that all manifestations, whether we can recognize them specifically or not, are that inherent value and preciousness of reality.”
~A.H. Almaas (from his book, The Unfolding Now)