Today we are wrapping up our questions regarding the meaning of life, the universe and everything. We will be finishing off our interview with Tim Emanelle, looking at different perspectives around the various answers people have, and then finally, we will be viewing everything we have talked about so far. You will also be hearing my own perspectives.
This is the one you have been waiting for. Today we ask the questions what is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of your life? What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything? And finally, is there actually a meaning at all? I will also be doing an interview with the amazing Tim Emanuelle.
This Podcast delves into why we ask ‘what is the meaning of life?’ We then continue on to find out how some of the greatest philosophers viewed this question, and how it applies to religious beliefs.
Before we ask ‘what is the meaning of life’ it is important to know how we are going to tackle this question. What are the most important topics? Why are they linked to ‘the meaning of life?’ And who is this Lonely Spaceman character? All these questions and more will be answered in this podcast.
The quality of your life is based on the quality of the story you tell yourself about it. So what’s your story?
Regardless of if you see yourself as a success or failure there is going to be a story that goes along with this perception. That story is something that you hold onto which inevitably ends up controlling your belief system. You review your story whenever it is convenient for the psyche to reassure itself that it is correct.
A statement such as ‘I always fail’ or ‘I am always depressed’ is a tail that people constructed themselves. They take the current situation, reflect it on prior experiences to back up their case, connect the dots and then voila! Their right!!! And why are they right? Because their ego required validation for its current belief system.
Put simply, we collect random moments in our life, connected them together and then give ourselves a label. This label may only be focused on one aspect of our life or it may go much greater by defining our entire existence. Regardless, we have told ourselves a story and now this story is our reality. We have taken our emotions from the past and applied them to the present. And this is where it gets very interesting. These moments are not the sum of our lives. They are not us! At any moment we can go back into old memories (with heightened negative emotions) and change our story.
Victims of cancer who have gone through treatment often get encouraged to tell others that they are a survivor. It takes a very emotionally dark time in a person’s life and changes the story dramatically. The victim is no longer the unlucky person who had to undergo this trauma, instead, they are a survivor and they will now use this part of their life as a form of strength. Each time they look back at things such as chemotherapy they think positively instead of negatively. They see that this moment in their life made them review mortality which gave them a second chance to live life in a positive light.
You hear this story in many different ways. Our greatest heroes throughout history are people that have often gone through times of hardship. During their struggle many have had to change their story from being the victim to being something much greater. They apply a purpose to their existence, they give themselves a meaning within this life, and then they obtain the strength to fight for what they believe is right. And it is here that we must learn our lesson. At any moment in our life we can apply a different story to the one we already tell ourselves. We do this by simply looking at our path objectively and disconnecting our negative focus by replacing our beliefs with a higher purpose.
This is not about ignoring our past nor is it about covering up the nasty parts. I am talking about changing our negative tail to a story that propels us forward in life. If your current reality is tainted, limited, supressed or manipulated by your history, then this is because you have already fabricated a story about it. So why not come up with a better story… Your new story will be neither true nor false. Your old story will be neither true nor false. The only thing you can know for sure is that what you believe is true, is actually true, because you believe it.
On a side note, for those of you who are reading this that connect with non-duality, Buddhism or a belief system that states that the story doesn’t exist (and that the best thing to do is discard the story) I do see your point of view and in many ways agree with it. I think your story about there being no story is a great story that you should write a story about. Ahem… But to be serious, acknowledgement that there is no story is just as powerful as changing it, if not more so. Essentially it’s the same construct. The only difference is that instead of replacing the story, you realise that there is no story. I will be giving more clarification about both points of view in chapter 3 called ‘The Past’.
I spent a long part of this chapter trying to open your mind to one thing, that your brain is unique. Even with seven billion others on this planet, there is not one other brain in this world that works the same way yours does. Why? Because you’re the only one with your experiences. It is also worth noting that the words ‘I would never do that if I was that person’ are irrelevant. If you were that person, with their upbringing, body and experiences, you would make their same choices. This is because their brain chemistry is based on their experiences, not yours.
So how does this help us?
Right now, if you believe that the world is a horrible place, then you are right. If you believe that the world is a beautiful place, then you are also right. Well, that is until you decide to change your perception.
The earth itself is neither horrible nor beautiful, but both simultaneously. At any single moment in any single day there are both good and bad things occurring without your control. There are 196 countries, 7000,000,000 people currently alive, 360,000 births and 151,600 deaths each day, 3000 religions, and there are 5000 planes in the air at any given time. Your little tiny vessel known as your body sees the equivalent of an anthill in comparison to the world. Furthermore, you will only meet up to 10,000 people in your lifetime if you are lucky. That means that you will never meet 6999,990,000 people that exist in this world right now. In fact, with the birth rates as listed above, within the next hour there will be another 15,000 babies born that you will never meet.
I mentioned the above statistics so that you can grasp the limitations of your reality. We know that the news focus on the bad stories, but which ones do you focus on?
There are 24 hours, 1440 minutes or 86,440 seconds within each day. During that time how much do you remember? If you go through all of yesterday, minute by minute, how much do you actually recall? What about last Friday? What about the Tuesday 5 weeks ago? What did you eat for lunch back then?
We live such a massive life and yet our actual memories are extremely limited. We tend to memorize things in the long term mostly due to heightened emotional states, therefore most of our memories are based around joyful and horrible moments. The other mundane everyday boring memories that make up most of life tend to be forgotten, and yet this is where we live. Reality is not in that memory from 5 years ago where someone dumped you, it is in the now, it is in the mundane, and it is in the peace of normal everyday life. Your existence is not one memory, nor is your life the sum of your heightened emotions. Instead, your life exists in one place… the present.