“There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.”
Meaning comes from inside the self; we make our own meaning. We create our own stories out of everyday experience. An object, an event, a dream, a sunny day, has no meaning- unless we infuse it with personal significance .
“The meaning of everything is the meaning I give it.”
Neale Donald Walsh
For example, I have a precious little curl of soft, dark hair in a box in my bedside drawer. To another person, this would be uninteresting and meaningless. For me it is full of meaning and sentiment.
It is the first- cut lock of my only granddaughter. Around it is a story, a collection of meaningful memories, parts of the narrative that I have constructed, based on my experience.
How I will treasure this little brown curl, and how utterly unimportant it would be to most other people.
Becoming More Aware of All That Is Around Us.
Really looking, focussing on the little things, the fleeting moments of our lives, will inevitably bring new insights and discoveries.
How often do we stop to discover the intricate and miraculous patterns of nature? Can we discern these patterns across species, and then see them reflected across our world?
Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.
Could a more concentrated and exploratory way of thinking lead to us also discovering more meaningful, repeated patterns in our own lives?
“The Fibonacci Sequence turns out to be the key to understanding how nature designs… and is… a part of the same ubiquitous music of the spheres that builds harmony into atoms, molecules, crystals, shells, suns and galaxies and makes the Universe sing.”
“Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them.” Alan Watts.
“There is only one meaning of life: the act of living itself.”
Can we learn to treasure the special times in our life to give meaning and shape to our whole existence?
“Sometimes you’ll never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
It is important to be able to recognise patterns in our life and our behaviour; some of these may be helpful, others not.
Looking back, there will be meaningful decisions and actions we have made that might change the course of our lives.
Finding Meaning in the Apparently Mundane
Can we find meaning in the everyday? Look at the works of art, below.
There are many artists who draw our attention to objects that we might have seen as meaningless; somehow they infuse the ordinary with interest and with some kind of meaning. It really does depend on how we look at a subject.
The artist Hopper has chosen a rather mundane subject; a woman looking pensive and sad, drinking coffee in a cafe.
A photographed scene with a similar theme, below, does not appear very interesting.
Yet Hopper has infused the painting with a sense of mystique, hidden meaning. Questions abound. What is this woman thinking about? Why is she there on a dark night? What has happened to her?What is the meaning of this work?
Edward Hopper – Automat  Gandalf’s Gallery Flickr.
Maybe the daily sights we pass by without thinking can have hidden meaning ….
If we were made to stare at the two objects depicted below, a pipe and a urinal, we would soon feel bored. We would feel the exercise was pointless. Yet they are both powerful and interesting works of art.
Why do you think this is?
Image:Dan Iggers , Flickr. Magritte, Ceci n’est pas une pipe.
Fountain. “Marcel Duchamp’s most famous piece of art.”bs_gif. Flickr
“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.”
The answer surely lies in the ways of thinking of the artists, and their new ways of seeing. Both have added significance to their work, elevating the object out of the mundane into the realms of the very interesting indeed.
Art is that which helps you see
beauty in the mundane…
Let my life be a work of art.
By presenting the ordinary differently, the artists have added Meaning. Many viewers may have dismissed these works as nonsense because they miss the meaning behind the image.
“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.”
Finding meaning for oneself can be life-changing. Next Tuesday’s post is entitled
‘Life-Changing Ways To Find Personal Meaning.’
It explores further ways to find meaning and purpose in your own life.
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