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The River of Life
A fundamental problem exists with trying to discover the meaning of life.
(Note that when we talk about the meaning of life we always implicitly assume that we are talking about the meaning of our own lives. Consequently in this piece the term "meaning of life" is really shorthand for "the meaning of one's own life". The issue of the meaning of other people's lives is another topic altogether that I will be analysing at a later stage.)
We assume that life is a process/ activity that one can somehow step outside of and examine from a distance or that life is like an object that one can scrutinise under the microscope or that one can somehow freeze-frame life and analyse its contents.
Yet one is always immersed within the current of one's own life.
Imagine trying to determine the nature of a river while being dragged along by its stream. Your view of it will always, by necessity, be limited by your position within the river and by the fact that you are always immersed in it and have no access to any other river or to land.
Similarly we cannot observe life from outside or separate ourselves from our existence even for a moment. No matter how you try, you will always be fully immersed within the river of your life.
Consequently concepts like meaning, aim and function that we use to describe and explain other activities and objects cannot be applied to life itself.
Submitted to http://humanifesto.org
To be published at http://www.shivayoga.org
Next - The Split Personality of Consciousness
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