Shifts Slightly in Color and Form

I  found a webpage with a five question quiz “What is the meaning of your life?” There are five possible conclusions one’s answers can cause. In alphabetical order they are:

1. The Meaning of Your Life is Joy
2. The Meaning of Your Life is Legacy
3. The Meaning of Your Life is Love
4. The Meaning of Your Life is Pleasure
5. The Meaning of Your Life is Understanding

It’s interesting that I picked Love or Joy as my likely score before taking the quiz only to be surprised with a ‘score’ of “The Meaning of Your Life is Pleasure“.  The short narrative accompanying the conclusion of the quiz was: You don’t have to be reminded that life is short. You’re going to live it up and have fun. You are more afraid of regretting what you didn’t do, and you try to do it all.You want to travel the world, experience passion, eat great food, and have amazing adventures. Whenever possible, you indulge. You want to sample all the world’s pleasures, even if your health and finances suffer a little.

Now that’s an eye opener. I truly have morphed and changed with age. Yes, I have become more and more open to newly found knowledge, understanding and freshly gained familiarity. My desire is strong to learn and experience new things. Never had I considered being driven to the point of being a “pleasure seeker”. It had not occurred to me to see my hopes and aspirations from such an angle and considering that perspective broadened my perception.

The “pleasure” answer caused me to push my chair away for a while before I could continue writing. I just did not like the answer I had received and proceeded to tell myself “what real information could five simple questions uncover? That’s not a true answer about me!”

After having breakfast and doing a couple of quick chores, it came to me: What the ‘meaning of my life is’ has no where the significance the ‘quality of my life’ does. Am I happy? More often than not. Do I enjoy being alive? Every day. Do I see good prospects for the future? Without a doubt. Is my health good?  Overall, very much so. Do I have friends and family who love me and I them. Yes, I am richly blessed. Am I able to support myself and reasonably do what I want to do? Affirmative.

Believing in a power beyond me also adds to the quality of my life. With little doubt it has been my discovery I am NOT an atheist as my thinking was in my youth. Atheist Jennifer Fulwiler once said, I acknowledged the truth that life was meaningless… and yet I kept acting as if my own life had meaning, as if all the hope and love and joy I’d experienced was something real, something more than a mirage produced by the chemicals in my brain… if everything that we call heroism and glory, and all the significance of all great human achievements, can be reduced to some neurons firing in the human brain, then it’s all destined to be extinguished at death.

Coming into contact with opinions like that of Fulwiler helped bring me to the solid conclusion I am firmly not an atheist. I can now see that opinion was more a fashion statement of youth than a profession of my real truth. I concluded long ago my life was more than something merely material and temporal.

On my death, when the grand cosmic mystery unfolds, it is my earnest wish that the world be a little better for me having been here. When I die if that’s it, lights out, goodbye and my beliefs were mistaken, my life will still have been better because of my delusion!

What is the meaning of my life? My memories and experiences and those I love and am loved by. That’s really it! There is gratitude for moments of rapture and joy experienced and thankfulness for my greatest teachers; difficulty and heartache. The meaning of my life is redefined ever so slightly each day For the freedom to live that way my gratitude is profound.

The purpose of life is to discover your gift.
The meaning of life is to give your gift away.
David Viscott

About James Browning

A seeker working to grow each day and be a better version of my self. Through sharing I commit myself deeper to my ideals and beliefs.
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