By Seth Lilavivat
The universe is cold and indifferent yet simultaneously gives birth to all we find meaningful and beautiful—how are both true and false at the sametime?
This is not a riddle or a paradox. The universe is outside of the scope of our ability to define in terms of its quality of having meaning. A fish cannot say if it feels wet or knows the shape of the ocean because those descriptions are beyond the reference point of the fish’s perspective.
Does this mean that the universe is meaningless? No. In fact, the universe is full of meaning—it’s
meaningful. Everything we find important and valuable is part of the universe and the universe
is responsible for what we hold as sacred. Meaning emerges from non-meaning, much like a
rainbow emerges from droplets of water and sunlight or temperature emerges from the movement of particles but cannot be measured or isolated within any single particle.
Why is this important?
First, there is a tendency to see things dualistically. We want hard
boundaries so we can categorize things because it makes it convenient for us:
- Male & Female
- Me & Other
- Meaning & Non-meaning
But things are not so simple; they are non-dual.
We search for meaning and expect the experience of finding it to be clear and obvious, when in fact things are complex and nuanced, and we often look in the wrong places. Meaning is everywhere and it’s right in front of us but it’s also elusive. When we think we’ve found it, we
can’t see it. Much like the rainbow, there must be the right perspective and the right conditions
for it to be seen but it can’t be grasped.
So, if we want to bring more meaning into our life, we need to cultivate the right conditions and
be in the right state of mind where we can receive it. We must let go of our egos and stop our
futile attempt to endlessly control everything.
When we fully let go of our egos, we realize that we are not separate from the universe. Albert Einstein once said to the effect, “our feeling of being separate from the universe is a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.” It is in this place where we can sense and feel the meaning that is in all experiences.