Recently, I was asked to contribute to a blog, Excellence Reporter, that includes articles by a variety of leaders, writers, musicians, artists, poets, CEOs, laymen, etc. that answer a single question: What Is the Meaning of Life? I hope you enjoy my response to this rather daunting question!
Much of my writing about homeopathy, consciousness, and now the ideas underlying Hawaiian shamanism, deals with the higher energy bodies. These include not only the so-called etheric body — the vehicle for the vital force (chi, prana, mana) that enlivens our physical body, but also “higher” energy bodies — the astral, mental, and causal bodies that supposedly survive our physical deaths. If it is true that many aspects of our individuality are retained after death, dwell in other realms for a time, and then are reincarnated in new physical forms (and I do believe this to be true), what then is the reason for this cycle? What is the meaning of this life we are living here on planet Earth?
Think about what it’s like to be blind. By being limited in the ability to see, a blind person’s capabilities in other realms become enhanced and new forms of learning are triggered. For instance, the blind man or woman gains what otherwise might be considered genius-like skills in using sound, sensation, intuition, and memory to navigate their surroundings. In the same way, spending some time dwelling within the confines of a three-dimensional physical world, where we must plan, strategize, and act — step-by-step — to manipulate and create our physical reality, may serve to teach us things that we might otherwise not have the opportunity to learn.
For me, the meaning of life is about learning and then sharing that learning with others. This learning can take on almost any form. It can be learning physical skills like how to walk and talk, dance, and play sports. Or it could be learning about the world of things — for example, the pursuit of science or the construction of a material object. It might be about the creation of music and other forms of art. It could be about learning agriculture, cooking, and healing. Learning is also involved when we gain wisdom about human interactions — about caring for others, communicating with or influencing others, and getting along with others. If you think about it, almost everything we do, from birth to death — if it enlivens us — is really some form of learning. In contrast, when we aren’t learning in some way, we feel like we are on autopilot. We feel robotic and almost dead inside. Life is about learning, and learning is growth, learning is life.
But we are not incarnated alone in this world. If we were, learning might be enough. While I have found that learning and creating something new each day enlivens me, I have also discovered that sharing what I have learned with others increases my sensation of liveliness even further. In a way, sharing creates a larger field of learning. A group of people, and by extension, all of humanity — even all life on Earth— learns something new when we share our knowledge and wisdom. Of course, gaining insight on one’s own also affects the global field in a subtle way. But in my experience, sharing knowledge intentionally creates an even greater and intensifying positive feedback effect. And when we are part of a community (of any size) that is learning and growing, we feel increased love and happiness.
In the end, I believe that an inner sense of happiness is a good measure of whether or not we are really on the right track in fulfilling our meaning-purpose in life. I’m not talking about shallow forms of fun, but rather, a deeper quality of joy and peace. We may not feel this sensation every day, but when we do, we recognize that life does have meaning and that we are successfully fulfilling our task in living and creating that meaning.