Man’s search for meaning. The thing that, in life, we can’t seem to escape. That’s the one question on so many lips without ever really being spoken in such plain words. It’s always cloaked with some caveat. “What does it mean if..?” As if the “if” section of the question is more significant than the prefix. And then there’s always a bunch of follow up questions which come to glorify the already inflated view of the second part of the question… “What does it mean if Trump becomes president? What does that say about the American people? What will that mean for the world? Will America publicly become just as volatile as the nations it claims to want to protect itself and other countries from?”
The whole Trump thing is just one example of course. But it’s one on a lot of minds at the moment because it’s… Well, for two reasons. 1. He’s on all the news. All of it. 2. The prospect of Donald Trump as president is quite frankly equally as scary as it is a total pain in the arse for the open-minded, level-headed intelligent people of the world. Not to poo poo the people who are supporting him. If you are supporting him, you have fallen for it. And that’s fine. It’s a convincing charade, politics. And even more so when the current leading cast of the show is not one but two decidedly clever idiots. Hillary being the less clever more idiotic of the two. But I digress. I’m not here to talk about fools and their fools.
Meaning. We miss the point of what it means to want to know the meaning of so much when we focus on the things rather than on our quest for meaning itself. Simply put, “if” and everything after it is hardly the most interesting thing about the question, “What does it mean?” And it’s that question that has been hanging around like a bad smell for as long as humans developed the capacity for consideration and reflection. I’m not gonna claim to have the answer to it. All I can say is that it all means what we want it to mean. Whatever we’re looking at, its meaning does come from us to some extent. And it’s that which has got us all messed up for so long, I reckon.
I was listening to an interview with Tony Robbins recently. (If you don’t know who he is, get out from under that rock and Google him). And he said that most people say they are looking for happiness but what they’re looking for is meaning. I could take that further and say we’re looking for a constant. But at this level, we could say that we’re looking for something which constantly means the same thing, doesn’t hurt us and also brings us peace/relief/happiness to recognise.
The paradox would be that meaning is simultaneously what brings joy/peace/relief *and* pain->suffering. It’s that which causes us to get so wrapped up in things but it’s also exactly what makes life worth living. It’s mental and totally unfair when you look at it. But the thing is, life doesn’t deal in fairness and kindness. Life is just life and it’s generally geared towards efficiency and necessity. As humans, what we want is effectiveness and comfort, so we have to be alchemists to make it through. Otherwise shit just keeps going wrong and we get all ancy about it.
In an interview with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, Seth said that on the rare occasions he goes to any Hollywood party, all the comedians tend to be huddled together in the corner. He went on to say that they would be there laughing at everyone else at the party. Sound like my kind of people. He added that that’s because comedians are the ones who know how ridiculous life is. Honestly, it’s totally ludicrous. Interestingly enough, Jamie Foxx – after years doing stand-up and being around other comedians doing stand-up – told Tim Ferriss (who also did the interviews with Seth, Evan and Tony Robbins. Yeah, I’ve been binging this week) that most comedians want to look good. Hence why most comedians start out skinny and end up building muscle and stuff. See, Russell Howard.
It would stand to reason then that- if they want to look good and are dedicated enough to “looking good” rather than “feeling good in their body” or “bring healthy” then they are of a self-conscious, nervous or otherwise anxious disposition. Interesting then that in order to be self-conscious, nervous or anxious you have to have attributed some degree of meaning to things. And in order to be successful as a comedian – as in, be funny relentlessly and relentlessly see things in a light-hearted and funny enough way to make a new stand-up routine regularly – ( 9 times out of 10 with obvious exceptions) you have to be in some way self-conscious, nervous or anxious. So, basically, again as always, it doesn’t matter really. You can’t win or lose. It just comes down to studying how things work, learning from them and not getting too day time soap opera about it all.
I think that’s my point today. Yeah. For now anyway. But now I’ll go eat breakfast and take a painkiller because my head is throbbing like… You don’t wanna know.
Just a final note, meaning can keep us in fear. It’s more common that we’d expect. Too much too intense meaning causes us to get all fearful and anxious. If you’re feeling like you’re done with that shit, you can join me and 20 other experts in personal development in a 21 days Face Your Fear challenge, set up and put together by a friend of mine, Bristena Mantu. If you’re ready for that, click here and register for free now 😀
Have a nice day!
Keep it real,
Live, love and play.