Meaning and purpose in life,
Being alive is the meaning”
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”The Dalai Lama
“There is not one single big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life. An individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.”Anais Nin
“My dog doesn't worry about the meaning of life. She may worry if she doesn't get her breakfast, but she doesn't sit around worrying about whether she will get fulfilled or liberated or enlightened. As long as she gets some food and a little affection, her life is fine”
Joko Beck. Available at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/joko_beck_538152?src=t_meaning_of_life
“There is an
internal landscape, a geography of the soul: we search for its outlines all our
lives. Those who are lucky enough to find it ease like water over stone, onto
its fluid contours, and are home.
Some find it in a place of their birth; others may leave a seaside town, parched, and find themselves refreshed in the desert. There are those born in rolling countryside who are really only at ease in the intense and busy loneliness of the city.
For some, the search is for the imprint of another; a child or a mother, a grandfather or a brother, a lover, a husband, a wife, or a foe.
We may go through our lives happy or unhappy, successful or unfulfilled, loved, or unloved, without ever standing cold with the shock of recognition, without ever feeling the agony as the twisted iron in our soul unlocks itself and we slip at last into place.”
Fiction Book: Damage by Josephine Hart: J. Hart (2003) Damage. Vintage books: London, 1-2p
“He knocks at all doors, strays and roams,
Nay, hath not so much wit as some stones have,
Which in the darkest nights point to their homes,
By some hid sense their Maker gave ;
Man is the shuttle, to whose winding quest
And passage through these looms
God order'd motion, but ordain'd no rest”.
Poem: Man by Henry Vaughan Verse 4Source: Vaughan, Henry. The Poems of Henry Vaughan, Silurist. vol I. E. K. Chambers, Ed. London, Lawrence & Bullen Ltd., 1896. 169-170
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life, ...
…And we have been on many thousand lines,
And we have shown, on each, spirit and power,
But hardly have we, for one little hour,
Been on our own line, have we been ourselves;
Hardly had skill to utter one of all
The nameless feelings that course through our breast,
But they course on for ever unexpress'd.
And long we try in vain to speak and act
Our hidden self, and what we say and do
Is eloquent, is well—but 'tis not true! “…………..
And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again!
The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain,
And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know,
A man becomes aware of his life's flow,
And hears its winding murmur, and he sees
The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze………….
Extracts from Poem: The buried life by Mathhew Arnold :
M. Arnold (1852) The buried life Available at: https://poets.org/poem/buried-life
“An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,………..”
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voice behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life that you could save.
Oliver, M. (1963) The journey, In: No voyage and other poems. Available at: https://maryoliver.beacon.org/2009/11/new-and-selected-one/index.html