What is the essence of life..
The essence of life is the bitter/sweet nectar of emptiness.
When we pause and look closely, life is a continual process of holding and releasing...there is no permanence to thought or feeling or even the most sensual of experiences. When embraced, this emptiness, becomes the essential animating aspect of living and is the door out of suffering.
Our struggle to fill the emptiness is the root of our suffering and discontent.
The ego or superficial aspects of personality design to fill the impermanence of existence with things...entropy invariably leads to dis-integration of all objects including the body. Efforts to fill the void can lead to a sense of futility as it becomes more and more apparent that change is inevitable. The futility of trying to achieve a non-entropic state of being is what leads to suffering and all forms of discontent.
The meaning of life are the words themselves.
There are two ways of knowing the world and living our life. The first and primary form is based on an inner symbolic language built through associations - it is non-linear and not based in language. The second is based on the agreements presented through language. This second way of knowing or seeing the world is truncated and limited because the "sign of language" cannot signify all things to all people at all times. Therefore, the individual is faced with an inherent and ongoing dichotomy between intrinsic and extrinsic meaning. When we have lost our way, an effective tool for returning to our soul is by understanding what the words we use fail to show us or how they do not align with our inner symbolic language.
And yet the meaning of a thing is not its name.
Knowing is inherently intuitive and flows from our inner symbolism. Therefore to grasp something we must literally fall into it or "dance with it in the moment." So the idea here, as Heidegger reminds us, is to locate the Being of a thing...capital B = essence.
Living motivation stems from the flowering of curiosity, rooted in direct observation.
Once we have accepted the essential existential truth of life, emptiness, we must find a reason to live that is not dependent on extrinsic value. The heart of finding meaning in an essentially meaningless world (or one where meaning is entirely relative) emerges through the power of observation coupled with our aesthetic sensitivity. Curiosity powers our desire to stay present and observe, rather than try to control, the transformation of living.
Ambivalence is the terminal by-product of self-delusion.
Denial is at the heart of inner and outer conflict. When denial is allowed to overcome our natural curiosity, we cease to observe experience from our inner symbolic language. Truth becomes caged within constructs such as obligation and this leads to confusion between what actually is and what we desire. Ambivalence is the first sign we have allowed denial to cloud our perception.
The purpose of living is to express the ever more subtle metaphor of existence.
In a sense there must be a kind of vigilance to remain engaged with living. Without vigilance, ones attention becomes easily subverted by the ego's desire for false persistence. There is a heroic quality to maintaining a determined aesthetic appreciation for life even at its most tragic and uncomfortable.
Conversely life has no purpose without the creative act.
To live is to create. Creation is what drives life and underlying this energy is a fundamental creativity = more living. To find purpose we need only seek our own natural instinct to create.
Fear is a shadow cast by an imaginary being.
Although response to pain protects us from physical suffering and an untimely death, fear of pain is the root of our deepest existential despair. Fear is the antecedent to anxiety and it often drives us toward denial. Understanding the difference between pain and fear is an essential step in returning to living with curiosity.
To Love you must surrender to yourself and die a little bit everyday.
To love one must be vulnerable. Vulnerability is the source of curiosity and creativity. To be vulnerable one must allow the possibility for rejection or failure. There is a moment by moment commitment to staying in love that requires the abdication of power and control. The commitment is to the self and its inner symbolic language. There is a shedding of what was, and a continual emergence, for love to exist.