The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.


on March 29, 2012


Don’t we all, from time to time, wonder what life is all about?  What is the purpose of our lives? What are we meant to do on this earth?  I know a woman who loves to garden. She says when she gardens she is helping God to finish the job he started when he created the world.  Good for her but not many of us would subscribe to that philosophy.

Taoism says  the end of the cycle of development is that of the independent, clear-minded, all-seeing child –  the level known as wisdom. The wise are children who know. Their minds have been emptied of the countless minute somethings of small learning and filled with the great wisdom of the great nothing.

That’s a healthy dose of philosophy isn’t it? Is that the purpose of life: to  return to being a child again – no agendas, no prejudices, no preconceived ideas?   If I observe several young children at a playground what do I see?   I see joy on their faces: I see curiosity as they pause for a moment to watch a spider constructing a web: I see imagination in castles being build in the sandbox.  I may hear one kid yell “that’s mine” as he grabs a toy but others will contradict him and say “no fair, we share.”  But I do not see them sitting quietly and doing nothing.  They have no empty cups. Their minds may be emptied of ‘somethings’ but I don’t see them as being wise about the value of nothing – of emptiness.

Those explanations are certainly food for thought but they don’t tell me how I am to go about emptying my mind of minute somethings. They don’t tell me what is the wisdom of nothing.

It may be that the difficulty in understanding and living in accordance with philosophies such as those lies in the fact that we are trapped – tied to – our agendas.

If we were able to rise in the morning and face a day without obligations, appointments, responsibilities, it might be possible to experience the value of emptiness. I suspect, however, such an experience would be fleeting and not have any lasting effect on the way in we live.

Is the answer to keep asking until someone responds with an answer that makes sense to you?  And if it makes sense to you but not to me, what then?

Post a comment. What do you think about this conundrum?

Julie Rose



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