The spiritual quest is what gives life meaning. Nothing else does. Like many people, maybe most, I used to think love was going to give my life meaning, the perfect relationship. But I can't get meaning from outside. Meaning is inside. It doesn't exist out there. It doesn't exist. It's in 5-space along with all the other important things that don't exist, like love. I have to find meaning inside myself. It's true the spiritual quest is about love. It's making progress with love. If I see I'm becoming a better human being over the course of months and years, that's profoundly satisfying. My life is meaningful. If I keep making the same mistakes, doing the same old crap, slowly getting older and less healthy, treating everyone just as badly, then life is meaningless. I have to work to get better at being human if I want meaning, satisfaction, and richness in life. Better at being a human, not at being a holy man or a saint. Meditation is ongoing work aimed at making me a better human being. My love Leela is the personification of the spiritual quest, the nondualistic face of god as creative play.
Longing for more. I've had the longing for more as far back as I can remember. Longing for more is the foundation of my spiritual quest. No one would be willing to do this frustrating, endlessly demanding work unless there was something inside that would give him or her no peace. Something always egging them on. The longing for more never lets up. It can never be satisfied. That's another way of saying there's no shortage of headroom on the spiritual quest. But not being on the spiritual quest is just as relentless. The spiritual quest is the only thing that gives life meaning. It's ultimately the only reason to go on living. Everything else eventually turns to ashes.
Without creativity life is meaningless. The meaning of life isn't something I find, it's something I create in myself through hard work. If I don't do hard creative work, my life is meaningless. That's why the Internet is mostly meaningless: the work that goes into most of it is easy and uncreative. How creative my work is is how much it hurts, how much it challenges my beliefs and pretensions. Nothing snide or ironic is creative. Nothing smug. Nothing self-satisfied. Take away pretense, snide, irony, smug, self-satisfied and porn. How much Internet is left? Exactly.
Sanity. Creative work is whatever it takes to make me a better human. A sense that life has meaning is a basic element of sanity. Insanity is life lived in meaninglessness, unhinged from what's real. A life lived in the dreary realm of mental noise.
Instead of in the world, which is pretty fucking awesome.
Drenched. My life had meaning before we moved to Kenya. I found richness everywhere, especially in nature. Nature was magic, and it thrilled me, even though I was just a shy fat kid with no friends. Nature was a better friend than any human friend could ever be. Nature was teaching me how to make progress with love. Those magic moments I write about were moments I made real progress. I became more. I gained wisdom in nature. I write about the most memorable moments, but the same thing happened on a smaller scale every single day. My life was drenched with meaning. When I moved to Kenya I traded all that in for booze and pot. I gave up real magic for harmful fake magic. Now, fifty-five years later, I finally made it back to the garden, living in my new home. My life is drenched with meaning once more.