Table of Contents


What's the meaning of life? It's a silly question, really. It pretends to make sense, to be an obvious question anyone who carefully examined life would ask. But looking closer I can see it's just some linguistic sleight of hand, words pretending to make sense but they're empty and barren. Meaning is internal; it's not somewhere out there to be found. In my own story meaning is one of Leela's qualities, like love, wisdom, satisfaction, happiness. I have to make my own life meaningful internally: meaningful to me. I'm the only one who can make my life meaningful. There is no meaning of life per se.

The spiritual quest is what gives my life meaning. Nothing else does. I used to think love was going to do the trick: if only I could find the perfect relationship everything would be great. At different times in my life I've thought I could fill the empty longing inside me with sex, money, the perfect career, travel and adventure. All the usual suspects except kids. I always knew having a family wasn't for me. But no. I can't get meaning from outside, from anything outside because meaning is inside. It doesn't exist out there. It doesn't exist. It's in 5-space along with all the other things that don't exist in the physical world but life is empty without, like love. I have to find meaning inside myself. I was right about love; I just didn't know what it meant. My spiritual quest is about making progress with love. If I see I'm becoming more loving and having more love in my life over the course of months and years, that's profoundly satisfying. That gives my life meaning. But if I keep making the same mistakes and treating everyone just as badly, then my life is meaningless because I'm not getting what I really want. I have to work hard if I want meaning, satisfaction, and richness in life. I have to get better at being a human. Not at being a holy man or a saint. Those are just ideas, and poisonous ones at that. Making progress with love, aka the spiritual quest, is ongoing work I undertake to realize my human potential, that is to make myself a better human being.

Without creativity life is meaningless. I'll never find the meaning of life by searching for it out there somewhere. I can only create a meaningful life by doing hard, creative, life-affirming work. That kind of creativity isn't limited to the arts: it can be applied to any task or project. But if my work isn't life-affirming, if it doesn't contribute to human well-being or human nobility, it robs my life of meaning rather than creating it. Creativity in service to greed or in any way turned against humanity is the source of human misery. Without hard creative work my life is meaningless because I stay stuck in a rut. Creative work lays the groundwork for a new me in the future. I can gauge the creativity of my work by how uncomfortable it makes me, by how much it challenges my beliefs, pretensions, and status quo. Creativity, aka making progress with love, is never comfortable. It always hurts because when I create the new I displace the old: the old me has to die for the new me to live and dying's painful. Creativity is risky, terra incognita. I have to take a chance because I don't know what will happen. It's crucial that I don't know the future.

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 was in touch with who I really am. I write about the most memorable moments, but the same thing happened on a smaller scale every 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.