I think there's something wrong in the way we look at the world. So, here's some free advice that might help us change the way we think and live in the world--hopefully for the better.
And it has to do with taking the responsibility of being in the middle.
Clearly there are various ways to see things. And when we change the way we see things, the things we see change. And if you change the way you see the world, the world changes. That's pretty clear to me. So, let's talk about one way of looking at the world.
MEANING IN LIFE
One way to look at the world and reality is to see meaning (or lack thereof). What is the meaning of life? Is there a meaning in life?
For the Buddha, the meaning of life was about helping others achieve freedom from suffering. For Socrates, the meaning of life was to seek a state of well-being, a healthy spirit, and the ultimate good for others. For Christians, it's about loving God, yourself, and applying biblical truths in serving others so they become spiritually mature and more perfect.
There are many other definitions of the meaning of life. And we're not going to get to the right answer in this article. But one meaning that I favor has to do with responsibility and being in the middle.
Responsibility is an obligation a person takes on. For the moment, let's say it could be the burden of bettering oneself and serving others in order make the world a better place to live. Something like that. And I've found that women have an easier time than men knowing what responsibility means. Its meaning is clear to many people, particularly women. Women seem to know what they have to do. But men have to work on figuring it out. Most men eventually do figure out what responsibility means.
Mature men enjoy responsibility. Ask them. They like lifting the weight of the burden. They like the challenging task. Men enjoy going to work. That's for sure. They'll say, "I'll do it," when no one else offers to do so. They'll tend to sacrifice themselves for someone they love. And on and on. This is my experience with spiritually mature men and women.
So, if you're looking for meaning in life, check your responsibility. Check to see if you're working to make the world a better place by bettering yourself and helping and serving others. Responsibility creates a meaning for life.
Let's take a look at the opposite -- meaninglessness. Then we'll look at where you're responsibility should be located so that you have meaning in life.
I know of many people who live in a meaninglessness world and perceive living in world that has no meaning. Their perspective is that the world in which we live is basically without meaning. There's no point. For many, it's hopeless.
The meaningless perspective in life goes something like this. We live on a planet, one out of millions apparently. Located in an ordinary common galaxy, one out of billions of spiraling galaxies, each filled with billions of stars like our own Sun. And the reality of life, in this meaningless perspective, is that the universe is made up of dead matter that has by randomness arranged themselves in very complex patterns. The human being is simply one fancy complex thing that has come out of this material substrate arrangement. The human body is complex, for sure, but little more than one of billions of biological living things on this particular planet that eats, poops, makes babies, and thinks of silly egotistical things to do and say.
NOT MUCH OF A FOUNDATION
In my opinion, this way of seeing the world and reality is not much of a foundation upon which to build a more than abundant life. I feel that this view of the world is wrong and nihilistic, which is a fancy word used to describe someone who can reject spiritual and moral principles in the belief that life is meaningless.
I believe there is meaning to life. There exists a good solid way in which to view the world, one that provides a reason to live and a way to live a life that is meaningful, abundant, and powerful. And it has little to nothing to do with our man-made religions and subjugating dogma that have imprisoned and destroyed ignorant people of the past. And it has nearly everything to do with God. What is God? God is not an old bearded man in the sky doing good and bad things. That's just silly. You might as well believe in Zeus or Gaia. I don't. Neither should you.
Let me explain by talking a bit about duality. And that's where the "middle" is located.
The universe has duality. There's off and on. There's 0 and 1. The world is filled with what you know and what you don't know. There's duality is physics (principle of complementarity), biology (male and female), mathematics (zero and 1), art (black and white), philosophy (true and false), poetry (love and hate), personal attitude (negative and positive), politics (liberal and conservative), and on and on. The yin-yang symbol is dual. And there's duality in your brain--you have two hemispheres with all of the connective action located in the middle (the corpus callosum).
WHAT'S IN THE MIDDLE?
The responsibility to create order out of chaos is in the middle. And there stories of a man who used to work in the middle of things in order to serve others.
Jesus was in the middle or "the midst" many times in his life. He's was in the middle of doctors, elders, the church, apostles, law breakers, Israel, etc. There's something special about being in the midst. He tended to get in the midst (in the middle) before speaking or acting. He was the mediator between disputing parties, the path between death and life, the way from darkness to light, and the bridge between you and God.
In Philippians 2:5, it says that all of us are to be of the same mind as Jesus Christ. What does that mean? It's easy to understand by checking out Philippians Chapter 2 where it says that joy in life (a joyful meaning in life) can be experienced by being of the same mind with someone else, by having the same love one toward another, by being knit together in spirit, both intent on one purpose and moving in the same direction, and living a meaningful life that reflects your believing and communication by your words and actions. The key to understanding this and other spiritual truths and statements about love is to know that this "same love" is not about emotion. It's more about doing things unselfishly for the benefit of other people and a willingness to work and seek the best for another.
Now, that sounds like there's meaning in life. And it has something to do with the responsibility of being in the middle.
Let's talk about what really matters in life.
WHAT REALLY MATTERS
The word "matter" has two important meanings. Matter has duality. There's the physical substrate matter that all stuff is composed of. And there is "what matters" in life. It seems to me that the world is made up of what really matters.
In relation to Darwinian evolution, the brain reacts to the environment based upon what matters to it. Life evolves based upon what really matters to it. Biology is based upon this concept that a living being is adapted to reality, and the reality of life is what you've adapted to based upon what really matters. That the basis of biological evolution. Reality is that which selects over a course of evolutionary time, and what is selected is what really matters. Your brain responds to what really matters. And it's not just by random chance that your brain is split in two. Two hemispheres. Duality. And what really matters is located in the connection between the two hemispheres.
What really matters is what takes place in the middle. In the midst.
It seems to me that being in the middle of things is where life really matters.
The universe is also dual. It's made up of this and that. Your brain works well in figuring out the difference between this and that--what you know and what you don't know. That's the duality of reality. You know stuff and you don't know stuff.
The cerebrum, the big part of the brain, is also dual. It's divided into two parts--a left and a right hemisphere. The two parts are connected by the nerve fibers called the corpus callosum. That's where all the exciting stuff happens for sure. In the middle, between the two parts of your brain, is a ton of electrical neuron fibers connecting the two parts of the whole, working really hard, trying to make sense of it all.
Chaos is what you don't know. Order is what you know. When you don't know something, you can become uncomfortable and unpeaceful. That's chaotic. When you are familiar with something and your surroundings, you comfortable and peaceful. That's order. Your brain is constantly trying to create order out of chaos. Meaning comes from creating order out of chaos.
That's one way of reading Genesis Chapter 1 where God (spirit, light, power, love) creates order out of chaos (Genesis 1:2) by using truthful communication. And time and time again, we see from the verses that "it was good."
It's good to take the responsibility of being in the middle of things (where it really matters) and use truthful communication to create order from chaos.
CHAOS AND ORDER
Chaos is what you don't know, and order is what you do know. And the interplay between the two provides a meaning of life.
Where should you be? In the middle.
Where does all of the meaning come from? It comes from being in the midst and working through the middle and differences between what you know and what you don't know in order to create order, peace, and love out of the potentially chaotic world around you.
Be in the middle.
Think about it. You don't want to be in the middle of only chaos (that's too much instability and uncertainty), and you don't want to be in the middle of only order (that's a boring place). What you want to do is get in the middle of both or everything.
Get one foot in the chaos, and put the other in order.
That's the position and location from which you can create and live a wonderful meaning of life. The middle. If you're all in either side, you can't grow. A person grows when they're balanced as much as they can. When you're in the right place at the right time, you're likely managing the meaning of life, right in the middle of things. Thinking through and considering both perspectives or all sides. Moving between life and death. Seeing between light and dark. Deciding between good and evil.
This is the way to live.
Taoism is a Chinese philosophy based on the writings of Lao-tzu, who lived in the 6th century BC. Taoism means "the way." Jesus referred to himself as the way (between who and where you are and your destination of knowing God being spirit, light, power, abundance, and peace.)
And I think we ought to choose a way and walk a path with meaning. A path between (in the middle) of a world of chaos and order, yin and yang, right and wrong, life and death, love and hate.
Matthew 18:19-21 says,
Philippians 2:14-16 says,
And to me, that's a meaningful life.
We have a responsibility of walking the middle path to create order and peace from chaos and suffering in order to think, live, and love better and serve others as we make the world a better place. And it will be good.
FROM CHAOS TO ORDER
As I see it, one thing that really matters in life is when you make things a bit better than they were. You help change some disorder and chaos into order. You help put things back into a balance. You communicate truthful words in order to create something good out of a universe full of potential, disorder, and chaos. And to do that, you have to be in "the thick of things," right in the middle of it all. That's a good meaning in life, if you ask me.
Get in the middle of something and speak truthfully to make it good.
You may be interested in checking out how a man needs opposites.
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Tips for Men to Be Better Men, Wonderful Husbands, and Loving Fathers