Pretty obviously, I'm entering the simple phase of my philosophical trajectory. In my life I've thought a lot of complex thoughts. I've written some complex books.
I've followed a complex spiritual path (Sant Mat, which has lots of rules and posits a dazzlingly involved cosmology). I've embraced the teachings of a guru, Charan Singh, who had advice on countless subjects associated with the inner and outer life of his disciples.
Now, all this strikes me as way too much. As do the intricacies of every religion.
Most scientists suspect that simplicity lies at the heart of reality, notwithstanding the seeming complexity of the material manifestation.
What's good enough for the cosmos is also fine with me. I'm ready to bow at the altar of just enough. And seriously consider that it's time to end my spiritual search.
An image keeps popping into my head of people setting off from a jungle clearing into unknown territory, bent on searching for the ultimate treasure trove. Everybody follows a path in a different direction. Nobody returns with what they're looking for.
Then there's the fools who sit on their butts in the middle of the clearing, drinking and eating and chatting and having a good time.
They're the only ones not going anywhere. But they sure seem to be richer than the treasure-seekers.
From an early age I've assumed that the most important purpose of life is to find the meaning of life. It appeared so obvious that there's more to being human than just living as a human being.
I desperately wanted to find the secret sauce that made everyday existence genuinely tasty. I deeply desired the key that unlocked the door leading to the hidden chamber of How Things Really Are.
Now, there's another feeling that won't leave me: the sensation that every moment I'm alive is stupendously, unimaginably, indescribably precious -- because likely my life is a volume of awareness set between the bookends of not yet existent and gone forever.
If this life is the only one we'll ever live (admit it: even if you're a true believer, you know this is highly probable), each instant of experience possesses a value that can't be valued.
And yet... so often we fritter those moments away.
I'm not suggesting that one moment is more valuable than another. Or that one sort of experience is more valuable than another.
Just that the meaning of life is the living of it. Fully. Consciously. With gratitude.
Frequently I say "thank you" when I stagger out of bed in the morning, make coffee, and walk up the driveway to get the newspaper.
I have no idea who I'm talking to. I doubt that anyone besides me can hear what I say. I simply feel like thanking reality, existence, the universe, whatever, for making life possible. My life. At this moment.
I hesitate to call this feeling "spiritual." Yet it is the most honest spiritual sensation I've ever had.