A few days ago I revealed the meaning of life: one damn thing after another.
(Note: I agreed with a commenter that "damn" sounds negative; however, I am using it in the sense of wow, as in damn! she's a fine-looking babe!)
With several dog walks and even more cups of coffee having stimulated my psyche since that post, I've delved more deeply into the astounding richness of that five-word encapsulation of what life is all about.
I'm nowhere near the end of grokking the nuances of one damn thing after another. But with every damn thing that passes through my mind when I think about one damn thing after another, I come closer to realizing the essence of life:
There's no place to stand outside of it.
No perch from which we can look down on life and see how it appears from above. No gate that allows us to stand outside the boundary of life and gain a detached perspective. No "stop" button which halts life in its tracks, freezing it in place so we can study it closely as a still-life.
I used to believe such was possible.
Most religions, spiritual paths, and mystical teachings do also. They claim that some people -- prophets, saints, enlightened beings, ascended masters, gurus, whoever -- have been able to gain a Gods-eye view of reality (using "God" to mean an ultimate truth normally inaccessible to humans).
In other words, these folks were able to step outside of one damn thing after another.
The wheel of life stopped turning for them. Their karmic cycles were interrupted. God intervened on their behalf with a dose of divine grace. Through meditation their consciousness became absolutely still and clear.
However it happened, supposedly life here on Earth was seen from the outside, rather than being experienced from the inside. This, of course, leads religiously-minded people into all sorts of dangerous and destructive points of view.
Human life often is considered a way-station on the road to Something Better. Or an illusion, not worth much compared to a higher reality.
Everyday life thus is diminished in importance. I've known true believers who couldn't wait to die, either figuratively or literally, so they could be ushered into the presence of the Almighty -- compared to which whatever life as we know it has to offer is a meaningless speck of barely-there.
In fact, for quite a few years I felt much the same way. So I can understand the appeal of believing that one day one damn thing after another will be transformed into One, forever and ever.
Never-ending existence in unchanging heaven, paradise, nirvana, or such.
Well, if that happens, it happens. It would be the last damn thing, with no after another.
I admit that this is theoretically possible. Yet who wants to live life theoretically? If, as is likely, this is the one and only life each of us ever will experience, why not embrace life in all of its fullness, rather than trying to shrink it down to a bare-bones skeleton?
I don't think there is any way to escape the constant changings of life. Except death. Which isn't life.
Death will come to each of us eventually. Why mimic its approach by trying to deny the reality of one damn thing after another? Embrace each moment. Then the next. And the next. Life becomes wonderfully simple and, mostly, joyful when we stop trying to avoid it.