Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Since life is a great cosmic drama - how much meaning can we stand?

There's an inspiring and insightful post on this subject over at Junior Ganymede

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How much meaning do small events carry? Is a chance encounter on a train foreordained, or simply one in a random stream of events? Is there such a thing as coincidence? And here is the real question: which do we hope, and why?

The conclusion I have arrived at is that we can live at different levels of meaning. We can see ourselves as players in a great cosmic drama where all is knit together, worlds without end, or as nobodies in nowhere. We can assign eternal significance to our daily actions, or treat them as not that important one way or another.

The chief virtue of the meaningless life is that it is relatively painless, at least in the acute sense. There are no great tragedies, because there’s nothing to lose.

Meaning brings pains as well as glories. Understanding the potential for heroism in our smallest actions also means acknowledging the possibility (and reality) of the gulf between who we are and who we ought to be.

Repentance hurts because it first involves de-anesthetizing ourselves and coming to the realization that our bad actions are, in fact, “that bad.” But this is an unavoidable consequence of taking ourselves seriously enough to not flinch when told the Lord wants us to be kings and queens, priests and priestesses.

I have an intuition that one of the chief differences between the degrees of glory is the meaning we assign to our existence. The celestial is the stuff of legend, a life larger than life. The telestial may in comparison simply be a very pleasant but vacuous resort.

So... the question becomes: how much meaning can we stand? How important do we want our actions to be?

(More at Junior Ganymede...)

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