I have kept up my meditation practice for these past seven and a half years first of all because, neurologically, I didn’t want to slip back into life-threatening depression. But also, I just didn’t want to live my life according to my own ego conditioning, my traumas, and my often false stories about the reality of myself. I wanted to keep growing and to keep making sure that I was on task to accomplish what I’m supposed to accomplish in this lifetime. It’s been very important to me to find the meaning—the meaning of life.
We laugh off the meaning of life, as in, “Oh, ha ha! That’s an unanswerable thing.” But I think it’s very answerable. It’s pretty clear to me and my little light bulb here about what is going on. The understanding hasn’t come all of a sudden, bam! “Oh, I get the meaning of life.” But it has certainly deepened over time. I definitely don’t go through the same kind of existential darkness and suffering that I used to.
For years I thought, what am I here for? Is this just some kind of random accident? Were there some chemicals in a primordial pool, then lightning struck, and somehow, bang!amino acids started a dance of random mutations, and here we are? We’re born; we do the human thing; we reproduce; we hate; we love; we lose; we get old; and then the lights go out, and it’s all over. What a hell of a thing that is. It’s like a dark, dark place.
What I have found is that all of that is not really the issue anymore. If I could put the answer to the question, what is the meaning of life? in just one sentence, I would say it is to wake up and evolve. Wake up and evolve. What does that mean?
Waking up means to wake up and find out who and what we really are at the deepest levels of emptiness, or pure spirit—to tap into the creative, intelligent, cognizant void that everything emerges from, moment to moment. We discover, Oh, my gosh. That’s what I am. The deeper we go, that’s what we run into. It’s infinite! When I tap into it, I find love, perfection, and beauty. Everything seems to be rising from that.
It is out of this creative void of our own depths that the relative world, the world that we can touch and feel, and that we move around in, keeps evolving and changing. So, we wake up to what we essentially are, and we use this understanding to get up, dance, play, evolve, create, and love in the constantly and rapidly changing world.
But the thing is, we don’t just wake up one day and find that everything is groovy—we have to wake up every day. We have to stabilize the realization of who and what we are. We have to keep going back to the well and keep working on our ego structures to make sure that they are up to snuff, basically, and that they are at least functional enough so that we can get done what needs to be done in this lifetime.
Besides this kind of lofty mission to wake up and evolve, the other thing we are doing here is finding our own soul path, so that we know what we are here to contribute and what we are here to do. There is a story in one of the gospels where Jesus is teaching and his disciples say something like, “Hey, you know, it’s chow time.” And Jesus says, “Don’t bug me. My meat is to do the will of Him who sent me.” What really gives us sustenance is not just the physical stuff, but the actual doing of what we’re here to do. We can tell when we’re doing that, because we find ourselves in a place of flow and creativity. There’s a great sense of satisfaction, courage, and determination. It’s really kind of fun to find out, “Who am I?” “What am I here to do?” “What are my skills?” “What am I really good at?” “What’s worth getting up for in the morning?”
If we wake up and evolve, it means that, based on the realization of who we are at the deepest level, we bring creativity, compassion, joy, wisdom, and skillfulness to the world, making this whole human experience incredibly beautiful and deeply meaningful. And as we do our gradual, ongoing, daily waking up, we consciously take responsibility, as much as we can, for our own evolution, so that we become, as John Lennon said, part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Adapted from iAwake Technologies’ free, weekly teleconference call on February 27, 2013.
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John Dupuy is the CEO of iAwake Technologies and the founder of Integral Recovery, a holistic addiction treatment approach inspired by Ken Wilber’s Integral Model. As a pioneer in the use of brainwave entrainment in therapy and personal development, John has dedicated his life to helping others deepen their spiritual practice and transform their lives.