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The looking and the meaning of life

Hi everyone! I came across the looking about a year ago now after spending much energy "seeking" for a solution/resolution to some intense anxiety I developed which at the time seemed to come out of the blue but likely came from my brain "catching up" to things in the past that I had not taken the time to deal with. I guess in the end it doesn't really matter where it came from because it was always probably there (the anxiety) lurking in the background, but I had never paid much attention to it or was too distracted to notice it. But now it seems to have gone the other way where I think about the anxiety daily. I will come to intense realizations followed by a period of no anxiety but then it seems I forget the realization and have to start over again. I did the looking and truly feel that I have had the one look at myself. I am also actively doing the mindfulness training and it seems to be helping. Compared to last year, I am much improved but not 100% free from it either, but that's ok.

Most of my negative thinking patterns have dissolved but the main thing that my mind still seems to go to a lot is struggling with the meaning of life. Do others struggle with this question? It's odd because some days the answer seems perfectly clear, other days it doesn't matter what the meaning of life is because I am content without needing to know, but the other half of the time the question remains. I find it hiding in the background of my day, sometimes as more of a feeling than a thought. Does this make sense? Does anyone have any words of wisdom?

Thanks in advance and keep up the amazing work John and Carla, I am forever grateful.


Thanks for your report!

The only thing I can say about struggling with the question of the meaning of life is that that question is very natural question for a human being. Why should we as humans want to get rid of a great question like that. For me the looking has not taken that question away from me and I don't think it will. The looking is not the end of lifes questions and complexity, its the real beginning of it. But what the looking has taken away from me is the strategies to dealing with life. In the beginning the looking took the belief that that strategies and ways to deal with life was helpful. But now I dont even have my strategies. And instead of analyzing life, I am now living it. And for me the big questions are still here.

And remember that feeling of you is not hidden away in some deep part of you. It is just the feeling of you as a person, not some abstraction.

I hope you can read what I wright. This is not my language. And I hope some of it was helpful.


Live Life

Hello Sophie,

your post made me realize that I haven't had this question appear in my mind since my one look as you put it. I've been too busy dealing with life to be able to entertain these kinds of thoughts, so my answer would have to be : the meaning, purpose and essence of life is to live it. It's an underwhelming and pretty nonspiritual answer but it's the only one that makes sense to me now.


I dont have any words of wisdom, but I resonate with what you are saying. I also have questions about the meaning of life that are still there, and come up from time to time. I am looking for answers still. Not always, but I am. I dont know if this is also something that will pass. I continue to look.

Maybe dropping away now...?

Hi, Sophie, others...

Having also wrestled with this over the years, I was surprised on reading your question to see how little I had considered it lately (since the looking) and how it now leapt off the page (or out of the screen) at me as so self-evidently a question demanding an abstraction as an answer...and how any abstraction posited as an answer must ultimately fail of satisfaction...it just becomes a "thing I/we've said", another thought-form arising, an inadequate articulation like all the ones before, subject to endless further attempts to refine, restate, repossess the satisfaction that it simply as an abstraction cannot provide.

Somehow never approaching the "fullness of the moment" in which life as it is is living itself as me (if that makes any sense...)

best to you and all



Hi Sophie,

I used to be concerned about the meaning of life, and I can see layers or various meanings to meaning. What I mean is there is the question of a purpose or a task in life for each individual and then there's the feeling of meaning or meaninglessness, as in "what's the point?" of it all. I suffer from the latter. The question comes when I suffer. When one is happy and content it has its own meaning, and the question doesn't seem to arise. Then there's the general philosophical question of the meaning of it all, "the life, the Universe and everything" as Douglas Adams puts it in his Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Lately, I've been more content with meaninglessness. Life doesn't necessarily need philosophical explanations. I think the need for those arises to some extent from suffering, as a buffer to discomfort of detachment from life. The big question is part of life and will probably remain so but the urgency to base your sense of security on the possible answer will most likely dissolve with the fear, I think. It's then an interesting question among others and can be enjoyed as a challenge as such.

I congratulate you for the most of your negative patterns dissolving! I'm happy for you.


I feel that once the spiritual seeker in one is activated that the main focus is this question. Meaning by most spiritual teachers seems to be responded to with a focus on purpose. Telling you who you really are and how to properly relate to life.This usually involves rules and forms of ritual behavior that can possibly ground you and allow your focus to concentrate in specific areas relative to the teacher or teaching's way to supposedly move you towards a personal understanding. I have found this to be an expansive, distracting, and in the end not truly helpful way to gain self knowledge.Learning what a teacher has experienced can lead to insights but the price seems to be a less questioning and more placid, even oppressed person that has not found out the answer and has sacrificed the adventure of finding out for a fake safe haven.

The looking has completely bypassed this whole drama of allowing you to be in the one down position in order to understand your purpose or the meaning of life from the Superior Source. It's not that you have given up on finding the answer to the question but the act of looking has the consequence of bringing your point of view to a new and less desperate attitude regarding when that needs to be accomplished.


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