Experiencing and Writing About Meaning

As Frankl said, meaning comes in one of three ways – creatively contributing to the world, actively receiving life’s blessings and the attitude we take and often the transformation we go through particularly when we have no power to actually do anything.

These things are not always easy to write about even though meaning is there for us to experience every moment of every day. Certainly there should be something to write about that happened in the course of a day.

But writing is not the same as experiencing. To write I have to invite you in to be there with me in my experience, to see the same potential for meaning as I saw and to draw you in to appreciate what I have experienced. This is the skill of a writer, not necessarily a logotherapist, especially a logotherapist who is quickly getting throughts down on the computer screen before running off to jog, work and so forth. In addition to all of this, experiences are personal. This is not only an issue of vulnerability but of the difficulty in conveying the experience.

So I will share one experience with you from this past Saturday in my study group. We were discussing the meanings of the Rosh Hashana, new year prayers. We say “All of the evil in the world will vanish like smoke…” One of the participants said that she is deeply disturbed by the evil in the world, that it seems that free choice, even though it was given to man as a challenge has been greatly misused. Rav Kook in his commentary explained that we have to elevate ourselves to an all-encompassing perspective of loving kindness to the degree that we want to do good for the evil itself, by helping it complete its function, i.e. that it should dissipate. We were still silently sharing in this deeply disturbed sense of wanting evil to come to an end. Someone offered how there are those who do evil because they’re mentally imbalanced and then there are those who do just plain evil. We talked about evil as something in all of us that we pray that it will come to term and we won’t need it any more yet there is again that real willful evil in the world, and how will it go away?

The next selection was related, where we talk about every living creature knowing that God has created it. In the discussion two directions came out that kind of merged together. On the one hand knowing you’ve been created by God give you a sense of humility, responsibility and accountability. You are not the center of existence as if you created yourself and are answerable to no one. On the other hand knowing you’ve been created by God means you are loved and precious. Both aspects of awareness come together in realizing the one-ness of God.

No conclusions, just sharing meaning. Gotta go jog.

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2 Responses to Experiencing and Writing About Meaning

  1. HD. Bastaman says:

    yes, I agree with U, it’s not always easy to write our (meaningful) experiences, but there is meaning in….writing. And I like your articles. Tqvm…

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