Pushing Boulders up a Hill
Life and Living
Are you always pushing boulders up a hill?
“I intend to live life, not just exist.” George Takei
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a Star Trek fan. Apart from anything else, the episodes are full of quotable content, even some of the episode titles.
Is there in Truth no Beauty?
Dagger of the Mind
For the world is hollow, and I have touched the sky
Where silence has lease
…. to list a few.
Some episode titles have clear literacy origins, The Conscience of King, for example.
But I digress.
It was the George Takei quote that drew my attention recently.
”I intend to live life, not just exist”
Seems to me that this is a great personal mission statement.
It also caused me to reflect on how I sometimes feel I am “just existing”.
What’s that all about?
If my mind is solely focused on living to work or locked into a one-dimensional cycle of worry-work-exhaustion-sleep-wake-worry-work …., then I am just existing.
Of course, at the present time, we are all being challenged by the escalating cost of living and wondering where the money is coming from. If there is nothing else in our lives but this daily worry, then what is the point?
“A man wants to earn money in order to be happy, and his whole effort and the best of a life are devoted to the earning of that money. Happiness is forgotten; the means are taken for the end.” ― Albert Camus,
The Myth of Sisyphus
According to the Greek myth, Sisyphus is condemned to roll a rock up to the top of a mountain, only to have the rock roll back down to the bottom every time he reaches the top.
It is a particularly hideous punishment, the prospect of spending eternity in futile labour.
Several stories explain how Sisyphus came to earn his punishment in the underworld.
According to one story, Zeus carried off Aegina, a mortal woman who was the daughter of Asopus. Sisyphus witnessed this kidnapping in his home city of Corinth. Sisyphus agreed to inform Asopus, who kidnapped Aegina, if Asopus would give the citadel at Corinth a fresh-water spring. In making this deal and bearing witness against Zeus, Sisyphus earned the wrath of the gods while gaining earthly wealth and happiness for himself and his people.
Another story tells of Sisyphus chaining Death to a rock, thus creating the possibility of immortality. For this arrogance, he was punished.
Are we all like Sisyphus?
Are we pushing the same boulders up the same hill every day?
Are we just existing?
Perhaps the secret is about perspective.
If we can find purpose, meaning and value in our daily grind, then do we start to experience life?
Far too many people want to see themselves as 'victims" of life. It could d be argued that we can choose to see ourselves as collaborators or experiencers of life.
“The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” ― Albert Camus,
Accepting the simple fact that we are born, we live, we die does not mean we need to be limited by it.
As asked in Star Trek, "Is there in Truth no Beauty?"
Surely the beauty is in the fact we are blessed with time in which we can choose how we perceive life.
Perhaps our inertia is "The Dagger of the Mind" as it keeps us looking at life through the same dark lenses of disappointment.
If we start to consider the illusions (delusions) we have about the world and our place within it, then we can make more relevant choices about how we think, feel and behave.
It is interesting to consider just how many of those we consider to be "enlightened", "self-actualised" or simply "happy" have understood the limitations of the purely material.
From their perspective, "The World is Hollow and they have Seen The Sky". They have argued against self-limiting beliefs, seeing them as hollow, and have sought inspiration from the stars, the sky, and the cosmos.
They have often achieved this perspective through reflective and creative practices. They have been where "Silence has lease" to manage judgement, to be present and simply experience life.
The "Future is Imperfect" since perfection cannot exist in life.
If something is perfect, there is no more journey, no need for more labour. It is static and fixed.
One thing we know about life is that it can't be static or fixed.
Life is about change; it is about the interplay between chaos and order, destruction and creation.
Six quotes to help you keep on pushing the boulder up the hill.
Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. -Robert Louis Stevenson
When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. -Franklin D. Roosevelt
You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated. -Maya Angelou
In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. -Abraham Lincoln
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. -Dr. Seuss
"The only impossible journey is the one you never begin." -Tony Robbins
Thanks for reading
Remember, the meaning of life is life!