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Quote Reflection and Meaning
Religion and Theology
Pages 5 (1255 words)
It seems that there is a stream of limitless meaning flowing into the life of a man if he can but patiently entrust himself to it. There is no hurry, only the need to be true to what comes to mind, and to explore the current carefully in which one presently moves.
I have always struggled to find a way of figuring out what life actually means. The different world religions offer multiple answers to this question, whether it is by following a guru or holy person, or worshipping God in particular ways, or studying sacred texts and trying to put their lessons into practice. I appreciate the value of all these things, but sometimes I look around at the natural world, with all its beauty and all its problems and I really wonder what it all means. The concept of “fluency of meaning” which Bugbee mentions is the key insight that made me stop and think about this passage. On its own this is an abstract idea that is hard to grasp. In connection with the image of the river, and the skilled boatman enjoying the challenge of guiding his craft through the water, this concept makes sudden sense to me. Rivers are always moving, always changing, and yet in another sense they are constant features in the landscape. Seeing life as a phenomenon that takes place in a flowing river gives meaning to every thought, every action that we do. I now think of the meaning of life as something living and in the present, rather than as some distant absolute, and I am happy with the thought that maybe in the past I have tried too hard to figure things out with my head. ...
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