Monday, November 16, 2009

Good Morning

Even though my wife and are retired and don't have to follow a schedule, I like to arise every morning around 5am, and spend much of the next hour in contemplative activities such as reading philosophy or watching the dawn light up the sky just before the sun finally appears on the horizon, and enjoying the relative calm and quiet before the daily distractions of life in begin full force.

As it is for most people this is the time of the day when my mind is freest. Awareness, thoughts and emotion are most intense. So another kind of meditation that I often practice during these fleeting minutes is reflecting on such wonders of nature as the infinite vastness of the universe and the complexity of the web of life that has evolved on our humble planet which itself is less than a speck in the grandeur of the cosmos. And given the staggering odds against the likelihood of humankind's existing in the first place, does life have—can it have—any meaning? There is no evidence of a divine force who will furnish the answer for us. Personally, I agree with the humanistic psychoanalyst Erich Fromm who said that there is no meaning to life other than what we give it. But whether this is a viable conclusion is something that each of us must decide for him or herself.

I urge those of you who are not already doing so to set aside a few moments out of your day at whatever time is best for you, preferably in solitude and in as quiet an environment as you can find to explore your mind and see where your innermost thoughts take you. By doing so you may well gain a new and enriched perspective on the world around you that you never thought possible.


Alan said...


Well said. The Western form of laziness -- being busybusybusy -- is an affliction that drives our materialism and makes us miserable (this will go into my Thanksgiving post).

Most people won't follow your advice because they're terified of the quiet you (and I )have learned to appreciate.

Secular Guy said...

Thanks, Alan. I have to admit, though, that before I retired, I was too tense and shortsighted to do a daily "chill-out". I think that's how it is with most working people.