43. What is the Meaning of Life?
The question is irrelevant and unanswerable and a waste of time. Also, the question is an ego trick. The premise of the question is that there is, in fact, some sort of meaning in life. Now we know, as Course students, that this life is meaningless and unreal. The truth is that you will live your “life.” That is not in question. Until such time as you are not, you will live your life.
The only relevant question really is, “How do I want to live my life?” “Well, what are my choices?” You can either live your life in peace and faith or you can live your life in anxiety and fear. Those are your choices. Jesus decided to live his life in peace and faith and even though he experienced a seemingly distressful end, he transcended this seeming existence and reclaimed his Self as spirit. He modeled to us that even in the face of extreme psychological and physical distress you can choose to think in a way that has you at peace and in faith.
So how do you live your life in peace and faith instead of anxiety and fear? Peace is an experience. Anxiety, and all other negative feelings, are an experience. What decides what you experience? What you experience is determined by perception or how you perceive things. In order to change your experience you must change your perception. To change your perception you have to change your beliefs and thinking. The way you experience “life” is determined by your perception, beliefs and thought system. It is absolutely possible to engage in the story of your life and be completely at peace no matter what happens. Although you seemingly do not have control over the elements of the story, you have total control over how you experience it. It is up to you whether you experience life as suffering.
“So how do I change my thinking?” The first step is to acknowledge that the way you are thinking now is not working. It is not producing an experience of peace. Remember that it is not the elements of your life that are causing anxiety, distress and suffering. There are plenty of people out there who have “everything” that are anxious, distressed and suffering. It is your perception of the elements of your life that cause your loss of peace. It is really that simple. Think the way you are thinking and continue to suffer. Change your thinking and change your experience.