Tag Archives: what is the meaning of life

Wisdom From the Journey of Discovery

alex atkins bookshelf quotations[The] best of truths is of no use — as history has shown a thousand times — unless it has become the individual’s most personal inner experience. Every equivocal, so-called “clear” answer mostly remains in the head and only finds its way down to the heart in the very rarest cases. Our need is not to “know” the truth, but to experience it. The great problem is not to have an intellectual view of things, but to find the way to the inner, perhaps inexpressible, irrational experience… It is the duty of everyone who takes a solitary path to share with society what he finds on the journey of discovery.

Swiss psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961) who founded analytical psychology. One of the main principles of analytical psychology is individuation — the lifelong process of self-realization (specifically, the discovery and experience of one’s meaning and purpose in life), that results from the distillation of the personal and collective unconscious (the unconscious experienced by every human being). Many of the concepts of analytical psychology extend well beyond the field of psychology to other fields: anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, and theology.

What I Have Learned: Alan Arkin

atkins bookshelf quotationsOne of Esquire magazine’s most popular column is titled “What I’ve Learned” where people celebrated in their fields — from politics, literature, movies, music, sports, etc. — sit down with a staff writer and share their pearls of wisdom mined from the sea of their life experience. Academy Award winning actor, director and writer Alan Arkin (born 1934) shares what he has learned in life:

What I’ve learned about teaching is to refer back to the root of the word, which is deuce, which means “to pull from.” Education does not mean jamming information into somebody’s head. Rather, it’s that ancient idea that all knowledge is within us; to teach us is to help somebody pull it out of themselves.

If you’re looking outside yourself for substantiation of your own happiness, you’re going to fail.

Marriage requires searing honesty at all costs. I learned that from my third wife.

Children learn from what you are rather than what you tell them. What you try to jam into their heads isn’t going to be worth beans if the way you’re living your life doesn’t look like that.

I read somewhere that some people believe that the entire universe is a matrix of living thought. And I saw, “Man, if that’s not a definition of God, I don’t know what is.

Truth is always unfolding. It’s not an absolute.

I recite the Robert Browning poem to myself all the time. You know the quote? “Grow old along with me!  /  The best is yet to be,   /  The last of life, for which the first was made.” I’m praying it’s going to be true.





Read related posts: Wisdom of a Grandmother
Wisdom of Tom Shadyac
Wisdom of Morrie Schwartz
The Wisdom of Centenarians

Where to Find the Meaning of Life

atkins-bookshelf-quotationsSo many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

From the touching memoir, Tuesdays with Morrie (1997), by Mitch Albom.  Morrie Schwartz, a sociology professor at Brandeis University who was dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease, graciously shared his wisdom with Albom, a former student, in a number of fascinating, profound conversations that were held each Tuesday.

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