Where Do You Get Your Meaning?

Most people are built to get most of their meaning in life from their family, and they don’t need additional sources of meaning beyond that.

For a minority of people, however, we get most of our meaning in life from our abstract interests and spending time around people not interested in these is excruciating.

Most Orthodox Jews I know, for example, happily spend hours talking about food and drink. I find this excruciating.

I often wake up at 2 a.m. and write for hours. There aren’t many people I’d like to talk to during this time. I want to be alone with my keyboard.

There was a time when the ultimate truth of Judaism was issue number one for me (between 1989 and 1993). As my life improved during 1993, I found I had less need to be right about matters of religious faith.

The happier I am, the less need I have to be right. The happier I am, the more at ease I am with who I am and with who other people are.

I like doing battle online over what is true and right but I don’t like that combat in my personal life.
I love the teaching in Alexander Technique that all opinions are just unnecessary muscular tension.

There’s also a teaching in 12 step that’s influenced me — that we’ve given up fighting anyone or any thing.

I can’t claim to be a major exponent of anything. I’m intellectually promiscuous, falling in love with comely new ideas on a regular basis while ultimately staying loyal to none (my various practices, however, including Judaism, don’t change much).  

I notice that many non-Jews are irritated when I talk about Judaism, so I don’t do it. I notice that some religious Jews are irritated when I talk about hero systems, so I don’t do it. I want the best possible relations with everyone in my life.

In the end, I live in a post-modern world. There’s no one narrative that adequately explains reality.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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