How to Find Purpose and Meaning in Life: A Meditation Practice Inspired by Shakespeare
Updated: Mar 5
Like most people I studied Shakespeare at school. The following soliloquy from Macbeth especially impressed me.
‘Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
I have revisited it many times. Both its eloquence and certainty imprinted it in my mind - Shakespeare relentlessly presses the point (lessness) of human existence.
It found a match in my mind that religion did not assuage.
The depressed person (wiser than others) recites a nutshell version of it inside his head like a mantra — ‘What’s the point?’
It seems to recite itself, nipping every potential antidote in the bud.
Shakespeare’s genius was to describe the human condition brilliantly, precisely, and sublimely. He was right. Human life, as it is lived currently is futile.
Now, however, there is Light - a beacon of hope!
A new chapter to the story of human life.
Human life is not true, but false
So there is nothing to gain, receive or have from it.
All songs and praises that glorify human life are false.
Live knowing what life is,
Where it comes from and returns to,
Before you grow old.
If you do not,
It is a life lived pessimistically
In time that flows by meaninglessly;
And what use is that?
Although human life is about living one’s life,
Cast off your life
And find your true self.
Only then is your life a true one,
And only in that place does Truth exist.
From the book, MIND by Woo Myung
Shakespeare’s ‘stage’ was the inanimate background to the posturings of the actors.
Now, however, it is possible to reveal, through cleansing our minds with this meditation, that the sky, stage, universe is an eternally living never changing existence. It is our origin and our true nature and is recoverable in this era.
Lacking real meaning or purpose, we continually invent, consciously and unconsciously, purpose in our lives, as a foil against futility, trading up as each purpose passes its useby.
We invest ourselves in finding fame, fortune, and love, building a nest (egg), and then filling that empty nest with something, anything, and fretting over the nest egg: constructing a career and planning for retirement to fill that void. Seeking adventure, travel, enlightenment, to escape from the inevitable, always looking outside of ourselves.
With the right meditation, the true purpose can be found within.
The Stage is the Sky and the Sky is the Stage
Regardless of what comes and goes on the stage,
The stage is always just there.
The people of the world are all actors,
But if they own the stage, they become the masters.
As masters, they will always be able to act on the stage
From the book "Heaven's Formula For Saving The World" by Woo Myung
The true purpose/destiny of human is to return to the origin while living, by trading one’s imaginings for Truth; swapping the second hand entity that lives in the shadow of memories for a life of Truth.
Helen. R. / Sydney NSW