In Pink’s final chapter of A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, his thoughts culminate with a discussion of meaning.
Meaning is something that I’ve wrestled with a lot, and it seems that I’m not alone. In the progression into the Conceptual Age, it seems that it’s a question that many are contemplating.
We find ourselves in the position where the vast majority of people no longer struggle for the material substance upon which to live; there is relative abundance around the world… much moreso than it has ever been before. This is not to say that suffering does not still exist, for surely it does. All you have to do is to watch the evening news on any given day to find evidence that this is true.
It is also true, however, that our world… and our evolution… have brought us to a point in our collective life-experience where we are more and more interested in not only understanding “meaning” for ourselves, but also to live out “meaningful lives.”
Clearly, this is true in my own experience. In my own choices around career and professional pursuit, I have left “materialism” behind in favour of meaning and contribution. Doing work which is for me “heart work” has always been of paramount importance.
Christian ministry was one of those “heart work” or “meaning” pursuits. Was it any wonder, then, when I came to terms with my own sexual orientation and “came out”… and as a result seemingly lost my place in my world of faith because of my “lifestyle choice” that I crashed into what would be years of clinical depression? I had lost meaning. In declaring who I was, never did I reject God or my faith or what I believed. My community, however, rejected me. It was somehow impossible to reconcile for me in those days.
I struggled through for a few years, and life was more like a roller coaster than a walk in the park. Finally, I reached out in a desperate attempt to find help before I was unable to ever reach out again, and friends… and I believe heaven… connected me with Lynn Sumida. In her words, I was truly in a place in which I felt hopeless, helpless and powerless. And, I might add… meaningless. I had lost all sense of myself, and where I fit into the larger scheme of things. Sure, I was “out” and no longer hiding the person I was… but I had lost all sense of there being meaning in my life.
My experience of Prime Potential not only helped me to release and clear away the fear and trauma that had taken up residence in my life, it also restored me to the path where I could once again find meaning… a purpose for being… a purpose for living.
My own experiences, coupled with training as a Certified Prime Potential Facilitator formed the foundation from which I felt I was able to being to contribute again. Helping people to find their own experience of Authentic Identity, and to find meaning for their own lives.
And it continues even to this very day. The unfoldment of meaning carries on as I once again begin using words like “calling” and “anointing” in respect to my own life.
Daniel Pink gives voice to the hunger for meaning which appears to be growing around the world. As we continue to evolve and grow into the next phase of our collective evolutionary experience the need for our lives to have purpose and meaning will become much more central to our consciousness, and our decision making process. It’s no longer so much about accumulating “stuff” as it is developing a sense of who we are and what we’re here to do.
Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where do I go when I leave?
These are the questions that I believe we’ve been asking since we first started asking questions. They are the questions from which all the great world spiritual traditions have sprung. It’s somehow wired into our brains to understand… and the research suggests that it’s our right brains that are the central processing unit for more deeply understanding not only the questions, but also for experiencing the answers which we’re discovering.
So… why the picture of the labyrinth? Pink suggests that life if much more like a labyrinth than a maze (pg 230)…
We live in such a left brain world… and here’s this whole other world that we must integrate in order to meet the challenges of the next century… when people walk into a labyrinth, they “shift consciousness from the linear to the non-linear” and bring to the surface “the deep, intuitive, pattern part of ourselves.” That experience is different from the experience of being in a maze… it takes you into an entirely different part of your being than the problem-solving I-hope-I-make-it feeling. Even the shape of the typical labyrinth is significant. The circle is an archetype for wholeness of unity. So when people walk into the labyrinth, they begin to see their whole life.
That’s the cry of my heart… a “whole” life. I am a gay man. I am a father to two wonderful (now) young women. I am a deeply spiritual person; I believe in God—maybe not in the same way that I once did, but I prefer to think of it as being a way which is broader and deeper and more spacious than ever before. I desire to serve… to contribute… to find the place which I was born to be.
Life truly is a journey… to the centre… to the heart. Walk a while with me?