The World of Meaning
~ The Circumstantial Revelations of the Soul ~
To live a meaningful life is to participate in the consciousness of the soul. When the soul is inwardly touched, a sense of purpose is slowly realized, and meaningful living then emerges in life. Meaning is therefore a state of consciousness. It represents an evolution away from perceiving outer events at face value. Instead, events are understood as symbols that reveal hidden significance. When a person begins to experience this, it indicates that s/he has stepped into the World of Meaning: the state of consciousness through which the soul’s wisdom is revealed.
Every human being will one day enter into the World of Meaning, either in this life or another. It is an inevitable step on the long journey of spiritual evolution leading to eventual enlightenment. However, to see this requires that we refine our understanding of evolution. Contrary to Darwinian theory, evolution is not based upon the changes occurring in the physical form of a species. Instead, it is rooted in the changes occurring in consciousness. In other words, the physical changes that occur over time are not the cause of evolution, but are instead its effect. Consciousness evolves, and form simply reflects this. And, at a certain point in the evolution of consciousness, the World of Meaning becomes part of one’s awareness.
The World of Meaning reveals the pattern of truth underlying outer circumstance. When the mind is engaged in it, various life events are no longer viewed as random. Things that may have seemed arbitrary in the past are recognized as having underlying organization. As such, a person is able to intuit a deeper meaning beyond the outer appearance of things. Something significant is revealed. In this context, the word “revealed” is important, for the World of Meaning is always a state of consciousness that is revelatory. It sheds light into the darkness of uncertainty and confusion.
When a person begins to seek explanation to the circumstances of his/her life, it indicates that the World of Meaning is being touched. However, the insights gained are often misinterpreted, at least initially. This misinterpretation will usually manifest in one of two ways. In the first instance, s/he will tend to project cause or fault onto the outer world. Distrust toward circumstance then emerges. When severe, conspiracy thinking can even take hold. In such cases, the source of one’s life predicament is believed to be the duplicitous motives of others. The second misconception is one of naiveté. In this case, the search for hidden meaning is strong, but the discriminative faculty of the mind is feeble, thus distorted perception easily takes root. Without clear mental discrimination, such a person will tend to seek hidden meaning in every event in life.
In time (often in a subsequent incarnation), these two tendencies are corrected. The individual who projects fault will begin to realize that, although there are people in the world of duplicitous motive, the real enemy is within oneself. From this acceptance, an honest ability to introspect develops. S/he then begins to understand that the meaning revealed within life circumstance is impulsed from within, not from without. And, to the individual who believes that every event (whether major or minor) holds important meaning, a tempered understanding will slowly be developed. This person will learn that there are times when the soul reveals something “profoundly meaningful” through a given circumstance, while at other times it rests in latency.
It may be asked, how does one know if the World of Meaning is actually being experienced? Admittedly, it is different from one person to the next. The spiritual constitution of each human being is quite unique. This, coupled with differing karmic backgrounds, causes “meaningful realization” to be widely diverse among people. Even so, there are certain fundamental features of perception that are common to all experiences coming forth from the World of Meaning, and therefore from the soul.
1. Meaning brings understanding to what was previously incomprehensible. The soul holds the wisdom acquired from countless incarnations. When conveyed, this wisdom provides a type of understanding that the lower self (personality) does not possess. Though accurate memory of our past incarnations is questionable, the “patterns” of truth learned in previous lives is what the soul radiates into the mind. These patterns then form the foundation of spiritual insight and meaningful thought.
2. Meaningfulness tends toward simplification and away from complexity. When an individual senses something spiritually meaningful, it indicates that his/her perceptions have grasped upon a broad principle of truth. This principle then gives explanation and clarity to something that seemed complex and confounding. Broad principles (realized by the abstract mind) are simple, as compared to the usual thoughts of the logical, concrete mind.
3. The World of Meaning always adds context to one’s perceptions. By this is meant that meaningful insight comes when we learn to perceive, not just an event, but also the context to which that event is a part. At first, this is done solely with reference to one’s personal life. For example, an individual seeks deeper meaning of an event (let us say – a career happening) in relation to the wholeness of his/her life. In this case, the wholeness of life (including family, interests, beliefs, etc.) is used as a context for gaining insight into the particular event in question. Later, as consciousness further evolves, the perception of context enlarges beyond the self. This type of expanded context could be related to a variety of things, such as some particular social issue, political ideology, or a collective belief cherished by group of people. Still wider, a person’s context of consideration could encompass humanity as a whole. The important principle to understand is that the big picture always deepens our understanding of the little picture. In short, context gives meaning to content.
4. Spiritually considered, the realization of meaning is both a centralizing and decentralizing experience. The insights gained should give a person a deeper realization of his/her soul and its nature. In this sense, it is a centralizing experience, for it facilitates greater Self-realization. However, it is simultaneously decentralizing. This is because it causes a person to subtly realize that s/he is merely a cell within a larger life expression, namely humanity as a whole. From the esoteric perspective, humanity is considered one living entity composed of billions of cells, each of which is a human being. And, it is via the World of Meaning that the first glimmering of this is realized within the mind.
From the spiritual perspective, the things that are meaningful in life give added understanding to life. As consciousness expands, our understanding of life and existence increase proportionately. Indeed, the meaningfulness of life deepens at every step upon the evolutionary path. We therefore must examine the events of our lives with an eye to the subtle. We must look more deeply at life events with an understanding that the soul often speaks through circumstance. How this is done is a science unto itself. First and foremost, it requires that one learn to suspend judgment. To recognize a circumstantial message requires added time so that it can be properly sensed within the mind. Premature judgments prevent this from happening. Secondly, sensing the hidden meaning within a situation requires that part of the mind be held in quiet wholeness. Meaning does not emerge through sequential reasoning. Instead, it comes through our ability to hold all the variables (in a given circumstance) within a unitive field of awareness. In short, it is a technique that requires perceiving life in two ways simultaneously. That is, to be alert to the interaction of variables within a given circumstance, while at the same time seeing it as a profound singularity.
Participation in the World of Meaning is an evolving process. Indeed, it takes several incarnations to fully live in such a state. It is a realm of consciousness used by the soul to convey its purpose, and it shapes the underlying patterns of human perception. By so doing, deeper significance is recognized within outer events. When the World of Meaning is entered, a veil is lifted from one’s eyes, and revelation is then conferred. Transcendent truth is thus discovered, meaningful and profound.
© 2003 William Meader
Biographical Information: William Meader is an author, teacher and counselor. Much of his work is focused on the subjects of Spiritual Creativity, the Evolution of Consciousness and the Art of Meditation. At present he is teaching in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He resides in Oregon, and can be contacted through his website at meader.org.