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The Meaning of Existence

I think this was a theme for the past week. What is existence? It is just being in the world and experiencing it in the most direct and pre-reflective way possible.

Les Murray writes about the impact that language has on how humans experience the world. Existentially, there is a difference between saying how we experience and saying how to experience. The former is just being and the latter is like a how-to manual.

When I just am, that is often the most rewarding moments I experience without realizing it and there is no way to intentionally recapture the moment. To just be is its own reward. When I try to express the feeling in words, it is indescribable. I use metaphoric, mythic, and poetic language to point at it, but always I fall short.

Everything except language
knows the meaning of existence.
Trees, planets, rivers, time
know nothing else. They express it
moment by moment as the universe.

 Even this fool of a body
lives it in part, and would
have full dignity within it
but for the ignorant freedom
of my talking mind.

About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

24 responses »

  1. Love this one, Ivon! 🙂

    Reply
  2. You’ve given me a lot to think about here. I like this a lot. Thanks for inspiring some meaningful thoughts.

    Reply
  3. Pondering thoughts especially this thought how we experience and saying how to experience. I was inspired.

    Reply
  4. So beautiful and so true, Ivon. “Just to be is its own reward” – yes it is.

    Reply
  5. You haven’t fallen short here. Very nice.

    Reply
  6. Languages may help you give meaning of existence but it has never known any languages. It needs silence anyway. 🙂

    Reply
  7. thank you
    ~
    I needed that
    today

    Reply
  8. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    YOUR TALKING MIND…IS JUST FINE. BUT EVEN THOUGH NOT “EXISTING”, PER SE. LANGUAAGE DOES GROW AND CHANGE AND REPRODUCE!

    Reply
  9. I would neverf classify you as a fool—me, yes–you, never!

    Reply

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