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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.

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how teachers experience becoming who teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

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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