I believe in meaning.
My life is full of moments, tiny moments that only happen once. Those moments may be interactions with other people or they may be moments of my creation, making choices, or they may be a little of both. I can hear someone elses story, I can create my own story, or we can share a bit of story.
What I do, what I learned to do very early, is to listen hard for telling moments. These are moments when meaning is revealed, when a nugget of truth surfaces, when a jewel is uncovered.
Those telling moments lead me to make connections, to expose the seam of truth running under the moments.
I have been told that I see these telling events very quickly, More than that, I integrate the tells into my understanding quickly, shaping my choices. I have learned to be in the moment, not dealing with canned expectations but responding to what is happening now.
A key part of this process is the willingness to accept that my current working assumption is wrong, doesn’t fit the moment and needs to be corrected. I have to be able to be open to the question, doubting my own understanding so that I can tune it as needed. After doing this for years, though, your own internal models of how things work end up getting pretty refined.
When I write, even when I write fiction, my themes come out. My choices expose my worldview, my concerns and my priorities.
It is said that every character we write reveals a different part of us, for how can we ever separate our self from our creations? I may have that Jonathan Winters talent of speaking in tongues, but I need to be able to invoke those voices from somewhere inside of myself even if they take positions that don’t reflect my own introspection.
I have learned to hold contradictory beliefs, able to hop from chair to chair to speak different parts that each make up part of a more whole view, knowing that unless I can understand multiple points of view I cannot understand the depth and fullness of the moment.
The notion that meaning is exposed in all of our choices, even in choices we believe we make to conceal or diminish meaning, choices we make to deceive others or deceive ourselves, is a tough one for many people. They deliberately do not want to be exposed, do not want to illuminate the dark corners of their nature.
If you want to engage your own healing, I can be very useful, but if you want to stay where you are, I can be very challenging and disquieting. It is not hard to tell that I collect telling moments which hold meaning and reveal patterns, seeing through the façade to depth. Being exposed can often make people want to squirm.
To me, hearing the voices is embracing the meaning that they hold, even when that meaning is not nice, politically correct or intended. Moments that reveal twist and contradictions are often even more telling than those which contain pretty truths, for they give us the insight to reshape understanding.
I have low levels of latent inhibition, leaving me open, vulnerable and tender. What I get in return for that is high levels of perception, having patterns and meaning exposed to me quickly. I am introspective to a fault, my gift and my curse.
Opening to meaning the way we get clear, effective and better. We cannot shape the process by making different choices unless we see the meaning in that magic moment between stimulus and response, the only moment where choice really exists. Breaking the habits means making new choices and making new choices means understanding when a new option is possible.
You cannot drive out darkness. You can only bring light. Catching that flash of light in the moment when it happens opens us to understanding how to expand that light, how to take 10 seconds of brilliance and extend it to 20 seconds, then to 40 seconds and so on.
For me, the telling moment, the moment when you stumble, when things change for an instant, is worth examining. In that moment, the bell rings and a koan is revealed, a question worth study and understanding. You may find twists or you may find clarity, but they both can open the path to better choices grounded in a deeper knowledge of meaning.
I believe in meaning. Even in the face of dysfunction and concealment, meaning is always there, ready to enlighten us if we are willing to stop and open to it. To be afraid of meaning is to be afraid of revelation, afraid of exposing truth and authenticity.
For me, the telling moments that expose meaning are the jewels in the world, offering us the only keys to unlock what we are seeking.
And that means that they are very meaningful.