By Annie Frank
This is my first time writing an article for anything read by a real community, so I hope you like it… and I promise that’s my real name.
Ever since I was a very young tadpole, I’ve wondered about things: things like “Why is this all happening?” and “What happens to us when we die?” and “What makes people so ridiculous?” I mostly blame – er, thank – my father for these thoughts instilled in my young mind. He suffers from severe spinal injury and cannot work, go outside the home, or have a positive attitude about many things. Without any adult interaction (besides my mother who spends much of her time working and sleeping), he has always treated myself and my older brother as if we were adults. He discussed things with us that no other child would, or (arguably) should ever have to, think about, things regarding the true nature of the world and all of its evils (you know, money, greed, politicians, that sort of thing) and his frustrations regarding them. Now, as you might expect, this did take a pretty serious toll on my green and delicate mind: I suffered from terrible depression, paranoia, anxiety, and general stress during most of my childhood years. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed spending time with other children, reading books, drawing pictures and writing stories, good childhood stuff, but as I entered my pre-teen years, well, I was pretty messed up.
This is not a sad story, however, as my dad’s influence has proven to be the best gift God has given me since life itself. You see, I was being introduced to some pretty mature concepts that expanded my thinking beyond recess and who I sat with at lunch, and into the realms of mysterious and philosophical questioning, my young, innocent “the-world-can’t-really-be-that-bad” mind searching for explanations for the complex and gloomy realities my dad told me of.
This led me to these questions: Why is it all happening? What is it all for? What does it mean? I was driven to the nearly maddening thought of today’s human “civilization…” sending our children through schools that they hate, only so they may join the nation as one of millions of ants working, perpetuating the machine, building buildings and skyscrapers and retail stores, fighting wars, watching television and having babies and dying and it all going on forever and ever without anything really happening… and just why? What is it all for… what is the goal?
Of course, in response to this, my dad simply said, “You’re asking the meaning of life. You could go crazy thinking about that.”
This took me slightly aback. So that’s it, I thought. What is the meaning of life?
I couldn’t have been older than eleven.
Now that I had a concrete question to ask instead of myriad loose ends in my head, something remarkable happened. The answer came. I didn’t think it at all remarkable at the time – it just made sense to me, I just figured it out. I asked the question, and my mind came up with the most obvious answer.
There is a reason we humans have such affinity towards tales, stories in books, legends with cute morals and lessons. Life itself IS a story, and each of us is the protagonist. We grow, we change, we face challenges and overcome them, we learn, we become better people; we suffer, we cry, we laugh, we feel, we love. Put simply, we experience, and that is the point.
The meaning of life is to live it.
It didn’t stop there. Why? my young mind wondered. My mind immediately responded. We must learn all of the lessons life on Earth has to teach us, and then we will graduate to places bigger and brighter. We must learn to overcome nasty human habits and tendencies, escape our temptations that we so easily succumb to: greed, anger, violence, laziness, addiction, selfishness, pessimism, doubt, fear… and learn to embrace nice things like joy, friendship, love, unity, utmost appreciation for life and all the beauty in it… concepts and lifestyles more… Heavenly.
That was it. Heaven. With every learning experience on Earth, evils are to be wrung out of us until we have learned all we need to graduate into Heaven. This process may even take lifetimes on Earth to complete. How can there be a Heaven, an alleged perfect world of united souls existing together in perfect love and harmony (and also full of wonders, beauties, and mysteries so great our feeble human minds would break at the thought of them), if its inhabitants have not first learned how such an existence may be sustained?
It was so easy. I have never once doubted my philosophy; I have complete faith in it, simply because my own mind came up with it and it makes perfect sense to me. I did not consider it at the time, but the source of those obvious yet elusive answers was what many call intuition. I pondered, and in an instant, I thought of the answer, without anyone having given me such ideas. As it is commonly said, there is something magical about our intuition. It is the voice of our enigmatic subconscious mind, our connection to the deeper, higher, greater existence.
Here is where it gets really magnificent. If our subconscious mind is made of wisdom, abilities, and who-knows-what like so many believe, wouldn’t it make sense for it to be a connection to that Heaven, that loving, perfect world of all-knowing souls? Could it be that this mysterious conglomerate Heaven of souls is, with all its grand secrets, what so many refer to as God? It is so often preached that “God is inside all of us,” and “We were created in God’s image,” so what if this subconscious mind of ours, the source of all my answers, is a fragment, lodged inside the very core of our Earth-bodies, of the divine world of unified soul and love, the force that created us, and the place where we shall all end up?
When you have a question, just ask, meditate. By clearing your head of “chatter,” the loud voices that are not the subconscious’s voice of intuition, your mind will become quiet enough for that “still, small voice within” to be heard. If you have a hard time or do not know how to meditate, you have virtually limitless resources for help on the Internet, at the library, and at spiritual growth and awareness shops such as Earthsong in Janesville, Peaceful Heart in Oregon, and Mimosa in Madison.
Another path to connecting to your subconscious, your inner-God, is living a more Godly lifestyle, embracing aspects of and relevant to God, Heaven, the “Soul Conglomerate.” Love yourself: do yoga, eat healthy, go outside, indulge in wholesome, innocent-hearted Earthly pleasures that do not harm yourself or others. Avoid thinking negatively in any way; creating your own joys in your life is a good way to keep negativity at bay. Surround yourself with good smells, decadent foods, and comfy clothes… not to mention people you love. Love others: donate, volunteer, knit socks and blankets and sweaters for the homeless, do Meals On Wheels, build a sculpture out of sticks at a city park, be nice, paint a mural in an unsuspecting place, write something beautiful for the Conscious Community newsletter. Have confidence in yourself – after all, you’ve got God INSIDE you! If you have issues with confidence, start small. Bake cookies for someone as a surprise. If you don’t bake, write a little song, doodle up a picture, give a hug or a helping hand, anything you can think of that will yield a happy result and you can say “I did that!” about.
Just do what your intuition tells you!
I am only seventeen years old and have dedicated my life to these philosophies. I am no longer a slave to depression and paranoia, to the evils and worries of Earth. I face them with courage, strength, logic, open-mindedness, confidence, faith, and the knowledge that with every fight I will learn and grow stronger and better as a person, evils being wrung from my soul and Heavenly aspects being planted in their place. I work to maintain and strengthen my connection to my subconscious. I do what God tells me. She told me to write this article for you, and I have, with hopes that connection to Her, Him, It, God, Heaven, the Soul-Conglomerate, your own subconscious and its voice: your very own intuition, will bring about the ineffable change, personal power, satisfaction, joy… none of these words are good enough… let’s say Godliness, to your life as it has to mine.