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Q. Do you know of the old Zen Tale about how to gain wisdom and the metaphor of the Tea and the Teacup?
A. The tale is actually about how to create a meaningful life and what it means to be a human being. I always share with my students and clients is that meaning can be found in a creative idea, a thought, a passion, or an interest – “some specific content.” But what is often lacking is a place through which to express this “content.”
There is a classic metaphor concerning tea and a teacup. At times you may have tea (content), but no cup (form) to pour it in. In such a case finding a cup will have great meaning for you – in a way that it would not if there was no tea to pour into it. On the other hand, you may have a cup (form) but no tea (content) to pour into it. Now the cup, though aesthetically pleasing, is functionally useless. Yet that cup gains meaning if there is tea to pour into it. If there is no tea, the cup may not even be noticed. This is how it is with an idea, a thought, a passion, an interest, or some experience. Like tea, it will have a great meaning for you in a way that it might not if there was no empty form to be filled. Meaning comes from the merging of form and function.
So, in the end, you may give meaning to an idea or experience that you have created. Or you may accept an idea or concept that crosses your path simply because you have the form but nothing to put in it. This is often how we to turn an idea into physical reality. This very same concept can also be applied to religious faith, rituals, ceremonies, and many other ideas, and forms. We each have an idea about what is “spiritual” and we each need a form to pour it into. We create or choose rites, rituals, ceremonies, sacred texts and a building for a mosque, temple or church… and of course, we create the clergy to tell us how we should think, speak and behave.
I offer this metaphor not to magnify or diminish what has meaning for you. It is simply to emphasize that it is through meaning that we create hope and the possibility for joy and celebration in life and living. Some of us need these rigid physical forms to give our lives meaning.
So as you can see human beings are hard-wired to create meaning even where there may not be any. To live life without meaning is to live in despair.
The question is this – How committed are you to creating a meaningful life?
Are you looking for the key that will open the door to your next to get you to the next level?
Consider Personalized Coaching with me. Send me an email at LewisCoaches@gmailcom and schedule a free session.
On June 15, I will be offering my first public learning program in over ten years. This online course on Critical Thinking A-Z will give you the essential tools you will need to prosper in these chaotic times.
I am creating series of personal development courses drawn from from my 50 years of teaching
The first class of the 6 week course on Critical Thinking is available at a reduced rate of $197until July 1. The launch date of the course is June 15. After July 1, the tuition will increase to $977.
The course on Critical Thinking includes online classes, educational videos, and private coaching with Lewis
This is a perfect time to refocus on what is really important in your life.
- Learn the difference between what is rational and logical?
- Learn to separate fact from fiction (and fake news).
- Learn to recognize your hidden biases – the ones that get you in trouble.
- Expand you financial freedom through clearer thinking.