“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” ~ Norman Cousins
“It is impossible to define the meaning of life in a general way. Questions about the meaning of life can never be answered by sweeping statements. ‘Life’ does not mean something vague, but something very real and concrete, just as life’s tasks are also very real and concrete. They form man’s destiny, which is different and unique for each individual. No man and no destiny can be compared with any other man or any other destiny. No situation repeats itself, and each situation calls for a different response. Sometimes the situation in which a man finds himself may require him to shape his own fate by action. At other times it is more advantageous for him to make use of an opportunity for contemplation and to realize assets in this way. Sometimes man may be required simply to accept fate, to bear his cross. Every situation is distinguished by its uniqueness, and there is always only one right answer to the problem posed by the situation at hand.” ~ Viktor Frankl, Brain Pickings
“This uniqueness and singleness which distinguishes each individual and gives a meaning to his existence has a bearing on creative work as much as it does on human love… A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the ‘why’ for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any ‘how.'” ~ Viktor Frankl, Brain Pickings
“Focus not on what he or she does, but on keeping to your higher purpose. Your own purpose should seek harmony with nature itself. For this is the true road to freedom.” ~ Epictetus, The Art of Living
“When you put so much of yourself and your time into something, it’s hard to separate it from who you are.” ~ Julia Rothman, Brain Pickings
The Book of Understanding was the first book I read by Osho. I was sitting on an airplane several thousand feet above ground with no internet connection when I first opened the cover. It was unusual for me because I don’t normally read in any kind of moving environment (I get pretty intense motion sickness) and because I normally take notes online as I read.
Feeling peculiarly drawn to this book (and despite being in a moving aircraft), I figured I would use my phone’s notepad app to take notes and would start the book anyway. It worked out great. That is, until I got to page 2.
“Each of us feels some aspect of the world’s suffering acutely. And we must pay attention. We must act. This little corner of the world is ours to transform. This little corner of the world is ours to save.” ~ Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life
“When we’re always thinking about me, myself and I, we become quickly dissatisfied. Maybe it’s too much time spent with unproductive thoughts or a lack of connectedness, but this self-absorption can quickly bring us down. The surest way to stop thinking about yourself is to start thinking about someone else. When you do something for someone else—out of love, compassion or connectedness—not obligation, you might find you’ve forgotten your troubles, and life actually feels fuller, more meaningful.” ~ Meghan Camp, Tiny Buddha
“Man creates what he is, man creates himself. The meaning has to be created. You have to sing your meaning, you have to dance your meaning, you have to paint your meaning, you have to live it. Through living, it will arise; through dancing, it will start penetrating your being. Through singing, it will come to you. It is not like a rock just lying there to be found, it has to bloom in your being.” ~ Osho, The Book of Understanding
“People wonder why there seems to be no meaning in life. Meaning does not exist a priori. There is no meaning existing in life; one has to create it. Only if you create it will you discover it. It has to be invented first. It is not lying there like a rock, it has to be created like a song. It is not a thing, it is significance that you bring through your consciousness.” ~ Osho, The Book of Understanding