Monday, July 26, 2021

“Meaning Transfigures All”

Here's something I came across recently that I thought I'd share this evening.

After spending time with the San people (also known as Bushmen) of the Kalahari Desert, the late journalist, humanitarian, philosopher, and conservationist Laurens van der Post wrote the following.

The Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert talk about the two “hungers.” There is the Great Hunger and there is the Little Hunger. The Little Hunger wants food for the belly; but the Great Hunger, the greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning. . . . There is ultimately only one thing that makes human beings deeply and profoundly bitter, and that is to have thrust upon them a life without meaning.

There is nothing wrong in searching for happiness. But of far more comfort to the soul is something greater than happiness or unhappiness, and that is meaning. Because meaning transfigures all. Once what you are doing has for you meaning, it is irrelevant whether you're happy or unhappy. You are content – you are not alone, in your Spirit – you belong.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
In the Garden of Spirituality – Caroline Jones
In the Garden of Spirituality – Jeanette Blonigen Clancy
In the Garden of Spirituality – Marianne Williamson
In the Garden of Spirituality – David Richo
In the Garden of Spirituality – Beatrice Bruteau
In the Garden of Spirituality – Hazrat Inayat Khan
In the Garden of Spirituality – Ilia Delio
In the Garden of Spirituality – Parker Palmer
Thomas Moore on the Circling of Nature as the Best Way to Find Our Substance
Words of Wisdom on Indigenous Peoples Day
Prayer of the Week – November 14, 2012
“This Light Breeze That Love Me”
Soul Deep

Related Off-site Links:
Botswana Bushmen: Modern Life Is Destroying Us – Pumza Fihlani (BBC News, January 7, 2014).
Walking With Cheetahs: The Big Cats of the Kalahari Who Are Man's Best Friend – Jonathan Scott (Daily Mail, November 12, 2010).

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