Reflection #9 – Kindness Blessings

“An Unknowable Purpose to Life”

“Is it possible that there may be an unknowable purpose to life itself?”

Rachel concluded the chapter she called “The Emperor’s New Clothes” with the above question. It’s one that really caused me to pause and think. Reflection #9I found I really like it. In considering why, I decided I like it because it allows me to create my own “answers” to the reason I’m alive and then live my life accordingly.

In other words, if there is an unknowable purpose to life itself, then we all get to create one. And knowing we are creating one, we can change it when we want. Additionally, it helps me to accept others and how they choose to live their lives. Any leanings toward fundamentalism I have melt away (and by fundamentalism I mean the concept that someone possesses knowledge of the “right” way to live). It’s very liberating for me.

Part of the “reality” I create for myself is the belief in a benevolent universe providing me opportunities to grow and develop. As such, I look for and find direction in the smallest of things. Perhaps others, maybe even some of you, will think I’m a little nutty. But it works for me, as does accepting anyone else’s “reality” that I’m a nut.

Before going I ask you to consider this question and to have fun with the answer. Did anything in this week resonate with you? If so, what? Use it to create a direction for you to follow, even a short one.

Think outside the box.

Link to Book: “My Grandfather’s Blessings”


  1. Reposting my response in the previous post as it applies here.
    Most profound: the final story in this section about the purpose that lies within death: Celebration. ” Dying may be a time of intense learning, as painful and as transforming as labor, and in the end we may give birth to ourselves. If something does endure and go on when we die it is our accumulated wisdom, which marks the place on the trajectory of our lifetimes where we will begin again.” Brings me such profound peace. My father, Korean Purple Heart war veteran, suffered what we now would call PTSD and TBI as a result of a bombing in Korea. This had a major impact on all of us for the entirety of our family time together. The final week of his struggle with cancer he settled into the best side of himself: the funny guy who loved his family and was full of wisdom born primarily of the streets (though he was a genius intellectually as well.) It was the most peaceful time many of us had ever experienced, sitting with him in hospice.
    This morning, I thought: what if, at death, the trajectory marked a place for him to return free of the PTSD and TBI? How joyful and beautiful it would be, That led to a realization that a process I created which manifested itself into extreme OCD behavior was not me being insane, but rather me disassociating from fear and replacing the fear of home with a fear of something that does not even exist in order to be able to deal with being in a household that was at all times very dangerous. That I wasn’t crazy as a child, but rather very smart. Forgiveness born of understanding leads to release from fear. What a glorious day!
    Will add: what a great way of stating the creation of purpose for life, Andy. And to find the purpose while allowing others to find theirs. If you’re a nut, you’re a really good one 🙂

    1. I was moved by Remen’s chapter Beyond the American Way where she touches on concepts similar to your conclusion, Carrie. Specificially, “It is important to revisit wounds to see what new meanings may have grown there. If we become frozen in anger or pain, it may be many years before we recognize what these are.” Exposure to these classes over the last few years has helped me to address a lot of my anger and pain from my childhood. I am a happier person now that I have reconciled my issues with both my parents, who passed away within the last five years.

  2. I am behind the curve, just catching up on some previous posts. Thank you, both for sharing and opening your lives to us. I have not shared as much during this session, but the process of rereading Remen’s book and at times sharing it with others has been wonderful. Thanks for sharing your insights and your stories, Carrie and Linda! xo, Brooke

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