Acting (on) the sense of life

Introduction: In my office hangs a poster featuring Bruce Lee. Below his striking image, a quote reads: “Knowledge is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

This journey began twelve years ago, marked by a generous act from a friend who gifted me a book on Kabbalah. His understanding of my quest for spiritual depth and personal growth led him to believe I would cherish it.

Yet, this isn’t a post about Kabbalah. Rather, it focuses on the first seven words of the book’s seventh chapter: “The sense of life is unconditional giving

Upon reading this, I paused to reflect deeply for a day. It was an epiphany. Until that moment, all the definitions of life’s meaning I had encountered felt incomplete:

The sense of life is finding beauty and gratitude in the small moments.

The sense of life is rising each time we fall, again and again.

The sense of life is achieving inner peace and complete detachment from emotions.

Too Zen, too simplistic, too far from reality.

That was until I encountered the aforementioned quote.

I don’t know if it’s the real sense of life. But it’s the sense of life for me.

For Christians, it might be God’s love, manifested in the sacrifice of His only son for humanity’s sins. For non-Christians, it might resemble a mother’s love for her child or the selfless act of thousands who donate their kidneys to strangers in need. It’s a form of love that expects nothing in return, where one cannot question, “What’s in it for me?

Since that revelation, this principle has guided me like a North Star.

Needless to mention, living by this ethos is challenging. Discussions with friends often circle back to the idea that understanding life’s purpose is straightforward compared to embodying it.

So, here’s a meaningful quote—or at least one that has profoundly impacted me. After reading this post, there’s a chance you’ll feel how I felt after the Kabbalah book.

But now, the journey begins. Quoting Bruce Lee: “Knowledge is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

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