“There is no why. We are. Life is beyond reason.”
When a frustrated young woman asked the most brilliant man in the world why we’re alive, Einstein responded in five poignant lines. This question — at the heart of which is a concern with the meaning of life — has since been answered by many other great minds: For David Foster Wallace, it was about going through life fully conscious; for Carl Sagan, about our significant insignificance in the cosmos; for Annie Dillard, about learning to live with impermanence; for Richard Feynman, about finding the open channel; for Anaïs Nin, about living and relating to others “as if they might not be there tomorrow”; for Henry Miller, about the mesmerism of the unknown; and for Leo Tolstoy, about finding knowledge to guide our lives.
But one of the most profound answers comes from legendary Star Wars directorGeorge Lucas. In The Meaning of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are Here (public library) — that remarkable 1991 anthology that gave ustimeless meditations on existence from a number of luminaries — Lucas uses an autobiographical anecdote as the springboard for a larger meditation on the meaning of life and our best chance for reaching its fullest potential:(Brain Pickings)
Meaning of Life? “My best guess is that we share a collective spirit or life force or consciousness that encompasses and goes beyond individual life forms. There’s a part of us that connects to other humans, connects to other animals, connects to plants, connects to the planet, connects to the universe. I don’t think we can understand it through any kind of verbal, written or intellectual means. But I do believe that we all know this, even if it is on a level beyond our normal conscious thoughts -George Lucas