Say goodbye to “meaning crisis”, my 100 thoughts

Say goodbye to "meaning crisis", my 100 thoughts

The beginning of the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair” tells a story: the author and his friends traveled on motorcycles in the United States. They cycled through the streets during the rush hour, and office workers walked towards them. The friend said melancholy: “How do these people look like walking dead?”

This shocked the author. Why do most people who go to work every day live like walking dead? When I go to work every day, I think about checking in at the company as soon as possible, and don’t deduct wages when I’m late; after eight hours of get off work, when I go home, I think about when I can make enough money to enjoy my retirement. The work and life we ​​do have become two separate parts.

As if we are all walking dead together, in order to accomplish one goal after another, we never pay attention to the meaning of current life. Why should we move forward? Where do you come from and where do you want to go? Where is your heart?

This is a universal problem facing the world-a crisis of meaning. People can’t find their goals, can’t find the meaning of life, and become insensitive. People are here, but their spirits have long been lost.

What is the meaning of our work? Where does happiness come from? From the following story, we may get some inspiration.

There is a story in “When the Stars Are Shining” about the great composer Handel. Handel said this when evaluating his work “The Messiah”. He said: I was a patient myself, and I was cured by this work. I was also in prison. This work rescued me. .

Everyone will find this sentence very strange. Handel wrote “The Messiah”, but he said, “The Messiah” saved him and redeemed him. Handel never thought he was the author of this work. He was full of respect for this work. For the rest of his life, even when the economy was almost bankrupt, when he played this work, he had to donate all his income.

It can be said that “Messiah” enabled Handel to overcome the “crisis of meaning”.

So, why does the creation of a work have such a huge effect on people? Why is the meaning of life closely related to a work? Can an ordinary person find the meaning and mission of life through a work?

When studying the “World of Ideas” course, based on the nine classes taught by Professor Li Shanyou, 100 of the thoughts that touched me the most were picked up and compiled into study notes for your reference.


1. The so-called growth is not to pursue something, but to remove the stuck points that restrict growth, and growth will happen naturally.

2. Consciousness is self-sufficient, but thinking confines the free flow of consciousness.

3. Inspiration is called inspiration in English. If we look at its root, In spirit, it means being in consciousness, or the intellectual way in spirituality is inspiration.

4. We usually think that the word inspiration is an accidental state of inspiration , but I think on the contrary, inspiration is a normal state, a normal state that each of us possesses.

5. Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama said that when she painted, her mind was blank. She did not think at all, did not make any drafts, did not make any plans, and then the whole inspiration would emerge, and her hands captured the inspiration directly. , Draw it down.

6. Inspiration flow is not the exclusive ability of a certain field, nor is it unique to genius. In many fields, we can see the intelligent way of inspiration flow.

7. Usually we think that thinking brings us everything, but I think it may be our thinking that blocks the free flow of inspiration.

9. The author of the book “Submission Experiment” said that for him, writing code is as natural as talking to other people. He never needs to think about what to say or how to say. His thoughts flow naturally to the computer like flowing water. .

10. Hayao Miyazaki never writes drafts when he is creating. There is no blueprint for making movies. He just hand-painted page by page. Every time his movie starts, the ending of the movie is not even known to him. Miyazaki said that he never creates according to any rules, just let the film be created freely by him.


11. Inspiration is self-sufficient and inborn, but it must be rigorously trained before it can flow out.

12. The more you are aware of the moments when your inspiration is flowing, the more you can deepen this ability.

13. Instead of pursuing something you don’t have, but removing a certain kind of concealment, perceptual wisdom will come out naturally. I call this state of de-concealment model.

14. What will happen to the world because of me? Without me, what would the world lose?

15. The so-called philosophy starts from the questioning of so-called self-evident questions.

16. Our past memories, the knowledge we possess, and even our way of thinking are all traps that trap us in a small known world and prevent us from exploring the larger, unknown world. Ran the world.

17. If you are always in a dream, you will never know that you are dreaming.

18. Human senses and thinking are like a knife. When we observe the world, we will also cut the world apart. There was originally only one world, but it was divided into two by thinking and senses.

19. Languages ​​are very barren, and what we call the world is the world of languages, which has shrunk one step further.

20. To know yourself is to become yourself, and only by becoming yourself can you know yourself.


21. Human beings, on a train that is driving faster and faster, are constantly chasing for better seats, but no one knows where this train is coming from and where it is going, because you cannot see that train.

22. The cutting knife cannot cut itself, the seeing eye cannot see itself, and the subject behind the perception cannot perceive itself.

23. What is inspiration? It is not a special talent that some genius artists can only have by chance, but a way of wisdom that everyone has.

24. The sky has been there, and when the dark clouds disperse, the sky naturally appears. In the same way, perceptual wisdom is self-sufficient. When our dualistic thinking is opened, perceptual wisdom will naturally come out.

25.  The secret of transcending thought is not to transcend from the thought itself, but to transcend from the structure.

26. You wear a watch every day, or look at the time in your phone. You can’t live without time, but you never reflect on the question of what time is.

27. Time does not exist, the past and the future do not exist, the only thing that really exists is the present. The only existence you can grasp is this matter here and now.

28. The present is the only real existence that can be grasped, and almost everyone of us regards a certain goal in the future as one of life, and regards the present as a stepping stone to achieve this goal, do you admit it? This is the biggest paradox in life, and I think it is the source of pain.

29. If a person lives only for future goals, such a person is superficial, and a person without goals may climb to the highest point.

30. Gautama said in the “Diamond Sutra” that the heart is not available in the past, the heart is not available now, and the heart is not available in the future. As long as you put your heart above time, you will never find a place to stay.


31. How to escape from the chain of time is of great practical and philosophical significance for us.

32.  The crack of time is called the present, and the present is the only narrow door to escape from the “prison of time”.

33. In fact, the most important relationship in each of our lives is the relationship with the present. There is no one, and the present is the only thing we can have. The moment is also the only entry point that can help us escape from time.

34. Being in the present is like breaking through a hard shell. It is that you have really entered that state, as if the world has disappeared, and only you are enjoying what you do, as if time has disappeared, concentration and immersion, full of joy, Heart flow is full.

35. Presence is a state of real existence, not some indirect metaphor. If we can really be present and penetrate what you are doing, you will enter a state. When you enter this consciousness space, your way of using your intelligence is the flow of inspiration.

36. Do as many things as possible at the same time. On the surface, we save time and are very efficient. In fact, this is the most stupid kind of intelligence. Your conscious energy cannot penetrate anything.

37. Many people have a misunderstanding about tea ceremony or ikebana. He thinks these rituals and procedures are particularly boring and meaningless. In fact, the rituals and procedures in tea ceremony are both important and unimportant. The important meaning is that it is actually present practice, which is to train your concentration.

38. When you do things, you are your work. I think this is the way we become the highest level of consciousness in the world.

39. Nothing external is actually important. The important thing is to penetrate it and enter the inner consciousness space.

40. Behind the goal is time. A goal-based life will imprison you on the horizontal timeline.


41. What is beauty? We usually think that the world of phenomena seen by our eyes is called beauty, but I think this beauty is actually just the beauty of phenomena. I now especially believe that the world has its essence behind it, and behind me there is a real self, real self and The connection between ontology is two-way, and the beauty produced by the connection between them is what I call the beauty of ontology.

42. The beauty of things, the beauty of content, no matter how beautiful they are, they are only in the realm of phenomena, and the white space around things, the silence behind the sound, seem to have nothing on the surface, but it is a channel that can lead us into that The extremely beautiful consciousness space, the beauty of the consciousness space is a kind of beauty that we can’t even imagine.

43. The beauty of the phenomenon is 100 times inferior to the beauty of the body, and the beauty of the body can only be felt through white space and silence. The more the content is filled, the gap of understanding will be blocked, and the beauty of white space will never be appreciated.

44. A professor at Duke University once studied the effects of sound on the human nervous system. He compared Mozart’s music with the effect of absolute silence on the human brain. He found that absolute silence can promote brain cells better than Mozart’s music. development. If you can keep quiet for two hours a day, it will greatly promote the growth and development of the hippocampus in the brain.

45. We are afraid of loneliness and think that we can only find our own existence in a group. In fact, it is the opposite. Being alone, alone, and silent is an extremely beautiful state.

46. ​​The “dry landscape” of Long’an Temple has influenced a world-class designer of great products. This person applied the beauty of Long’an Temple to his own products and created a product that has influenced the iPhone for more than 10 years. Jobs likes going to Japan very much. Every time he goes to Kyoto, he will go to the Longan Temple to sit.

47. A person who dares to leave blank is self-confident. When we are not confident, we can’t wait to show everything we have. It’s actually shallow.

48. The important thing is not the things, but the white space around the things. The important thing is not the sound, but the silence around the sound.

49. When a person remains quiet, wisdom can flow out; when a person is in inaction, his energy is the greatest.

50. Thought is a kind of thought, awareness of silence, conscious but no thought, is an extremely noble and elegant state of consciousness.


51. In silence, you are the closest to yourself in essence. In the silence, you are the original you, the one before you were called a person by temporarily inheriting this physical and psychological form, and the one you will become after the physical and psychological form collapses.

52. Nietzsche believed that logic can only reach the limit of reason, and the limit of reason cannot reach the absolute truth of the universe. But he firmly believes that art can be. If we want to enter the ontological world, one of the most beautiful carriers is art. Art can detach us from the real world and connect us to the ontological universe.

53. What is real art? Real art is definitely not the beauty of phenomena. Real art expresses the beauty of ontology and can bring the viewer into that ontological world. Art is a wormhole that connects two worlds. No matter how suffering we are, art can bring our hearts to that infinite and eternal place.

54. Yayoi Kusama said, I use my life to paint and focus all my energy on painting. It is art that has saved my decadent life.

55. The most wonderful thing in the world is to meet a genius. A genius is a big burden for the owner of the genius. We should tolerate them and be very patient.

56. The life paradigm of a great artist creates a new world through the creation of a great soul-level work, and thus realizes self-transcendence and redemption in life. The sense of hierarchy behind art is much deeper than that of secular commodities.

57. The vast majority of people in the world are using their work to get a trace of happiness, but very few people can use what they do to turn them into a way to heaven.

58. Beauty is not an intrinsic attribute of a thing, it is a core characteristic of the origin, and it exists independently.

59. The author of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair” made a wonderful proof. If you want to prove that a thing exists, you can extract it from the environment. If the environment can’t function normally, it proves that it exists. If we can prove that a world without beauty is not functioning properly, we can prove that beauty exists, regardless of whether it can be defined in a logical way.

60. Einstein would use beauty to determine whether an equation is correct. If an equation is correct, it must be beautiful.


61. What is creation? It is to use my beauty to awaken and resonate the beauty of things. Goodness is self-sufficient in my heart, and goodness exists independently and truly in everything.

62. By creating a beautiful work, creating a better world externally, and becoming my true self internally, this is my mission and meaning in this life.

63. Jobs was deeply influenced by Zen. He said that if you sit down and observe, you will find your inner impetuousness. If you try to calm down, it will get worse at first, but it will calm down after a period of time. At that time, you can hear even smaller things. , Your intuition begins to sprout, at this time you can see things more clearly, you can go beyond the present and see the past and the future. Your mind slows down, and you perceive the expansion of the boundaries. You can see much more than you used to.

64. On the one hand, Jobs wanted to pursue the transcendence of the personal spiritual world. On the other hand, he was an ambitious person who wanted to change the world. This was a state of duality. In the end, Zen made him merge the two goals. As one.

65. In Zen philosophy, life is often compared to a rushing river, and every individual in the world is in eternal change. Jobs accepted this worldview, he said, if this is the case, perfection is actually an ing process, which can never be completed.

66. If a person only has so-called hardcore things without soft beauty, then his life and career will be very narrow.

67. When Jobs was working on the Macintosh, he asked engineers to make the circuit boards in the computer neat and tidy. The engineers did not understand, after all, the users could not see the circuit boards. Jobs borrowed his father’s words to say that if you, as a manufacturer, know that the circuit board is neat and tidy, your emotions towards computers will be different.

68. Anyone who is one with what he has done creates a unified world. At this time, his influence on other people far exceeds the influence brought about by the direct function of this matter. All your efforts will be perceivable by users as long as they penetrate.

69. I have watched almost all the videos of Li Ziqi, what moved me? I felt for the first time from Li Ziqi’s video that the countryside, including my hometown, can be presented so beautifully. Only one person can put all his heart and energy into it to make such a work.

70. We take it for granted that everything we create when we go to work is for a better life. But as we walked, we lost our lives, inverted cause and effect, and the only purpose of our life became to work better. I believe the documentary “The Fruits of Life” has awakened the original beautiful heart deep in our hearts very well . Life is the goal when we are alive.


71. Mission is a transcendental structure.

72. The meaning of life cannot come from the mind, only beyond thought can give meaning to life.

73. Meaning does not come from what you do, but from the way you do things.

74. Traditionally, people think that an organization has a mission, but I believe that a life itself has its mission. First of all, a talent has a mission. If an organization is in a mechanistic state, it is not equipped with a mission. , Unless an organization becomes a super life body, it will have a mission.

75. If we believe that everyone is connected to the world of ideals, our mission is the glimmer that the world of ideals gives us. It is in us and everyone is self-sufficient.

76.  If you want to find a mission, don’t ask outside, ask inside, to perceive it. The sooner we recognize our mission and let the mission guide our cause, the more beneficial it will be. The first benefit is that your career will be more successful and you will create beautiful works. The second benefit is that mission can help you become who you are.

77. Mission metaphor, you can only perceive it, be aware of it, and express it. The more you express it, the more vivid it is and the more powerful it will be for you. You must trust it, and it will definitely lead you to a state where your external career is very successful and your inner spirit is very rich.

78. Art and works are only vehicles for exploring the truth of the universe. Creating beautiful works is to explore the truth of the universe, and creating beautiful works can become the conscious self and the true self.

79. The biggest fear of each of us is the fear of no one behind us. We don’t know that letting go of ourselves is not abandoning our goals, but entrusting ourselves and what we do to a much greater force.

80. We want to take the road that everyone in the world has traveled as one of the roads we have traveled.


81. What is the purpose and meaning of life? I hope my soul is a little cleaner when I leave than when I came. ——Inamori Kazuo’s “How to Live”

82. There is one and only one source of ultimate meaning, which is to connect with the world of ideas. The world of ideas is a transcendental structure to the world of phenomena, and only transcendental structures can produce meaning. And what connects the world of ideas is not What, but How.

83. The essence of a beautiful work is to treat the work as one, the work itself is the purpose, it is not a tool to achieve another goal. When we look at the work in this way, we will find that it is already art.

84. The three most important dimensions of life, mission, career, and life, are completely integrated into your beautiful work. At this time, we must believe in a state called “life hanging down” , the life hanging down is a beautiful work after the unity of life, mission, and career.

85. Ono Jiro, the god of sushi, said that he must make sushi at the last moment of his life, and he will make sushi in the next life. He is so simple and sure. This is a kind of happiness. It really has nothing to do with the size and wealth of the things you do.

86. Hokusai is the most internationally renowned painter in the Edo period of Japan. He began to learn painting when he was 6 years old. He wrote an article when he was 60 years old, saying that his paintings before the age of 60 were very rubbish. Then I said, what will happen to me when I am 70, 80, 90, and 100 years old. He is always pursuing, always innovating, and always going up. This is the state of ing.

87. The work is the presentation carrier of the mission, and the mission is the driving force behind the work. The work is the carrier of the duality in the world, and the mission belongs to the original world, the original endogenous power of the unity in the consciousness space.

88. The world is really beautiful, not necessarily just to be the brilliant protagonist, you can be the perfect supporting role, you can also be very beautiful. The matter itself has no size, no priority, the important thing is the state you put into it.

89. What is the world? The world is time, and the world is space. What is the universe? Universe is space, and universe is time. Therefore, the world view and the universe view are the time and space view. If you understand time and space, you can understand the real world and the universe.

90. The ontological world created us, and we also created the ontological world.


91. The meaning of life lies in this world. Even in this world, I can surpass myself in some way. -Nietzsche

92. These men and women not only refuse to accept challenging ideas, but are also content with the status quo. They do their best to avoid excessive joy or sorrow. They focus on trivial things and are self-centered. They live timidly and do nothing. Deceive yourself to say that I am very happy.

93. The ancient Greeks believed that the reason why a person is human is that his normal state is excellence. Nietzsche believes that the reason why a person is a person is that his normal state is ” Overman “, which is the same as that sentence.

94. Each of us is covered with a thin layer of window paper. Once that layer of window paper is pierced, our lives will be completely different.

95. I hope you will spend the rest of your life to consider what unique gift you will bring to this world. In fact, this gift is not brought to the world by you, but brought to yourself. What kind of works you have to create to achieve the transcendence and sublimation of life.

96. When I become my true self, I will acquire a fundamental and original great power. That state and that power is called mission. It transcends time and space.

97. If everyone can find their own unique talent, and then express it truthfully and joyfully, this is a perfect life.

98. The reason why a person is a person is a state in which he is self-sufficient is the creator. Mission is born, everyone is a creator.

99. Have unconditional love for yourself, embrace yourself like the ocean, accept yourself like the sky, don’t judge yourself, don’t judge yourself.

100. We have been pretending to be tough and burying our pain and sorrow. In fact, that is our greatest cruelty to ourselves.

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