A Little Parenthesis In Eternity

Paulo Coelho’s quote brings us to contemplate the very essence of what it means to be alive and what significance our lives may hold in the big picture. We cannot simply move through life oblivious to the deeper meaning that surely must exist at the foundation of our existence in the physical universe. The importance of our efforts in striving to discover what meaning there might be in our individual lives is really just a momentary “parenthesis in eternity,” but when we arrive at a place and time where we may actually begin to see how this meaning becomes real for us as individuals, it points to a much broader meaning which applies to all life and all existence.

Recent travels have inspired some serious contemplation of Coelho’s thoughts and while the natural landscape of Virginia is available to anyone with the means and the will to travel there, for me as an individual, this image holds a deeper meaning and has sparked many ideas that point to a broader meaning. I am hopeful in the months to come that I will be able to share more completely how this came about, as I am preparing to retire in a few weeks. So much has been quietly and patiently been waiting for me to arrive in a place and time where this will become real for me, and I am looking forward to dedicating much more time to this pursuit of discovery and sharing with all my readers here.

There is a deeper meaning to life that has been apparent to me for some time now, in spite of all the obstacles to spending time discovering it and sharing it with the world. As a father to six wonderful children, I have had a front row seat for life’s ups and downs, and have relished every moment of sharing this life with them, but when your own children start having children, the discoveries are increased exponentially. Holding two of my seven grandchildren in this image reveals a small window into how it is that being with any of them always fills my heart with a sense of a deeper meaning that is totally real. It’s not just biology and it’s not just because my granddaughters are wonderful. This is a precious moment.

All of the efforts over the past seven years to speak to the subjective experience of human consciousness have given my life a degree of meaning, and the paths I have pursued in the search for discoveries that hold meaning for me all point to the truth contained in the quote from Stan Grof, a psychiatrist who spent many years researching non-ordinary states of consciousness. With so much yet to be discovered, it is my hope that our continued dialog and sharing of ideas will bear fruit that helps others see this deeper meaning.

Hope to share much more in the days and weeks to come…..John H.

2 thoughts on “A Little Parenthesis In Eternity

  1. John,
    Great blog! I look forward diving into it as soon as my brain recovers from another 12 hour shift.
    I have to admit, I missed all the signs that today might be your last day of work. Even signing your farewell card on my way out didn’t rouse any suspicion. It wasn’t until I was driving home that I thought I should have at least offered you a proper handshake.
    Anyway, I wish you best. I have no doubt you’ll enjoy your new life and make the most of it.
    Also, before you’re a few states away, feel free to give me a shout if you want to grab lunch and chat. There’s some place called Applebees that I keep hearing people rave about.
    Take care,

    1. Brendel,

      Thanks for the good wishes and not to worry; I’ll be in work for another week (last day is June 8th) and there will be plenty of time for that handshake. There may even be a few moments during the staff meeting on Tuesday that won’t be boring, so stay tuned!

      Your presence at Tilbury Road has been a breath of fresh air and you’ve earned my respect and admiration easily. Your good-hearted acceptance of our friendly cajoling has made my last few months more enjoyable than I expected.

      I truly hope you can find some engaging content here and that you will share your thoughts as you encounter postings that interest you.

      I accept your kind invitation and hope we can arrange that lunch chat soon. Applebees or anywhere else will work for me.

      With gratitude…John H.

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