A Reason For Living in a Nutshell
In brief, my book A REASON FOR LIVING is the product of a sustained effort to answer in the most enlightening and inspiring way this single question: Why live? I started to ask myself that question about thirty years ago after my diving accident, which left the husky and lusty teenage athlete that I was a near quadriplegic. What had given meaning to my life until then had become largely impossible. As a result, my life seemed absurd.
"Seemed" is the operative word here. Many years of reflection and study have taught me that the lack of meaning is always a lack of wisdom. Everything I have learned and that has turned the bitter and suicidal young man that I was into a mature and serene life lover is what I impart to my reader.
Listed below are some of the major points in my book:
1. There can be no contentment without acceptance of the limits of reality, within which excellence and joy are possible, but not perfection and infinite happiness. Furthermore, there can be no contentment without the courage to pursue excellence and joy persistently, against failures and misfortunes. That is to say, if life is to be compared to a car ride, we had better be in the driver's seat and move forward at a good pace, but without haste, while steering in the right direction. We are responsible for our lives, even though we do not control everything, far from it.
Above all, our minds are at our command and determine our moods. Independently of circumstances and results, contentment follows from positive thinking and positive action ? though admittedly it is not possible without circumstances and results being at least favorable enough to permit thinking and action.
2. In the pursuit of excellence and joy, the awareness of our adaptability is paramount. Change, and sometimes extensive and traumatic change, is part and parcel of life. Fortunately, we are able to adapt to this change. That is, the favorable habits we develop within relatively stable circumstances ? for example eating, working, or dating habits that are conducive to our happiness ? do not truly define the individuals we are. What does define them so is our innate ability to acquire favorable habits whatever the circumstances (provided the latter are not so bad that they cannot be turned to good account). In a word, we are by nature adaptable, just as the world is by nature changeable.
3. The one fact that differentiates life from infinite bliss is the struggle that is required of the living to achieve satisfaction, which is never complete and permanent. We can either sorrow over that fact or rejoice at it. Why rejoice? because with the struggle comes merit, and merit is a joyful emotion that any valiant soul knows intimately and values immensely.
4. Just as we cannot build a house without first securing a solid foundation, we cannot achieve fulfillment without first ensuring that our body is sound, thanks to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
5. To be free to do what we please is a precious right that we have as members of a liberal society. This right comes with a corresponding duty: to respect that right in others. Indeed, we are free to do what we please if what we please is not to make our fellow creatures suffer. Mutual respect is the sine qua non of collective harmony. It is the chief principle behind human justice.
The right to freedom, within the liberal society, also means that we are free to believe what we please. No institutionalized ideology is imposed on us besides the basic moral principle dictating that we respect one another so that society, however liberal, remains sufficiently ordered to be operational. The reverse of order is chaos, which only knows the law of the jungle: dog eat dog.
Now, the right to believe what we please comes with a corresponding duty: to think by ourselves and for ourselves to define our own ideology according to which we see and do things in a certain way. Again, the only imposition is the basic moral principle dictating that we respect one another.
6. Within the context of my own ideology, which I cannot impose, but only propose, love is the essence of life, its essential purpose. It includes the love of ourselves, which consists in promoting our own life. This love is instinctive and foundational; it is instrumental in the love of others, as we feel solidarity with them.
At a deeper level, love extends to that of everything. It proceeds from the divine principle behind the universe, thanks to which everything is the way it is, capable of being and better still, within certain limits, capable of flourishing. Like this principle, these limits can be ascertained through their obvious manifestations, but never explained. Ultimately, the universe and our relative knowledge of it are founded on a fathomless mystery.
For a wider perspective of this book and its author, including pictures, excerpts, autobiographical information, plus details on where to purchase the book, please use the following link:
Thank you. I wish you every happiness!
Laurent Grenier's career as a full-time writer and thinker spans over twenty years. He has released various articles in art and philosophical magazines. He has also written some philosophical essays, a collection of memories and thoughts, and a compendium of physiology and nutrition, still unpublished. A REASON FOR LIVING constitutes his best work to date.
The Serpents Genesis 1 and 2
Not long after the beginning a being fell from the heavens to the earth. Even as the Spirit of God hovered overhead, the Serpent swam the waters below. As light divided from darkness, the Serpent chose the darkness, preferring it to the light. And the Serpent stalked the darkness of that first night.
5 Simple Tips On Using Your Senses
1. Breakfast in Bed.
Safety ? Are You OK?
Safety is an interesting concept. When we think of safety we almost intuitively think of its opposite, danger. Some people say that "our thoughts create our reality." I would differ with that in one important way. I would say our thoughts create our perception of reality or our interpretation of reality. That is not the same thing, but it is at least as important. Byron Katie says "Reality is kinder than our thinking."
Everyone Has Been Hurt... Part 4
Showing Your Appreciation - How To Make Others Feel Special
"There are fine things which you mean to do someday, under what you think will be more favorable circumstances. But the only time that is surely yours is the present, hence this is the time to speak the word of appreciation and sympathy, to do the generous deed - to sacrifice self a little more for others." Grenville Kleiser
Direct Answers - Column for the week of April 19, 2004
A Life Time of Strategic Thinking
You may be one of the thousands who think "Strategic Thinking" applies only to the "captains" of business. But consider human stages of life and how Strategic Thinking is used at the most rudimentary level.
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The movies--what a wonderful way to spend an afternoon! I love going to the movies. When I thought about why I look forward to going to a movie, I realized it was like meditation for me. The only thing that was on my mind was what was in front of me on the screen. I am in the moment when I am at a movie.
Discernment and Judgement
Discernment is an inner guide or compass. It is loving and expansive, and offers freedom, honor and options. Judgment on the other hand dishonors, condemns, and contradicts.
Universal Thought System Language Keywords
Before we are able to use the Universal Thought System in a positive expansive manner, we must learn to use certain words in our language more effectively. The prime characteristic of the Universal Thought System is its consistency. It may not be used to manipulate. It may not be used to gain an advantage. It treats everyone equally. It eliminates the negative side of opposites. Why is this Universal Language so critical to our progress? In our thoughts and actions, we either seek idols or we seek truth. When we find the truth all our answers are provided. Truth contains all answers to every problem. Truth has always existed and will always exist. Our beliefs and feelings color our truth. They act as filters between our truth and our illusions.
Never Jump to Conclusions
Human mind which is well known as a fluctuating prodigy presumes itself to be a great judge. It is so natural for the mind to judge anything that appears to it especially so in the case of other human beings. It doesn't give little time to itself to start thinking about any person. It jumps to conclusions in no time. Is such thinking called proactive intelligence or lack of wisdom?
?you are, he is, she is, they are? But you knew that already, didn't you? Or have you really stopped to think about it recently ? or ever for that matter?
The Road Not Taken
Direct Answers - Column for the week of November 24, 2003
For Old Times Sake
Direct Answers - Column for the week of August 19, 2002
Surrender, Complete Healing, and the Garden of Eden
In 1982, I found myself in Eden. What I found out from my brief visit there is that the Garden of Eden is not a piece of real estate, but a state of being-the reality matrix in which human beings were designed to thrive. While such forays into extraordinary states is the goal of spiritual aspirants, I did not gain entrance to the Garden via a conscious desire to-nor through discipline, self-sacrifice, meditation or fasting-I reached it because of something I did when I came up against a problem I couldn't solve in the ordinary human way. When my back was against the wall, I gave up. I surrendered. I "let go," as the saying goes, and "let God."
Let's look at the lesson we should all pay attention to in the Bible, the flight of the Israelites from Egypt. Was their escape through the Red Sea merely an exploit by God or was there some other signifigance to this act?
This article was channelled through me by an entity called Joseth (My name for the creator)
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The grey sky of morning contained an ominous quality. The clouds were so thick they were almost tangible. Then I saw it. Faintly sandwiched between the clouds was the hint of a rainbow. Barely visible were the bands of color, with a straining, subtle expectancy as the dim colors arched upward. It was the beginnings of a rainbow. The hint of a possibility of something beautiful, magical and rare.
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Have you ever dreamed of a new house? Have you ever wished for the perfect mate? What about wanting that job that you've always dreamed of? Have you wished for a perfect day?
Direct Answers - Column for the week of July 21, 2003
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