BLVR: Are we just swamped by fear? I mean, is that what is really going on? Not that we actually think that what happened in our lives is less meaningful—just that we’re overwhelmed by fear and that’s how we translate it to ourselves?
TM: That could be. It could be. It could also be that things feel meaningless to us not because the alternative to their ending is their going on forever, but because the alternative is their going on a little bit more. You know what I mean? But then, we come back to the same question—why should it go on a little bit more?
My mentor once told me a story about a plant that is in the garden of some of his relatives in Singapore. The plant blooms for an hour every, I don’t know, four or five years, and it’s a beautiful bloom. And he describes what happens when people gather around the plant. They know when it’s going to happen; I guess it’s kind of like clockwork. And he says they all come and they have cameras, and it’s so urgent for them to capture this thing. And he said that it’s as though they don’t see it, because they’re so busy capturing it, instead of just sitting there and allowing this thing to happen. … But I suspect that that idea of the momentary beauty somehow just isn’t enough and perhaps is connected to that fear that you talked about. There is that sense that for it to be more meaningful, it has to last at least a little longer.