Thursday, May 17, 2007

Life is a Verb?

Yesterday my fortune cookie said "Life is a verb", which has me pondering. It also said my lucky numbers are: 5, 38, 11, 50, 29 and 34, but I'm more interested in the words than the numbers.

The first thought was, life is about action and movement. One of the distinctions between a living and a non-living object is that the living object moves on its own accord, or rather it does things on its own accord. Bacteria and the like may not move on their own accord, but their life process is to take in stuff (nutrients) process the stuff and expell other stuff. Clearly the distinction I'm thinking of is the living object does things on its own accord, while non-living objects don't do anything on their own accord.

Life is about action. Actions are verbs, right? That's because verbs are the action portion of sentences. Hmm....

The second thought is to remember this be-do-have paradigm. The idea is that the ideal pattern to follow is to "be", then from your beingness to "do", then you will "have" the desired result. If you want to be rich, first "be" happy, then "do" things based on being happy, and eventually you will "have" happiness. The key concept is your way of being, how you are. Meditation is a way of practicing "being" because meditation is largely about experiencing how you are.

The typical person, however, is all about "doing" and not at all about "being". There's so many things to do, rush rush rush and do do do seems to be how most people are living their lives. Wasn't modern technology supposed to give us more leisure time? And in any case if most people are unhappy perhaps they aren't taking enough time to stop and smell the roses or otherwise to simply "be".

In sentences the "be" portion is everything but the verbs, so being is not action. Does that mean being is not an aspect of living? Oh, in a sentence if there is no noun, there is no object for the verb to act upon. Even in a single word sentence like "Go!" there is an implied object of that sentence. If life is a verb, life is about action, then there must be an object on which to perform the action. Hence to "be" gives an object for your action, or life, to act upon.