Dream of: 08 August 1999 "Meaning of Life"

Late at night, a fellow who looked like the actor John Turturro, a second fellow who looked like the actor Jace Alexander, and I were walking around a European city street, trying to write a story. As we tried to come up with artistic ideas, I told the others I couldn't think of anything I wanted to say. However, as soon as I had spoken, I suddenly thought of something I wanted to say in the story. I told the others that I didn't know how idealistic they were, but that I used to consider myself very idealistic. In this context, I told them I wanted to write a story about someone who found "meaning and truth."

However, as soon as I had said "truth," I realized I might have misspoken. "Truth" had never been something of major importance to me, even in my most idealistic stage. However, finding the meaning of life had been very important to me, and it was on the meaning of life which I really wanted to concentrate in this story.

I continued talking, explaining I had studied very hard and concentrated on finding the meaning of life. Nevertheless, somewhere along the way, I continued, something had happened to me. I told them that I had lost my vision, and that my life had become "hollow and meaningless." I also now found difficulty relating to other people, because I saw the same hollowness and meaninglessness in their lives.

But as soon as I had given my little speech, my whole perspective changed. Suddenly I saw that I did see some meaning in my existence. I saw the meaning involved working with other people. The meaning for which I had once searched was right here in front of me, in the form of these two men with whom I was trying to write a story. This was a dazzling revelation for me: I found meaning by working with other people. Now I saw how to form the story which we had been trying to write. The story would be about a person who had thought life had no meaning, but who had found the meaning by working with other people.

Just then, two men came walking in our direction. I recognized one of the men (but I couldn't remember his name), who was about 50 years old. He had grown quite obese since I had last seen him. I recalled I had once loaned him some money which he still owed me. He stopped and spoke to me, quipping that I probably didn't recognize him because he was so fat. I kindly replied I could afford to lose a few pounds myself. I reflected that I was indeed a few pounds overweight, but that basically I was in good shape. The man brought up the fact that he still owed me some money, about $100, and began foraging in his pockets, finally handing over a couple dollars in coins to me. As he and his companion then turned to leave, I still couldn't remember his name and thus didn't say goodbye to him. However, I suddenly recalled the name of his companion was Eugene O'Neill, and I said, "Goodbye, Eugene."

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