Meaning and Nice

Humour oils the wheels, so let’s start this article with how the British use the word nice – to mean virtually anything:

  • It’s not nice. (It’s horrible, disgusting).
  • It’s not so nice. (It’s slightly less horrible).
  • It’s not what I would call nice. (I despise it).
  • It’s sort of nice. (OMG).
  • It’s nice. (Meaning depends on context and tone of voice. Often enough, the speaker does not think it’s nice).
  • It’s quiet nice. (I’m indifferent to it or don’t want to offend).
  • I think it’s nice. (Could be honest; watch facial expression).
  • It’s really nice. (Probably authentic – is the next word ‘but’?).
  • It’s exceedingly nice. (OK, but watch out for any qualifiers in the next sentence).

Is existence ‘nice’?

We’d like to think so, wouldn’t we? And that our individual existences have some higher meaning. Even those of us who reject such ideas would probably prefer that it is so – if they had anything to say about it.

What we can safely say:

  • Existence IS.
  • Non-separation, Oneness, is part of its basic nature. (You can come to this knowledge through personal experience, in meditation or through appropriate exercises in perception).

And as far as I see, that’s pretty much all that we can safely assert. I’ve heard a lot of other things asserted, e.g. about Divine Love, or All is Consciousness. But all too often, so it seems to me, wishes and assumptions about how things are, or more importantly, how we’d like them to be, are being projected onto reality as (very convenient) beliefs. And then, when you believe something, when you already have an agenda, then many things get interpreted in the light of your own desire.

People who awaken spiritually have experiences in meditative or receptive states. But this does not exclude them from having their own personal, emotional interpretation of this noticing of Oneness.

My suggestion is, therefore, to critically and honestly look at your own nature. What your upbringing, peer pressures, the wish to belong, your personal emotional nature, your insecurity, and especially any traumatic experiences, have caused you to project onto the nature of life.

So is existence being nice to us, in any intentional sense? When I look around me – at all the pleasure and all the pain – it seems like it all may cancel out to net nothing, and existence is left back where we started: That it simply IS.

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