These excerpts of three letters that you are about to read are also known as an Ethical Will or a Last Lecture.
This is the most important letter that I need to write. For physical life, as beautiful and perfect and miraculous as it is, is demonstrably and obviously subject to change, unexpected surprises, and temporal-ness. Many have even called it blatantly unfair, all because we are a living, breathing, thinking organic animal species upon the earth that is consciously aware of the nature of our existence. We are human beings who are born into a world we didn’t create, that is governed by laws and events that we do not fully have control of, and is subject to the expiration of individual representations of form. Meaning very simply, most of what we create by our own hands is most likely to be around a lot longer than we are. So, in a sense, this living love letter is a type of emotional insurance for a time when I can no longer physically communicate with and involve myself in the lives of those that I love and that love me. It is the written part that goes with the pictures and videos and memories of us together. Most importantly, I want you to know that in some way I am always with you, for the source of our physical existence is energy itself. At the very least, know that I exist and will always exist within that part of the timeline in which I participate in this thing we call life. It may now be a time that, for you, is the historical past but, for me, it is the present while I am alive with breath. … I have pondered for years on what to write in a letter of this sort. For, no amount of words can ever console what you might be feeling at this particular time or at another time. My only desire is that you keep rediscovering the happiness within you, the joy for living, and the ever present awareness of what really is in this moment. Ground yourself in the reality, that with all joys in life there is always its share of pain. And it is a choice we make to accept the pains of life in pursuit of our experiences of joy. Life is too short to be unhappy or caught up in the misery and drama of unfulfilled wishes and desires. Grab hold of what you do have and cherish it, revel in it, and enjoy life thoroughly as it presently is. And, it is in this train of thought that I wish to speak to you. For, it seems to me that what you most need to hear from me now is what I’ve hopefully been already instilling in you as a father, a husband, a friend, a mentor, and so forth.
If there is anymore bits of advice that I can give you to carry forth and utilize within your life, to share to others, and to instill in the generations yet to come, it would be the following advice here. Take them to heart and act on them, so that you’re life is even more blessed than it already is. Get yourself a spiritual mentor, a teacher, who will remind you to center here, into this now, this moment … So, accept today and work for tomorrow. Get yourself a financial advisor, who will take the time to set you solidly on a path of financial education and asset development. Then, follow the advise you’re given! To live in the human world is to play the human game of money for this and that. It’s as unavoidable as taxes and death. To use the bargaining tool of money wisely is a good game. Acquire what you need to fulfill your life’s purpose, to create a nest egg for the future, and to have enough to share with others. Get yourself a close friend who you can talk with about anything and know that you will not be judged for having thoughts and feelings, who will encourage you towards your own personal self-development, and who will know the things to say and do that spark a reminder that you are great and deserving. And, remember always to be the same with her or him. There is no greater self-esteem better than to be a friend towards another/others. Get yourself a lover, a help mate, someone who you can build a family with, to support the greatest of reasons for our existence … to propagate and perpetuate human life. Take care of your home, as soon as you can buy and not rent. Remember that children are our greatest asset, our lifeline to the future. Be sure they get a good secular education, based in scientific inquiry, critical thinking, and intellectually honest reasoning!
If this advice isn’t yet enough, may I encourage you to get yourself involved in community service. Consider it in some way as a life necessity to engage in, for we are social creatures by design and are meant to encourage and support each other. I encourage you my children, my wife, my friends to always focus on and believe in what’s possible, to be willing to ask questions and challenge the established social beliefs about life. To put your voice and stance on issues out there as I have done. You will eventually discover for yourself that life’s purpose, or shall I say that the purpose of life for you, is within you. And, it is only within you that you can question for it, see it, and manifest it. Hence, the need for others and, specifically for experienced advisors, because life is best lived when we are fully aware of it. It is in this that I have found peace with the reality of which I live and have lived, a reality that involves as much the collective influence of all others around me as it does my influence, a reality that is so beautiful and yet so much more than what my influence can affect. If I could have my way in life and rewrite the natural laws a little bit, life would preserve all of us for a near eternity so that we can learn to play wonderfully together, grow together, and learn together. We would all know what it’s like to be a billion years old and loving life! But, since this is obviously not going to be the case, be ever thankful for this ever-changing moment that we do have together, as I am every day that I am with you. And, look upon life as a series of experiences, one building upon another, where there is never failure, just attempts that have taught us to look for another chance, another opportunity, and another way to achieve the level of self and social achievement we each desire. In other words, my only desire and blessing for each of you … is that you be truly and fully the best that you can be – authentically and genuinely you, that you be always aspiring to be a blessing unto others, and that you be always recognizing and reminding yourself that you are a success every step of the way. I love you, and I’m always with you.
Your daddy, your husband, your friend, (respectively) – Joseph Tsefanyahu Farkasdi
We humans have been on a quest of understanding ever since the first human to develop self-awareness walked the surface of this earth. Since this time, we have developed complex languages and great imagination in our effort to uncover, discover, and retain a hold on the purpose and meaning to life. We have fostered our analytical skills and our imaginative skills in an effort to put into words and images our understanding and perspectives on life … creating legends, philosophies, and theologies to explain our attempts at understanding the unexplainable. We have been on a human wide quest to discover the ultimate meaning and purpose of life. We have created marvelous cultures around our theory-ologies, as I like to call it. Cultures, beliefs, and religions … that all speak to the heart about what it is that we somehow all intuitively know inside, but still yet need to be able to hear and see in an empirical way.
And, as our scientific skills have grown, we have yet again formulated yet another language by which to speak about the unspeakable. A new religion, based in scientific inquiry, the litmus tests of demonstrable evidence and repeatability, avoidance of human made concepts of absolutes, and caution on our flights of imaginative fancy with the use of our ability to explore and reason. At times, even lending credence to the truths that are hidden and revealed within every culture and every religion. As to who’s is more right than another’s is purely every individual’s choice. I only know that Jewish and Zen teachings, further validated by archaeology and quantum physics, has worked well for me in my quest to understand. But, even then to truly understand, I, like any human being challenged with the ultimate question, have found a need to step beyond the limited verbiage of human words completely. For no words, no reflections upon the truth, can ever truly be or adequately represent the truth. There are a lot of fine representations, though, if we are only willing to consider all of them and, then, test their validity from our vantage point in life.
Every culture has it’s way of expressing this awareness, and some have a plethora of ways and approaches. And I would hope that you be brave enough to explore them all. I do know this, so long as we attempt to define the undefinable into a finite structure created within our collective Human mind – a structure limited to creative visualization, anthropomorphism, and language – we will go on finding new languages and new ways to attempt to express that which is infinitely more than all that we can comprehend, even collectively as a species. What is the meaning of life? Why do we really exist? Is there an all encompassing purpose for each of our lives? For my life? Is there really something beyond this consciously aware physical existence we find ourselves experiencing for the time that we are alive, heart beating, lungs filled with breath? Why do we even exist at all? In the light of all we now know through our inquisitiveness it is absolutely amazing in itself, awe inspiring, that life as we know it manages to exist in the first place. So, there must be some purpose to life, to my life, to our lives, isn’t there?
I have asked this question so much. Every day in fact, throughout my entire remembered life, thus far. I don’t have an answer, beyond that the answer is what purpose we give to this life is the purpose that is ultimately meant to be. I have never been content to accept a socialized answer as adequate for an answer. I have questioned and questioned and questioned, challenged every belief that has sparked a resonance of understanding or agreeance within me. And, still I ask the question, even in those times I presently find myself with an answer that works for me. I question, because the answer may be literally in the very act of asking itself. Is it the universe asking this question of itself, through my conscious awareness of it? Who am I? Why do I exist? Why is life so demonstrably a matter of fortunate or unfortunate consequences unfolding? Why do we have to be of a nature where to us life is unfair? I do wonder immensely over this last one. But, I said that I have what for me is an acceptable answer … at least for my life, and maybe for others who, too, see the truth within this answer. Are you wondering what it is?
It was only after embracing the marvelous persistence, the endless quest to pattern and master one’s world, that I have been witnessing with such curiosity within my children, that I finally began to understand the meaning and purpose of life … at least for me. It has nothing really to do with us, with each of us individually, or what we can achieve or want to achieve. It really has nothing to do with some grand purpose for our existence even as a species. Although if these beliefs lead you down a path of enlightenment then, by all means, feel free to believe in them! What I’ve found to be the ultimate purpose is so simple, I could have written it in one sentence. The purpose is connection, meaningful relationships.
This is it, my children, my wife, and my friends. Engaging in a meaningful relationship with yourself throughout life. Engaging in meaningful relationships with others around you throughout life. And, especially, engaging in meaningful relationships with the elderly and with the youth among us, the youth who will eventually be walking the paths we have walked upon this earth. This is the ultimate purpose, and I can find no other better or more meaningful purpose to our lives than this. To edify the existence of others with our unbiased, witnessing, non-judgemental attentiveness to who they are and what they represent about the nature of life itself. Beyond this purpose, I can only say it’s a need to ask questions and to keep asking questions. And, just when you think you’ve got the answer, abandon it and ask yet again. I sincerely hope you find this writing helpful. … Now, go ask the ultimate question for yourself!
Your daddy, your husband, your friend, (respectively)- Joseph Tsefanyahu Farkasdi