Soon You Will Understand...
The Meaning of Life



WHAT IS THIS? "Soon You Will Understand... The Meaning of Life" (SYWU...TMOL) is an essay found online at

It is also available as a book through the big online booksellers or the publisher

WHAT DOES IT CLAIM? SYWU...TMOL delineates 44 aspects of human experience. All human beings experience most of those aspects in their lifetimes. These 44 aspects form a generic template for the significant experiences that make each human life unique.

WHY SHOULD ANYONE CARE? If you Google "the meaning of life", you get Wikipedia first, Monty Pithon second, and SYWU...TMOL third. That puts "Soon You Will Understand... The Meaning of Life" ahead of Jesus, Aristotle, Buddha and Oprah.

HOW POPULAR IS IT? Each week about 1500 unique visitors find SYWU...TMOL. Of those, most read the first few pages and then go elsewhere. About 100 read through all 44 sections.

HOW DID IT COME TO BE? In 1995, the author was up very late brainstorming for a guest talk of some spiritual content he was scheduled to deliver when he was hit with the insight. The main outline and contents that became SYWU...TMOL just spilled out in a very short time. Some polishing and editing ensued, but for the most part in this moment of extreme insight and clarity, the author just knew with utter certainty that it was totally congruent with his then 48 years' experience on this planet, most of which having been spent engaged in a focused quest for spiritual development, drawing on his own native tradition, supplemented by extensive reading and experience in other traditions, as well as the academic study of religious and spiritual experience.

WHAT NOTICE HAS IT RECEIVED? Other than the high Google ranking, not a huge amount. A few dozen blogs and personal websites mention and link to it. A few people have attempted to use it as the basis for other literary creations. It has been translated into Russian. A few people each week email the author expressing their reactions to it. These reactions span the spectrum from "Thank you so much for saving my life" to "You're going to hell unless you accept Jesus."

If you are in the media and want to "discover" this essay, please email author.

WHY HASN'T THIS WEBSITE BECOME MORE UP-TO-DATE WITH VIDEOS, NEWSLETTERS, PRODUCTS TO SELL, AND PHOTOS OF HAPPY SMILING PEOPLE? That is not the model for this essay. Its model is the short, intense spiritual essay of which the author has experienced only a few notable examples, such as Zen and the Art of Archery, I and Thou, and The Miracle of Mindfulness.

However, it does now include a Facebook page and an (inactive) Twitter stream.

WHAT DO THE GRAPHICS MEAN? They mean whatever you want them to mean.

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  Russian Translation


  You Will...

  1. Land Here
  2. Have Tasks
  3. Work to Survive
  4. Have Experiences
  5. Have a Body, Emotions, Thoughts and a Soul
  6. Have Challenges
  7. Decide
  8. Grow
  9. Mature
  10. Have Guides
  11. Communicate
  12. Gain Skills
  13. Play
  14. Learn How Things Work
  15. Do Work
  16. Belong To A Tribe
  17. Have God(s)
  18. Celebrate
  19. Find Friends
  20. Find Mates
  21. Acquire Wealth
  22. Amass Power
  23. Feel Sensuality
  24. Experience Sex
  25. Create a Home
  26. Express Artistic
  27. Display
  28. Accumulate Wisdom
  29. Break Rules
  30. Parent
  31. Teach
  32. Expel Waste
  33. Heal
  34. Fail
  35. Lose
  36. Cry
  37. Love
  38. Accept Others
  39. Change States of Consciousness
  40. Open to New Depths
  41. Write Your Story
  42. Die
  43. Enter a Next Realm
  44. Be Remembered