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Makna & Makan ~ Black & White Friday

This is my contribution to Black & White Friday or Friday in Black and White challenge. The series of these pictures in the color version I’ve shared in Wednesday Shadows some time ago with the title Question.

Considering that the picture is cutlery, I want to ask you a little about it. In Indonesian, there are two similar words that have the same number of letters and alphabets but in different arrangements, meaning and eating, makna and makan with very different meanings.

As a consultant and professional trainer, I often ask a question to training participants, “What is the difference between humans and chickens?”. Up here, I’m sure you understand what I mean, right?

Yes, I usually direct answers to our main needs for the meaning of life. I think, this also relates to motivational theory, specifically Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. But beyond that, various phenomena, both in culture, social, interpersonal and social relations in general, etc. have shown a different position about eating, so as if eating and meaning have an equal degree. This can be represented by the question, “Which is more appropriate for you, eat to live or live to eat?”

I personally, still hold that the highest motive of man is to find and create meaning, but maybe other people think differently.

How about you?

  • I agree more with

    • Eat to live
    • live to eat


What do you think?

14 points


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  1. Your photo, just like Elie’s, is not loading. Not sure if the problem is from my end or Virily.

    What is important: live to work or work to live? I rephrase the question so I can answer it objectively as I do have bias with food ??. Once in my life all I did was “live-to-work”. Now I am more of “work-to-live”. Soon, I like more to just rest in peace ???

    • Sometimes I experience the same thing, and usually, I have to reload so that the image appears.
      Bias with food? I will lol if you allow…
      Hmmm… I think we are strings on the same guitar…
      If I change the question a little, Born to eat or born to be meaningful, what do you think?
      There, there are Us who still rest in peace, just like deep sea with waves on the surface

      • Born to be meaningful? To be meaningful is to take action and it will prevent God from arising in us if we are always taking action according to Osho. That makes me wonder if God has risen from Osho as he takes action in the politics and environment too. ?? I do not think I have any ambition for meaning – – – just want to be the best of whatever I could, no more, no less. And if I eat while doing that, that is fine too ???

          • Ahhh just one of those moments when my brain went on a different channel. When I read the “born to be meaningful” somehow that quote from Osho popped up in my mind. And I truly wonder just as I stated above.

            Everything takes action. Even breathing is action. I guess to experience the phenomena described by Osho would either mean one has to be totally obtuse or one has to have a very high command over his/her faculties that nothing will entice him/her to take action more than the basic required for existing.

            As to meaning of any action, isn’t that subjective than relative? If you ask me what “meaningful” means to me, I would say it is a matter of wanting to leave a legacy that people will remember about you when you die. To me, therefore, to be meaningful means to attempt to perpetuate my presence in this realm even without the physical presence of my body. Did I answer your question Professor? ?

        • For me, talking about meaning is talking about spiritual intelligence, the foundation needed to effectively functioning IQ and EQ. This is a form of intelligence to place our behavior and life in the context of broader and richer meanings, to assess a person’s actions or way of life more meaningfully than others. Which gave birth to questions and simultaneously ran answers about; Who am I? What is the meaning of my life? Do I need to continue living after all this loss, pain, or defeat? etc. This is a guide to the most challenging existential problems outside of everything we expect from life, rules, experience, etc.

          Meaning, to me at least means;
          – Find ourselves; grateful for what is with us.
          – Able to make choices; free from compulsion, stuck in the situation, just undergoing necessity, etc.
          – Feel special, unique, and irreplaceable by others.
          – Feel capable of being responsible
          – Transcendence; beside as combination or integration of those four points, also experience when we get out of the physical world and duality.

          Then what are the consequences if we feel that our lives are not meaningful (even though we can eat a lot of expensive food)? Ahhh… sure you know the answer.

          • You are a painter, Professor. When you paint, do you do it for your wife and kids? Or the community at large? Or do you do it purely for your enjoyment of expressing yourself and your creativity?

            I was made to understand that what we perceive as creation – as separateness – is God’s play. If it is only a play, then it is both personal and impersonal to God. If it is only a play, must it have meaning other than God expressing Itself in whatever way It deemed necessary? Someone has to be a good cop. Another has to be a bad cop. By their free will of choices. There must be freedom for love to be worthwhile. But at the end of it all, life is but a play.

            Each human is a handwriting of God. Unique. Different set of DNA for everyone. But because everyone is unique, that makes uniqueness a common, ordinary, simple thing putting uniqueness to nothing.

            What I am saying is that, could it be possible that it is only the ego that is trying to put meaning to life because it cannot simply stand the idea that its existence is not more significant than the rest? Would not it be possible that since we are in the realm of humans to live as humans do and therefore accept the ego as part of that reality rather than trying to kill it? For if God intended us to live undifferentiated (one with everything and everyone) then God would have made us so?

            If I can learn to accept myself with my wholeness, inclusive of my limitations, wouldn’t it be enough to consider as having lived with meaning? Consequences, I was told, Professor, only exist if I believe in karma. If I believe, on the other hand, that I am here only to participate in God’s play then even the consequences are only part of my role, right or left?

            All paths lead to the same mountain according to Ramana Maharshi. All roads lead to nowhere, according to an Indian sorcerer Don Juan. A saint and a not-so-saint. Yet both agreed that the path or road does not matter for as long as it has love ?

            Lastly, I do think spirituality is innate in every person – – – just that some hear the music more than the others ?

        • Actually, I am waiting for a response like this, and a little wonder by your first comment. Indeed, too, now I feel groping, are you questioning the reason and meaning of life which is really part of our nature, our existence, to me or to yourself, or to God?

          Yes, life is just a game, and it applies to all, although not all understand or can accept. For those who can understand that, not everyone is satisfied just being a player but wants answers to why and for what the game is.

          So far, we have discussed a lot about the ego, so let our own lives explain why and for what the ego exists in more depth.

          The facts show that there are so many people experiencing a crisis of existential meanings, and they experience mental imbalance or mental dissorder as a consequence in this life, and accepting yourself – as you say – is one of the most important parts of having a meaning in life. Dear sis, is your effort to understand life, and choose that path is the will of the ego or the will of God?

          We are all unique and the only one, also at the same time an inseparable part of God, and with all that uniqueness we play a role at the same time meaningful. Therefore, I agree that all roads are true as a path to a destination, there is no wrong path – whether right, left, uphill or downward – because it depends on the purpose unless the destination and the chosen path are out of alignment.

          If God does not want to make us different, why are we made unique? But, if God only wants us to play, why does God let you try to realize Him as well as Rumi, Osho, Ramana Maharshi, and others? If God does not want anything from us other than to be a cast (is that meaningless?), Why does God write rules through the tongues of His messengers?

          Of course, spirituality is innate in every person, because a body without it is a corpse, right?

          • 1) I questioned the meaning and purpose of life before but when I understand why I stopped and simply live. I try to live in love when I can. And when I cannot, I simply forgive myself and move on. Not everyone is born to be a saint or angel.

            2) Life is a game. The meaning of life is love. The purpose of life is to live in love and learn surrendering. I do not need to question why for questioning is not trusting the process.

            3) Agreed

            4) Why do the homing pigeons go home Professor? Anyone trying to understand life only wants to find the way home. That home is in the here and now but for some reason it is taking us a long time to reach the mountain.

            5) Agreed

            6) You are a painter. When you try to put color here and there, isn’t your aim is perfection? Maybe God has perfection in mind as well. The octopus, Professor, has one head and 8 tentacles. Each tentacle has its own brain separate from the head. Humans are like that – – – one with God but are given free will to choose left or right.

            Like the homing pigeon, the knowledge of God’s existence and to realize that knowledge is embedded into our soul so we can go home – – – and bring back as many pigeons with us as possible. Why do I keep bumping at people like you? Is that accident or synchronocity?
            Did God really write rules? To live in love is rule to you?

        • Actually, I don’t see anything that I need to respond to your comment. In fact, I smile how at first we discussed your Pixie until now we discuss all this. But the taste will be bland and futile if the wonderful opportunity to expand each other’s understanding is just passed away.

          I started from the interesting, “when I understood why I stopped and simply live”, what do you think about me?

          Regardless of your attitude that no longer questions the meaning and purpose of life, all your comments here and your actions out there create meaning and meaningful, and that is the original idea of ​​the article above.

          Imagine a plane where time doesn’t exist. The past, present, and future are just a kind of book that has been already written. There are you and me in it, at the beginning to the end of the writing. We collide with each other in the first part, then all of our free wills takes us to the final page, to The End. Where are we now? In the beginning, middle or end? Or are we the book itself? Or outside the book? But certainly, anyone who reads it, will make adventures in time and be mocked by it, even though the book has been finished for a long long time.

          Then, why do we always exchange ideas like now? Why not with others? What are we talking about here about ourselves, or just about how a dove brings back another dove? Do all pigeons have an interest or sense of responsibility to invite other pigeons to go home with him? Do we invite each other home, or are we actually talking about other pigeons?

          Love is life itself, whether we realize it or not, by rules or not, we live in it. Then who standardizes and writes all the laws; Divine Law, Natural Law, Laws, rules, orders, obligations, and others that we understand and accept while others cannot be received? And we agree that everything is One?

          So far, I have only been able to understand and realize that the exchange and sharing of our thoughts so far – in addition to all our own writings – is about finding ourselves.

          • Wise men say Professor that the enlightened ones once enlightened shut up in silence. That goes to say people like us have yet to reach the mountain. When I exchange with you (and you know how I do this without tiring of it) or people like you, it is because, you are right, I am still digging. I reach a point of understanding, true, and I hold to that as my truth. Yet, I am trying to dig deeper to make certain that what the mind understands be in sync with the heart. We see, we hear, we listen, we understand, we feel, we live all that in silence. I saw, I heard, I listened, I understood and got stuck ?. Mostly when I react to you or to other similar posts, it is only me expressing the thoughts and questions that are in my mind. Seeking clarity. And where do you seek clarity? I was commuting by public transport yesterday and beside me was an old nun. A close cousin was chatting with me asking some advice and teasing me to try to strike a conversation with the nun knowing that my views will be rejected by a devout Catholic ???. See? Even my own relatives mock the way I think ?

          • As to why not with others? Isn’t it the purpose why we write about it? To unobstructively tickle other pigeons? It is a sufi thing Professor only we do it in concurrence to modern time and technology. Besides with people like you I can push my questioning without them taking it quite personally. Try that with someone else and they will shoot your head ???. I belong to a group called The Cosmic Joke. The creator/admin there would send me private message when I answer squarely comments to my post. I tell him “don’t worry Cliff I am only asking not to provoke but to understand, I will stop just before they shoot my head” ???

        • Haven’t reached the mountain? What do you mean? I’m on relaxing myself on the beach…????

          Now I think, am I lucky or losing after considering that there is only one fussy pigeon who pecks my bait? What if nobody pecks? and, what if there were so many pigeons pecking on bait????

          • There is always a few who peck the bait, that you know already. But when the going gets tough, how many of the few go on? I, myself, whose stubbornness is of a certain level (????), do make a lot of pause questioning myself if I am on the right track. I, myself, ask if I really learned to live in love or have only gotten good at rationalizing everything in my head thus deluding myself that, indeed, I am living like love. You are on the beach. I am under some tree gazing at the sky wondering if I am at the right place and telling the Octopus head that I leave things for It to decide. No wonder the mountain is still far from both of us ?? tsk

  2. The composition of the picture is excellent. You created a film Noir effect (the old movies from Bollywaood or Hollywood in Black and White).


    To your question, live to eat for me. Eating to live feels like a forced event. I enjoy taking a break from the day, gathering family around and enjoying a meal!

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