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Reflection from “Creating a Life That Matters” by Manis Friedman (vol.9)

Existence and Life

Existence is dead weight and occupies space, while life is buoyant. Taking up space means that you cannot come into my space. Existence without life is burdensome and depressing. You have to sleep to exist. Emotion also takes up space. Depression occurs when you add weight to your existence. However, God gave us life. Life is the effect something that exists has on its surroundings. For example, fire gives light warmth and causes things to come apart. Water makes things grow, keeps things cool, and binds things together.

“Why am I here?”

We ask this question because existence alone does not justify itself. We have to justify our existence by contributing something. In short, existence means “Give me what I need!” Life means “Do you have any needs? How can I be of help to you? Put energy into living, not into existing.

What should you do when living and existing come into conflict?

The answer, of course, is to humble your existence because it does not have an inherent value. In other words, we should always sacrifice existence in favor of life.

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