Meaning Through Being is a website that chronicles the diverse and growing work of Dr. Zvi Bellin. Here visitors have access to information about the skills that Zvi has to offer, his articles and stories, and events and experiences of which he has taken part in.
The term meaning through being emerged from Zvi’s dissertation research on personal meaning. In the Fall of 2005, while living in Jerusalem and working at an Italian restaurant, Zvi began to question the social phenomenon that asserts the meaning of certain life paths over others. He became concerned that much of meaning valuation seemed to come from what people do, external to themselves – thus a surgeon might be seen as more meaningful and have more value then a waiter, regardless of who they might be as people. This question was not a new one as Zvi found kinship in the writings of Viktor Frankl, Herman Hesse, Daniel Quinn, Paulo Coelho, and other authors who surveyed the human experience and condition.
With this broad cultural challenge in mind, Zvi set to work on his dissertation project in 2006 at Loyola University in Maryland. The primary aim of this study was to rescue the meaning that is rooted more deeply in the essence of the individual. This is the meaning that cannot be stripped away because one loses a job or ends a relationship. It is meaning that is consistently available for the individual to access — a spiritually-related construct that is a major vertebra in the backbone of mental health.
With the help of his dissertation committee, including renowned meaning theorist Dr. Salvator Maddi and internationally acclaimed narrative researcher Dr. Ruthellen Josselson, Zvi completed his narrative analysis in December 2009 with exciting results for future research and clinical practice. Meaning through being is present in the meaning stories of individuals and by connection meaning through doing back to the essence of the individual — an affirmation of existence and aliveness — a more sustainable experience of meaning becomes possible. The key is not to find meaning in personality or identity, but rather to assert that all meaning is rooted in the core of the human experience — that of being, or the “I-AM” experience.
Thus, this site represents a profound call for a cultural paradigm shift where meaning is rooted within the core of the person, rather than what one does or what one has. The method of reaching such a shift is two-fold. First, the individual is urged to set a course of perpetual self-growth, cultivating awareness and compassion, which enhances resilience and well-being. Second, social institutions are challenged to evaluate how their cultural environments effect the ability of community members to live meaningful and fulfilled lives.
Zvi can be reached via email: email@example.com .
Letter from a reader of Zvi’s blog posts: