The Meaning of Life

Posted on Posted in Philosophy

Nothing brings out my philosophical mind quite like the times when I am searching for a reason to live. My depression drags me down to a depth barely survivable, and there I hunt for answers. I search not out of curiosity, but a need that does not exist at other times. It was during one of these moments when I finally came to a conclusion. As far as I could tell there were two possible solutions to the meaning of life.

The first being the less favored one, but still, holds validity- there is no meaning to life. We simply exist. You can call it a statistical probability. You can call it luck. You can call it what you want, but humans are the ones that search for meaning, and we are the ones who give meaning to things. So the reason for why we exist, well, we just do. I am more inclined to lean toward my second conclusion simply because it feels more meaningful (pun intended).

The meaning of life is to live. It is hardwired into us and all of nature. We find a random weed sticking through a crack in the sidewalk. We see when an animal feels threatened, they act (even deer in headlights- who act by not moving). Obviously, some survival instincts work better than others. Although, there are so many deer around, but I digress. Our hearts hate us when we have to go to a job we hate or do the multitude of menial tasks that make up our day. We were meant to live our lives, not bring home money to help support the multitude of menial tasks.

Philosophy is about seeking the truth. If that is the case, and I propose that this is in fact truth, then shouldn’t it be universal? My answer is both yes and no. Let me ask you why there is only one meaning? It seems limiting only to have one truth. I cannot define your reasons, just as you cannot define mine. I write out of necessity and because I love it. It excites me. It calls to me at all waking hours and occasionally delights me while I sleep. I could say that it is my purpose and meaning in life to write. If we believe that there are multiple meanings to life, then some may be universal and others may be particular.

Perhaps the age old question seeking the meaning of life is where the problem lies, and not the answer. Maybe the meaning of life is made up by multiple meanings, and the fact that we seek one all-purpose meaning has been our shortcoming in finding the answer.

 

2 thoughts on “The Meaning of Life

  1. So much of our definitions are a result of each person’s experiences. We shape the world in accordance with how the world shaped us. That sounds inane, maybe simplistic, but no less true. In essence, I think our perspective on life’s purpose is forged solely by hope. The more hope one has, the more purpose and meaning one sees in life. I’ll see a Facebook meme that says, “I was not born to pay bills and die”, and I’m thinking, yes, you were. Others might think, “Amen Sister”. That meme says you were born, contribute to the environment of which you’re a part, thrive or survive, then die. That to me is the meaning of life. But, certainly, not a view held by others. Wow. I digress.

    1. That point goes along with the idea of the meaning of life being particular-defined by each individual. If there were one meaning, it would have to be more universal and extend beyond this period in time.
      You are mixing in social beliefs, such as it is our purpose to contribute to society or as you stated, “environment.” I don’t necessarily disagree, but I’m not sure I would define that as the meaning of life. However, as I said in the post, I don’t think there is one all-purpose answer, and as such, I think all of those beliefs hold some validity.

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