“One who persists is a person of purpose.”
Life has a different definition in the eyes of different people. … For many life is all about love. For a few, life is all about religious practices. For a philosopher like Aristotle life is about happiness: “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim, and end of human existence.”
We all yearn to know the deeper meaning of life. We all want something beyond what we know. We all want a connection with spirit&with the heart of the universe.
As I pondered what to write about” the deeper meaning of life,” I realized that I was trying to figure it out with my mind. I kept staring at the blank screen on my computer and couldn’t seem to come up with anything worth writing. When I over analyze and rack my brain to get answers I seldom find what I am searching for. So where lies the answers or should I ask what is the question?
I find that when I allow my spirit to guide me it leads me to the mystery behind the obvious. “the imagination is capable of kindness that the mind often lacks because it works naturally from the world of between; it does not engage things in a cold, clear-cut way but always searches for the hidden worlds that wait at the edge of things.”
Some people seem to spend their whole lives dissatisfied, in search of a purpose. But all of us have everything we need for a meaningful existence.
People are mistaken when they feel their lives are meaningless. The error is based on their failure to recognize what does matter, instead of becoming overly focused on what they believe is missing from their existence.
The question of meaning:-
The 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, for example, said the question itself was meaningless because, in the midst of living, we’re in no position to discern whether our lives matter and stepping outside of the process of existence to answer is impossible.
Those who do think meaning can be discerned, however, fall into four groups, writing in the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy. Some are God-centered and believe only a deity can provide purpose. Others ascribe to a soul-centered view, thinking something of us must continue beyond our lives, in essence after physical existence, which gives life meaning. Then there are two camps of “naturalists” seeking meaning in a purely physical world as known by science, who fall into “subjectivist” and “objectivist” categories.
The two naturalist camps are split over whether the human mind makes meaning or these conditions are absolute and universal. Objectivists argue that there are absolute truths which have value, though they may not agree on what they are. For example, some say that creativity offers purpose, while others believe that virtue, or a moral life, confers meaning.
Subjectivists— If meaning happens through cognition, then it could come from any number of sources. “It seems to most in the field not only that creativity and morality are independent sources of meaning, but also that there are sources in addition to these two. For just a few examples, consider making an intellectual discovery, rearing children with love, playing music, and developing the superior athletic ability,”
For subjectivists, depending on who and where we are at any given point, the value of any given activity varies. Life is meaningful, they say, but its value is made by us in our minds, and subject to change over time. It is essentially a sense of worth which we may all derive in a different way—from relationships, creativity, an accomplishment in a given field, or generosity, among other possibilities.
Reframing your mindset:-
For those who feel purposeless, “A meaningful life is one in which there is a sufficient number of aspects of sufficient value, and a meaningless life is one in which there is not a sufficient number of aspects of sufficient value.”
Basically, here meaning is like an equation—add or subtract value variables, and you get more or less meaning. So, say you feel purposeless because you’re not as accomplished in your profession as you dreamed of being. You could theoretically derive meaning from other endeavors, like relationships, volunteer work, travel, or creative activities, to name just a few. It may also be that the things you already do really are meaningful and that you’re not valuing them sufficiently because you’re focused on a single factor for value.
It points to the example of existentialist psychologist Viktor Frankl, who survived imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps in World War II and went on to write a book, Man in Search of Meaning. Frankl’s purpose, his will to live despite imprisonment in the harshest conditions, came from his desire to write about the experience afterward. Frankl noted, too, that others who survived the camps had a specific purpose—they were determined to see their families after the war or to help other prisoners live, maintaining a sense of humanity.
So that anyone who believes life can be meaningless also assumes the importance of value. In other words, if you think life can be meaningless, then you believe that there is such a thing as value. You’re not neutral on the topic. As such, we can also increase or decrease the value of our lives with practice, effort, action, and thought. “I can ruin or build friendships, upgrade or downgrade my health, It would be surprising if in this particular sphere of value, the meaning of life, things were different from how they are in all the other spheres,”
For a life to be valuable, or meaningful, it needn’t be unique. Believing that specialness is tied to meaning is another mistake many people make, This misconception, he believes, “leads some people to unnecessarily seeing their lives as insufficiently meaningful and to miss ways of enhancing meaning in life.”
He notes too that things change all the time: We move, meet new people, have fresh experiences, encounter new ideas, and age. As we change, our values transform, and so does our sense of purpose, which we must continually work on.
Because You Live life Matter:-
Surely there must be more to existence than simply assigning a value to what we already have and thinking differently if we fail to recognize purpose in our lives.
In fact, there are even less complex approaches to meaningfulness. In Philosophy Now, Tim Bale, a professor of politics at the Queen Mary University of London in the UK, provides an extremely simple answer: “The meaning of life is not being dead.”
While that may sound coy, many philosophers offer similar responses, although few as pithy. Philosopher Richard Taylor proposes that efforts and accomplishments aren’t what makes life matter, writing in the 1970 book Good and Evil, “the day was sufficient to itself, and so was the life.” In other words, because we live, life matters.
It can be disconcerting, perhaps, to have such an easy answer. And detractors might argue that nothing can matter, given the immensity of the universe and the brevity of our lives. But this assumes our purpose is fixed, rigid and assigned externally, and not flexible or a product of the mind.
Our Question Is The Answer:-
There are other approaches, too. Now that the question of meaningfulness itself offers an answer. “What makes a human life have meaning or significance is not the mere living of a life, but reflecting on the living of a life,”
Pursuing ends and goals—fitness, family, financial success, academic accomplishment—is all fine and good, yet that’s not really meaningful,. Reflecting on why we pursue those goals is significant, however. By taking a reflective perspective, significance itself accrues. “This comes close to Socrates’ famous saying that the unexamined life is not worth living,“I would venture to say that the unexamined life has no meaning.”
Mystery Is Meaning:-
In the Eastern philosophical tradition, there’s yet another simple answer to the difficult question of life’s meaning—a response that can’t be articulated exactly but is sensed through deep observation of nature. The sixth-century Chinese sage Lao Tzu—who is said to have dictated the Tao Te Ching before escaping civilization for solitude in the mountains—believed the universe supplies our value.
Like Woodley, he would argue that goals are insignificant and that accomplishments are not what makes our lives matter. He suggests meaning comes from being a product of the world itself. No effort is necessary.
Instead of reflection, Lao Tzu proposes a deep understanding of the essence of existence, which is mysterious. We, like rivers and trees, are part of “the way,” which is made of everything and makes everything and cannot ever truly be known or spoken of. From this perspective, life isn’t comprehensible, but it is inherently meaningful—whatever position we occupy in society, however little or much we may do.
Life matters because we exist within and among living things, as part of an enduring and incomprehensible chain of existence. Sometimes life is brutal,, but the meaning is derived from perseverance. The Tao says, “One who persists is a person of purpose.”