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Does Life has Meaning?


16. Believing life has intrinsic meaning

Humans have intentions with what they undertake and create and therefore think that a Creator or Natural Law must also have a Purpose with the created. Our personal purpose would then best be in accordance with the Divine purpose.

In Christianity, for example, the purpose of life may be to worship and serve God.

People often seek meaning and purpose in their lives to find a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. They may believe that there must be a greater reason for their existence than mere chance or randomness.

The fear of a purposeless life naturally stems from the sense of isolation and alienation that results from the belief in a separated self in the midst of a world of other lonely selves and lifeless things.

But how can I or anyone know whether life indeed has an ultimate and distinct meaning? I could only find out if I could stand outside my life, outside everyone's life, outside the life of all times in present, past and future, outside life itself. And of course that is impossible. I can only decide to give my life meaning or at least see that life itself has enough meaning of itself to just be lived, like the life of every other living being. I am alive. Isn't that enough?

Joan Tollifson on Facebook:

"Here-Now, the present experiencing, THIS one bottomless moment, exactly as it is, THIS is utterly simple: the sounds of the washing machine, the taste of oatmeal, the sensations in the knee or stomach, the breathing, the thought traces and mental films that appear like bubbles and eventually burst - THIS whole thing, exactly as it is, is simple, obvious, inevitable, and effortlessly present. It is ever-changing and yet always here, in this moment. Without thought, it has no inside or outside, no beginning or end. It is without meaning and without a need for meaning, although thought can spin comforting or scary stories about meaning or meaninglessness. But actuality IS just the way it is."

Alan Watts:

"If the universe is meaningless, then that statement is also meaningless… The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance."

Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Uncertainty

Imagine if life did have some definite, knowable meaning or purpose. Wouldn't that be horrible? We would then be forced to continually obey that meaning, the grand Plan, and be held accountable, and that is exactly what most religions and ideologies would have us believe…

Robert Saltzman:

"I have not the slightest interest in beliefs, conjecture or any form of faith, not because one belief or another has been proven to be wrong or because I am an atheist or a materialist, but because this moment is enough on its own without having to believe anything."

Robert Saltzman, The Ten Thousand Things

And that says it all for me.