What is the meaning of life: an unanswered question
Psychology

What is the meaning of life: an unanswered question

Over the course of our lives, each of us asks a multitude of questions. But there is one that mankind has been struggling with the longest. What is the meaning of life, we ask ourselves. And we do not find an answer. What does it mean, tells the psychologist.

Philosophers, clerics, psychologists for centuries, answered this question, but none of the answers was universally correct. Because everyone has his own meaning in life.

All world religions have asked this question, and all of them have answered it in their own way. Jesus said that the meaning of life was to believe in God and to find the kingdom of God after death. Buddha believed that the meaning of life was to live it in harmony, denying desire and hatred.

Muhammad said that life is entrusted to men by God in order to devote it to an understanding of God, and this leads to eternal life.

Plato observed that “unexamined life is not worth living. Hence, the meaning is to explore it, to comprehend it. Nietzsche linked the meaning of life to the death of God, and therefore to the loss of faith in absolute moral laws, the cosmic order. Camus believed that we create the meaning of our lives by our own decisions.

What is the meaning of life: an unanswered question

But no one has offered a definite, clear, if you will, universal answer. Perhaps because, to begin with, it is still worth answering the other question that stands beside it: “Why do we want to know?” It’s a much more pertinent question, if only because it can be answered. So, why have people been searching for the meaning of life for centuries?

Denying death and searching for the meaning of life is the great lie that defines the lives of so many people

Yes, because none of us wants to accept that life is meaningless. Instead of accepting that fact and moving on, many people spend their lives trying to find it. They look for it in religion, philosophy, psychology.

People think that if they get rich and famous, they can cheat death. There are madmen who think they can defeat death by taking over the world. Denial of death and the search for the meaning of life is the great lie that defines the lives of so many people on the planet.

Denial, like any defense mechanism, has a side effect. The more vehemently we deny something, the more it becomes meaningful. The more we deny death, the less we notice how confident we are about it. A prime example is how many people deny climate change despite the facts. Sigmund Freud would say to this that we unconsciously want death, unconsciously wish it on the planet.

In the Eastern tradition, deep meditation techniques are practiced, where the main thing being meditated on is death. People spend many hours meditating on their death. They literally imagine, visualize lying in the grave and rotting! The point of this action is to reach a state in which there is no attachment to life, so that we can become fully aware that we are mortal. Only by accepting the inevitability of death can we be freed from the binding attachment to life and the problems it brings.

The Buddha and his followers did not cling to life, they meditated on death.

By clinging to life, by trying to find meaning in everything, we come up with false gods, values, and myths that hurt not only us but others as well. If we come up with the idea that the meaning is in praying to God, then anyone who does not pray to him will be beneath us. If we decide that some group of people (to which we obviously belong) is a “good people” group, then another will obviously become a “bad people” group. Both lead to tension and disagreement.

The Buddha and his followers did not cling to life. They meditated on death, renouncing vain notions of life, lust for revenge, power or glory, envy and rivalry. For those accustomed to searching for meaning with the tenacity of a maniac, such meditation is maddening. But for Buddhist monks, the madness is in clinging so tenaciously to one’s life and thinking that death is what happens to others.

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