Prescription: Understand the meaning of life.
What is Meaning of Life?
Why is it Important?
Because you are likely to make the mistake of looking for meaning out in the external world, where none exists. Save yourself this wild-goose chase by understanding how meaning works.
Meaning of Life: Key Points
What is the meaning of life? Who said there should be a meaning? There is no deep, ultimate meaning. It makes no sense that there would be. The fact is that life — the universe — doesn’t care about you. It’s entirely neutral to your aims. You can save the world, destroy the world, or sit around watching TV your whole life and the universe won’t care. None of those alternatives is absolutely better than the other. Meaning only exists in your mind. If you do not accept this, you will run around in delusion, creating a mirage of meaning so that you feel safe and significant. This is not necessary. Yes, it can be painful to accept that life is completely open-ended, but this is what makes it so awesome. You are free to create your own meaning.
We all want life to be meaningful. A common mistake is to ground yourself in a meaning like work, family, religion, pleasure-seeking, travel, etc. But there is no meaning! It’s important to say this because you are likely using these outlets to avoid having to face the prospect of your own death, and the void of death. Death is real. The void of death is real. Once you accept this, you can then move on and create a pseudo-meaning for yourself by committing to a life purpose, but always realize that it will never be a true meaning.
- “A warrior must know first that his acts are useless, and yet, he must proceed as if he didn’t know it. That’s a shaman’s controlled folly.” 1
- “Nothing being more important than anything else, a warrior chooses any act, and acts it out as if it mattered to him. His controlled folly makes him say that what he does matters and makes him act as if it did, and yet he knows that it doesn’t; so when he fulfills his acts, he retreats in peace, and whether his acts were good or bad, or worked or didn’t, is no way part of his concern.” 1
- “Only the idea of death makes a warrior sufficiently detached so that he is capable of abandoning himself to anything. He knows his death is stalking him and won’t give him time to cling to anything, so he tries without craving, all of everything.” 1
- The Wheel of Time, Carlos Castaneda
- Leo Gura