I’ve never written a direct article on this before, but here it goes.
Let’s start with dissecting the question, quickly.
Meaning Of Life
Meaning implies (Purpose or definition). Well, purpose is a human construct basis the resources available. E.g. The purpose for me to catch an aeroplane is so that I can get to my meeting on time. I have limited resources (Time & Money). I can’t afford to lose them. Therefore my purpose of catching that plane is based on my limited resources. Similarly, my purpose to write on this subject is based on your curiosity of the matter. If there was no resource (curiosity), I wouldn’t have a purpose or meaning to write about this subject. Therefore, if curiosity was abundant in human beings (which it is), I would write about a lot of things ( which I do ). Therefore, the meaning of my writing is to satisfy curiosity. If there was no curiosity, I wouldn’t write. My writing would become meaningless, or purposeless
So, how can we conclude that God ONLY has a purpose for our life, and doesn’t have purposelessness involved as well. Also, how can we conclude that God has limited resources at His end, and therefore desires that Humans follow a Purpose (or plan).
Now, imagine a universe with unlimited resources, unlimited opportunities, and unlimited abundance. We wouldn’t have to work, or eat, or sleep. We could just pick an adventure and go with it and enjoy it. But this type of universe (where some confuse this to be Utopia) would become purposeless or meaningless. However, if we even imagine our universe, ultimately it is meaninglessness wrapped inside of meaning. We go to work, we play, we laugh, but ultimately we die. Ergo, all our activities are meant to delay the inevitable – death. So, even if we die now or die later – our life is meaningless or purposeless. Also, God didn’t give us a clear path. Or even if He does give us a clear path, he muddies it with doubt and confusion. Why? What is the purpose of this type of universe?
Now we come to the “OF” aspect in the phrase “Meaning of life”
Of, simply implies belonging to or associated with. He is a son of God, or its health is rapidly decreasing because of his drinking habit. Of or association – is also a human construct. Nature sees no association, because everything in the whole universe is association. Think about it like this, who gave birth to you? – There are two answers – A) Your mother and B) The Big Bang. Now answer “B” is applicable to everything in this universe. Even the universe itself is associated with the Big Bang (or the Initiation point). Imagine then, that the only non-association between you and ice-cream are the walls that separate you. You’re only atoms revolving around. Nothing else. We’re all interconnected with each other, as the starting point and the ending point of you as an individual is atoms and molecules. We began as dust and we will end as dust.
Life, is simply put, a generic term that we use for experience. E.g. one must enjoy life, or one’s life is in danger of ending, or a life is wasting away. Now, the experience that you see, hear, touch and feel, is life. That is all. You fall in love. Love is an experience shared with another being. Your life is nothing but an experience – in the widest sense. Life is that. Now an experience doesn’t necessarily have to be meaningful to be enjoyable. You can play video games until the sun goes down, or watch tv shows until the sun comes up, and you don’t directly gain anything from it apart from pleasure. Therefore, we do things that are meaningless and meaningful. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to determine which is what. E.g. an artist can write music for 4 years without making money – his activity is meaningless. Now, he makes a million dollars – his activity was meaningful. That is all.
I’m sure, now it becomes exceedingly clear that the question “What is the meaning of life” is derived from human constructs. Also, life doesn’t have to be meaningful or meaningless for us to continue living, as “meaning” is only a label that we give by ourselves, basis the resources available. But God may or may not have unlimited resources.
Now, the deeper question – “Why did we think about meaning in life?” Why did this question come in our mind in the first place? It came from culture, or society, or art, or movies, but why did it stick to people like glue? Why do people seek meaning?
It is because we come to know God a little more, by knowing what His purpose is for us. We want to know why he does the things, that he does if we only know why he created us. Now, it is a better and more fruitful endeavor to figure out His motivation for creating us – by simply experiencing everything and all points of view. And now, ladies and gentlemen, the show is up. There is no more room for thinking beyond what there is (physical realm) and what could be (imagination, dreams, etc.). Thus, that is all that we can encounter.
Next time, someone has a real answer to the question “What is the meaning of life?”. He says – follow your passion, or follow your dreams and what not.
You should ask him/her – “Can I live life without this meaning and purpose and still be happy?”
If they say – YES, then you’re set. You don’t need purpose to experience joy in the world and now you’re free.
If they say – NO, then you’re set again. As you don’t want to have happiness ONLY if you find the meaning of life.
In closing, I’d like to add one final thing. If you want happiness and meaning in life, then suffering thru the question is the complete opposite of what you are trying to receive. Ergo, you are OK with giving up happiness at that current moment, and experience brief pain and thought to figure out the meaning of life, then you don’t really care that much about happiness. If you really cared about it, you would stick to it like glue and never let go. But you let go, suffer and come back. Therefore, happiness can’t be the purpose of this existence.
Now the next question becomes – “nothing”. After a while questions start to fade away, if you really see the universe for what it is.