The Search for Meaning in Life When Life Itself Has No Meaning

I. “There are no reasons. Just causes.”

So why suddenly everything matters?

Because you start to zoom in. You want to perform well. No matter whether it is a game, a play, an object that you craft, or a contest. When you begin to zoom in, the prize gets larger. The consequence matters more. Life is too short to zoom out forever.

II. Happiness as meaning

Some endeavors create comfort and joy unambiguously.

But what do “joy” and “comfort” refer to? Is it luxury, is it a facilitator of greed?

“Human emotions are complex.”

We have hedonic pleasure, sense of achievement, and consolation when facing failure. Sensual pleasure can be a prelude of distress.

Are you willing to push something impactful when its consequences have not yet fully unfold, or turns out to be a double-edged sword? Or are you satisfied with patching unambiguously good deeds that cater people, all of which can be easily turned upside down by a wave?

III. On success

She says: “In order for a life to be meaningful, one’s endeavor has to be somewhat objectively impactful.”

If you are passionate about your goal, of course you dream for it to succeed. Of course you don’t want your efforts to turn into sand.

Yet, for too many times, one’s life is evaluated by the end outcome, even if the outcome is determined by the flip of a coin.

IV. On the tricks and lies and candies

Let’s confess it. At the end of the day, we are just ordinary people. We like lighthearted folks. We appreciate humor. We want partners with whom ew get along. We are pleased and fooled by sensual stimulants.

So we devote lots of time learning these. We regard them as “important” because these are tricks that help us get through. Some people devote too much time on them because these are the only things they know to care about. Others devote too much time on them because the goals behind the veils are too important for them. Still some others denote too few efforts: some shine and others die.

Yes, life is ridiculous. It is compromising. It is chaotic. But also, it is lively enough to sustain us to get it through.

 

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