A few weeks ago a Spo-fan asked me to write about what is The Meaning of Life. Well! I am honored he thought I could answer such a lofty question. People have been asking this question since the dawn of Man.

Well, here is my response.

Avoiding this question While thinking about this question, Synchronicity kept sending me items to make me think upon this topic.

One of my blogger buddies recently died; he was ‘one of the first ones’.  Almost of chance I read about a colleague who died in the events of 9/11;  there are trusts and funds established in his name.  These death forced me to reflect on Life’s Meaning.

One of my favorite short stories is “A Painful Case” by James Joyce. In it, a man learns of the death of a woman with whom he could have had a meaningful life. He realizes his is alone, a life without meaning.  It is one of the bleakest short stories I know.

One of my teachers thought psychiatry was ‘nobler‘ than other medical specialities because it helps patients to find meaning in their lives. In the past week, I saw a lot of patients suffering tremendously because their pain is meaningless; it has no context. They can not translate it into something more.

I once saw Quentin Crisp in a show. We were asked to write him questions on cards. He would read them and talk about them. I wrote “What is The Meaning of Life?”.

He dismissed my question quickly. “Oh, that’s easy! (reading my card out out loud to the audience) There IS no meaning to life!” and he promptly tossed the card over his shoulder.
Meaning is the crucial difference. From a psychological point of view it is as necessary as water. A man may live to be 100 but without meaning may feel his life to have been a brief one.

Whenever I feel sad or succumb to a surge of self-pity I only have to remind myself my life has lots of meaning.

I can’t often describe it but I know it is there.

The challenge for all is – what meaning?

This is highly variable; perhaps it can’t be articulated.

But you must have some.

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