23 September 2011

The Meaning of Life

I cannot stress enough how much a fundamentalist upbringing cripples a person. The damage lasts long after a person escapes the fundamentalist milieu, and it may take the rest of their lives to deal with that damage. The damage includes, but isn't limited to, self-esteem/accurate self-assessment, understanding reality, relating to other people, critical thinking skills, the ability to make and carry out plans, etc.

For years after my escape from fundamentalism, I still had no answer for what is the meaning of life. I assumed life had a meaning, because the alternative I deemed unthinkable. Untethered from the religion of my childhood, I still assumed that I would come to know the meaning of life, and that it would be revealed to me if only I kept my eyes open.

Then one day last year I realized this was never going to happen. That there was no cosmic (much less divine) ordination for the meaning of my life. Consequently, I realized that if my life was to have meaning, I must be the one to give it meaning.

I still believe that, as someone put it, "The meaning of life is to give life a meaning." I understand the truth of this. But I have found myself unequipped to give my life a meaning. Since I've spent my entire life waiting for meaning to be revealed to me, I did not develop the necessary critical and creative skills I need to conjure up that meaning on my own.

My life is absurd, and I have trouble with that. I very much want to give my life meaning, but what should that be? For now, only questions...

No comments:

Post a Comment