The pursuit of happiness is an easy enough concept but what I don’t understand is this obsession with uncovering the “meaning of life.” What does that even mean?
Does meaning of life = significance of life? What makes life significant is that we’re living it.
Does meaning of life = reason why we exist? We exist because of a series of coincidences that make life possible and/or because of the whimsy of some higher being. Take your pick.
The answer to the purpose of life is simple, too: it’s to reproduce and pass our genes on to the next generation. That’s the purpose of all organisms whether we like it or not.
All of this adds up to the fact that life doesn’t inherently have any real meaning. It doesn’t have to for us to enjoy it.
Yes, I like existentialism if you can’t already tell.
In my psych class we learned about the idea of illusory correlation, the tendency for us to see patterns and relationships between unconnected ideas where there are none. When we seek meaning we tend to make it up however we want.
I hear the question, “What’s the point?” too often.
“What’s the point of listening to music with meaningless lyrics?”
“What’s the point of being nice to her if you two don’t even like each other?”
“What’s the point in trying if you only need a C average?”
“What’s the point in dating if the relationship isn’t going to last?”
“What’s the point in persisting?”
Just because there isn’t a “point” to something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it or that it doesn’t matter. I’m a strong believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason, just not necessarily good reasons. I see parallels and patterns and beauty and wonder in the universe but I don’t find any meaning in it all. That doesn’t signify that we have no place here. On the contrary, I think that when we don’t limit ourselves to any given purpose for being, we’re giving ourselves room to realize our potential and detach ourselves from the stale reasons for our existence.
Even if there is a higher purpose for us human beings, I don’t feel as if I’m missing out on it. I don’t even think I would like to take part. I prefer to be.