By Living It

 The meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour  to hour. One should not search for an abstract meaning of life, Viktor E. Frankl.

While we are staying home because we are told to, this might be a good time to think about the meaning of life. Something to do and discuss with others. Viktor E. Frankl has probably written the most famous quote about meaning, and he did this while being held in a concentration camp.

I believe there is not one abstract meaning to my life. The meaningfulness of my life occurs while seeking it as I am living it. A different meaningfulness can occur daily. This personal meaningfulness is part of my uniqueness. Anais Nin explains:

There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning                                         we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot,                                               like an individual novel, a book for each person.

My favorite meaning quote is by Daniel Boorstin: And we see how we have come from seeking meaning to finding meaning in the seeking. To me this means that the seeking of meaning shouldn’t end. We are finding meaning in our daily lives by living it. What I am saying is that seeking meaning to me is an on-going process; one that doesn’t have a beginning or an ending — going on while I am going on.

Because I believe life is a journey, not a destination, I believe meaningfulness is part of the journey, not the goal. Staying at home is now part of this journey. If meaningfulness is an objective or a goal, once you have achieved it, do you stop seeking it? I believe living my life while seeking its meaning has been the meaningfulness of my life. Maybe Harvey Cox has a message we should pay attention to.

What we are seeking so frantically elsewhere may turn out                                                       to be the horse we have been riding all along. Harvey Cox

Is this a good time, while staying home, for you to think about meaning and discuss it?

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  1. Marianne Fontana says:

    You really hit a home run on this one!! I always loved Viktor Frankl’s writing about meaning, and it has been in the back of my mind often. This is definitely a time to think about meaning in our lives, and just experiencing such a different life heightens the need to find meaning. The group we started out here as a result of our Wisdom Group has been meeting on Zoom. This is a great topic for us to talk about now. I will bring this topic to the meeting. Your article is helpful to me because it helps me realize I am still on the path of meaning, just not a path I anticipated. I’ll write more later to tell you of our journey. Surely wish it were in California that we were being isolated. But here we are in gloomy Connecticut. Gloomy right now because it is rainy and cold.
    Thanks for the article.

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