I feel like I need to address this question.
(I actually already have in one of my Quest posts “Why am I here?” So you can check that out if you’re interested in further thoughts from me on the subject.)
I think when we ask “what is the meaning of life?” We are really asking “What is my place in this life?” Or possibly “Was all this an accident?”
Until the Evolution theory became popular sometime after the Civil War, there was little debate over the purposefulness of creation. Of course it was no accident.
But it might surprise you to know that even in ancient times, the theory of evolution existed. even the Greeks, famously polytheistic, had some traces of evolution in their mythology, I think I’ve heard the Egyptians did too.
It is probably not news to you that in recent decades evolution has taken some hard hits from Intelligent Design theorists, there’s a lot of evidence out there against evolution. Though many people still do not believe that, but there is.
This post is not about evolution, but it is part of my point. Only if we evolved does the question “Is life an accident?” even seem legitimate. And I don’t think we did.
So, I would say life is not accidental, but just because it’s not an accident that doesn’t mean it’s meaningful.
And what if life originally was not an accident, but now, because people have children often without meaning to, one could say they were an accident. Who gets to decide?
It’s not the church anymore, though it has contributed.
It’s really quite simple, either we are born for a reason, and that means someone wanted us to be born; or, we aren’t. And then, there is nothing.
But there’s more to it. There are plenty of people who believe we are put here for a reason, yet still feel lost and often discouraged about their lives. I’m not immune to such feelings myself.
I’ve seen many people write that we can’ t know. There is no way of knowing. Or that maybe answers will come to us, but we can’t be sure they will. I remember one person said they accepted that life was a lie, and art was one of their only solaces.
I think that person missed something key there.
For one thing: Why are we even able to understand the concept of meaning, and purpose, if it does not exist?
Why do we make things to use them, if things don’t have use?
And if something like a toothpick or an eyebrow pencil still has its’ use, heck, if we can turn puked-up octopus into perfume, then why on earth would we amazing, complex, intelligent, human beings be without purpose?
I’m sorry, that is more mind-boggling than rocket science.
Really, we are such lost, damaged people; that we even have to wonder this stuff. We were never meant to.
Yes, meant to.
I say this with compassion, and empathy, because I’ve had my dark moments too.
You all know my answer: God. But let me take a slightly different tone. I often talk about my feelings about God, but I don’t want all you intellectuals out there to think I’ve never considered the scientific side to all this.
Actually, science fascinates me. I don’t claim to understand mcu of it, but what I do understand is jammed with wonder.
I understand that our brains are ever-changing, growing tools, that we can sharpen or dull by choice.
I understand that what activates our conscience is actually a mini sort-of brain in our chest, and that’s why our strongest feelings are there.
I understand that we cannot make our own heart beat.
I understand that our eyes pick up images upside down and our brain switches them around so that we don’ feel disoriented.
And all this is just the tip of the iceberg. And all of this has meaning. Just like the words I’m using have meaning to you because you speak English.
So, if life seems to have no meaning, if I may further use my own analogy, it is because we cannot speak the language of Life.
You think I am being metaphorical, but this is true.
We see meaning when we speak it, when we hear it. What we say about ourselves and about our surroundings affects our perceptions; and also what we’ve heard said about us.
I guarantee you, the idea that life has no meaning got started with words. And those words got repeated to people until there was a whole culture that believed it. And that affects each individual in that culture.
Of course, it would be stupid to say words alone are responsible.
But it’s science. Look it up, things, even inanimate objects, are affected by human speech.
But we, as beings who have choice, do have the option of not believing everything we hear. You may not believe what I am saying, and I can’t make you. I wouldn’t anyway. Or, you may believe it.
I had to choose.
But I was convinced by both what I could see of life, what I knew of it through science, and what I felt in my heart had to be true.
In a nutshell, I was convinced life is full of meaning. That it is there for
everyone who looks for it, that we naturally look for it as kids, but often turn ourselves off to it as adults and teens.
People say the answers might come, but if you ask me, they are there already. It’s we who shut our eyes and our minds to it, to what’s right in front of us. And I have too. I think everyone does at some point, but some of us wake up.
One more thing, art is full of meaning. An art lover is seeing meaning some where.
My NLT Bible says “He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos.” Isaih 45:18. That’s good enough for me. Because, the world in only chaotic where we have removed natural order, originally, it was designed for life. We know that.
I hope you enjoyed this post, until next time–Natasha.