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Meaning of life, its purpose and significance

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The meaning  and significance of life.Meaning of life Meaning of life, its purpose and significance - images 2020 05 18T210317 - Meaning of life, its purpose and significance

I want to appreciate my readers before hand and I want to encourage us to read through. The topic is philosophical, with lot of depth, but I promise to make it simple, concise, fun and meaningful. Be sure, that having an in-depth knowledge about the meaning of life will help you live a meaningful life.

Firstly, I believe am addressing brilliant minds that are conscious that one major difference between a human life to other life is that it’s multifaceted. That is , it’s in part and all these parts are essential, they intertwined to form a meaningful whole. Human life is quite complicated because it is multifaceted, and such facet includes, the physical, spiritual, emotional, pyschological, financial, and several other facets and sub facets.
Having established that we are multifacet beings, it’s good to remind ourselves that man is also the most innovative being (aside God). Man has evolved above all other creatures, man has solved the mystery of nature, man has discovered the meaning and usefulness of almost all element of nature, man has conquered different space, turned impossiblities to possibilities, man has solved millions of puzzles on this planet called earth. Yet, one puzzle remain unsolved and that’s the meaning and significant of man life itself.

Man is an interesting being that has attracted the interest of legions of scholars from different disciplines. The search for life’s meaning has produced much philosophical, scientific, theological, and metaphysical speculation throughout history. Different people and cultures believe different things as the answer to this question. Ideologies from these fields that are relevant to our societal realities will be discussed briefly to challenge our inner mind.

To expose us to other propositions and perspectives to life but the main purpose of this discourse is to empower our individual minds to deduce a clear and definite meaning to life.

In an attempt to be brief, I have purposively categoriese selected ideologies into two broad categories;

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  1. The philosophical and
  2. The religious approach.

Subsequent paragraphs will be dedicated to theories that sought to find the meaning of life outside God; that is man is self existing, hence his life should be meaningful without God.

Theories that proposed that man can only find meaning to life in God alone. After all, God is the giver of life.

Read also: https://50minds.com/here-are-5-kinds-of-drink-that-nourishes-the-body-system/

Nihilism / Absurdism / Existentialism / Humanism

  • Proponent of these theories include Fedrich Nietzsche, Albert Camus, Jean Paul Satre. Nihilist opines that life itself is without object of meaning. It is void, a vacuum left in time, the helplessness and search for meaning only end when man ends. This proposition is closely related to Albert Camus’s Absurdism; he asserts the meaningless of man condition; human search for external values and meanings in a world which has none and is indifferent to them. Perhaps you will remember the last words of the wisest and richest man that has ever lived: King Solomon; “Life is nothing but vanity upon Vanity”. This quote lead us to the next theory which is :
  •  Existentialism : The theory hinges on partly on our helplessness as man. We do not have choice in our birth, neither are we going to have a say when death calls, we do not have say in the situation and circumstances that surrounds our lives. Nobody has choice or say in his fate, we are just helpless being seeking meaning and better life until this poor life ends. No wonder William Shakespeare said we are nothing but pawn on this stage called life. Life never gets better, each stage we scale through or fail still leads to one end, THE GRAVE!. Existentialism hinges primarily on the assertion that if life is meaningless, then each man must create a meaning to their life. If life is tasteless then we must flavour our lives with essence of living. We live to justify that this void life of ours is not in vain. Many phrases sprout out of these ideologies, phrases like
  • “you must leave your footprint on the sand of time”
  • ” A life without a legacy is a life without meaning.”

The meaning of life Meaning of life, its purpose and significance - images 1 300x300 - Meaning of life, its purpose and significance

All these theories opines that life is not determined by any supernatural beings; God, gods, are dead!! If the gods are dead, man becomes the god of his own life; that is, existence precedes essence. The essence of life arises only after one comes to existence.

LIFE ONLY BECOMES MEANINGFUL WHEN MAN WRITES HIS OWN FATE WITH HIS OWN HANDS, WHEN MAN STOP RELYING ON FATE OR SUPERNATURAL HELP.

The captitalised words, are meaning of the theory called humanism. Humanism asserts that man must find personal meaning to life. He alone can make his life and the world meaningful. When he fails, his existence becomes MEANINGLESS.

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Meanwhile, Theisms which includes, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Bhai Faith, Hinduism, Janism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism’s, Shintoism, Zoroastrianism, etc

Has oppose to philosophical approach, religious scholars do not believe in the big bang or the self existing nature of man.Theists believe God created the universe and that God had a purpose in doing so. Theists also hold the view that humans find their meaning and purpose for life in God’s purpose (in creating).

Theists further hold that if there is no God to give life ultimate meaning, value, and purpose, then life would be absurd. Perhaps you have heard of phrases like

  • ” This world is not our home”
  • ” we are nothing but a wanderer and Sojouner on Earth”
  • “we are clay and God is the Potter”
  • ” The world is a stage, we are the actors, God is the script writer/director)”.

Need I say that as good as this proposition is; its reduce innate abilities and derope man it’s creativity. Religious man do not take active responsibility for their lives, but rely solely on a supreme being, God.

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He willfuly becomes irresponsible for himselves because he believes a spiritual being will take the necessary responsibilities.

They choose to be blind to realities of life, worry less about their environments and concentrate more on an unseen heaven that is not veriafiable. No wonder philosophers like Karl Marx opines that

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  • “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.”
  • It is the opium of the people.
  • The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness.”

People repressed their inner desires and abilities in pursuit of the unrealistic transqulity in religion. There is a common saying that the major difference between the west and the underdeveloped world is the way they relate life and religion.

The Bridge: Who gives meaning to life, God or Man?

Like I said before, man is a multifacet being. I am no atheist, therefore I will suggest a multiple approach to the question. The truth is, each theory is a truth in part, and when they interwined they form a complete whole. Perhaps God created man, and he has a purpose of doing so but certainly every baby is born with a blank brain; that is man will always be oblivious of his significance in life, until he chooses to find or create one. If he believes in God, the responsibility is partly on God and primarily on him. If he doesn’t believe in God, the responsibility of creating a meaning to life lies solely on him. Life is meaningless on it own, life is tasteless on its own. You must find or give a meaning to your life. Everybody do every other things and dies like every other, what you choose to do differently or better might add flavour and make your existence meaningful. It’s beyond riches, given birth or a successful career.

Perhaps a short illustrative real life story might help.

A factory worker in the Europe choose not to marry nor own a property. All he had was two set of clothes, the one he wore to church and the other he wore to school. Everybody thoughts his live was meaningless, he doesn’t have any children to claim his will. When the will was finally read, it was discovered that this poor man has saved millions of dollars. He purposely, choose to live his life that way so that the money can be used as scholarship grants to orphans and the vulnerables. The contract does not come without a condition, before you receive that grant you are placed on a contract that you will also assist 20 vulnerable children when you are successful.

He died in the 17century with no education or family, yet his legacy lives on and his little Intiative has grown to become a chain, a tree and lot of vulnerable children are still reaping the fruits a poor ordinary man planted. He did not have education, he did not have a a family, he did not have a career yet he gave his life meaning. His existence was significant.

What meaning are you giving to your life? Well, I just want to be successful, have a career, a family, take care of my family, every other people, billions of people did that already, what makes your existence different?

You might want to ask, how do I make my existence different?
Well, as established above I do not have a definite answer. I only have the answer to mine. May I remind you what we have learnt earlier, life is meaningless until you personally create a meaning for it, perhaps, if you are religious, you can adopt the religious approach and ask God why he created you to be who you are. Whichever way you choose, you are the only one that can give a definite meaning to your life.

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Nevertheless, I will give you tips and questions you can answer to craft a meaning to your life. Note that, it must be definite. For example, the meaning I have given to my life is as follows: I want to be an inspiration to an ordinary African child; hence I must rise to the top and be the ideal model in every facet of life, quite big right?

The following tips can help you have a meaningful life

  • Spend quality time on yourself, with yourself, to discover what makes you different. Your pontentials, innate abilities, strength and weakness (SWOT).
  • Ask yourself the following questions and answer it sincerely. Do I want to make my life significant? Do I really want to live a different and meaningful life? The truth is, a lot of people live ordinary lives because they can’t pay the price for more.
  • Pick a note and write out what you hate about the world, your country, communities or life in general. Can you do anything differently to change that?
  • Just as you are striving to grow, you also be asking yourself this question: what exactly do I want the world to remember me for.
  • Any thoughts that one cannot express on paper is no thought. Write what you want to live for. Write it out anyhow. Go ahead and summarize, into one sentence. There it is, the meaning you have given to your life. Let me leave you with this  is this quote.

Life is what You THINK it is, nothing more, nothing less.

Once again, I appreciate you for reading through and i hope you gained something. I will be open to questions, feedback, contrastion and correction. Thanks

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