The rationale for finding the meaning of life is that it would unknot the existential angst, give direction to a good life, which will ultimately allow us to be happy.
But what happens after everyone found the ONE meaning of life?
It’s interesting to note that we would be trapped. We would all have to live to that one answer and be like robots, each one competing with each other to fulfil that singular meaning more than the others.
And for the rest of us that don’t think that it is worth it, well that’s the end of that.
It might sound gloomy but the insight is to realise that the question is more important than the answer. And to bring peace to the existential angst, consider the Agrippa’s Trilemma.
When you try to answer this big question, it helps to keep in mind 3 types of answers.
1. The answers end up in an axiom and everything falls on the one thing being true.
Because the Big Bang.
Because simulation theory.
2. There is no answer you could give to that question that wouldn’t have another why. The why’s just keep accumulating, and as Richard Feynman said, it would be turtles all the way down. There would be an infinite regress.
If I say the meaning of life is to please God.
Then you asked, which god? Well, Hindu God.
Why that god?
Then why, why, why, why and why?
3. One answer hinges on the other answer being true. Then we start going in circles causing circular reasoning.
“Wellington is in New Zealand. Therefore, Wellington is in New Zealand.”
“There is no god because there is no such thing as a god.”
Why A? Because of B.
Well, why B? Because of A.
So, what is the meaning of life?
What it boils down to is that you have to choose your own meaning.
You get to decide if this a play that I’m going to or that I’m just watching?
You get to decide if there is a self-actualisation dance that you’re doing.
You get to decide if there is a specific thing that you desire just for the heck of it.
It can be about generosity, connection, and possibilities. It can be about did you open the door for someone else. Or if you have inspire someone today. Or if you have made things better. The opportunity lies in knowing that if the meaning we choose is actually helping us achieve the things we seek.
[HT to Naval].