Meaning from without and within

“The meaning of life is whatever you make it” fails to work in practice, because it does not consider the social/cultural aspects that make up an individual. The individual must first overcome their culture, otherwise whatever meaning ‘they make’ will only be a notion of meaning prevalent in that culture, and most likely superficial and disingenuous.

Meaning, if it is to be true, cannot be imposed by the individual on the world; the world must impose it on the individual. An individual must first learn to see the world with new eyes, then they will see a new world that will infuse them with meaning. Meaning must come from without, it must ‘possess’ the individual.

The meaning of life for the possessed is genuine, i.e., it is reflected in the individual everyday’s actions and committments. This meaning is found through a journey or process of skeptical, philosophical exploration and analysis. The journey comes from within. It will involve questioning, critically analysing and undermining societal norms, values and ‘herd behaviour’. Along the journey, much time will be spent in the desert. A new world will be found at the end of this journey and the meaning therein will possess the individual.

The journey toward the meaning of life comes from within. The meaning of life, when found, comes from without.

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