- Published on Thursday, 12 September 2013 03:07
- Written by Abbas Pasandideh
The meaning of life
Human beings are perfectionist and purposeful and strongly avoid banality, meaninglessness and purposelessness.
Banality and vanity does not satisfy such a being, therefore if life does not have meaning and purpose, being alive has no value, even if all facilities are available. “Failure in welfare” is not the reason for dissatisfaction with life. Even a simple but hard life can be lovely. What makes one disappointed is “failure in seeking meaning”.
A young American says:
I was 22 and was following the path which society suggested to achieve prosperity. I completed my gradation in chemical engineering, also worked in a accompany, earning high income. What else did I want in my life? I had all which may lead to prosperity; I owned all means of prosperity: car, recorder, luxurious apartment, a few real friends. What else do you want?
However, I had never felt such misery in my life. The first year after graduation as an engineer of chemistry, my mind was preoccupied with identity crisis as well as the crisis of life values. Although, I had followed all suggestions which society dictates for prosperity, I had no reason to continue my life…
I did not know why I was alive and why my living could be important. Life had no meaning for me, this crisis of doubt and anxiety had been ruining my entire life.
I was pondering whether life was truly relative? Is that all our life could be? To live fifty or eighty years in pains and pleasure? Is it just working, sleeping, and eating, enjoying and then it is as if you had never been born? If this is the case, why should we live? Why should not we commit suicide and finish all these banality? Why should we suffer for a banal life? Why should we remain good people? Why should we think about our health? If all our lives are going to vanish sooner or later, why should we bother ourselves?
With the passage of time, life would become more sufferable and I was concluding that life had no value to live.
Meaning and its different aspects
This is indicative of the crucial impact of meaning on our happiness in our life. Alport says: Today, psychologists and psychiatrists clearly reject Freud (who considers failure in sexual relationship as the reason for all psychological distress) and instead are inclined towards “existential therapy” which also includes “logotherapy”.
The issue of meaning has different aspects. One of these aspects is “meaninglessness”. There are some people who consider no meaning for life from the very beginning of creation and imagine that life is banality.
There also people who believe in “incompleteness of meaning”. They consider a purpose for their lives, but the moment they achieve it, they think it does not have enough value to live for. This perspective must be considered within a broader framework. Islam maintains that life’s real philosophy directs us towards paying attention to the goals beyond worldly life. Otherwise “loss”, which is called “khosran” in religious literature, will happen.
In Islamic worldview, this world is part of a life, which in regard to its duration, is a very short part of human life. Considering its value, this world is also a trivial issue compared to the Hereafter.
God, the Most High, considers this world as more trivial than its being as the purpose of human effort.
“Say, The enjoyment of this world is little, and the Hereafter is better for he who fears Allah.”