Meaning is as convoluted as the beholder.
Following a football team, carving a career, making money are the channels of “meaning making” – often for a period of time until a crisis or relationship changes that as the central priority – for some this is good enough.
For others incessantly scratching a meta-physical itch can be a joy or curse.
Perhaps the most common path to “meaning” is family.
Next is inheriting a religion from your surrounding culture. It’s odd that the beliefs and ultimate truths in India are a statistical majority there but don’t have a profound statistical impact in western countries where Christianity and Scientism/Agnosticism/Atheism carry the numbers. Surely truth is not girt by sea?*
So meaning would seem to be what you “hang your hat on” that has an ongoing coherence until a crisis forces a re-framing. The coward’s approach is to choose from the main menu to reduce discomfort: the football hat wearers think the Christians are delusional who think the Hindus are delusional ad-infinitum.
The famous proclamation by Nietzsche** states conundrum caused from the ascendency of rationality and the reification of science:
“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. …who will wipe this blood off us?…”
Its fair to say that humans are meaning-making***, problem solving beings – Prismism projects explore creativity as a part of “meaning” and also a birthright. Creativity isn’t basket-weaving, its the most beautiful and responsible act for the present moment. The breaking of an old-frame and searching and uncovering a new frame (that will be broken again).
No profound solutions or prosaic “its about love”, “it about family”, “as long as you have your health” here ?. Its all of that and more.
If Nietzsche’s dilemma leads to chronic materialism (a baby boomer affliction) or nihilism (a millennial affliction) or fear/general-anxiety (all generation affliction) – the best current antidote to have deep appreciation and gratitude for each moment and to adopt practices that lean into arising resentments, fears. Meaning comes from presence clarity.
If we avoid the coward’s approach of joining some club out of sybaritic laziness (NOTE: joining an esoteric club is the same neural patterns firing) then we a coherence must be found.
Coherence of heart, mind, community, culture.
It’s an inexhaustible topic unique to each person but here are some things that I find interesting:
David Chapmans: MeaningnessMeditation
Yoga, slackline, western magical tradition,
RAIN, Affirmations, language, meditation
writing a book is a good type of journaling.
Alphabet in axial, arabic numerals from trade post-black-death. Roman numerals make maths hard.
Refer also Supplements and Biohacks
** Nietzsche’s complete statement is, “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”
*** Secularity and post-modernism’s ‘rejection of grand narratives’ inevitably lead to nihilism and a sense of meaninglessness. Combined with economically driven damage to the planet accelerates those feelings of hopelessness or extreme anger.