Meaninglessness is not a palatable concept, yet it is something we all must consider when trying to embrace the true purpose of our lives. Victor Frankel, the prominent existentialist and founder of Logotherapy introduced the world to his concept meaningfulness in his poignant book, Man’s Search for Meaning. This powerful account of his own internment in the Nazi work and death camps of WWII exemplify how choice can play a powerful role in our perception of suffering.
I would go as far as to say that Frankel’s ability to find solace, joy and peace in the smallest shred of this painful, horrifying time of his life is very much akin to the popular practices of mindfulness and radical acceptance. There has been no theroretical link between these various philosophies, but one can easily see the similarities between them.
Purpose, meaning and freedom are the pillars of existential thought. Kafka, Sartre, Camus and Tolstoy all wrote from a place where meaning (or lack there of ) force their readers to consider what purpose does their life serve. Today we can find so many example of simialr themes embedded in the entertainment of our popular culture; LOST, the musical Avenue Q, The Matrix, Being John Malcovich, Ground Hog Day, Death of a Salesman and countless others ask the question: What is my purpose? Why am I here?
The answers to these questions need not be answered through some complex philosophical explanation. The answers are simple when asked of yourself. Ask yourself what is your philosophy of life? What is your purpose and what gives your life meaning? Any blockage to these answers are answers in and of themselves for they will point the way to the truth and to the resistance that holds you back from seeing life in a more meaningful way.