What is the meaning of life?

Nothing. NOTHING.

Immediately after the world war II, this was the answer an assorted group of writers in the war-ravaged Europe came up with. They were loosely called ‘existentialist’. Some like Jean Paul Satre thought that although there is no meaning for anything, one could make meaning out of one’s life by committing to something that is worthwhile. Writer’s like Albert Campus, said Nothing doing.

There is no meaning for anything except the meaning one construct referencing something. The referencing something can be great or banal depending on the vision of the individual. For a patriot, it may be the nation, for a communist, it may be his ideology, for a jihadi it may be his religion, for a financial swindler, it may be his family, or worse still his pleasure.

Meaning is an artefact people create for them. Ideally, it should be referenced to the social contract in which the individual lives. All societies try to indoctrinate the individual to reference him to the social contract. Some cultures do it well; some do it badly. If people lose belief in that social contract, there is nothing out there to provide meaning. Post-War Europe created so many existentialists writers precisely because of this. The war had created a loss of faith in the social contracts and ideologies people believed, and all were bare open- to the naked reality- the NOTHINGNESS.

To tell it curtly, there is no meaning for anything. Meaning is an artefact. It is referenced to a social construct called the social contract. Different people are motivated differently depending on the degree and type of indoctrination to the referencing agency that makes the ‘meaning’.

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