The idea of self-improvement or “self help” is rehashed from the 60’s-70’s Vietnam War era: “Make love, not war”. It’s the Hippies Generation, during the time of Beatles, that started it. I still have those old books from Booksale. I worked in Retirement, and I always talked to seniors in nursing homes, old and frail, abandoned by their families. They were the same youngsters who were into LSD and Indian yoga stuff. But now it’s getting revived with magic mushroom, “medical marijuana”, psychedelics. I believe the root cause of the revival is not so much the novelty of it, just like in the 60’s. But more of the emptiness of the world today with advanced technologies such as AI and social media. And in Nietszche’s words: “God is dead”. The Catholic Church in Europe are now mere relics of the past or just tourist museums. I myself am questioning the purpose of my life in an empty world. What separates us from animals is our consciousness. If you have the IQ of a dumb blonde like Paris Hilton, then you won’t question the purpose of your existence. Everything is just a satiation of your senses. But if you’re a thinking person like me, you will find meaning and purpose in this world.
Ah, those hippies, something else. I was just married and starting a family and saw it in the papers. I was born in the middle of WWII and must agree with your assessment of the children of today; they would melt if they had to land on Omaha Beach. Can you tell me what your purpose is in life? Mine is to create, that is enjoyable. What do you do to give meaning to life?
As an Existentialist, I would have to say that we don’t have the pre-existing purpose in life but rather we create it, multiple times in our life. Perfect example: I can switch from being a lawyer to engineer to doctor throughout my lifetime and all of them will be equally valid “purpose” in life. Once we put a cap to what we can do, because that’s we’re predestined to be, then we are not being authentic to ourselves. “Man is doomed to be free”. And as such, he can have multiple purpose throughout his life.
I find your evaluation of the emptiness of today’s world to be thought provoking and from my perspective quite accurate.
However, this part I would put a different emphasis on:
I probably used to think in a similar way, because I was the kind of person who thought about such issues, and it seemed that others around me didn’t. I was quite a lonely person, thinking I was so different to people around me because of this.
Now, I see it differently. I think that everyone is interesting in the meaning of life. But a lot of people don’t feel the urge to put it into words. They may instead, for example, find the meaning of life through their experience of tantric sex, or from playing sport on the weekend, or many other things.
I also used to think that we could only explore the meaning of life when we had our basic needs provided for. Then I read an article on how Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was based on a misunderstanding of Maslow’s original thesis. This was shared with me by @Eleprocon:
I think it’s well worth a read. My conclusion was that everyone deserves not just to be lifted out of poverty, but also to have the conditions for true creative self-expression. Before reading this, I would have erred on the side of wanting nations first and foremost to be lifted out of poverty, with things like human rights coming later.
It brings me back to what you say about Paris Hilton. She may be wearing a mask of a “dumb blonde”, but I have no doubt she is just as interested in the meaning of life as you are. She probably just explores it in a different way.
Where were you during the World War 2? I’m just curious
If you read what I posted I said I was born in the middle of WWII. What part of this do you not understand?
What i mean by that is what country
The United States of America
En route, le mieux c’est de se perdre. Lorsqu’on s’égare, les pensées deviennent sans abris et se meuvent à leur fin…