― Albert Camus
- What is the meaning of life?
- What’s it all about?
- Who are we?
- Why are we here?
- What are we here for?
- What is the origin of life?
- What is the nature of life?
- What is the nature of reality?
- What is the purpose of life?
- What is the purpose of one’s life?
- What is the significance of life?
- What is meaningful and valuable in life?
- What is the value of life?
- What are we living for?
- What is the reason to live?
“In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.
And God said, “Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done.” And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close to mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. “What is the purpose of all this?” he asked politely.
“Everything must have a purpose?” asked God.
“Certainly,” said man.
“The best things in life make you sweaty.”
“Do you know a cure for me?”
“Why yes,” he said, “I know a cure for everything. Salt water.”
“Salt water?” I asked him.
“I have learned that you can go anywhere you want to go and do anything you want to do and buy all the things that you want to buy and meet all the people that you want to meet and learn all the things that you desire to learn and if you do all these things but are not madly in love: you have still not begun to live.”
― C. JoyBell C.
“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters,”
― Amit Ray, Meditation: Insights and Inspirations
“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”
― Joseph Campbell
“Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.”
― Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
“The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther
“About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enough—and even miraculous enough if you insist—I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about?
Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don’t believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart’s content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of others—while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity—so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called ‘meaningless’ except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one’s everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.”
― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir
“Because children grow up, we think a child’s purpose is to grow up. But a child’s purpose is to be a child. Nature doesn’t disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into the each moment. We don’t value the lily less for not being made of flint and built to last. Life’s bounty is in its flow, later is too late. Where is the song when it’s been sung? The dance when it’s been danced? It’s only we humans who want to own the future, too. We persuade ourselves that the universe is modestly employed in unfolding our destination. We note the haphazard chaos of history by the day, by the hour, but there is something wrong with the picture. Where is the unity, the meaning, of nature’s highest creation? Surely those millions of little streams of accident and wilfulness have their correction in the vast underground river which, without a doubt, is carrying us to the place where we’re expected! But there is no such place, that’s why it’s called utopia. The death of a child has no more meaning than the death of armies, of nations. Was the child happy while he lived? That is a proper question, the only question. If we can’t arrange our own happiness, it’s a conceit beyond vulgarity to arrange the happiness of those who come after us.”
― Tom Stoppard, The Coast of Utopia
The four components are purpose, understanding, responsibility, and enjoyment (PURE):
- You need to choose a worthy purpose or a significant life goal.
- You need to have sufficient understanding of who you are, what life demands of you, and how you can play a significant role in life.
- You and you alone are responsible for deciding what kind of life you want to live, and what constitutes a significant and worthwhile life goal.
- You will enjoy a deep sense of significance and satisfaction only when you have exercised your responsibility for self-determination and actively pursue a worthy life goal.
Although most psychology researchers consider meaning in life as a subjective feeling or judgment, most philosophers (e.g., Thaddeus Metz, Daniel Haybron) propose that there are also objective, concrete criteria for what constitutes meaning in life. Wong has proposed that whether life is meaningful depends not only on subjective feelings but, more importantly, on whether a person’s goal striving and life as a whole is meaningful according to some objective normative standard.
The mystery of life and its true meaning is an often recurring subject in popular culture:
“Well, it’s nothing very special. Uh, try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try to live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.” – Monty Python
“What is the meaning of life?” is a question many people ask themselves at some point during their lives, most in the context “What is the purpose of life?”. Some popular answers include:
To realize one’s potential and ideals
- To chase dreams.
- To live one’s dreams.
- To spend it for something that will outlast it.
- To matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.
- To expand one’s potential in life.
- To become the person you’ve always wanted to be.
- To become the best version of yourself.
- To seek happiness and flourish.
- To be a true authentic human being.
- To be able to put the whole of oneself into one’s feelings, one’s work, one’s beliefs.
- To follow or submit to our destiny.
- To achieve eudaimonia, a flourishing of human spirit.
To achieve biological perfection
- To survive,that is, to live as long as possible, including pursuit of immortality (through scientific means).
- To live foreveror die trying.
- To adapt. Often to improve one’s chances of success in another purpose; sometimes, as a purpose in itself (adapting to adapt).
- To evolve.
- To replicate, to reproduce.”The ‘dream’ of every cell is to become two cells.”
To seek wisdom and knowledge
- To expand one’s perception of the world.
- To follow the clues and walk out the exit.
- To learn as many things as possible in life.
- To know as much as possible about as many things as possible.
- To seek wisdom and knowledge and to tame the mind, as to avoid suffering caused by ignorance and find happiness.
- To face our fears and accept the lessons life offers us.
- To find the meaning or purpose of life.
- To find a reason to live.
- To resolve the imbalance of the mind by understanding the nature of reality.
To do good, to do the right thing
- To leave the world as a better place than you found it.
- To do your best to leave every situation better than you found it.
- To benefit others.
- To give more than you take.
- To end suffering.
- To create equality.
- To challenge oppression.
- To distribute wealth.
- To be generous.
- To contribute to the well-being and spirit of others.
- To help others, to help one another.
- To take every chance to help another while on your journey here.
- To be creative and innovative.
- To forgive.
- To accept and forgive human flaws.
- To be emotionally sincere.
- To be responsible.
- To be honorable.
- To seek peace.
Meanings relating to religion
- [He] [God] who created death and life to test you [as to] who is best in deed and He is Exalted in Might, the Forgiving. (Quran 67:2)
- To worship God and enter heaven in afterlife.
- To reach the highest heaven and be at the heart of the Divine.
- To have a pure soul and experience God.
- To understand the mystery of God.
- To know or attain union with God.
- To know oneself, know others, and know the will of heaven.
- To love something bigger, greater, and beyond ourselves, something we did not create or have the power to create, something intangible and made holy by our very belief in it.
- To love God and all of his creations.
- To glorify God by enjoying him forever.
- To spread your religion and share it with others. (Matthew 28:18-20)
- To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.
- To be fruitful and multiply. (Genesis 1:28)
- To obtain freedom. (Romans 8:20-21)
- To fill the Earth and subdue it. (Genesis 1:28)
- To serve humankind, to prepare to meet and become more like God, to choose good over evil, and have joy.
To love, to feel, to enjoy the act of living
- To love more.
- To love those who mean the most. Every life you touch will touch you back.
- To treasure every enjoyable sensation one has.
- To seek beauty in all its forms.
- To have fun or enjoy life.
- To seek pleasure and avoid pain.
- To be compassionate.
- To be moved by the tears and pain of others, and try to help them out of love and compassion.
- To love others as best we possibly can.
- To eat, drink, and be merry.
- To have power, to be better
- To strive for power and superiority.
- To rule the world.
- To know and master the world.
- To know and master nature.
Life has no meaning
- Life or human existence has no real meaning or purpose because human existence occurred out of a random chance in nature, and anything that exists by chance has no intended purpose.
- Life has no meaning, but as humans we try to associate a meaning or purpose so we can justify our existence.
- There is no point in life, and that is exactly what makes it so special.
One should not seek to know and understand the meaning of life
- The answer to the meaning of life is too profound to be known and understood.
- You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
- The meaning of life is to forget about the search for the meaning of life.
- Ultimately, a person should not ask what the meaning of their life is, but rather must recognize that it is they themselves who are asked. In a word, each person is questioned by life; and they can only answer to life by answering for their own life; to life they can only respond by being responsible.
Life is bad
- Better never to have been. People will always experience pain (harm) which outweighs any pleasure. Not coming into existence means people will not experience pain, nor will they be disadvantaged by not experiencing pleasure as they do not exist. This is described as the asymmetry of pleasure and pain.