Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Meaning of Life: Religion vs Nihilism

Nihilism and Religion are two sides of the same chase for meaning, one embracing the inability of the mind to ever find a satisfactory answer to the meaning of life, while the other wars agaisnt such an abyss by embracing a promise of eternal life. One embraces the void, and the other nestles in the bosom of the divine.

Both, however, are the result of a need to satisfy an itch in the mind that we can never truly scratch, that was placed there when our curiosity had surpassed our understanding, like a towering shadow cast by a flickering light.

But the "meaning" of life is the problem, for to need a "meaning" is itself to reduce all life to a mental game, a riddle to be unscrambled, a crossword puzzle to be solved. Indeed, it was our desire to "think" like God that has caused us all so much trouble, instead of realizing that life itself is simply to be lived.

Religion promises eternity for those who will simply "believe" they have figured out the answer to the question, "what is the meaning of life?" while nihilism answers that question by saying "there is no meaning to life at all, so why not die?"

 Both commit the error of thinking that "life" is a question that must be answered, as if existence must be solved like a math equation or a logic game, or it cannot be appreciated, even though it can only be appreciated most when we stop looking for some answer to what it all "means" and simply live.

If life is a question, the only answer is how we choose to live it.

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