“Whatever we are, whatever we make of ourselves, is all we will ever have—and that, in its profound simplicity, is the meaning of life.” - Philip Appleman
What is the meaning of life if it was not meant for living? In the Christian's Bible Solomon’s response while pondering this question was "Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do" (Ecclesiastes 9:7). Paul, an Apostle, equipped “If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (1 Timothy 6:8). The Muslim's Quran echoes a similar thought by saying "Eat and drink and be not prodigal" (Quran 7:31). Hinduism points to the four purusharthas, or aims, of human life: artha, kama, dharma, and moksha. Artha and kama being material and physical well being and social recognition. Dharma is righteousness, the experience of the divine, and Moksha, ultimate happiness.
Confucius once said: "If you want to be happy for a day, get drunk. If you want to be happy for three days, get married. If you want to be happy forever, cultivate a garden." Anais Nin is of the opinion that “There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person,” while Arnold Schwarzenegger extols “The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe contends “The man who is born with a talent which he is meant to use, finds his greatest happiness in using it” while The Dalai Lama summarizes “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
Throughout the ages; across the ethos of time; from the religious to the contemporary; man has sought to find true meaning and happiness out of a seemingly meaningless existence. But what really is the true meaning of life if it was not meant for living? Hence, whatever you do, do not succumb to the tyranny of work. Dream your dreams. Cage your demons. Conquer your fears. Find your freedom and live.
The goal is All. The journey continues into the unknown where uncertainty abounds, but fortune favours the brave.