A Crisis of Meaning | Should we stop the never-ending processes of conquering our inner self?
“But there is no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest courage, the courage to suffer.”
“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; a life he can only respond by being responsible.” — Viktor E. Frankl
“If you talk to God, you are praying. If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.” — Thomas Szasz
Our life has become an eternal becoming; yes, but many of us have shaped this becoming into an eternal conquering of the inner self; the inner life. A battle that has only one purpose: to control the inner life, to make it submissive. What we have forgotten is that this control requires so much energy and time that there is hardly any left for a creative shaping of our outer life.
And with our modern life, we have come into modern problems…a rise of mental illness and more people discontent with their lives as they’ve come to feel a lack of meaning or higher calling.
But we have all of this innovation to be proud of! Right? Modern technology; modern problems. Is it possible something has been lost? A disconnect of sorts?
Is the answer to our problems to embrace some inner meaning? Or is this a further embrace of the societal obsession with the self?
I’ve never truly embraced the idea that the only person we are wholly responsible for is ourselves. This idea commonly proclaimed in self-help spaces feels…off. It feels Western; it feels like oversimplified advice to help us avoid acknowledging the external perceptions of problems we see and face.
Perhaps what we need more than anything is to start looking beyond the self and our own needs, and instead recognize just how deeply interconnected we all are. How? Why? Our every interaction, our every word, our every movement, and our every choice has an effect on all life around us. The interconnection is unavoidable.
Ah but ‘we can’t change the world until our house is in order,’ right? Wrong. Why should we ever assume our house or our inner self is truly ever in order. If the self is a created and necessary imagined order, one that is always becoming, and one that takes part in the eternal becoming…then we must accept our process of always becoming means we are already changing the world from our own inner processing.
So, maybe we must embrace our shared responsibility for each other’s inner peace, as our inner peace is inevitably connected to the outer peace all life interacts with.
In the end, we are condemned to be free, right?
We often want to proclaim someone or some action to be the works of a mental illness! Yet, is this simply hiding the real problems we face? Jobs we hate, things being constantly sold to us, and entertainment being provided while never wanting us to look from its gaze; the fight and grasp for our limited attention are endless…
But we are told it’s the fault of the individual! We are condemned to be free, remember?
‘Take responsibility for your actions!’ Right? The endless loop of the individual continues!
And yet we must find the nuance…as some responsibility on each individual is in order! But it starts with each of us. It starts with me and it starts it’s you. We have to be willing to set aside our shame, our fear, our self-doubt; we have to be willing to embrace suffering and the eternal struggle, for it is only through these trials that we can truly find the meaning being created in the outer world.
The eternal becoming of the self is gathered from the same eternal becoming of the outer world. Its will is unavoidable and its influence is undeniable, however, we all share in that will.
The eternal becoming continues.
With love…and thanks for reading…
Now, get out of my labyrinth:)