By in Spirituality

What is life all about?

Thank God I am alive. Life is a precious thing. It is as fragile as a crystal because one simple mistake would ruin everything there is. Jean Paul Sartre once stated that,” Existence precedes essence.” This is how Sartre and other existential philosophers view life. For them, we have to create and recreate our own life. It is a continuous process that a person has to struggle throughout his/her entire life. We are not born with a ready-made purpose. We have to seek or create our own purpose in this life. So, life is journey, not a destiny. Consequently, we are all travelling toward one destination, which is death.

Indeed, death completes life, as Heidegger proposes (another existential philosopher). He suggests that we have to create our own purpose in this life since death is inevitable. One should not waste time because it can’t be turned back. As we make decision every moment of the day, we are existing and contributing to the meaning that we want in this life. We may find meaning on different things such as money, cars, cellphone, fame, relationship, religion, and others depending on our distinct personal experiences and circumstances. But, existential philosophers would recommend that these meanings should be obtained from within us, not from outside and imposed unto us. Other people should not dictate what we are supposed to do in this world. It is a meaningless existence if one’s life is controlled or manipulated by other people or the society at large. We have to think, decide and use our freedom to craft our own destiny as a proof of our existence.

In my case, I have found my meaning in writing and teaching. I am thankful that I was allowed to take part on the journey called life. Though there are regrets, I think there are more things that I could be grateful for. Existentialism has taught me to appreciate life and how to overcome the struggles or challenges that go with it. What about you? How do you see life?

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LoudMan wrote on September 7, 2014, 4:42 PM

I see life as a wonderful experience which must be lived. Currently, I'm in a struggle with a related gawdbot who feels (since I can't bring myself to accuse her of thinking) that I should not do so and should be a good, little xian, just like her. No.

AliCanary wrote on September 29, 2014, 5:40 PM

I like this--we should find and detrmine our own purpose to lead us to fulfillment. It's really only by learning to be in touch with ourselves that we can grow and live meaningful lives. Thanks for the reminder !

suffolkjason wrote on September 30, 2014, 9:30 AM

I agree with existential philosophers - we have to look within to find meaning.

Feisty56 wrote on September 30, 2014, 7:57 PM

Through my journey thus far I've been fortunate to discover what my life purpose was in different periods and in various circumstances. It's something I became aware of at an early age, even if I didn't know the proper term at the time. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2014, 10:44 PM

My world view is Christian and I believe my purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I want to understand his thoughts and seek his wisdom and guidance in how I live my life. Life is indeed a journey, but I see myself as a pilgrim, headed for an eternal life with God because the Lord Jesus redeemed me. on the way, I do what good I can.

paigea wrote on October 5, 2014, 5:20 PM

I have always felt my purpose was to care for my family and my community.

MelissaE wrote on January 4, 2015, 7:01 PM

"As we make decision every moment of the day, we are existing and contributing to the meaning that we want in this life." I agree wholeheartedly with this. While I know I waste time during my day, I honestly try to do something productive with my time. I also enjoy writing and teaching. I enjoy reading also. I try to spend at least one hour per day on reading. Thank you for this lovely post; I look forward to reading others.

SebastianOnciu wrote on February 5, 2015, 8:55 AM

I do my best to appeciate the precious gift of life. Sometimes I forget how beautiful life is, but there are also moments when I am truly grateful for being alive. We should enjoy every second of it because we never know when it might end.

HappyLady wrote on February 5, 2015, 9:09 AM

i used to be an existentialist. It was a hallmark of my life at one time. It is actually partly thanks to Jean Paul Sartre that I became a Christian. I think I will write a post about this as it is too much to comment on in a comment. I find meaning in my Christian walk and as a writer now, but once concurred with most things written by Satre. I read him literally to the death in the year I turned 18.