You Must Have Meaning in Your Life Essay

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“If a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, then he hasn’t got a reason to live.” These were famous words of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoken June 23, 1963 in Detroit, Michigan. Why do so many people fear death, fight for their country, defend their honor, seek love, stand up for their principles, go on living in the face of adversity, or believe in God? Each of these things involves living beyond the immediate moment, and all of them have at least one thing in common, and that is a sense of meaning. These are examples of big meaning, but in fact every conscious event has significance, no matter how small, fleeting, or trivial the event might be. Even if we can someday explain all behavior in terms of…show more content…
Meaning in one way or another colors every mental state, because it is the foundation of every conscious level. We don’t always focus specifically on the sense of import in every experience, but it is precisely this sense of meaning, whether conscious or unconscious, that turns each and every experience into a conscious experience in the first place. Thus, no conscious experience is a completely meaningless experience, because without some level of meaning the event cannot be experienced as “conscious” at all. Numerous metaphors can be used, the fact that meaning may be thought of as the seed from which each and every conscious experience grows, or meaning is the spark that ignites the flame of consciousness. It is these metaphors that fulfill the theory that life without purpose is not life at all. We can draw upon these metaphors and begin to grasp this property. A sunflower, for example, is literally made of the things in its environment. Soil, water, air, and energy from the sun come together, through the organizing capacity of the seed, to create an entirely new entity, which has a life of its own, and yet remains intimately connected with the environment from which it arose. The seed allows the world around it to express its total nature in interesting new ways through the substance and functions of the growing plant. Similarly, a spark allows the substance and energy of a combustible

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