To find Meaning in Life

After browsing through a lot of articles on the internet, I ended up with the following blog about the Meaning in Life:

http://bigthink.com/21st-century-spirituality/4-ways-to-find-meaning-in-life

 

Derek Beres refers to  Emily Esfahani Smith’s  book, The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed by Happiness, and says:

“We are obsessed with happiness, often believing it a birthright, yet as journalist We are obsessed with happiness, often believing it a birthright, yet as journalist Emily Esfahani Smith notes in her book, The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed by Happiness, all that searching is actually making us unhappy”

Beres further says the following:

“As with my recent conversationwith Robert Lustig, Smith cites Aristotle’s concept of eudaemonia as a force for “cultivating the best qualities within you both morally and intellectually and living up to your potential.” Instead of chasing pleasure, we need to institute the search for meaning.

This is challenging during a time when you’re constantly instructed to do “what you love.” Smith counters this advice by invoking German philosopher Immanuel Kant. As with the mythologist Joseph Campbell, who, while famously remembered for saying “follow your bliss,” continued, “If your bliss is just your fun and your excitement, you’re on the wrong track.”

“To Kant, the question is not what makes you happy. The question is how to do your duty, how to best contribute—or, as the theologian Frederick Buechner put it, your vocation lies ‘where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.’”

Smith’s beautifully researched homage to this hunger hinges on “four pillars of meaning.” By seeking, cultivating, and maintaining each of these, she argues, happiness arises from a deep sense of contentment rather than the incessant and unyielding grasping for pleasure. “

Then there are four interesting write-ups about

Belonging

Purpose

Storytelling

Transcendence: Here Beres points out that Smith grew up in a Sufi household.

Beres says: “Transcendence is at the heart of most spiritual traditions. It can be achieved through psychedelics, music, scripture, or meditation. A deep sense of connectedness carries adherents beyond the normal trappings of society. People are able to intimately connect with their environment and peers. Writing of volunteers in a 2015 study focused on the development of empathy through transcendence,”

Smith notes:

“They abandoned the conceit, which many of us have, that they were the center of the world. Instead, they stepped outside of themselves to connect with and focus on others.”

 

 Derek Beres is the author ofWhole Motion: Training Your Brain and Body For Optimal Health. Based in Los Angeles, he is working on a new book about spiritual consumerism. Stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Here is what I found in Amazon.com about the book:

https://www.amazon.com/Power-Meaning-Fulfillment-Obsessed-Happiness/

The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness Paperback – September 5, 2017
by Emily Esfahani Smith (Author)
In a culture obsessed with happiness, this wise, stirring book points the way toward a richer, more satisfying life.

“Too many of us believe that the search for meaning is an esoteric pursuit—that you have to travel to a distant monastery or page through dusty volumes to discover life’s secrets. The truth is, there are untapped sources of meaning all around us—right here, right now.

To explore how we can craft lives of meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith synthesizes a kaleidoscopic array of sources—from psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, and neuroscientists to figures in literature and history such as George Eliot, Viktor Frankl, Aristotle, and the Buddha. Drawing on this research, Smith shows us how cultivating connections to others, identifying and working toward a purpose, telling stories about our place in the world, and seeking out mystery can immeasurably deepen our lives.

To bring what she calls the four pillars of meaning to life, Smith visits a tight-knit fishing village in the Chesapeake Bay, stargazes in West Texas, attends a dinner where young people gather to share their experiences of profound loss, and more. She also introduces us to compelling seekers of meaning—from the drug kingpin who finds his purpose in helping people get fit to the artist who draws on her Hindu upbringing to create arresting photographs. And she explores how we might begin to build a culture that leaves space for introspection and awe, cultivates a sense of community, and imbues our lives with meaning.

Inspiring and story-driven, The Power of Meaning will strike a profound chord in anyone seeking a life that matters.”

One thought on “To find Meaning in Life

  1. I just added this book to my library list, Uta. It sounds fascinating and very thought provoking. You did an excellent job of reviewing it. Thank you.

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