One of the oldest questions is "What is the meaning of life?". But what does the concept of "meaning of life" actually mean? What does it mean for something to be the "meaning of life"?
And why is it so important for many people to have it?
The "meaning of life" is often equated with the "purpose". But then again, purpose of what and for what? If one assumes that it is the purpose of life, the purpose of one's (earthbound or otherwise) existence, then the second part of the question still remains - who benefits from having this purpose? There are two possibilities:
- One benefits from one's own existence.
- Somebody or something else benefits from one's existence.
One benefiting from one's own existence is related to "creating your own meaning of life", but most of the time when "What is the meaning of life?" is asked, the second type of this answer is implicitly assumed (and also, "creating your own meaning of life" might be considered as contradictory).
However, insisting on the second type of the answer leads to question: What is the purpose of having a purpose? Why do so many people seek and need the "greater" purpose such that they themselves aren't the ones who primarily benefit from such a purpose? I fail to understand the urge to have the reason to exist other than for self.
So, what does the concept of the "meaning of life" actually mean?
Just to be clear: I'm not asking here "What is the meaning of life?", but what does that question mean, what do people have in mind when they ask that question.