Agents in our own meaning

Sunday, 10 May 2009

To heal your depression, you must force life to mean. You force life to mean by sitting down and deciding what you want your life to mean. When you are satisfied with your answer, and if you have been truthful with yourself, you will have stripped away false meanings and motives and arrived at your best understanding of how you intend to shape your life. By providing yourself with personal reasons for taking your own life seriously, you begin to build a shield against meaninglessness.

These reasons must be personal. The hunt for ultimate reasons will prove a waste of time, even for believers, since we are built to dispute anything, even putative pronouncements from gods. No ultimate reason takes precedence over a righteous human reason for taking action and making meaning. Anais Nin echoed this idea when she suggested, "The personal life, deeply lived, becomes universal." If the laws of the universe are not directly within us, where are they? If they are within us, what could make them more purely or more powerfully manifest than living acording to our own best reasons for living?

Eric Maisel, The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path Through Depression


  1. So have you found it yet? What YOUR life should mean? Because that sounds like a pretty outstanding task in itself...not sure I'd have any idea.

    I have that book on order at the library, but I guess I'm 4th in line, so it will be awhile before I get it.

  2. Well, not any grand overarching idea of what my life should mean, but I have a few things there, that it is about creativity, about growth and love, about overcoming. It's funny, he talks about needing to find our own meaning and as I read, I discover just how much meaning I put into everything. These days, I get meaning out of cooking a meal, out of walking the dog. Really, really small things, you know? Which is good.

  3. Me likes your ideas. Then again, I wish I could learn not to put so much meaning into some things...because they are "this too shall pass" things.


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