In this week’s readings, what really resonated with me was the idea of meaning in existence. In both readings, we’ve looked on whether there is a meaning for our existence and if there is, where to find it. In my own thought daily thinking I try to find meaning in what I do, when I cannot I accept what it is and know it’s beyond me. Other days I sit down and ask why is this here, by this I mean physical matter not a specific object. What I found is a part of me practices logotherapy while other rejects it.
“Logotherapy, keeping in mind the essential transitoriness of human existence, is not pessimistic but rather activistic.”
Frankl here, claims that by looking for meaning in a temporary life is not sad but active work. I agree with him in this case. Keeping up on three WIP courses, four clubs and committees, and three jobs, I get lost in work. Not even lost but buried and sometimes feel the despair o my work creep on me. Sometimes I find meaning in what I do and see the reason for my tasks, other busy work I ask what is the point? When my workload grows is when I find meaning. I find whatever meaning I can, and this meaning provides the reason for persisting to do what I do. When the work or task seems pointless or I can’t grasp why I must deal with the situations dealt, I usually find that the reason is just not seen or comprehensible by me. Sometimes the long conversation with a customer may have seemed like an exhausting waste of time but it is possible that that conversation was the highlight of the customers day. Other times people ask me what the meaning of my work is, why do I bother with such inconveniences. I usually respond with “it’s beyond me!” Although, my friends would tell you I more often just respond with, “because my life is a joke” or “because the universe hates me.”
When I’m not busy and I don’t need a meaning to persist through my work I start really questioning existence entirely. I wonder why we are here. Not even why we are living or conscious or our personal meaning, but why is anything here. I often have this thought and try to describe it to friends and usually, I give an analogy of a magnetic drawing board. The board is the universe and all the magnetic fragments are matter. We design shapes and drawings on the board, but the matter is limited, cannot be added or destroyed in the universe. I wonder, not only, the reason or purpose for the magnetic fragments, but why even the board.
“The essential thing is contingency. I mean that one cannot define existence as necessity.”
This is said by Sartre’s character Roquentin and I see how it can show that the matter may not even have a purpose. It seems as if the magnetic board were the universe the magnetic fragments were only there by chance. It just so happens to be that we can draw and write on these boards for a purpose of our own. Whether it be for entertainment or for work, we begin to apply a meaning to something that was originally by chance. This is where I connected the readings and wonder if logotherapy, as activistic as is it, is only applied when we need it and we are just finding meaning in something that just so happens to be here.