What is the meaning of life? Why are we here in the first place? Some quotes from my readings that attempt to address these questions…
Victor Frankl Quote
Why is thinking about the future important? In all my readings, the reason that felt true to me is from a Viktor Frankl quote in his book chronicling his experiences as a concentration camp inmate. He describes man’s search for meaning in the context of finding a reason to live:
“It is a peculiarity of man that he can only live by looking to the future–sub specie aeternitatis [an expression describing what is universally and eternally true]. And this is his salvation in the most difficult moments of his existence…The prisoner who had lost faith in the future—his future—was doomed. With his loss of belief in the future, he also lost his spiritual hold; he let himself decline and became subject to mental and physical decay…His faith in the future and his will to live had become paralyzed and his body fell victim to illness.”
—Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, p73-75
Having faith in the future is the primary motivation for man according to Frankl (p99). Without it, one dies or falls into an existential vacuum. This vacuum manifests itself mainly in a state of boredom, an inner emptiness, or a void within oneself. Unknowingly, It was this feeling of being lost or being in a void that I was addressing when I decided to become an artist.
“Each man had only one genuine vocation - to find the way to himself….His task was to discover his own destiny - not an arbitrary one - and to live it out wholly and resolutely within himself. Everything else was only a would-be existence, an attempt at evasion, a flight back to the ideas of the masses, conformity and fear of one’s own inwardness.”