A meaningless life
[Todd Hayen jest zarejestrowanym psychoterapeutą praktykującym w Toronto, Ontario, Kanada. Posiada doktorat z psychoterapii głębokiej oraz tytuł magistra studiów nad świadomością. Poprzedni tekst Todda Hayena: https://www.salon24.pl/u/wawel24/1271281,bycie-otoczonym-przez-ignorantow-jest-niepokojace]
“In Dr. Mattias Desmet’s insightful book The psychology of totalitarianism he states that one of the main problems with today’s culture is that many people believe they are leading meaningless lives. He also cites rampant materialism as the reason. A quote from his book:
A man may not realize it, but his humanity doesn’t really matter, it doesn’t matter. His whole existence, his desire and his lust, his romantic laments and his most superficial needs, his joy and his sorrow, his doubt and his choices, his anger and his senselessness, his pleasure and his pain, his deepest aversion and its highest aesthetic appreciation, in short, all the drama of its existence is ultimately reduced to elementary particles that interact according to the laws of mechanics.
This is how materialism works. A universe made up entirely of materials means that matter reigns supreme, and matter is made up of tiny particles that bounce off each other randomly and are basically responsible for everything. ALL.
And their random, insane bounces mean nothing. If you live a life where everything that matters to you matters, you’re probably missing out on the meaning of life.
I agree with Desmet, who covers this idea in detail in his book. I’m going to explain the concept a bit and say that there are basically three things that make people believe that their life is ultimately meaningless in general.
- Instant gratification
- Secularism (or atheism)
Usually or habitually, materialism focuses on a person’s professional life. The purpose of life’s work then is almost entirely to get “things” in the most efficient way possible, that is, with the least work for the greatest monetary reward. This isn’t 100% true, but it’s often true early in a person’s working life.
From my observations as a psychotherapist working with young adults, those entering the workforce, or even working through college to earn a degree, focus almost entirely on what will bring in the most money. with the least effort. Of course, there are exceptions to this, ie young people who really have a passion for a given field, but this is often not the rule.
The reason why everything is about money is obvious. We all live in a world where value is almost exclusively attached to the acquisition of material objects – houses, cars, telephones, clothes, jewelry, food, vacations (although vacations are not entirely material activities), care high-quality medical, investments, sports things for children (sports, art, summer camps, tutoring), etc.
People find all of these things comforting, at least for a while. Of course, it goes without saying that our whole existence, at least in the wealthy West, is based on this idea (money to buy things – our culture is ruled by consumerism). All we seem to do is buy things. The more things we have the better, and the more money we have to buy the things we want the better.
The evil of materialism creeps into other aspects of our lives beyond acquiring physical things. We look at our health from an almost exclusively materialistic point of view. In conventional medicine, little attention is paid to “healing of mind and body” (although many people “think” that they are engaged in this kind of paradigm as a passing fad). Health care is a material “cause and effect” system. Keep the bad things away (mainly pathogenic organisms – with a mask or social distancing, for example), and if so, kill them or get rid of them in some other way – at all costs. God forbid your body is healthy enough to do this job on its own.
Modern medicine pays little, if any, attention to how the body naturally lives and functions in a holistic way, in connection with nature and the natural processes of life and ultimately death. The public takes little interest in the mystery of life and health, which are mostly immaterial – the mystery of energies, spirits, gods, love. Of course, there are people who are not materialistic… But the largely meaningless life stems in part from the belief in the random reality of cause and effect and the striving to control all material aspects of our world.
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