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Chapter 10: The Making of Meaning

The meaning of life has been one of the most popular topics of philosophical discussion for centuries. What is the real meaning? When purpose, resolution, and harmony unify life and then transform it into a seamless flow experience, the meaning of life is found. Anyone who experiences this flow will feel fulfilled and will not lack anything.

Purpose

How can one attain this state? The simplest model has four stages for the emergence of meaning along a gradient of complexity. Those are:

1. Self-interest

2. The welfare of the family, the company, the community, or the nation

3. Reflective individualism

4. Unity with universal values

These stages show what can happen if a person succeeds in controlling their consciousness.

Resolution

You can’t achieve your goals until you take them seriously. Each goal comes with consequences, and if you are not prepared to reckon with them, the goal becomes meaningless.

In our complex culture, there are too many goals competing for prominence. It’s difficult to achieve a degree of total resolve. There are too many things you can do, and too many people you can become. Also, there is a risk that we will chase meaningless goals due to the desire to live the life of rich people.

To achieve full resolve, we must commit to one meaningful goal and become fully dedicated to it. On the way, action and reflection should complete each other. Taking action is easy, but action without reflection is blind. Getting into the habit of reflection is crucial to decide whether your course of action is entropic or not.

Harmony

We achieve a sense of harmony by chasing meaningful goals. These are goals that we would chase despite any obstacles towards achieving them. When we chase such goals, we feel a sense of order.