Purpose-Centered Life
Dr. Eric Maisel

Episode 2 - Terrain

Having received zero training in meaning-making, having never heard the phrase, billions of people worldwide move from commute to drudgery to commute to dinner and a few drinks, relentlessly shut down and fairly empty-headed, not because they don't have a brain, a heart, and other life-saving equipment but because they are completely unschooled in the ways of meaning. They are alive; but they are not engaged in the project of their own life. That is the general rule. And no one has taught them otherwise. Why aren't society's citizens offered any existential training? Because society has as its goal a minimizing of existential thought. A company making widgets hardly wants you to wonder about the meaningfulness of its widget. It wants you to be attracted by the widget's design and to buy two of them. A Broadway producer wants you to tap your feet; a police officer wants you to obey; a politician wants you to bear arms and lay down your life; a clergyman wants you to vote for his religion by attending his services. None of them are likely to invite you to step back and ponder the meaning of their product, policy, or ideology. You are supposed to buy, to agree, and to not think too hard about anything. That is what society wants and needs from you. I invite you to listen to the second episode of the "art of making meaning" series, where we learn why making meaning is not a cultural imperative.