In the Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy, the search for a defined ultimate meaning produces nonsense. Furthermore, the question and answer cannot exist in the same universe at the same time without resulting in an entirely new and even more baffling universe being created.
Lame cop-out joke or profound insight?
Or can it be both?
In either case, does it mean we should just give up?
Neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl thought a fair bit about this. So much so that he developed an entire therapy based on this question: logotherapy.
Its basic principles:
- Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones.
- Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.
- We have freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or at least in the stand we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering.
So, what’s your answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything?