Meaning in the Moment?


It is not only through our actions that we can give life meaning — insofar as we can answer life’s specific questions responsibly — we can fulfil the demands of existence not only as active agents but also as loving human beings: in our loving dedication to the beautiful, the great, the good.

Should I perhaps try to explain for you with some hackneyed phrase how and why experiencing beauty can make life meaningful? I prefer to confine myself to the following thought experiment: imagine that you are sitting in a concert hall and listening to your favourite symphony, and your favourite bars of the symphony resound in your ears, and you are so moved by the music that it sends shivers down your spine, and now imagine that it would be possible (something that is psychologically so impossible) for someone to ask you in this moment whether your life has meaning. I believe you would agree with me if I declared that in this case, you would only be able to give one answer, and it would go something like: “It would have been worth it to have lived for this moment alone!”

Viktor Frankl on How Music, Nature, and Our Love for Each Other Succor Our Survival and Give Meaning to Our Lives, Brain Pickings

The quote above is taken from Yes to Life: In Spite of Everything, comprising lecture transcripts given by Viktor Frankl just before completing his classic, Man’s Search For Meaning.

I’m tempted to write more however I think this quote says it, or at least points towards what I’d like to ponder on for awhile. A long while probably.

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