Feeling and being

Yesterday one of my students had a perfect question: “I don’t want to only feel like my life is meaningful. I want my life to be meaningful. How can I know that what I’m doing actually is meaningful?”

What do you think?

Batya

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2 Responses to Feeling and being

  1. I’ve been reading Frankl for about a year now and this is also my question; how can one know what is true meaning.
    In his book The Will to Meaning, Frankl (pg. 63-65) seems to be saying that the only way this can be ascertained is through one’s conscience (he explains this more in depth in his book Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, but I have to read it again). I.e. that ONLY one’s conscience can DISCOVER meaning. In other words true meaning exists and is not invented or subjective. But on the other hand each man must find it on his own and renew that discovery every instant of his life in relation to each situation he meets.
    But (it seems) he can NEVER REALLY be sure if he was right or not (pg. 66) save what his conscience ‘tells’ him.

    On the other hand Frankl seems pretty clear that this TRUE meaning can found in the Ten Commandments (pg. 64) and is not happy about people leaving the absolute values found therein (bottom of 64-top 65).
    I haven’t seen Frankl mention this but according to Chassidic teachings one way you know you have true meaning is if you feel happy and fulfilled doing an act you believe to be true (like how Abraham took Issac to sacrifice him).
    I’d be happy to hear comments.

  2. logogroup says:

    Thank you for your deep thinking on this subject! This is the kind of careful and considered thought process I’m looking for in this forum. Your question is such a good one that I cannot answer it in the space of a comment but will, please G-d relate to it in a separate post.

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