Peace is the real meaning of life
Describe your personal purpose in life!
A comment on the interview in Publik-Forum 10/2014: Tatjana Schnell, professor at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Innsbruck and founder of psychological research on meaning, makes it clear at the beginning (in Publik-Forum 10/2014) that it is the meaning of life does not exist, which from my point of view is the basic requirement to talk about this topic in a meaningful way. The people, so Schnell, generate meaning, among other things. from closeness to nature, performance, wellness, but also from commitment for others or even for the community par excellence. However, by the way, she subdues the popular assertion that the latter would be a transgression of one's own needs and interests, which is why it is a matter of “self-transcendence”. Which of course challenges my contradiction! I.a. because I am immediately taken over by the religious and counted among theirs as soon as I agree to the term transcendence. Social action, standing up for others, self-sacrificing support for the sick, disabled and poor, the commitment to stop the overuse of the ecosystem, etc. are, in my view, not exceeding one's own needs but - on the contrary - sheer egoism, as seen in has evolved all mammals as an evolutionary means of survival. The human being is also a social being and therefore any behavior can only consist of a compromise between individual and collective needs. The word transcendence suggests a difference between private and communal interests, which does not exist in practical life, which is only used to facilitate thinking in academic contexts - however, it is also the source of numerous errors and misjudgments.
Because the fundamental problem of professorial thinking and the thinking of almost all people (especially in the West) is the description of reality in its ambivalence. I am autonomous and dependent, I follow my personal and my 'altruistic' impulses, I experience meaning and futility, I am lazy and hardworking, etc.
Professor Schnell now makes it very thoughtful that “only 60% of Germans find their life meaningful”, while the percentage in the desperately poor Bulgaria is significantly higher. She comes to the conclusion: "It seems as if it is more difficult to find meaning for yourself when you can survive without human cohesion." That is certainly not entirely wrong. Where people barely have the bare essentials to survive, they are heavily dependent on each other and therefore experience the community as existential and as a source of joy in life. And that does not apply in affluent or hyperconsumption societies. So far so good. But material security also frees us from staring at fragile survival and extends this to society, politics and the global community. And then the evolutionary social of humans looks beyond the box of one's own family, possibly clan beyond the state of humanity as a whole. And the balance is negative. While I can generate satisfaction, maybe even happiness with regard to my relationship life, my everyday life, looking at humanity above all causes dissatisfaction and sadness. As long as war, hunger, rape, enslavement, terror, etc. prevail, no politically informed and interested person can perceive his life as a whole as meaningful. And the Germans in particular are not only the wealthiest but also the most politically interested people. The experience of senselessness is also linked to intelligence and knowledge. And so it is not surprising when Tatjana Schnell gets stuck argumentatively on the trail of the lost community, or its replacement in social media, in “file sharing sites, car sharing or multigenerational houses” - that is, her discourse becomes too narrow. The experience of futility is real! However, most people cannot afford them - neither economically nor mentally.
In an interview with Publik-Forum, Ms. Schnell once again explains the term transcendence. But it doesn't get any better: No, I don't go beyond myself when “as an architect I build houses for the general public”. These “boundaries of the self” are a fiction. All people act and their actions constantly have a larger, sometimes a smaller share of what is communal or individual. How many highly committed volunteers only serve their disturbed narcissism ?! What does the term transcendence bring in this context? In my opinion it is misleading.
Yes, and then the professor's answers boil down to the great appropriation that is usually practiced by theologians: As soon as someone is interested in art or football, profane things would be sacrilegious - and that would mean the need to “transcend one's own limits I “clearly, and then you just have to bring people closer to the true Christian faith ... There are bishops who therefore claim that they have never met an atheist in their life. Basically everyone is a believer. The use of transcendence promotes this appropriation, as does the concept of implicit religion, of course. Violence is done to non-believers!
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