Searching For the Meaning of Existence

There used to be a time when I believed in God.

Yes, it's true. I didn't go to church and wasn't outwardly religious, but inside I felt there was some sort of being 'out there' that guided us all and provided our lives with a sense of purpose.

And then stuff happens, as always. A girl at my school took her own life, I witnessed a car crash involving a pregnant woman getting injured, and at the back of my mind, I started to doubt the existence of a benevolent force that allowed such things to happen.

So as I eroded away all the religious bedrock that I stood on, I was left with nothing. Everything seemed meaningless, just a pointless void, where my life consisted of mindless routine and repetition.

But then I started thinking. And I thought, and I thought, and I thought. And there came a dawning realization that my life still could have meaning. After all, meaning comes from within, and beauty from the beholder. There was still some good in the world, and that gave my life purpose.

I continued thinking, and on my search for meaning, I came across an article on existentialism on Wikipedia. Here, written on some site on the Internet, were exactly the things that I thought about. And there was more. Reading all new fragments of knowledge, everything came together in a wonderful epiphany of sorts.

It was a strange feeling, realizing that I wasn't the only one who fretted away on such problems, and I was glad. All those questions that lurked in the corners of my mind now seemed answerable, and existentialism led me onto various other parts of philosophy.

I'm still asking questions, and not getting answers as quickly as I want. But I feel good. My feeling on the subject is, if you can't find the absolute meaning of life, then the least I can do is find the meaning in my life.

TheParanoidAndroid TheParanoidAndroid 16-18, M 10 Responses Dec 14, 2007

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Ernest Holmes, Phineas P. Quimby, and Mary Baker Eddy

Hi, Kathie, Check this out for some history/influences of Ernest Holmes.

Holmes and Mary Baker Eddy and Phineas P. Quimby

Holmes was born January 21, 1887, in Lincoln, Maine to a poor family. He left school and his family in Maine for Boston, Massachusetts at age 15. From 1908 to 1910 he worked in a store to pay for his tuition at the Leland Powers School of Expression in Boston. There he was introduced to Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health, as well as Christian Science.[2]

Ernest Holmes did not originally intend for RS/SOM to be a "church", but rather a teaching institution. In that spirit, many member "churches" have traditionally referred to themselves as "centers." The mental healing work of Dr. Phineas P. Quimby was a source of inspiration to much of the New Thought movement, including RS/SOM. Ernest Holmes was especially strongly influenced by Emma Curtis Hopkins, especially her "Scientific Christian Mental Practice", a direct precursor to Holmes' "Spiritual Mind Treatment", and by the writings of Judge Thomas Troward and Ralph Waldo Emerson, as he developed his own synthesis, which became known as Religious Science or Science of Mind.[2][3]

Religious Science/Science of Mind

Beliefs • Spiritual mind treatment
• Power of choice

Founder • Ernest Holmes

Notable ministers • Fenwicke Holmes
• Raymond Charles Barker
• Stuart Grayson
• Louise Hay
• Michael Beckwith
• Joseph Murphy
• Jean Houston
• Terry Cole-Whittaker
• William Hornaday

Largest groups • Centers for Spiritual Living
• Seicho-No-Ie
• Affiliated New Thought Network
• Global Religious Science Ministries

Influences • Ralph Waldo Emerson
• Emma Curtis Hopkins
• Thomas Troward
• Mary Baker Eddy
• Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
• Emmet Fox
• Divine Science

Other • The Science of Mind
• Science of Mind magazine

Just as you thought! Thank you for that info, Jamarian...

Did I say somewhere that I am Class Taught in Christian Science? They really put one through a lot of rigors in order to even be accepted INTO Class. So anyway, for years I have been living "tweaked Mary Baker Eddy," which is a lot of what Ernest Holmes has done. Eddy studied with Phineas P. Quimby, denied he had influenced her (!), and didn't Holmes study with him too? And I think Holmes also studied with Mary Baker Eddn. That whole period in the early to mid 1800s is so fertile with new religions.

I do not know much about the Christian Science belief system, nor it's origins. It was your childhood faith? I live in Idaho... Not a large number of C. scientists here. Didn't it start in Boston? Anyway, does your family think you've " gone off the deep end?" Lol

I was not born into Christian Science, thank goodness. That's all I have to say about THAT! Honestly, my fam. doesn't think I have gone off the deep end. My brother's wife of many years was born and raised in Christian Science. My sister learned a lot about if from me, and now she and I are following very similar paths. I think my bro is an atheist. He's certainly an agnostic, if not an atheist. I'm in Oregon, not far from Idaho. You must be quite a young person -- 20s maybe? The only reason I say that is because you seem to find it odd that someone "my age" can still write offense taken! Many US Presidents have been in their 60s and 70s, and Supreme Court Justices serve for life. Caveat: This is NOT to say that all those luminaries can think coherently! One does have to wonder about them!

BUT!!! You were an android of 16-18 then!!! ROF! Now you are Jamarian, and who KNOWS your real age! I am not in my 20s smartypants... I am 58. I am laughing outloud..... I just returned from a few days in Ashland last week. Cute town.

You are SO funny! I still can't find your funny story about religion, though. I forgot that I'm an existentialist. LOL Now, I don't know what or who I really am. What is an android of 16-18? What is ROF?

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Hi, Kathieredart,

Thank you for contributing to this thread. It's been ages since I posted this! I'm now reading Ernest Holmes' work, and will give Science of Mind a try.

Bless your heart.... Science of Mind is the only philosophy I found I could stomach... I used to be very active. Hugs.

I'm trying to watch a movie called "What the [bleep] do we know?" It's powerful stuff, and I can only take a few minutes at a time. It is about quantum physics and the brain, and I think it's saying that our minds create reality for each of us. So, Kathie, if I may call you that? do you want to say what religion you have made up? Or what you have discovered? I'm just getting started with Science of Mind, and it makes sense, but I'll never be 100% in any writer or philosopher's pocket, so to speak.

Basically, I just tweaked Ernest Holmes a little bit. I call it the church of Kathieredart. Lol. You can't go wrong with something as basic as " do unto others." Unity pleases me too. have you ever explored it? I've seen the movie you are speaking of. Fascinating, and a bit, quite a bit beyond my complete understanding. God, whatever form it takes gave us brains for us to use and question. You are doing a good job with yours!!!

You wrote this very well, especially if that is indeed your true age. ( Please don't be offended, it's impossible to know what is real and what is fabricated on here. ) Bravo to you. I'm glad I stumbled upon your story. I think even people who practice ANY faith or belief system question the existence of " god " when they are being completely honest with themselves. Good luck coming up with a philosophy that is uniquely right for you. I just made up my own! Best wishes ......

Hello, Mr. ParanoidAndroid. Your writing and thought processes are brilliant! More power to ya. You say your earlier beliefs were that there was some sort of God "out there." For me, "The kingdom of heaven is within you," to quote from one of the bible books. I feel and experience a Higher Power than me, and it comes from within. That's my path, as it were, to discover God or the Higher Power as much as possible. I also believe that God is Love and Love is God. That's in the spiritual sense of love, not in the romantic sense. I've also had many mystical (sometimes called ecstatic) experiences that cannot be explained, but which have somehow tied everything together into one unified sense of the universe. I know that sounds stupid, but such experiences are really not explainable.

Many people have only found personal spirituality only when they first challenged their old religious and spiritual beliefs and rejected them all as lacking.

Your statement that you are still looking for answers suggests that you are still tied to a belief that answers comes from an outside source and not from inside or that there are no answers.

Imagine life as a picture puzzle.

Your experiences and perceptions are the pieces.

You must put it together upside down and with out any help.

Only when it is finished can you turn it over and reveal the meaning.


Type your comment here...

Good post, especially for such a young man. Something to consider however is that when you die, if there is no eternal you, that the meaning you have assigned to your existence no longer will have meaning, therefore your meaning is actually meaningless in the end.

As one who is a bit more fond of the Kierkegaardian view I would say that our subjective meaning is only validated by He who declares all objective meaning. That is God. Even if our existence precedes our essence it is only by the grace of He who is eternally pre-existent and by His grace through which we were even brought into existence. This fact does not negate our freedom but brings into account the responsibility for which we are given such freedom.

Hope I wasn't too confusing. Good post holmes.

"So as I eroded away all the religious bedrock that I stood on..."

That's brilliant, if you ask me.

What a wonderful piece of writing.