Leo Tolstoy, put forth his sensation of existential meaninglessness in an appropriate phrase known as ‘Life Arrest’.
If life was your home and if you were bound to it without knowing how to escape the senselessness and aimlessness that grows upon you, then it’s akin to house arrest.
You would despise life as if you were grounded and want to know the meaning behind why you do what you do.
When meaning in life dissolves into dreary activities and you go on carrying on with doing whatever you do no matter whether you find sense in it or not. Then one day you feel a stoppage of life as if you don’t know how you’re going to live on and what you are going to do in future..
These moments of perplexity make you feel distasteful about life and suicidal as you see no sense in wanting to live. The ground on which you stand is crumbling and you figure out that there is nothing beneath to support yourself and stand on. That solid foundation has given away to ruins.
When the things you do like your work, raising a family, earning or pursuing your education abroad hold no interest value or bear no usefulness to you, you’re in the phase of existential neurosis.
Though many perspire in work, few find aspiration. That’s what Benjamin Wolfman remarked when people who are employed are hard working yet find nothing to look forward to in their jobs.
Why is meaninglessness equated to illness ? Anything that inhibits fullness and growth is same as being sick.
What is neurosis ? It isn’t some clinically definable condition rather it’s the suffering of a soul which hasn’t dawned upon meaning.
Even in concentration camps those who survived were the ones who saw meaning in life or had a sense of purpose. The ones unlikely to survive lacked that essence to continue with their lives. When you lack a guideline to steer your life, you got to create it instead of looking for it or wanting it to capture you.
We human beings constitute ourselves, our world and the situation in which we enter into. So what if there is no grand design in the universe ? An individual can create his own sense of purpose to aspire towards something that sparks his soul.
Cosmic meaning says that human life is governed by some incomprehensible pattern though overall coherent.
Terrestrial meaning is easier to find as it’s more practical and needs an immediate sense of self and direction in life. It depends on one’s inspiration and goals one has to apply to oneself.
An environmentalist feels like he ought find a solution to climate change and make it feasible. He places his faith in carbon sequestration (capturing Carbon Dioxide for long-term storage) and creates awareness about it.
He is guided by the purpose to capture carbon dioxide before it releases into the atmosphere from human activities after being produced and then transport it to deep underground such as depleted coal mines.