In positive psychology, a meaningful life is a construct having to do with the purpose, significance, fulfillment, and satisfaction of life. While specific theories vary, there are two common aspects: a global schema to understand one’s life and the belief that life itself is meaningful. Meaning can be defined as the connection linking two presumably independent entities together; a meaningful life links the biological reality of life to a symbolic interpretation or meaning. Those possessing a sense of meaning are generally found to be happier, to have lower levels of negative emotions, and to have lower risk of mental illness.
Meaning of death:
“Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh.” – Marcus Aurelius
It is believed by many that the grim reaper, sooner or later, will knock on your door and simply end your life on planet Earth. Thus, ending your existence entirely, for all eternity.
Others, including myself, like to think of humankind’s existence of one that appears in a series of stages – different lives lived in different worlds, in different times. One soul will live on in many multiple bodies.
As I enter the medical world, soon to be a professional physiotherapist, I feel a sense of ease and grounding in knowing that the live we live on Earth is just one of many we will or have lived. This mentality allows me to fully agree with the implementation of euthanasia of patients – a form of catalyst that links a human soul from one of it’s lives to another.
Quotes about meaningful life and death:
- “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.” ― C.S. Lewis
- “Because I can count on my fingers the number of sunsets I have left, and I don’t want to miss any of them.” ― Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire.
- “Life is but a dream for the dead.” ― Gerard Way
- “I don’t think you should die until you’re ready. Until you’ve wrung out every last bit of living you can.” ― Libba Bray, Going Bovine.