IF there is no eternal meaning in life, as the atheist philosophy suggests, then this world might seem hopeless. And your own mortality might seem frightening.
The great psychologist Carl Jung said a third of his cases suffered no definable clinical neuroses.
They merely felt the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This he described as “the general neurosis of our time’’.
Jung talked about the hunger of humans to live as they are meant to live, to know they have used their time on Earth well and not wasted it.
To know the world will be different for their having passed through it.
Tragedy divides our lives. The death of someone we love, the traumatic relationship break-up, the diagnosis of an untreatable illness, focus the mind and soul on the important issues of life.
But more common in life is a sense of futility and lack of purpose.
Imagine a world of no suffering from natural disasters, where God steps in every time one of the tectonic plates in the ocean comes loose, or whenever a storm or earthquake threatens a human being.
One child would still be dying every five seconds or more than 10 million children a year in a world in which there is an excess of food.
There would still be immeasurable suffering because we would cause it ourselves. Humans cause much human suffering do they not?
The world has certain imperfections built into the natural order and we have to live with them.
Vincent van Gogh said once that he was interested in painting “not blossoms, but blossoming’’. So, it seems at times, is God.