Top Meaninglessness Quotes

Browse top 37 famous quotes and sayings about Meaninglessness by most favorite authors.

Favorite Meaninglessness Quotes

1. "I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; and consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics. He is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do. For myself, as no doubt for most of my friends, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom. The supporters of this system claimed that it embodied the meaning - the Christian meaning, they insisted - of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and justifying ourselves in our erotic revolt: we would deny that the world had any meaning whatever."
Author: Aldous Huxley
2. "Specialized meaninglessness has come to be regarded, in certain circles, as a kind of hallmark of true science."
Author: Aldous Huxley
3. "I said that the question about death, and more precisely, the confusion about death, lies at the very heart of human understanding, and in the final analysis, the relation of man to life, that which we call his worldview, is ultimately determined by his relationship to death. All of civilization seems to be permeated with a passionate obsession to stifle this fear of death and the sense of the meaninglessness of life that oozes out of it like a slow-dripping poison. What is this intense conflict with religion, if nothing other than a mindless attempt to root out of human consciousness the memory and concern with death and consequently the question: why do I live in this brief and fragile life?"
Author: Alexander Schmemann
4. "On one side it seems there is faith in a Creator-God - and at the same time, the rejection of his creation; and on the other side there is an affirmation of the world, yet a world that is horrible in its meaninglessness, for the one who alone has the possibility of using and enjoying this world - man- is in this world an accidental guest, destined for total annihilation. And so this horrible and frightening dilemma brings us to the one question that each of us must pose: in the final analysis, how do *I* personally relate to this inescapable, universal, and relentless question about death?"
Author: Alexander Schmemann
5. "Without Christ, I would be what the world desires and praises. Then I would shudder and fade into eternal meaninglessness. No thank you."
Author: Alisa Hope Wagner
6. "Dear God, help me. Do not forget me on this tiny cinder lost in a galaxy that is lost–a heart no bigger than a speck of dust beating, beating against death, against meaninglessness, against guilt, against sorrow."
Author: Anne Rice
7. "My generation was, in effect, the product of a social experiment. If we did not understand marital intimacy, it was because we had not seen it modelled. We lurched from relationship to relationship, dazzled by the newness of meaninglessness, relentless in our search for something even the most perceptive of us could not identify."
Author: Antonella Gambotto Burke
8. "It is the Fourth Instinct (the spirit - RJ) that urges us to exceed ourselves ... by awakening our intuitive selves, and striving to be all that we were intended to be. It takes us beyond self-centeredness and enables us to resist the combined forces of indifference and meaninglessness. It awakens us to a sense of responsibility for those most in need of our society as well as for that world that future generations will inherit."
Author: Arianna Huffington
9. "In a fractured age, when cynicism is god, here is a possible heresy: we live by stories, we also live in them. One way or another we are living the stories planted in us early or along the way, we are also living the stories we planted - knowingly or unknowingly - in ourselves. We live the stories that either give our lives meaning, or negate it with meaninglessness. If we change the stories we live by, quite possibly we change or lives."
Author: Ben Okri
10. "...we, and I mean humans, are meaning makers. We do not discover the meanings of mysterious things, we invent them. We make meanings because meaninglessness terrifies us above all things. More than snakes, even. More than falling, or the dark. We trick ourselves into seeing meanings in things, when in fact all we are doing is grafting our meanings onto the universe to comfort ourselves. We gild the chaos of the universe with our symbols. To admit that something is meaningless is just like falling backward into darkness." (p184)"
Author: Benjamin Hale
11. "Acts of violence-- Whether on a large or a small scale, the bitter paradox: the meaningfulness of death--and the meaninglessness of killing."
Author: Dag Hammarskjöld
12. "I resent that the hours seem boring now, emptier. Going through the motions gives you plenty of time to examine the motions. I used to find this interesting. Now it has taken on the taint of meaninglessness. [...] This is the trap of having something to live for: Everything else seems lifeless."
Author: David Levithan
13. "During the crash and burn, I began to burn from cranial crown to flat sole, for meaning and understanding. Every concept, psychological perceptions with hardened pathways, everything that registered as inherited from the communal was starting to dissolve into meaninglessness. The foundational tenets, the pre-established belief systems, instilled sustenance systems tended by both family and extended communal began to dissolve, first as trivial, and then as untenable to my being without validation from me. If my life was worth anything, I choose to live the best life for me. So I entered what I call The Blank State."
Author: Dew Platt
14. "Universal meaninglessness gives way to ecstatic inebriation, an orgy of irrationality. Since the world has no meaning, let us live! Without definite aims or accessible ideals, let us throw ourselves into the roaring whirlwind of infinity, follow its tortuous path in space, burn in its flames, love its cosmic madness and total anarchy! To live infinity, as well as to meditate a long time upon it, is the most terrifying lesson in anarchy and revolt one can ever learn. Infinity shakes you to the roots of your being, disorganizes you, but it also makes you forget the petty, the contingent, and the insignificant."
Author: Emil Cioran
15. "If utopia was illusion hypostasized, communism, going still further, will be illusion decreed, imposed: a challenge to the omnipresence of evil, an obligatory optimism. A man will find it hard to accommodate himself to it if he lives, by dint of ordeals and experiments, in the intoxication of disappointment and if, like the author of Genesis, he is reluctant to identify the Age of Gold with the future, with becoming. Not that he scorns the fanatics of "infinite progress" and their efforts to make justice prevail here on earth; but he knows, to his misery, that justice is a material impossibility, a grandiose meaninglessness, the only ideal about which we can declare quite certainly that it will never be realized, and against which nature and society seem to have mobilized all their laws."
Author: Emil Cioran
16. "Meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain. Meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure."
Author: G.K. Chesterton
17. "The wordlessness of depression is a galling experience. You can't phone your friends, writing an e-mail is beyond you, you can't put pen to paper. The disease is a crash course in meaninglessness, lack of structure, the collapse of form."
Author: Gwyneth Lewis
18. "Oh, if only it were possible to find understanding," Joseph exclaimed. "If only there were a dogma to believe in. Everything is contradictory, everything tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again interpreted in the opposite sense. The whole of world history can be explained as development and progress and can also be seen as nothing but decadence and meaninglessness. Isn't there any truth? Is there no real and valid doctrine?"The master had never heard him speak so fervently. He walked on in silence for a little, then said: "There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht - I can see that they already have begun."
Author: Hermann Hesse
19. "For who brooded over the meaninglessness of life anymore? Teenagers. They were the only ones who were preoccupied with existential issues, and as a result there was something puerile and immature about them, and hence it was doubly impossible for adults with their sense of propriety intact to deal with them. However, this is not so strange for we never feel more strongly and passionately about life than in our teenage years, when we step into the world for the first time, as it were, and all our feelings are new feelings. So there they are, with their big ideas on small orbits, looking this way and that for an opportunity to launch them, as the pressure builds. And who is it they light upon sooner or later but Uncle Dostoevsky."
Author: Karl Ove Knausgård
20. "There wasn't a single item of importance [in the newspaper]. A tower of illusion, all of it, made of illusory bricks and full of holes. If life were made up only of imporant things, it really would be a dangerous house of glass, scarcely to be handled carelessly. But everyday life was exactly like the headlines. And so everybody, knowing the meaninglessness of existence, sets the centre of his compass at his own home."
Author: Kōbō Abe
21. "You wear nice clothes, you seek respect, you make a lot of money, but what's the point? It's all pointless. Of course, this kind of meaninglessness might suit this crappy nation. But, you see, we still have emotions like joy and happiness, right? They may not mount to much. But they fill up our emptiness. That's the only explanation I have."
Author: Koushun Takami
22. "And Castle nodded sagely. 'So this is a picture of the meaninglessness of it all! I couldn't agree more.''Do you really agree?' I asked. 'A minute ago you said something about Jesus.''Who?' said Castle.'Jesus Christ?''Oh,' said Castle. 'Him.' He shrugged. 'People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order, so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say.''I see.' I knew I wasn't going to have an easy time writing a popular article about him. I was going to have to concentrate on his saintly deeds and ignore entirely the satanic things he thought and said."
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
23. "The person with a secular mentality feels himself to be the center of the universe. Yet he is likely to suffer from a sense of meaninglessness and insignificance because he knows he's but one human among five billion others - all feeling themselves to be the center of things - scratching out an existence on the surface of a medium-sized planet circling a small star among countless stars in a galaxy lost among countless galaxies. The person with the sacred mentality, on the other hand, does not feel herself to be the center of the universe. She considers the Center to be elsewhere and other. Yet she is unlikely to feel lost or insignificant precisely because she draws her significance and meaning from her relationship, her connection, with that center, that Other."
Author: M. Scott Peck
24. "Trust, trust in the world, because this human being exists - that is the most inward achievement of the relation in education. Because this human being exists, meaninglessness, however hard pressed you are by it, cannot be the real truth. Because this human being exists, in the darkness the light lies hidden, in fear salvation, and in the callousness of one's fellow-men the great Love."
Author: Martin Buber
25. "For here is a man who, in some sense, is desperate, in a frenzy. The world keeps disappearing, losing meaning, vanishing - and he must seek meaning, make meaning, in a desperate way, continually inventing, throwing bridges of meaning over abysses of meaninglessness, the chaos that yawns continually beneath him."
Author: Oliver Sacks
26. "The vitality that can stand the abyss of meaninglessness is aware of a hidden meaning within the destruction of meaning."
Author: Paul Tillich
27. "It is when we attempt to avoid suffering by withdrawing from anything that might involve hurt, when we try to spare ourselves the effort and pain of pursuing truth, love, and goodness, that we drift into a life of emptiness, in which there may be almost no pain, but the dark sensation of meaninglessness and abandonment is all the greater."
Author: Pope Benedict XVI
28. "It's not even a question of whether the universe is meaningful or meaningless. It's in what way could it be meaningful, or in what way, if it was meaningful, could that be even more meaningless than normal meaninglessness?"
Author: Scarlett Thomas
29. "One conceals oneself standing silently beside the trunk of a tree and what there is of a reflective tendency in his nature is intensified. One shudders at the thought of the meaninglessness of life while at the same instant, and if the people of the town are his people, one loves life so intensely that tears come into the eyes."
Author: Sherwood Anderson
30. "Anxiety, alienation, loneliness, emptiness, and meaninglessness are the fruits of living as an isolated subject admist a multitude of lifeless objects. Although our scope of involvement may extend to numerous and diverse fields of interest and concern, as long as the notion of having predominates, our being remains empty and superficial."
Author: Stephen Batchelor
31. "Nietzsche: "He who has a ‘why' can live with any ‘what.'" Dr. Frankl hypothesized that we have three parts to our nature: our body, our mind, and our spirit. But his deepest conviction is that most—not all—diseases originate in the spirit. That is, in a sense of meaninglessness, a sense of hollowness, a sense of purposelessness. No mission. No vision."
Author: Stephen R. Covey
32. "There was an enjoyment to being alive, he felt, that because of an underlying meaninglessness–like how a person alone for too long cannot feel comfortable when with others; cannot neglect that underlying the feeling of belongingness is the certainty, really, of loneliness, and nothingness, and so experiences life in that hurried, worthless way one experiences a mistake–he could no longer get at."
Author: Tao Lin
33. "Trying every day to tell the truth is hard. There are harder things, of course—arguably, living with lies and meaninglessness, living in despair is harder, but it's hardship disguised as luxury and easier perhaps to grow accustomed to, since truth is usually the enemy of custom. There are harder things than writing, being President Obama, for instance, and having to deal with House Republicans, or trying to fix the leak at the Fukushima reactor, these are harder, but writing is hard."
Author: Tony Kushner
34. "Ultimate meaning necessarily exceeds and surpasses the finite intellectual capacities of man... What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms. Logos is deeper than logic."
Author: Viktor E. Frankl
35. "What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms."
Author: Viktor E. Frankl
36. "Given Loughner's obsession with meaninglessness and language, maybe Foucault & Derrida deserve some fault here, too."
Author: Walter Kirn
37. "I took to writing at an early age to escape from meaninglessness, uselessness, unimportance, insignificance, poverty, enslavement, ill health, despair, madness, and all manner of other unattractive, natural and inevitable things."
Author: William Saroyan

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Change blows through the branches of our existence. It fortifies the roots on which we stand, infuses crimson experience with autumn hues, dismantles Winter's brittle leaves, and ushers Spring into our fertile environments. Seeds of evolution burst from their pod cocoons and teardrop buds blossom into Summer flowers. Change releases its redolent scent, attracting the buzz of honey bees and the adoration of discerning butterflies."
Author: B.G. Bowers

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