Sisyphus and Finding Purpose in Life
We are in a rat race. We all need to somewhere and need to achieve something. But there comes a time when all of this seems meaningless. Every individual experiences a phase where he or she questions the meaning of everything. We need answers and have no place to find them.
This is the jewel we are looking for in the depths of life. It can be defined as the reason to wake up in the morning. Everyone has a different meaning attach to it. But do we all find it in the way we had imagined?
Modern life is becoming meaningless or absurd with each passing day. It becomes more apparent to us as we grow up. How do you find purpose in that scenario? To answer this is question I would like to mention the story of Sisyphus.
Who was “Sisyphus”?
Sisyphus is a character from the Greek mythology. He was the King of Corinth. According to the myth he had managed to escape Hades and fool death twice. The third and final time when he died, Zeus decided to put an end to his trickery. He punished Sisyphus aptly for all he had done. His task was to roll a huge rock or boulder up a hill. But on reaching the top the boulder would come rolling down. He was condemned to repeat this task for all eternity. Interestingly it was stated in a famous essay that “one must imagine Sisyphus happy”. (A. Camus)
How can we imagine him to be happy? This is the question that arises in everyone’s mind. It is because he has accepted his fate or has taken “the leap of faith” (A. Camus). Rolling that boulder is a meaningless task and that too for all eternity seems painful. But he has accepted his fate and lives for that moment of happiness on reaching the top. Though the cycle never breaks for him but he has found meaning in that task. Hence, he is imagined to be happy.
Finding Purpose in the Midst of all the Absurdity
“Leap of faith”, as Camus calls it, is how we find purpose. We are all part of an absurd existence and rolling our metaphorical boulder up the hill. That boulder or task is our purpose and acceptance is the key to its lock.
Let me explain. The journey won’t get easy just because we find the tasks put our way meaningless but if we have faith we won’t analyze the result but concentrate on completing the task. We need to embrace the boulder.
The never-ending journey of Sisyphus also teaches us that destination doesn’t provide meaning to our life but the journey does. If we have faith and acceptance, the craziest task of our life can provide us with the reason to live and have purpose. And that is what we need. Don’t we?
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