A devoutly religious woman was once asked, “What if there were no God?” “Then,” she declared, “nothing in the world would mean anything. I would probably kill myself.” Her response raises the question, “Even without meaning from any outside source, why not live?” For many of us, the answer is that we are afraid of the absence of meaning in our lives because we are afraid of the freedom.
If we discovered that nothing outside ourselves would give us direction, then we would have to do whatever we wanted. Nothing would be certain and all would be possible. We would have to assume the responsibility for bringing meaning to our own lives. To make matters worse, we would realize that no one cares as much about us as we do about ourselves.
We can either be terrified and create false certainties to replace real ambiguities, or we can quit struggling against the tide, stop trying so hard to do what can’t be done, and enjoy ourselves while we can.
What if there was no one to tell us what we shouldn’t do?