A merchant, a lawyer and a religious man all set off on a journey to find a wise man who lives in a small village at the foot of the mountains. Although the journey was arduous and full of perils, it was worth it, for this sage was the greatest sage of all and had supposedly discovered, through the sheer power of will, the meaning of life.
The three men rode for days and nights until finally the small village appeared in the distance on the horizon. On its outskirts, they came upon a beggar who was under a tree dozing in the morning sun. As they approached, they startled the poor beggar by waking him from his sleep. Half awake, the beggar asked the strangers what had brought them here. The three men told him that they were on their way to see the sage in order to find out the meaning of life. The old beggar replied, “The meaning of life is to die to the world and to become naked in front of oneself.”
With a chuckle, the merchant retorted: “Such nonsense means nothing compared to concrete, gold and silver. Money makes the world go round, it’s the only thing that really means anything. ”
In protest, the lawyer raised his hand and replied that “the law is the true meaning of human existence, because without it we would have no order, all would be chaos and anarchy. We need order for progress and prosperity, and to punish anyone outside the limits of the social cohesion that the law protects. Without the law, life would not be preserved and there would be no context in which to have meaning. ”
The religious man, with a chuckle of humble condescension, informed the other three: “Allow me to remind you, gentlemen, that although money and law are necessary for the preservation of life, without God there would be no life at all and, therefore, no meaning. God gives life and, therefore, meaning. ”
Standing between the three men and the village, the poor beggar shouted: “The meaning of life is to die to the world and to become naked in front of oneself!”
Disdainfully, the lawyer told the other two, “It’s no use talking to a madman,” and urged them to move on. However, the old beggar continued to block their horses, shouting “the meaning of life is to die to the world and become naked in front of oneself! »
As his refrain resounded, the words began to destabilize the three men. They asked the beggar to be quiet. Yet he continued. The disdain of the three men turned to anger and they again ordered the beggar to be quiet. However, the beggar shouted, tore off his clothes, and stood naked before these noble men. Jumping from their horses, the three men threw a sack over the old beggar’s head, knocked him down, and placed him on their horse to be judged by the masses.
Once they reached the village, the three men ran until they reached the village square. When they met with the village members, they reported that the poor old beggar had committed a breach of the law by trying to destabilize the order of the community and the safety of their families. They also proclaimed that he had committed an offense against the circulation of goods, services, and money by trying to take away the fruits of their labor and provisions for their relatives. Finally, they decried his transgression against God and life itself!
In a fit of rage, the villagers began throwing stones at the beggar’s unconscious body, condemning him to death with each throw. Once the dust settled and the collective fury subsided, the villagers wondered why these noble men had visited their village in the first place.
The three men explained that they were there to meet the wise man and learn the true meaning of life. They then asked where they could find the wise man in question. Unfortunately, this wise man lived under a tree on the outskirts of town. So the three men remained unsatisfied, with a question without an absolute answer: what is the meaning of life?
This question has always crossed the minds of humans from generation to generation and from century to century. It is the ultimate question that most of us have thought about at some point in our lives. It is also the question that evokes both wonder and terror in our weak minds.
Some of us are desperate to understand the purpose of life. Others, who have inherited the beliefs and thoughts of their peers, consider the meaning of life according to a certain form of thought all crowning their lives around these thoughts and beliefs.
After all, what is the true meaning of life? Why are we here? What is the point of all this?
Before we can even properly ask ourselves, “What is the meaning of life? “we must first of all work out something more subtle and more important: in this context, What we refer to as ” meaning “!
This might sound philosophical, but don’t worry, it’s easier to understand than taking a sip of freshly pressed lemonade.