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Is Your Crisis a Call for Meaning?

Is Your Crisis a Call for Meaning?

There seems to be a hole in the middle of everyday life, as if a rock had been thrown through a plate-glass window. But instead of being a physical hole, one could call this a “meaning hole,” an absence that cannot be defined except to say that it hurts. Even if they cannot analyze the effect that lack of meaning is having on their lives, people feel it, and as a result a sick sadness hangs over things, even the best things.

How many people experience love, freedom, faith, or devotion as deeply as they really want to? How many cannot feel these things at all and are left with guilt and blame instead?

One of the strangest phenomena of postmodern culture is this optimism over death: doctors and therapist are urging us to make death, not just a positive experience, but the positive experience of a lifetime.

Sickness has always had an element of escapism in it. As children we were coddled by our mothers whenever we ran a fever, and seriously ill adults are still given “intensive care.” But if a terminal illness is seen as escapism carried to its ultimate, one cannot help but ask, “Is this life so terrible that escape is its greatest reward?”

I do not want to parody this issue, having strong beliefs of my own that the fear of death is very crippling and needs to be overcome at the deepest level. But it is disturbing to think that our culture provides us with so little opportunity to confront the basic meaning of life that sickness and death have filled the void by becoming conversion experiences.

We are weakest when sick, least able to summon the resources that are needed for real transformation. If people are not transformed before the crisis, they may find themselves with not enough time to enjoy the life that suddenly seems so worthwhile.


Adapted from Unconditional Life: Discovering the Power to Fulfill Your Dreams, by Deepak Chopra (A Bantam Book, 1991).

Read more: Deepak Chopra's Tips, Spirit, , , , , ,

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.


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8:35AM PDT on Oct 31, 2012


5:10PM PDT on Oct 30, 2012

Life is only meaningfull when we try. Some have just give up.

4:31PM PDT on Oct 30, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

10:41AM PDT on Oct 30, 2012

well not all crisis, somethings like when you are so fed up with work, jaded and no longer interested in it. i needed to look for a deeper, more fulfilling thing to do in life. and it started with having a road trip to liberate myself from the corporate trappings.

10:11PM PDT on Oct 29, 2012

At this point, I think the most important thing in life is discovering what your purpose is and then living that purpose to the utmost of you ability, until death, which could not be a fearful event if you have lived life as you were meant to.
"Awakening Spirits", Tom Brown Jr.'s book has a beautiful, simple description of what man was suppose to be in the earthly incarnation - physically, mentally with everything in control and in harmony with spirit. Just think of all the freedom and joy that would happen, if we could just learn how to do it.

12:53PM PDT on Oct 29, 2012

When Care2 IT is malfunctioning, Is this a call for meaning to those who are members, or those who manage the network, or both?
Just asking,...

1:45PM PDT on Oct 28, 2012

Sorry - don't understand what this article is saying. Love Deepak but non comprende

1:16PM PDT on Oct 28, 2012

I have had several crises (sic) in my life--things that were difficult to deal with---and I am very grateful that they have made my life more meaningful. Now that I'm approaching old age I find that it is also difficult. I don't fear death itself only the sufferring I might have to go through before dying. I'm hoping to go quick with a heart attack!

11:49AM PDT on Oct 28, 2012


7:53AM PDT on Oct 28, 2012


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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