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).

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Penny C.
Penny C.3 years ago


Lin M
Lin M3 years ago

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

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

natalie n.
natalie n.3 years ago

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.

Lynn C.
Lynn C.3 years ago

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.

Dot A.
Dot A.3 years ago

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,...

Linda Stark
Linda Stark3 years ago

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

Jane H.
Jane H.3 years ago

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!

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson3 years ago


Kathy K.
Kathy K.3 years ago