In the last post I told you that our search for meaning and purpose ultimately leads to a trifurcation of three possible paths. Today, let’s explore the first possible route…
Path number one is the option most people choose. It appears on the surface to be the easiest and safest path. This is the decision to join one of the permutations of a gang, religion or cult.
Joining one of these groups seems easy, because you aren’t required to do all that messy, demanding, and time-consuming work on ethics, values, and principles. Because every gang, cult, and religion comes with a “starter kit” of acceptable beliefs, philosophy, and behavior.
Whether you join MS-13, the Moonies, or Catholicism, you’re buying a turnkey franchise for what to think. You can submerge your critical thinking ability and identity, choosing to defer to an institution you feel can safely handle those functions for you.
If you give the group total and unconditional buy-in – as most members do – you’re absolved of having any anxiety or introspection about who you are and why you’re here. Your work for the collective and its goals rewards you with a sense of purpose. (By the way, this doesn’t always show up as an organized group or institution. Sometimes it’s just a cause or movement you are drawn into.) Somewhere between four and five billion people on earth have adopted this approach to living, most of who seem quite content with it.
Next post, we will look at option number two. Until then, feel free to share any thoughts you have on all this.