I often struggle with feelings of despair about not so much that I will die but my mortality, my insignificance in a time as time never ends.

But it also occurred to me that actually everyone is in the same boat (so to speak) and so as long as we don't let things define our value, then maybe life has meaning and value.

Is that anything to do with emptiness, or is emptiness more an ontological doctrine than anything about value and meaningfulness ?

  • 1
    There are two things im curious about. 1. Where did you learn that time never ends? 2. Why do you want something to have a meaning?
    – user2424
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 19:56
  • Sounds like emptiness to me :) Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 23:44
  • Maybe you would find the answers to Time in Buddhism interesting. You wrote, "insignificance in a time as time never ends." The Dharma is meant to be akalika i.e. "timeless", "immediate", "now", and/or "perpetual".
    – ChrisW
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 13:34
  • @ChrisW thanks, but personally i can't cognitively buy into that fully, sounds like wittgenstein to me
    – user2512
    Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 1:13
  • @Lanka i wouldn't say i "learnt" that time doesn't end, but it seems fairly analytically likely. it's not gonna end when i 'die' anyway, is it? unless unless... but anyway, i want life to have meaning for some kind of redemption.
    – user2512
    Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 1:18

1 Answer 1


I think you should contemplate thus:

There were many Buddha's before your current Buddha but their significance and influence has come to an end. My influence on earth is comparatively more insignificant. Any influence or value you bring on the earth has a finite time span. No one is indispensable in the long run. In the grand scheme of things you cannot attach a meaning off significance to your existance, life and influence.

But only until your polarity in looking for significance of existance is subdued. For a lasting solution you have to do Vipassana.

Looking for meaning or lasting influence you are trying to exert some control to you environment which you cannot and lead to misery as if it does not materialise you might think of yourself as a failure. You can try without being too attached to result of your influence.

Trying to give meaning to any thing, you are dealing with concepts and perception. Reality will always be different, hence disappointment. So trying to give meaning to anything will not be entirely satisfactory.

  • hmm, both seem difficult. i try and find some solace in pursuing artistic er pursuits (i'm doing an MA) but... it's all so believable if you see what i mean at all.
    – user2512
    Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 1:16

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