The Meaning of Life continued
copyright 1972, 2006 by Tracy Marks

In Dimensions of Value, R. Mukerjee wrote of the relationship between
self-actualization and self-transcendence:

"Man's true and essential being is at the same time his avenue of
rapport with his neighbor, society and God - the source of his intrinsic
and ultimate values. " (p.122)

"Fullest self-transcendence is fullest self-regulation, self-expression
and self-actualization. The needs for identity, self-actualization and
self-transcendence are linked with one another, involving the processes
of self-love and love for fellow-man and cosmos." (p.53-54)

"The growing or maturing person finds meaning in life, accepts
responsibility, and loses himself in his commitment, disregarding his
egoistic impulses of tension reduction, pleasure and pride. He extends
step by step the boundaries of the self, ultimately identifying himself
with the highest values that can be comprehended." (p.54)

"If the value schemata does not give top status to the cosmos... the
individual suffers from chronic anxiety and fear, and the society from
anhedonia, nihilism and despair. Only cosmic values can safeguard
man and society from a neurotic state of distortion and separation
from the totality of life." (pp. 60-61)

"When the validation of values stems from man's unity with himself
and his real being.... this is the phase of identification of self-
actualization with self-transcendence, of the values of individuality
with the values of society and cosmos. (p.62)

In conclusion, such discussion of the problem of self-actualization and self-transcendence should enable us to formulate a conception of the meaningful life which takes into consideration all seven contemporary thinkers discusses here. Can we not then conclude that that indeed there are many sources of meaning in life, but that there is also an ultimate meaning, and an ideal state of psychological development in which this meaning is most fully realized?

A man who has attained this state knows the freedom which comes from trust in an ultimate reality; he has reached a state of self-awareness in which he has transcended and has own fears and desires and consciously chosen his values. From these values, he has set up corresponding goals for himself, taking into consideration his relationship to society and the cosmos. Finally, he has mobilized his will to the extent that he can to realize these values in the world.

In other words, the meaning of life is most fully realized when, after having reflected upon one's self and one's values, and having integrated one's needs, desires and fears with ones primary values, one actualizes oneself through: (1) commitment toward other persons; (2) through service to society at large; (3) and (if one hears His call) through listening and responding to the voice of God within oneself.

NOTE: Since this paper was written 25 years ago, and all but the first and last few pages were lost, portions of it were lost, a complete bibliography is not available.   The following authors and books were quoted in the conclusion:
Bertocci, Peter, Personality and the Good
Buhler, Charlotte
Frankl. Viktor, Man's Search for Meaning
Friedman, Maurice, To Deny our Nothingness
Mukerjee, R., Dimensions of Value

Go to: 
A Philosophy of Life based upon the above paper.

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