Desire is a tricky thing to understand. You need to think hard about the desires.
In the days when whole world was following some sort of a religion and believed in some sort of a god, every person has an end goal. There has always been some sort of afterlife concept in most religions where they have to answer the god(s) after their death. It is like writing a title of the blog or a book first and trying to align your life to that title. Here are the bad deeds, and here are the good deeds; if you do good you'll go to heaven otherwise to hell. Everyone believed that idea and tried to be as good as possible. For some the definition of good or bad deeds were loose so, they did bad deeds thinking they are good for their own, clan or their regime but they all worshiped some god or the other.
They all had an end goal "To be in good books of their god".
Advent of Science
Or should I say the death of god. As soon as science started to gain popularity and reached masses through its own child called "industrialisation", it started absolutely killing god for people. God is a philosophical idea to answer the questions for which we humans don't have an answer. And that idea started dying.
Now, people didn't really want to go to a gurudwara, church, mosque or other religious places. It all started getting meaningless. And because now you don't have the idea of god embedded, the only thing making you abide to good and bad deeds is law enforcement. For a religion a bad deed was not doing the good deed like not helping an old person cross the road. But for law, if you didn't do it, then it doesn't really do any harm and you didn't committed any crime in the eyes of law enforcement. But for the believers of god that is one less good thing or one more bad thing to not be able to go to heaven. The bar for calling some thing a "bad deed" is very high for law enforcement. So, if you don't believe a god and don't have any personal morals, you can live your life without doing anything good and no one would blink an eye.
Depression rises with the fall of meaning
For me depression started to be a part of my life when I entered work life and the structure of school and university went away. The god has been non existent for me since years, so there was no end goal, and there was nothing that kept me going. It's the structure after I joined the gym made me want to start chasing dopamine that I was getting by doing things. So, I made a lot of things a part of my life like guitar, cooking, golf, and blogging. Now, that I have a life packed with activities which I thoroughly enjoy, I again started visiting the question "what is the meaning of life?" Well, this time even though I didn't have god, but I did have structure back in life along with a longing to get better in all of those activities that I've made a part of my life.
God is not coming back
Trying to get back to conventional god is futile. It is hard to believe into something if you stopped believing because of the lack of proof and logic. I'll be an egoistic athiest if I say that being part of religious charity work, and attending the congregations won't add structure to your life. Sure, you can feed people in need as part of Sikh NGOs like Khalsa Aid even in deadliest of situations. Even though you don't believe in god, it'll add meaning and purpose to your life. But that'll restrict you to the activities that the particular religion does.
I'm the god of my life
That sounds so full of ego. So, hear me out. As I mentioned earlier that God is a philosophical idea to answer the questions for which we humans don't have an answer. For some people, it is the idea which answers their question for how the world works or it came to existent. For me god is the entity who will look at my life and will be evaluating at the end of it. I really don't care what others will think of my life, it's me who is going to look back at life and see does it make me smile or does it make me grine at what all I did in my life. There is no fear of punishment but there is a fear of disappointment. I might not have a percievable death after all, but whenever I die I would have evaluated my life maybe a day, week, a month or an year ago at very least because reminiscing and recollecting the learnings from past life and continuously narrating the story of your life is what gives meaning to my life. And boy do I want an absolutely ravishing story. It doesn't have to be exciting but I do want it to make me feel that it was worth living.
To the people who are contemplating whether your life is worth living or not you can only tell after going through life, by adding structure, and by pushing yourself when you feel plateaued. Just thinking that there is no meaning and taking your life away is not an answer to anything, it is the easiest bail out.
That's it for this blog post and if you feel that you've something to add to this or you have a different perspective then share it and discuss it on r/StoicHuman or go to the Reddit discussion post for this blog post linked down below.
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