This instinctual stuff that lies within our unconscious is not only invested in life, it is invested in death. As Hollis puts it,
"We hunger for meaning, for God, for love, for connection. Simultaneously we hurtle toward extinction in seeking sleep, death, the arms of the beloved - all through the great darkness in which we walk." (Hollis, Mythologems, p. 8)This is heavy stuff. As I read these words, I heard echoes in myself and I also wondered about how this plays out on the collective level. Almost as soon as I wondered, I knew that there is no difference between the individual and the collective.
I know as an individual I want my life to have meaning. Without meaning, for me, life is pointless. If there was no meaning other than to be born, to reproduce and then fertilize the earth with my body, then there is no point in being good, in producing art, in music and song. On the collective level, it seems that all cultures invest in life having meaning. The rise of religions, the founding of universities, the protection of the arts through wars and all manner of catastrophes speak loudly of the knowledge at an unconscious level that there is meaning.
Yet for all of this desire for meaning, I spend much, if not most of my life in meaningless activity. I simply fill hours in the day. It is as though I resist as much as I am pulled to meaningfulness.