In his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, Viktor Frankl shares his discovery from his experience in a Nazi concentration camp, that the main force behind those who survived was a strong sense or a vision of a future beyond the suffering. They envisioned a purpose for life not yet attained but meaningful beyond, and in spite of the present circumstances. The vision is the mission in life and the will to survive.
The scripted life we live has been handed down by family, school, society, friends and even enemies. We have been programmed in certain specific patterns with the notion that the result will be achievement, success, fulfillment and peace. And even as the results become illusive we continue with the same mindset.
The life principle at play here is that of life beyond oneself – the purpose of life for something higher than oneself. That is where joy and peace will be found, despite any circumstances, including the threat of death. Obviously this life purpose, or mission, is future oriented, it is not what lies in the past. It is creative imagination, not memory.