The Roles We Play and Finding Purpose

Welcome to our discussion based on Joe C.’s Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life. We post choice quotes from the daily reading, as well as the discussion questions, and encourage you to think on it and respond in the comments. Please keep our community guidelines in mind while commenting.

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.”

-Marcus Aurelius (121-180)

Our man Marc would be called anĀ apatheist today. Proof that God is either a myth or a reality would not change his deeds or behavior. Apathetic to the answer, he lived righteously. If the big question is irrelevant, why spend so much time on it?

…Psychologists suggest that a sense of purpose or self-worth comes from feeling we add value to a world of meaning. More than economic or social stature, a purpose enhances our self-esteem. Life-scripts and role play come with built-in definitions. Transactional Analysis scripts like persecutor (disciplinarian), victim and rescuer are interchangeable roles that most of us act out at home, school, work and in meetings. Taking inventory of the hats we wear and the triggers and rationalizations that support these roles enhances self-awareness.

Discussion questions

  • “What am I doing here?”
  • Looking at the script I follow today, to what extent is my life determined by environment or habits?
  • Do I feel trapped by my social caste, or free to do as I please?