What does it mean to be authentic in a world lacking in meaning and purpose?

To feel wounded suggests that there’s still a remnant of meaning, otherwise, pain would have no meaning, serve no purpose and not be distinguishable from other feelings. If nothing else, pain is a reminder that one is still alive, still breathing, still bleeding blood or meaning.

Where to turn when meaning and purpose is undermined and even lost?

The religions of the world made little sense to me when the world was full of promise and meaning and purpose – religions seem more of a cosmic joke with an unfunny punch line. The worst part of religion is that you aren’t able to ask questions or ponder the consequences of what religion claims and what religion really means. Especially Abrahamic ones – for if there were a god, it is a god in hell – for what can be worse than seeing the universe play out, as you know it would and without the ability to impact or change anything – because you knew you’d tweak this or that with the same end result – because knowing all means you can never be surprised or have novel experiences, only watch the universe unfold day by day, moment by moment with full awareness of the past moments and future moments and every unrealized possibility that could have arisen but did not.

Free will for humans means no interference from deities and life has no meaning without at least the appearance of free will if not actual free will, making any deity bound to a non-interference policy and reliant on fickle faith for worship – and what need does an omnipotent being have of worship, unless all creatures crave unconditional love? In which case, are dogs to humans as humans are to deities? But a dog’s love is limited in scope and by lifespan – although there is no upper limit to the quality of doggie love.

In which case, is god like the Star Trek Borg, adding each of our individual distinctiveness back into the hive whole with Death being merely the collecting mechanism?

If the universe be hell for deities, then what hope can there be for mere humans? Unless our limited understanding of the universe ensures novel experiences and it is the path to understanding that is the meaning, with sweet oblivion the reward? After all, an eternity in any single state would, given enough time, become painful until the pain became sweet bliss and back to pain – is true pleasure just that moment when pain and pleasure are balanced and any imbalance in either direction the torturous motivator to return to the harmonic balance?