they were merely the concrete articulation or formulation, in imaginal form, and, in the case of metaphysics, the explication, in the mode of thought, of the form of the factually existing in-ness in, or groundedness of, existence at each historical locus respectively. The tales of myth, the religious practices, doctrines, or dogmas, the elaborate systems of metaphysics, spelled out in different modes the logic that factually governed a people’s lived life. They were the self-expression in consciousness of the meaning that was.
He returns back to his metaphor of the fish in water to say,
Just as fish could never seriously question the meaningfulness of being in water, so from the age of myth through the end of the age of metaphysics, i.e., through the time of Hegel and Schelling, man could not possibly have in all earnest raised the question “Is Life Worth Living?” as a real, more than merely rhetorical, question.
Again, this brings to mind the notion of wu-wei. If we are letting life flow as it must without interfering, we have absolutely no need of questioning life as to its meaning. We are here.
We have been thrown into this world, not of our choosing, or at least it seems that way. Perhaps we actually did choose our lives according to our portion of fate, as in the Myth Of Er, recounted by Socrates in Plato’s Republic, but have no memory of it, having passed through the Plain Of Lethe (forgetting) before entering this world.
Nevertheless, it is futile to ask the ego to supply an answer to the meaning of life. A fish would not ask one of its gills why it is in the water and not living on land! So, it is just as preposterous to think we, in our egocentricity and preoccupation with external things, should attempt to dispel the mysteries of life.