Why do I suffer? Do I matter? Does life itself matter? These painful questions are generally answered with dull commonplaces about our place in the grand scheme of things, leaving the most sceptical of us in an even deeper state of pain and aimlessness.
Gillian Bridge's answer is more blunt: life makes no sense, and our search for meaning is delusional. It is an accident of our big brain trying endlessly to connect everything together. However, whereas a nihilistic philosopher would stop there, Gillian Bridge adds that life itself is enough - provided, of course, we make peace with the idea and break free from our little self.
Don't expect cheap talk about self-actualisation. Gillian Bridge wants us to stop indulging ourselves in navel-gazing habits, and she wages war against the oversensitive and individualistic spirit of our time.
The Significance Delusion is a contrarian yet convincing book backed by scientific evidence and the author's own experience as a therapist. Even though I am an atheist, I would advise the religious reader not to let themselves be repelled by the book's brain-centred approach, as The Significance Delusion's communitarian core message seems to lend credence to a great variety of religious teachings.
A must-read for anyone concerned with mental health, social wellbeing and education.