“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
Our modern world is not ideal for experiencing the rapture of being alive -- indeed the precise opposite. I reckon that's why so many people get depressed. Instead, life has to be an adventure. Like it might well have been in the stone age. A journey with ongoing meaningful experiences. Close brushes with death with the consequent comradeship and camaraderie when others save your life, and you theirs. The collective outpouring of emotions, the bitter and sweet taste of life in the raw. All this with the implicit feeling that death is just another journey and all will come right in the end.
Of course what Joseph Campbell articulating here is how we get satisfaction and fulfilment in life. Which is a different question to what the meaning of life is, as in the sense of what is the purpose or ultimate goal of existence is. See a blog entry by me here. Having said that, I do agree that perhaps most people, when lamenting about what the meaning of life might be, are motivated by a dissatisfaction with their own lives that they undoubtedly would not express if they felt the rapture of being alive.