Considering the transient nature of individual human life, what is it that drives us – that motivates us to move through time; that keeps us from despairing about our lives or, for that matter, the future of the entire species. Freud, of course, has proposed that it is the sex drive that is the prime mover. Although this is a strong component especially in the early years of life, I believe, that its significance has been vastly overstated.
Given the chaotic nature of the universe that surrounds us, I believe it is the search for order that propels human activity. It is the state of order that implies meaning. An individual life can be organized around any conceivable system of beliefs or philosophical premise - a reality well supported by the history of the human race.
Without order, human progress or human civilization as we understand it is not possible. Even for those who profess the belief in the necessity of seeking and achieving true human freedom, an ordered existence is essential; for, a state of chaos is not conducive to being free. Just as life defies the natural tendency towards greater and greater disorder (entropy), human societies must expend energy to thwart or retard the ineluctable movement towards chaos.
It is through the marvelous organ that is the human brain that we can make sense out of the constantly changing and ever-evolving external environment. It does this by superimposing order on all our perceptions. Without this kind of processing and effective filtering of external data, we would be hopelessly lost within the maelstrom and ever-changing nature of existence.