Danger! Overuse of Exclamation Points ahead!!!

The book of Ecclesiastes is dangerous. Ancient Rabbis worried that, even though they believed it to be inspired scripture, the book could be misinterpreted and “cause an inclination to heresy.” Christians disagree on how to interpret passages of scripture, of course. But Ecclesiastes is special in its wide variety of interpretations. And not just of isolated passages, but of the book’s central theme and point.

So, I thought I would just ask. What do you think it means?

Here are the first few verses:

The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”

Here are a few questions, but feel free to just reflect without my prompting:
1. What do you think the book’s point is?
2. Of what use is Ecclesiastes? Is it helpful, confusing, out dated?
3. How do you feel when you read the book? Hopeful, depressed, at peace, anxious? Why do you think the book causes this reaction?

Let me reiterate–I really would like to know your thoughts. I love this enigmatic little book, but sometimes when I read it I have to set it aside halfway through because it takes the wind out of my sails. It would be great to hear how other people have interacted with it, both positively and negatively.