I don’t think free is a precondition of meaningfulness.
That would exclude the unconscious components of our nature, right? Or, more precisely, the braid of conscious and unconscious components that make up most of our behavior. Or do I misunderstand you?
Playing with the meaning of meaning is a whole ‘nutha thing. I’m just starting to try and think that through (again…it’s a bit of recurrent theme for me.)
One new idea sparked by chasing down some other folks here on Medium writing about free will to is trying to use Friston’s concept of free energy as a model. If biological systems (from a macro, evolutionary scale down to the level of individual organism and perhaps even below) are defined by attempting to recapture the ‘free energy’ that marks the gap between their model of the external world and actual real-world impact then perhaps meaningful action for a human is anything done to bring the two into line. Given that our model of the world is immensely complex with everything included in it from pre-natal emotional patterning to our analysis of this evening’s news, I’m not sure how you exactly define the mismatch in any situation or connect it directly to action but it is a provocative model.