Reading Philosophy

Apr 13, 2006 05:08 # 42514

blacksky ** posts about...

Meaning Of Life

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What is the meaning of life ? Is there really one ? Maybe we waste our time on this planet looking for meaning in life instead of simply living it. Yet, how can you chart a course when one doesn't know the destination. Then aagin, Newton didn't just sit there and ponder about the meaning of life. Yet his discoveries have opened the doors towards explaining the mysteries of the Universe.

Maybe we are nothing more than a random chance. And there is no meaning in chaos. Maybe it is our own desperate urge to invent meaning, in order to help us get through life, purposefully. And we are nothing more than genetic junk floating in the Universe.

In some ways, finding meaning in life, marriage, work etc. is pretty simillar. It is only as meaningful as we want it to be. Nothing more, nothing less. But does our perception change reality ?

May 07, 2006 19:40 # 42761

WASABI *** replies...

Re: Meaning Of Life

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The real meaning of life is that life has no meaning.

No seriously. Any attempts to give a meaning to life is bound to end in circular reasoning.

What is the meaning you give to life? To do <insert favorite supreme being here>'s will? And what's the meaning or purpose of <inserte favorite supreme being here>'s existence?
To help others? Same thing -- you define the meaning of your own life based on other's... it's almost self-referential.

:wq

May 27, 2006 04:48 # 42833

Bunk *** replies...

Meaning Of Life? No Problemo.

The real meaning of life is that life has no meaning.

It has no pathetic materialistic or jingoistic goal. I believe those types of meanings are just smaller elements that are taken to far, and interpreted wrong. But while this may eliminate purpose, it does not remove meaning.

blacksky, you say

Maybe it is our own desperate urge to invent meaning, in order to help us get through life, purposefully.

But then how could we even concieve of the concept? Where does the desire for meaning originate?

I would say the classic answer would be that it comes from within our soul.

In order to distinguish purpose from meaning, let's philosophically examine my job. I maintain a parking lot at a local big box store. Basically, I push carts from the corral back into the store. It's essentially an activity no purpose: the carts that I push in will be brought back out later. Every action is impermanent, achives no concrete goal, and is undone immediately.

The interesting part is when you stretch it out. The money I make will all be spent. The store I work for will be someday demolished. The carts will rust to nothing. The human race will, possibly go extinct, possibly not, but either way the sun will go nova and the earth will be toast.

All of which goes a long way to demonstrate that something like pushing carts, much like a lot of human activity, has no higher purpose to speak of. But it does have meaning, and that meaning is discover who you are and become at peace with your nature.

Purpose towards a goal alone does not satisfy, because its completion reveals it to be hollow. If we define the goal of an action by its material gain alone, then it's a soul-less action. Achievement does satisfy, if it is done with the motive of self-fulfillment.

This is not a selfish philosophy, though it may seem that way. Although we must be at peace foremost with ourselves, we share our exploration with other people and in fact the whole of our environment. The way we treat our environment and those around us is an expression of the state of our soul. Love and friendship are perfect examples of meaning without purpose. We learn nothing by cutting ourselves from others.

Also, a big part of understanding the meaning of life is not cutting out a part of yourself. Self-exploration must go all the way, with no barriers to stop you from understanding the truth of who you are. This is a lesson, like many others, that I am still attempting to teach to myself.

"History is more or less bunk." - Henry Ford

This post was edited by Bunk on May 27, 2006.

May 27, 2006 06:31 # 42835

yoshi314 * replies...

Re: Meaning Of Life? No Problemo.

The meaning of life is obviously the reason you live for. Simple as that.

Since you didn't have one at the very start (nobody asked you if you wanted to be born [well i could be wrong here :] ] ), Except for a purely biological (survival), you have to find one to give your existence a meaning. Because your life is pretty much meaningless to you (not to your parents, unless you're an unwanted child) at the very start.

I live to learn. Knowledge shapes my perception, helping me to understand the world better. Some people want to achieve something to be remembered for. Others simply want to be happy. Learning means discovering new things, having new ways to think about the world, or it could be just another topic to talk about with somebody else. ( Maybe i like to learn new things just to be able to have more things to talk about with other people. Who knows? :D )

everybody is different. They want to do something different about their lives. Giving yourself a goal means giving your life a meaning. As long as you pursue your dream, you have something to live for.

You could say that life consists of pursuing your happiness, and satisfying more and more needs gets you closer to happiness. When you're a little baby you just have biological needs, and a need of parent's company. As you grow older your needs become more complex and organized, depending on various factors. (Like education, the place you live in, people you meet etc)

you'll never fully achieve happiness, since you'll always need something, but it's the chase after the dream that matters.

"Life is a queue. You come in, hang around for a bit, get some service, then depart."

Oct 04, 2010 00:43 # 46823

Bunk *** posts about...

Re: Meaning Of Life? No Problemo.

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It has no pathetic materialistic or jingoistic goal.

Ugh, heavy language. I don't find it tasteful anymore.

are taken to far

Typo!

I would say the classic answer would be that it comes from within our soul.

What, are you Hegelian or something?!

Every action is impermanent, achives no concrete goal, and is undone immediately.

Another typo. But this is more interesting stuff.

the sun will go nova and the earth will be toast.

That's what I've been meditating on lately. "Objects" - items that are named and categorized - are transient, one and all. Possessions are fleeting, including the possession of your body. In the Upanishads (ancient Indian texts), this fact about the dynamic nature of reality should be cause to abandon desire for objects and embrace awareness, practicing yoga (literally "uniting") to become aware of the unity between yourself and the rest of the universe.

Since we aren't all yogis, this transient nature of things is awfully hard to deal with for a lot of people. To understand it is to accept your own death - the fact that your time will end, when your transient form is reabsorbed into the continuing cycles of reproduction and change. It's a tough fear to deal with, but as a necessary part of life it is a fear which we all must face.

something like pushing carts, much like a lot of human activity, has no higher purpose to speak of. But it does have meaning, and that meaning is discover who you are and become at peace with your nature.

I like it. Good stab at transient meaning, although it comes across as frightfully uncertain (which it was, and is).

Self-exploration must go all the way, with no barriers to stop you from understanding the truth of who you are. This is a lesson, like many others, that I am still attempting to teach to myself.

Ah, what a closing line. So very desperate, yet trying not to be. Well Bunk, I think you've done ok. You are looking into all the holes, all the hidden places, all the deepest fears - death being the most profound. You have woken up to life.

You were terribly scared that every word meant nothing. That there was no secret, no truth to find - that the failure to understand anything was an inherent flaw, one that would never be fixed. In a sense, you knew in your heart that truth was out there, and love was out there, but because you had neither you could never quite be certain.

Now you are certain. The transition, for all it's worth, was quite the ride. So, if you ask me now what the meaning of life is, I'd say embrace the ride. From time to time, throw down some words onto pages, if not to capture truth then to at least give it a good chase.

"History is more or less bunk." - Henry Ford


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