A consideration for those who want life to have meaning:
"My favorite journey is a journey which you walk alone but at the same time you know somebody is waiting for you at the end. It's the perfect journey--it doesn't matter how difficult, how dark, or how protracted, as long as you believe there is someone waiting for you there. That makes a journey different. Our life has no purpose unless we believe there is someone waiting there."
----Ai Weiwei in response to the Proust Questionnaire, 'What is your favorite journey?'
And my favorite journey is the one where my little dog is waiting there. That is enough meaning for me. Not that I am loved, but that I have someone to love. That is the greatest necessity for meaning.
I like to think of life as a relay race. You learn what you can and then you pass it on to whoever is waiting. Your leg of the race is finished, but the baton that you held continues with some of you stuck to it, and the fact that you held it matters as it goes to someone else and then someone else after them. Respect your baton. Run with grace.
So, people ask the age old question, "Do you like the journey or the destination?" Which is most important? Has to be both. The journey is what gives you a gift to give when you finally reach your destination and someone is waiting for you.
Oddly, the next question that Ai answered was, 'What do you consider the most overrated virtue?' and he answers, "Sacrifice." Clearly not a Mormon answer.
Done with today's ramble. Bless the Beasts and the Children.
Done & Done Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Trust me. I wan't including you or anyone else. > Every one can establish their own meaning or not. > I don't care unless their meaning impacts me.
I know YOU weren't. But Ai was.
> I found Ai's comment very interesting and it made > me think about it for quite a while. Thought I'd > share since the subject comes up here > periodically.
I found it interesting too. In an overbearing, "I'm the oracle" kind of way. Yeah, he found some meaning for him. Great. I just wish he'd stop pretending it applies to everybody and pronouncing it as "gospel."
> I honestly am not much interested in the meaning > of life. I'm too busy living.
The truth, right there.
Most people are not looking for ‘the meaning of life.’ Most people are looking for the experience of life, summed up simply as ‘more life’.
A new recipe or restaurant
A new book or film or concert
A new place to sit or walk or run
A new dress or sweater or app or phone
A new vacation or hobby
A new friend or partner or lover
A new job
A new baby
None of these everyday things are about the meaning of life. We aren’t excited about these things because they have somehow given us or have deepened the meaning of our lives. No, we pursue these and like things because they give us an experience of life. It is the experience of life itself, not some added on meaning of the experience, that we are after.
That is, unless we are depressed or bored or lacking direction etc. Then we might ask, “what is the meaning of life.” But even then, underneath, the question is motivated by a desire to get back to living life, back to the experience of life, back to the feeling of being ‘in it’ and a part of it and getting at it once again.
Of course, there are the thoughtful among us, like artists and philosophers etc, who do ask, without being lost or depressed, what the meaning of it all is. But again, even here, this is also about the experience of life. These types enjoy the experience of thinking about the question; they feel most alive, most “in it”, when thinking about such questions. They ask the question because they enjoy the experience of the question.
The following was a significant guide-post for me as I navigated post-Mormonism:
“But I want you to be happy,” she said pathetically.
“Eh, my dear —say rather you want me to live.”
—D.H. Lawrence— —Sons and Lovers—
I doubt that we are even pursuing happiness. What we want is to live. We want ‘more life’.
I guess even though my title betrayed me, I was honed in more to the journey part of the quote and what makes a tough journey worth the effort and less about the meaning of life.
We have movies and books with lost dogs making perilous journeys through vast wilderness or city streets to find their beloved people. These supposedly true. Lot's of people will endure almost anything to be with the one they love as well.
Is it any wonder that having someone special waiting is so seductive that it will induce all manner of toleration of the horrific on the road travelled? I don't find the elusive "meaning" in that action. The word meaning only means defining something after all. They did it. That is the meaning.
If even a dog will make the journey, then it seems evolution, not religion, has gifted us with a need to add importance to connections which makes the journey bearable. The journey alone is not enough.
And out of that, evolution spawned the need for religion. No? Religion owes its very existence to the evolution it may deny.
Life has no “purpose”, ultimately... At a determinate point, the last star will die out and all (our universe) will cease to be. Purpose is an artifact that WE imbue life with, it is not something intrinsic or inherent.
Sounds like we are mostly in agreement.... except for the universe coming to an end at some point. It will end, at some future point, one way or another. I subscribe to the expansion model, perhaps you do not. But even if you subscribe to the static model, at some point, all the matter that makes up stars will cease to make new stars.
Everyone thinks they know the meaning to get them out of bed in the morning but thst really don't. Most people are full of sh#t with this question. I trumped a psychologist with this question as a teenager.
My "hope" is that if there is an afterlife, that my dogs are there; otherwise, please just let it be over with. I could not bear to die and find out I have to live without them. Of course, my children, too, and even my parents.
Otherwise, just end it all so that I don't have to experience the ongoing pain.
My mother died 10 years ago yesterday. I hope she is waiting.
Done & Done Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > > Oddly, the next question that Ai answered was, > 'What do you consider the most overrated virtue?' > and he answers, "Sacrifice."
I'm grateful that good and responsible parents would think differently.
Being a parent or guardian, a good and responsible one, one has to sacrifice.
> Clearly not a Mormon answer. > > Done with today's ramble. Bless the Beasts and > the Children.
I am like you D&D when it comes to my furry ones. Yes, Bless the beasts and the children. They have no voice, no choice.