The Meaning of Life

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.
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Kelly Jones
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Re: The Meaning of Life

Post by Kelly Jones » Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:49 pm

That sounds like you found something I said extremely annoying and that you would like me to experience severe biological pain, as a punishment, to teach me never to say things like that. How's that psycho-analysis sound?

I know the technique, quite well, from having mismatched parents, with one dreamy and passive-aggressive, the other an impatient perfectionist and physically very strong. Unfortunately, the result is not a happy one.

The victim perceives that the angered person would prefer a sadistic outpouring of their emotions, rather than to give dispassionate and helpful advice as to how they might improve their behaviour. Consequently, the victim retains (probably for life, if they don't deal with those damaged emotions) a sense of being the wrongly-done-by person who has been abused. They learn nothing else.

Fortunately, I didn't get the full experience of sadistic violence, but I certainly witnessed it. It doesn't work, mate.


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Blair
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Re: The Meaning of Life

Post by Blair » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:58 pm

Ever been in Prison, Kelly?

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Kelly Jones
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Re: The Meaning of Life

Post by Kelly Jones » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:07 pm

Why do you ask?


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Homer
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Re: The Meaning of Life

Post by Homer » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:20 am

By no means is this an attempt to answer the question - or the implied question. At best, what I say next should be considered "observations".

When Aristotle said man is "a rational animal", he put himself in the bind of defining or explaining what "rational" or "animal" means. And the explanations of those terms need further explanation. The regression is endless. Thus it seems one either gets it, or doesn't.

The above is an instance of a more generic problem: the part-whole problem. In essence, the problem is this: If you have all the parts, do you have the whole? If you know what "rational" and "animal" means, do you know what "a man" is? If you have all the parts of a car, do you have the car?

It is impossible to arrive at a whole by iterating through its parts. In a sense the whole is greater than its parts. Dividing a whole into more parts, as is the nature of definition (or even explanation), yields no additional understanding.

Applying this to the question "What's the meaning of life?", one ought not pick the question apart and ask "What do you mean by 'meaning' or 'life'?" but recognize all the parts of the question imply or "point to" a whole - much like a finger pointing to the Moon.

But if it is true that it is impossible to arrive at a whole by iterating through its parts, and we only have the parts when we ask the question "What's the meaning of life?", how do you get (or come to know) the whole? Rhetorical.

Glaucon raised a similar question to Socrates in the Meno:

80d: How will you look for it (referring to virtue in seeking to answer the question "What is virtue?"), Socrates, when you do not know at all what it is? How will you aim to search for something you do not know at all? If you should meet with it, how will you know that this is the thing that you did not know?

The just of Socrates answer: Reflect on it, mate. You already know the answer.

Thought or thinking is closely related to the part-whole problem. When I reflect on thinking, my thinking, occasionally I tend to notice "loops" - thinking about the something over and over again while getting nowhere - a sign I'm trying to "capture" a whole via its parts. On the other hand, when I get an idea, it seems to come to me as a whole - I knew everything I wanted to say in this post prior to writing it a fraction of a second (so to speak). It seems the seed-of-thought is a whole and prior to thought, while thoughts are parts of that whole. Thus the presence of one implies the other.

jufa
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Re: The Meaning of Life

Post by jufa » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:55 pm

Mankind seeks the wisdom of its own intellectual past for answers of fulfillment within itself. There are no answers, for the only questions are from the metaphors, symbols, myth, and intellect of the shaman, witch-doctors, priest, gurus, philosophers, and intuitive persons who live and die as all others.

So what answers are beneficial to those whose expansion, in this parenthesis, will end when the proverb, "a time to live, and a time to die," overrides all the human tenets which the intellect has applied for or against the meaning of life?

Life has nothing to do with the material world except make the individual living life comprehend the continuum of moment by moment by moment, and the ability to either rise or fall within the repetitive thoughts of self-survival the universal collective mentality of mankind believes is the essential ingredient for living. If this was the truth, then life would not allow its Spirit to move individual consciousness, for self-survival would be the Principle and Patterns followed by the invisible and visible matter which makes up the world of materialism.

Should there be a purpose, or meaning to life, it is for each and every individual to comprehend they are the metaphor of living the metaphor they are seeking as a meaning, or purpose to life. It is the individual who is the light of their domain of awareness, of living, of comprehending, or being and doing. So if there is a question, then one must understand the allegory of the man formed "the dust of the ground," and the planting of "the tree of knowledge," and "the tree of life" are of the elements of the very ground which is mankind.

The question therefore must be the same as the answer for they are not divided from "the dust of the ground" which birthed them from the Spirit of It likeness and image.

The question is not what one is aware of, but how one interpret that which they are aware of. Can one interpret from the depth of the intellect what "In the beginning God created" means?

Never give power to anything a person believes is their source of strength - jufa

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