The Meaning of Life - What's Yours?


Ultimate Meaning



Sustainablity - Our Environment

Personal Happiness and Contentment - Is that the ultimate goal?


OK I have something that I'd like to get off my chest.  I don't have a lot of real meaning in person adult friends at the moment - I've moved cities and haven't been out much - although that is changing - so being able to write on here - in a dear diary way - but get some feed back would be really great - as I don't get time to research my theories as much as I would like - and so some grounding from others always helps me not to get too far off reality.


I suppose it relates to meaning of life.  What is your meaning of life?


I've worked a lot of getting rid of mythology and have been left with not much really - although I am quite liking the humanist perspective - or what I know of it - in terms of it's natural and science base.


I figure due to the heat death of the universe there isn't much point to life.  Only that we are here and that is amazing in itself.  But we aren't perfect - we only find ourselves here because in our current form we are well adapted to reproduce - but it isn't without flaws.


Death is something that many fear and I think it is a main driving forse of religious belief - behind the cultural and social benefits people gain from involvement.  I think a good death is quite an amazing experience according to people who've come back from death to tell the tale - so now a days I'm not so scard of death - although who knows how I'll be at the time.  I feel sad thinking about it - but then again I'm only 34 and hope to live until I'm at least 80 - so perhaps by the time I've had another 46 years I'll be in a very different head space about it all.  Here's hoping anyhow.  In fact I think a good way of dealing with death in general is to accept it's going to happen and know that it is quite amazing for a few minutes once you've died technically, until you're brain fades out.  Of course there is nothing after that, so I'm not worried about that bit - it's the leaving that is really sad - leaving all your family and friends behind - my husband put it quite well when he said it's a bit like leaving a really great party before it's finished.


So once we've dealt with death - and meaning - ultimately there isn't any - what are we left with?  We're left with what to do with our time?


Morals have come up quite a bit.  I didn't used to like them much - but Sam Harris book changed that - and now I can see the value in morals in terms of it's wrong to cause children harm through sexually abuse or physical mutalation - through cutting off their clitorises.  So on an extreme end of things I can see the value of moral values of right and wrong.  I can see also that we have these values because we have empathy and don't like to see others hurt.


But can we stop all pain?  Would it be good to stop all pain?


Pain is part of life - it is helpful in some ways - it would be nice if we didn't need to have it, but it has a value by way of keeping us alive.


I like nonviolent communication - not because I think we ought to be nonviolent in our communication, but because I think it is a useful tool in communicating with others about our feelings and needs, so as to get our needs met in a way that isn't harmful to others.  I think this is a useful way of being.


We are lucky in our society generally that we don't have to make decisions about harming others.  I'm not convised that total nonviolence would work.  When thinking about the major religions in the world the ones that are most nonviolent are quite contained and small - although Hinduism has a lot of members.  It's the violent ones that are prospering - christianity and islam.  In fact Islam seems to have picked wars with all of them - Pakistain and India - Palastine and Israel - Islam and the West - I don't think they've attacked the Buddhists yet - perhaps there is something in that!


Christians seem good at fighting Islam currently and historically - I'm thinking of the crusaides.


Buddhists aren't agressive, but they don't seem to be growing either - in fact China has put quite a stop to their leadership also.


The other main issue I think is our sustainablity on planet earth.  I don't think that waiting for technology to get us safely to another planet is the key to this.  I think we'll be waiting a long time and in fact I think the human race will die out and take out most other species with it, before we work out how to get a group of humans safely to another habitable planet using science.


I think that the evolution of dealing with climate change will be gradual and we will slowly adapt to less food and less material things.  Although I also think that much pain will come too and I think that we will have more people starving or getting sick due to malnurishment - the food quality is already going down - due to our farming practices - we relay on synthetic vitamins - which I'm skeptical about - and also fossil fuel based fertilisers - I'm not sure how sustainable they are either - and I believe that crops are reducing due to poor quality of soils.  Although Israel and Australia are leading the way with using poor soils to grow food - due to their need based on poor soils.  American on the other hand seems to have rich deep soils.  India is running out of water in parts to successfully irrigate food.


Is it OK that humans clear the land to make food for themselves at the expense of so many other species?  I heard that at least 5 species are lost every day mainly due to human food production.  We haven't even found all the species in the world - there are just so many.  Does it even matter, when the universe will die a heat death in the end any way?  What's it all worth?


Perhaps it matters to our quality of life and our survival as a species.  But you wouldn't know, when most people are more concerned about entertainment - once they've done their day's work to get their basic needs met.  Switching their brains off in favour of someone elses imagined theatre on TV or you tube.


It seems perhaps that I missed the point here.  Isn't life about enjoying yourself?  Does it really matter about the planet and long term sustainability and saving other species or our own for that matter?


Perhaps it doesn't really matter what we do at all.  Perhaps everyone should just life the life that makes them the most happy - and that is the best thing we can all do.


What are your thoughts?









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Replies to This Discussion

Park - OK I"m seeing this guy again next Tuesday - so any information you can give me I would be grateful- it would expand my own knowledge also - as well as his potentially - it concerns me because he was at least in his late 40's and seemed quite confident about his claims - and I like to think that people of intelligence are promoting truths and not myths or other...


It sounds as though you simply want to live a full and valuable life - in terms of personal fulfillment and ethical relationship to others also.

Hi ,Park! Please refer to the Scientific American June 2011 cover story.

Even at this resolution you can see that it's called "Living in a Quantum World: Small-scale physics has a 'spooky' power over the world at large.


Weather is unpredictable because air turbulence exhibits extreme sensitivity to initial conditions, similar to the complex pendulum. While not "a quantum event" itself, weather is influenced by quantum events.

There seems to be, from several posts, a mechanistic conception of science, along the lines of Newtonian physics. Science is not threatened by complex phenomena, complexity science is science too. We are not expected to give up "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Nor is the study of chaotic phenomena any sort of god of the gaps justification.


We grew up with a shared social reality that presupposed the classical macroscopic world as real and normal. Science has shown us that reality is far more weird and interesting than what we sense directly. In fact, reality has (quantum) fuzzy edges, not just at the subatomic level. "Random" things at the smallest level can, under certain circumstances, impact our everyday reality, Park. Processes that cross scale transmit these influences.

It's a kind of Twilight Zone experience to get your head around how such scale-crossing processes have been part of everyday life all along, just not understood as such. Such shifts in consciousness are just as profound as life experience insights. And, for people who grew up on sci-fi, it's fun. *laugh echos, reverberating down a tunnel*.

John D - I have to agree with you that it is really about ourselves - I'm not doing stuff for anyone else really - in the sense that when not around others I soon come to thinking about myself again and don't even know what they are going through... It's interesting also thinking about myths we hold about ourselves and our own ignorances.

I know I have a myth about myself as being a victim at times of others, or of lacking power or control in someway - but you'll get a totally opposite story from my husband and children I'm sure - so I'm looking at the moment to 'updating' my personal mythology in an aim of being more reflective of the 'truth' as I know it - but again we can't see our own ignorances.
Alysn - 42 years left... It's funny how we try to work it out - as if we know - but I still think that it is a useful exercise due to planning things with a goal in mind - it's not going to stop the bus hitting us - but I suppose we can up date our calculations as we go along...
Brian - our race is definitely going to be a dead end road - as all life will be - thinking in terms of heat death universe...

I disagree that those who don't have children only have purpose in the ways they help the species survive to reproduce - I know many single people who are negative about others having kids, don't like kids, and don't want to contribute socially to supporting having kids - so even if gene's might want that - so to speak - lots of humans don't...
Park - I haven't read the other million emails from nexus about this, so others have probably responded also - but I'll go ahead anyhow and share my piece - saying what nothing you do matters then the only thing that matters is what you do. It's more of a short hand for something that meaningful in itself. But I'll translate for you - says me who was called a geek at a party the other day - which has never happened before, for not understanding a stupid joke by an equally stupid women - about a chicken and a cow having a baby and I didn't understand it because how could two females reproduce - or something like that - I can't remember the details but it was a lame joke - anyway - back to the story here - When one feels that nothing they do matters - it's usually an indication of depression or loss of meaning and therefore loss of hope in life - and so what follows is that everything you do matters - meaning that what you do does have an effect - we can see this in the causal web, determinism and the natural laws of cause and effect - so what this is meaning is that when we feel all hope is lost - we need also to maintain our understanding that we do count and what we do does have an effect and we can have a good effect or a bad effect - but basically it's to counter the feeling that we have no effect at all.... is that more logical for you?
I think that's the whole point about deepities - they don't really explain themselves... :)
John - love isn't just a word!
Ian - thanks for sharing your experience - it really helps to hear first hand what people go through in life - it can help with anxiety and fears about things we don't know about - which aren't the answers to the great questions of science or philosophy but they do have a great meaning to our lives personally.

I like your style - meaning and morals - making it up as we go along - that's pretty much what I've done so far, not having much guidance on the matter from parents - although I'm probably on auto pilot with most of it...
Melanie - I like your post - I agree with you. If you want to travel the world quite cheaply you can do things like WWOOFing - willing workers on organic farms - or try those house swap and house sitting websites - you're welcome to stay with us if you come this way - Melbourne Australia - we've got a room and bed for you... I've done a bit of travelling and I really enjoyed it - although I get tired after about 3 months and want to settle down again and have some place to call home. Asia is cheap to travel - and live in terms of food accommodation and local travel.

I was afraid of death quite strongly for most of my 20's - but I'm better now and I'm happier about my life now and so don't think about it so much... :)

Do you think there is much more to life than those issues?

Our environment
Personal Happiness
Dr Kellie - I used to suffer really bad PMS - but since changing my diet I'm heaps better - I cut right down on carbs and sugar - and mainly eat meat, fish, eggs and vegetables - lots of raw veg - salads and good oils - olive oil, cold pressed coconut, butter - totally avoid soy products and canola oil, and started taking a pro biotic - anyway it really did wonders for me and I'm really quite the same right through the month now.
I don't suffer from PMS, I was just being silly.  But many thanks for the good will:)


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