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Meaning(s) of Life, Meaning in Meaninglessness

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RiKD    United States. Nov 05 2016 22:58. Posts 5727

Sartre:

"We are responsible for bringing meaning to nothingness. We are the sum of our actions."

I posted some other stuff but I can't remember and I don't think it matters to start this thread.

Baalim responded with:

"There is an obvious problem trying to find for meaning in meaninglessness, it will always be artificial and you cant fool yourself, that is the abyss.

What you should do is embrace the meaninglessness"

I just wanted to say that I agree that any meaning will be artificial. I do not believe in a divine meaning of life. I do not believe in THE meaning of life. There is no God or gods that has bestowed the universe with a meaning of life. I do believe that human made artificial meanings are legitimate and not necessarily fooling ourselves. I get hungry. A meaning is to procure food. Embedded in me is a desire to pass my genes along. I either control that urge with practice of buddhism or I embrace that urge and figure out how I am going to get women to want to sleep with me. As long as I am in sexual relations with a woman and ejaculating my lizard brain does not seem to know the difference. Of course, any meaning taken from religious mythology as if it were fact is complete bull shit. I do think if someone wants to practice the principles of Jesus Christ because they think it is the right thing to do that is a legitimate meaning and can likely make someone's life better (what ever the fuck that means). If someone wants to just get money and fuck bitches that is a legitimate meaning but I agree there will likely be some time spent with THE ABYSS at some point. Maybe everyone has to spend some time with the abyss which is what I think you are saying. It is better to get comfortable with the abyss rather than thinking one will go to heaven or that Jesus will come back and save everyone. I would say that I am ok with the nature of the universe. 200+ billion galaxies and no gods. Cool. I wish I could speak better on the nature of consciousness but in my tunnel of consciousness in many ways I am protected by the nothingness of the vast universe. We are all almost invisible specks of consciousness in an at least ever expanding vastness beyond our comprehension. We are consciousness though. Thankfully, it is set up so I have my own tunnel. I see what is around me and my thoughts are crowded by what is going on in my tunnel. I may feel some angst if I start studying the sheer mass of stars, the number of stars, the number of solar systems, galaxies. I may feel some angst if I start obsessing about death and the nature of death. For the most part though, if I am hungry and my meaning is to go get a curry and spend some time with friends things are cool and I am not fooling myself. I know I am going to die. I could die at any moment. The universe does not care. Some specks of consciousness may care but it will not matter. Whatever dude.

I would be interested to hear about what other people think on this topic.

What gets people out of bed in the morning?

Why do you do the stuff you are doing?


Also, here is a video Loco posted in the Truth thread that is relevant:

+ Show Spoiler +

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devon06atX   Canada. Nov 05 2016 23:20. Posts 5405

I get out of bed in the morning cuz it feels good. It's one of the numerous things I do to become a social, functioning member of society.

Work, and all the shit with it, as well as the advantages, leads me to live a fulfilling life.

Lying in bed would not.

I do things because they inherently bring me more happiness than if I didn't. Quite often we all do things that we don't enjoy, just cuz it's worth it in the end.

There is no right way to live life, no secret imo. Just do what makes you happy.


Spitfiree   Bulgaria. Nov 06 2016 01:00. Posts 8870


  On November 05 2016 21:58 RiKD wrote:
"There is an obvious problem trying to find for meaning in meaninglessness, it will always be artificial and you can't fool yourself, that is the abyss.

What you should do is embrace the meaninglessness"


I've always had this certain thought which I did not know how to formulate. There s no reason to fight something you cannot control, you should subdue to it that's the most plausible way to elevate yourself in my eyes. I usually don't remember things from books, but I remember this "prayer" from Dune about fear capturing those exact same thoughts (well maybe not the first half which still sounds superficial to me) :
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”


That being said, relieving yourself from that pressure only enables you to excel as a person. Not in the popular belief of estimation - value you bring to society defining your worth however ( usually leads to that as well I guess, but not the main point).

And about your questions, I'm still far from achieving the thing described above. My main motivation to do stuff is the fear of failure to not be able to the things I'm trying to do. That does not mean a failure means doom to me, but rather that a failure leads me to trying harder. ( Like this fckin php pagination im trying to write the past 12hrs)



P.S. God damn was Dr Strange pretty good

 Last edit: 06/11/2016 01:06

Bullshit   Canada. Nov 06 2016 07:19. Posts 737

I remember I started having all these thoughts after eating 15grams of shrooms then I couldn't wrap my head around conciousness and existence for a while. You kinda just have to embrace the meaninglessness after thinking about it because nobody has any sort of satisfactory answer for the questions you're asking. If you don't you'll just dive into a deep hole and be depressed cause trying to find meaning in everything when it isnt there is very frustrating.

I get out of bed and do what I do because I'm already here why not make the best of it what do you have to lose?

 Last edit: 06/11/2016 07:25

RiKD    United States. Nov 06 2016 22:49. Posts 5727


  On November 05 2016 22:20 devon06atX wrote:
I get out of bed in the morning cuz it feels good. It's one of the numerous things I do to become a social, functioning member of society.

Work, and all the shit with it, as well as the advantages, leads me to live a fulfilling life.

Lying in bed would not.

I do things because they inherently bring me more happiness than if I didn't. Quite often we all do things that we don't enjoy, just cuz it's worth it in the end.

There is no right way to live life, no secret imo. Just do what makes you happy.



How do you know what will make you happy? How do you know what will bring you extended happiness?


RiKD    United States. Nov 06 2016 22:55. Posts 5727


  On November 06 2016 00:00 Spitfiree wrote:
Show nested quote +


I've always had this certain thought which I did not know how to formulate. There s no reason to fight something you cannot control, you should subdue to it that's the most plausible way to elevate yourself in my eyes. I usually don't remember things from books, but I remember this "prayer" from Dune about fear capturing those exact same thoughts (well maybe not the first half which still sounds superficial to me) :
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”


That being said, relieving yourself from that pressure only enables you to excel as a person. Not in the popular belief of estimation - value you bring to society defining your worth however ( usually leads to that as well I guess, but not the main point).

And about your questions, I'm still far from achieving the thing described above. My main motivation to do stuff is the fear of failure to not be able to the things I'm trying to do. That does not mean a failure means doom to me, but rather that a failure leads me to trying harder. ( Like this fckin php pagination im trying to write the past 12hrs)



P.S. God damn was Dr Strange pretty good


I think facing fears is one of the best practices one can get tapped into. Jordan Peterson talks about it in the terms of slaying dragons. If we ignore the dragon he will get bigger and meaner and perhaps more elusive and agile. The only way to get treasures of life are to slay the dragon. Face our fears.


RiKD    United States. Nov 06 2016 23:18. Posts 5727


  On November 06 2016 06:19 Bullshit wrote:
I remember I started having all these thoughts after eating 15grams of shrooms then I couldn't wrap my head around conciousness and existence for a while. You kinda just have to embrace the meaninglessness after thinking about it because nobody has any sort of satisfactory answer for the questions you're asking. If you don't you'll just dive into a deep hole and be depressed cause trying to find meaning in everything when it isnt there is very frustrating.

I get out of bed and do what I do because I'm already here why not make the best of it what do you have to lose?



I am concerned that I will lose my relative freedom, my spaces of serene times, peaceful times, joyful times. I think a lot of it is just I am having such a depressing time finding a job but realize that some work is what I need and then going back to depressing times in that right now there just seems to be no passable occupation. The money is not quite right or I can not work a swing shift/night shift due to my bipolar or I am not going to venture back into marketing/advertising or I just have an unreasonable expectation of what an occupation is going to look for me at this point in time. All my experience is poker and multinational corporation sales and I don't want to play poker and I don't want to work for most large corporations.

Whether I think I am taking these great actions and am inspired and in a flow state and free I am still drifting with the tide of how my brain works and how I have been conditioned. I am likely never going to be President of anything. I do not want to be President of anything (to my current knowledge). We just never know though. I am not even going to spend any time thinking about conditions that I could be President of something. I would rather think of things that are a better fit. I haven't found much. I am a whiny millennial. I want to go to school for free. I don't want $1,000+ medical bills that I can not afford to pay.


RiKD    United States. Nov 06 2016 23:27. Posts 5727

I am reading the Bhagavad Gita with commentary from Swami Rama. It talks about a meaning of reaching our fullest potential. That just seems like a solid meaning to me. I do not see anything wrong with it. It also requires further study of what one's fullest potential even means and how does one get there.


Loco   Canada. Nov 07 2016 07:00. Posts 20012

Those who make a peaceful revolution impossible, will make a violent revolution inevitable. 

Loco   Canada. Nov 07 2016 07:05. Posts 20012

“Once I ventured the guess that men worked in response to a vague inner urge for self-expression. But that was probably a shaky theory, for some men who work the hardest have nothing to express. A hypothesis with rather more plausibility in it now suggests itself. It is that men work simply in order to escape the depressing agony of contemplating life – that their work, like their play, is a mumbo-jumbo that serves them by permitting them to escape from reality. Both work and play, ordinarily, are illusions. Neither serves any solid or permanent purpose. But life, stripped of such illusions, instantly becomes unbearable. Man cannot sit still, contemplating his destiny in this world, without going frantic. So he invents ways to take his mind off the horror. He works. He plays. He accumulates the preposterous nothing called property. He strives for the coy eyewink called fame. He founds a family, and spends his curse over others. All the while the thing that moves him is simply the yearning to lose himself, to forget himself, to escape the tragic-comedy that is himself. Life, fundamentally, is not worth living. So he confects artificialities to make it so. So he erects a gaudy structure to conceal the fact that it is not so.”

-- H.L. Mencken

Those who make a peaceful revolution impossible, will make a violent revolution inevitable.Last edit: 07/11/2016 07:07

dnagardi   Hungary. Nov 07 2016 23:03. Posts 1637


  On November 07 2016 06:05 Loco wrote:
“Once I ventured the guess that men worked in response to a vague inner urge for self-expression. But that was probably a shaky theory, for some men who work the hardest have nothing to express. A hypothesis with rather more plausibility in it now suggests itself. It is that men work simply in order to escape the depressing agony of contemplating life – that their work, like their play, is a mumbo-jumbo that serves them by permitting them to escape from reality. Both work and play, ordinarily, are illusions. Neither serves any solid or permanent purpose. But life, stripped of such illusions, instantly becomes unbearable. Man cannot sit still, contemplating his destiny in this world, without going frantic. So he invents ways to take his mind off the horror. He works. He plays. He accumulates the preposterous nothing called property. He strives for the coy eyewink called fame. He founds a family, and spends his curse over others. All the while the thing that moves him is simply the yearning to lose himself, to forget himself, to escape the tragic-comedy that is himself. Life, fundamentally, is not worth living. So he confects artificialities to make it so. So he erects a gaudy structure to conceal the fact that it is not so.”

-- H.L. Mencken



fuck


Expiate   Bulgaria. Nov 08 2016 00:23. Posts 230

@OP: It's all a matter of viewpoint and how one approaches the Absurd. You are free to choose what to belief and how to react to the Absurd, but remember that the search for meaning is unique only to a few (a dog/cat/keyboard doesn't realize this). And your own viewpoint makes it either a privilege or a curse.

Two animated drama short films (each 10 min long) for motivation ("Load" is my personal favorite):
https://vimeo.com/182830886
https://vimeo.com/153887315

And this topic is huge. It's one of the most discussed philosophical themes in art. I'd also recommend "Stalker" by Tarkovsky, but I expect you have already watched it.


RiKD    United States. Nov 08 2016 02:25. Posts 5727


  On November 07 2016 06:00 Loco wrote:



Life is pointless but we still have to live it. The end result is of course death but there can be useful results along the way.

"Wonderful importance"

Does following a path of self-realization fall under this?

Where do we stand on something like to be useful to God and his will? It is really stupid but what if it helps this person live.

Do we care about ethics and people harming people?

What about help the alcoholic who still suffers. I feel a lot better about life helping someone. If I can spend some time with some people I care about, be helpful, and get some exercise in I can usually feel pretty good regardless of the circumstances.

Gandhi might have belonged in padded walls. Mother Theresa. I am not sure if I can think of any others who helped a lot of people but were pretty fucking nuts. I bet there are a lot in the "good" and "bad" categories for "wonderful importance" ascribers.


RiKD    United States. Nov 08 2016 02:43. Posts 5727


  On November 07 2016 06:05 Loco wrote:
“Once I ventured the guess that men worked in response to a vague inner urge for self-expression. But that was probably a shaky theory, for some men who work the hardest have nothing to express. A hypothesis with rather more plausibility in it now suggests itself. It is that men work simply in order to escape the depressing agony of contemplating life – that their work, like their play, is a mumbo-jumbo that serves them by permitting them to escape from reality. Both work and play, ordinarily, are illusions. Neither serves any solid or permanent purpose. But life, stripped of such illusions, instantly becomes unbearable. Man cannot sit still, contemplating his destiny in this world, without going frantic. So he invents ways to take his mind off the horror. He works. He plays. He accumulates the preposterous nothing called property. He strives for the coy eyewink called fame. He founds a family, and spends his curse over others. All the while the thing that moves him is simply the yearning to lose himself, to forget himself, to escape the tragic-comedy that is himself. Life, fundamentally, is not worth living. So he confects artificialities to make it so. So he erects a gaudy structure to conceal the fact that it is not so.”

-- H.L. Mencken



HEAVY HITTER!!!

H.L. nails it.

I do not want to commit suicide though. The horrors the absurdities are not too much to bear. Perhaps the banalities and the mundanities are? No, I can always get some money together and go skiing, watch existential film, grab a meal/coffee with friends, GIVE ME TRANSCENDENCE! I WANT TRANSCENDENCE! AD INFINITUM!

Isn't all this seeking, this chasing, this work and this play meanings?

Artificial is just man made. Of course, man has to make his meanings. There is no God or gods. Of course, they are artificial. I am hoping for a structure that is not gaudy but even if it is gaudy I would prefer that to death. Anyone who does not what keeps you living?


Baalim   Mexico. Nov 08 2016 02:57. Posts 33079

The common mistake is to equate meaning and happiness, the only relation between them is that illusions of meaning serve as solace for misery.

About your examples of Mother Theresa (which was a psycho bitch btw) and Ghandi, their lives were ultimately meaningless, does recognition post-mortem makes your life meaningful? does sparing a drop in a sea of suffering make your life meaningful? It sure is a noble pursuit and it might made them happy but those are still illusions of meaning.

Dont confuse embracing meaninglessness as an hedonistic existence with no morality, you would be falling in the same mistake religious make when they accuse atheist of having no reason to do good when in fact its the opposite, true freedom from eternal punishment or illusions of meaning is the only way to archive true goodness.

Ex-PokerStars Team Pro Online 

RiKD    United States. Nov 08 2016 03:38. Posts 5727

I do not give two shits about my recognition post-mortem unless it would somehow harm people I care about but I would be dead so it would not matter anyways.

I think the issue is that I am talking about meanings so my life does not suck. As in I need to do some things so I am not running into the boring, the absurd, the horrible all the time. These things are unavoidable. There are a lot of strategies on how to live life. What I am really saying is Strategies to Life, Strategies in Meaninglessness.

Last paragraph is interesting:

- Helps because it is the right thing to do based on Kantian ethics
- Helps because it is theorized that it will keep him sober
- Helps because it will help him go to heaven
- Helps because it is the Golden Rule

All of them have the same result?


Baalim   Mexico. Nov 08 2016 05:23. Posts 33079

I made an analogy trying to describe what I mean.

If you saw life as a canvas where you can pain on, a life with a goal, purpose or meaning would be a sacred canvas that will be framed for eternity, every stroke is of extreme importance in what must be perfect.your masterpiece.

A meaningless life would be a canvas that will be tossed to the trash can when you are done, it doesnt matter what you paint, it doesnt matter if you fuck up or create something amazing because your canvas will be thrown away, so the whole point becomes enjoying the process, having fun painting whatever the hell you want.

Ex-PokerStars Team Pro Online 

RiKD    United States. Nov 08 2016 06:05. Posts 5727

I hate the fact that I left the house today and the meeting was shit and everyone is talking about voting... Horrible! That is NOT what I meant to paint. I told everyone to FUCK OFF! I am eating pizza and watching a movie by myself. I am antisocial because much of society sucks. No I do not want to talk about voting or the Monday Night Football game. I want to talk about how we are canvases and we can experiment around and that we die and we get thrown out like a piece of shit. I need to put that in my will. I wish to be thrown out like a piece of shit.


Loco   Canada. Nov 08 2016 06:10. Posts 20012


  On November 08 2016 01:43 RiKD wrote:
Show nested quote +



HEAVY HITTER!!!

H.L. nails it.

I do not want to commit suicide though. The horrors the absurdities are not too much to bear. Perhaps the banalities and the mundanities are? No, I can always get some money together and go skiing, watch existential film, grab a meal/coffee with friends, GIVE ME TRANSCENDENCE! I WANT TRANSCENDENCE! AD INFINITUM!

Isn't all this seeking, this chasing, this work and this play meanings?

Artificial is just man made. Of course, man has to make his meanings. There is no God or gods. Of course, they are artificial. I am hoping for a structure that is not gaudy but even if it is gaudy I would prefer that to death. Anyone who does not what keeps you living?


A few thoughts:

A person who believes life isn't worth living doesn't necessarily prescribe or pursue suicide. Logic doesn't have power over biology like that. It's one thing to make observations about the state of living and it's another to seek practical ways to live less miserably. I have no problem reconciling both.

Transcendence is glorified escapism. And it typically doesn't happen when you seek it out, it happens when you've fully given up seeking it, or when you're intoxicated, but that leads to a vicious cycle.

Yes, the seeking and chasing is meaningful. We are all condemned to meaning, as Merleau-Ponty rightfully points out. We're condemned to manufacture meaning and find a way to see ourselves like the hero in a story, with challenges ahead of himself, some places to go, things to accomplish. Often with a legacy to leave behind, for the most narcissistic of us all. If we could ask a hamster running in its wheel in a cage, 'why are you running all the time?', he would probably also tell us these things, "I am going somewhere. I am improving myself." It's life. Biology has needs and carries us forward, while the mind rationalizes them and tries to ennoble them. But the need for some great meaning is never met -- unless we lie to ourselves like the religious do. Who is better off? No doubt the self-deceived person is. Well, it can be done without religion, certainly. You just have to find convincing enough illusions and become a pragmatist like Peterson. He's certainly right when he says that there are always things to fix and that focusing on them makes our lives meaningful. These things are not illusory, but the idea that we can affect them often times is. But hey, whatever works is what most people care about. Whatever gets you to see another day without wanting to hang yourself is probably good. Life is not that interesting without illusions.

Those who make a peaceful revolution impossible, will make a violent revolution inevitable.Last edit: 08/11/2016 06:24

Loco   Canada. Nov 08 2016 06:18. Posts 20012


  On November 08 2016 05:05 RiKD wrote:
I hate the fact that I left the house today and the meeting was shit and everyone is talking about voting... Horrible! That is NOT what I meant to paint. I told everyone to FUCK OFF! I am eating pizza and watching a movie by myself. I am antisocial because much of society sucks. No I do not want to talk about voting or the Monday Night Football game. I want to talk about how we are canvases and we can experiment around and that we die and we get thrown out like a piece of shit. I need to put that in my will. I wish to be thrown out like a piece of shit.



Please watch the movie "Captain Fantastic" (2016).

Those who make a peaceful revolution impossible, will make a violent revolution inevitable. 

 
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