Oh no! The 'M' word (meaning)
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27-10-2015, 06:16 PM
RE: Oh no! The 'M' word
Could it be the "is that all there is? " phase of life?

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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27-10-2015, 06:25 PM
RE: Oh no! The 'M' word
I glanced through the OP, so just so I have this right...the "M" word is "Meaning" correct? As in meaning in daily life? Or life at all? Existence? That sort of thing?

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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27-10-2015, 06:26 PM
RE: Oh no! The 'M' word
(27-10-2015 06:25 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  I glanced through the OP, so just so I have this right...the "M" word is "Meaning" correct? As in meaning in daily life? Or life at all? Existence? That sort of thing?

Yes - perhaps I should clarify in the OP title.

Meaning - what's it all about, Alfie? (Old, bad song reference.)

Day to day, life overall, that sort of thing.

God does not work in mysterious ways — he works in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence.
Jesus had a pretty rough weekend for your sins.
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27-10-2015, 06:44 PM
RE: Oh no! The 'M' word (meaning)
(27-10-2015 06:26 PM)claywise Wrote:  
(27-10-2015 06:25 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  I glanced through the OP, so just so I have this right...the "M" word is "Meaning" correct? As in meaning in daily life? Or life at all? Existence? That sort of thing?

Yes - perhaps I should clarify in the OP title.

Meaning - what's it all about, Alfie? (Old, bad song reference.)

Day to day, life overall, that sort of thing.
I don't have anything profound to add, but around the time of middle school I remember people raising this question..."meaning of life?" I had never thought about it before then, and after a night of light thinking I came up with the answer that I still have today.

Meaning of life: To be happy/fulfilled. It's a selfish outlook, but I believe people operate under the motivation for self-gratification, self-protection, or self-preservation. All of these motivations point to self-happiness (IMO).

The one stipulation is that I don't think you should intentionally harm others to create your own happiness. This means that I find some people's idea of "happiness" unacceptable. For instance a serial killer or rapist, even if that is what makes them happy, I can't accept that as a valid life path.

For me (making this up as I go along), I could separate my motivations into short, medium, and long term happiness goals.
My long term happiness goals include living as long as naturally possible (with meds), having a happy family that has a true family bond, and a relaxing life where I can pursue my hobbies/interests and enjoy my relationships.
My medium term happiness goals generally support my long term goals. Saving for retirement, being a good boyfriend, keeping a clean record, owning my home.
My short term happiness goals provide immediate happiness, as long as they don't interfere with my medium and long term goals. Delicious food, good company, great sex, fun games, etc. I mean tons of things make me happy. Playing frisbee, volunteering, going for a walk. It's really just enjoying what you are doing.

To me, my life is all about the pursuit of happiness. I think most people do the same, whether they admit it or not.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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27-10-2015, 07:01 PM
RE: Oh no! The 'M' word (meaning)
(27-10-2015 06:44 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  Meaning of life: To be happy/fulfilled. It's a selfish outlook, but I believe people operate under the motivation for self-gratification, self-protection, or self-preservation. All of these motivations point to self-happiness (IMO).

...

For me (making this up as I go along), I could separate my motivations into short, medium, and long term happiness goals.

To me, my life is all about the pursuit of happiness. I think most people do the same, whether they admit it or not.

It's a pretty good way to look at life, seems to me. I know it's anathema to many Christians, but I think the best way to add happiness to the world and those around you is to start by trying to be happy yourself. Religious types may see that as selfish, but I don't — aren't we humans, generally speaking, more likely to bring happiness to others when we ourselves are happy?

Working as a hospice volunteer for many years, it's been interesting to see what is important to people in their dying days. There is a pretty interesting book about this, "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying."

Number one regret? "I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."

God does not work in mysterious ways — he works in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence.
Jesus had a pretty rough weekend for your sins.
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27-10-2015, 08:04 PM
RE: Oh no! The 'M' word (meaning)
(27-10-2015 06:16 PM)Dom Wrote:  Could it be the "is that all there is? " phase of life?

Ha!

Good excuse to post this.




Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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27-10-2015, 08:15 PM (This post was last modified: 27-10-2015 08:19 PM by Siz.)
RE: Oh no! The 'M' word (meaning)
I do not believe in alturism. It is a myth. Ultimately, why are people 'selfless'? Because it makes them feel better about themselves - a selfish motivation. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for personal gratification - as a conscientious atheist one would be stupid to deny oneself (in fact any self respecting Satanist would call it a sin). And you should be comfortable with that. And unashamed. But don't be dressing it up with an 'alturistc' bow and getting all pious on me...! (a rant at the ether rather than at anyone here in particular).

So, 'meaning', then; an abstract of the human mind... and totally unnecessary. As many of you have discovered it is a source of angst. A personal battle. A cross to bear. So, let it go. The personal discomfort at one's own failure to satisfy a need for 'meaning' is not because you have failed to fulfil some prerequisite of human existence, it is the result of external expectation or judgementalism being internalised. Free yourself from programmed personal expectation and allow yourself to just 'be'. Make friends with the nihilstic reality of existence. Otherwise you'll never find the peace you're searching for. This will also help with the 'fear of dying' thing.

I tend to rush through the 'doing' so I can get to the 'being'. An innate lazyness, maybe, but there it is. What have I lost?

When one sleeps on the floor one need not worry about falling out of bed - Anton Lavey
If god had meant us to believe in him he would've existed - Linda Smith
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27-10-2015, 08:24 PM
RE: Oh no! The 'M' word (meaning)
I often find when I've completed a big project that for a bit of time I suffer from a kind of postpartum depression. Maybe that comes from the adrenaline levels lowering after the push to finish? I dunno. Anxiety kicks in: did I do well enough, will anyone hire me again, how did I make that creative jump, will it ever happen again? This kind of thing could be separate from your meaning issue or it could be part of it, because it sounds like you've finished a bunch of things lately.

I find a lot of meaning in the things I do at an interpersonal level. I was a very pressured kid; books and music and music teachers were a lifeline to me until I could get away and go out on my own. Now I'm on the other side, teaching and playing and writing, maybe in a position to be a lifeline to someone else. The meaning for me comes through creative work, getting stuff done, and an emotional connection.

I have days and weeks when it all feels meaningless and just too darn hard. But most of the time, my chosen meaning feels just right. Acknowledging that it's subjective feels more honest to me than trying to pretend that it's objective because it's god-stamped.
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27-10-2015, 08:25 PM
RE: Oh no! The 'M' word (meaning)
(27-10-2015 08:15 PM)Siz Wrote:  I do not believe in alturism. It is a myth.

...

Make friends with the nihilstic reality of existence.

I agree that for the most part, "altruism" has an element of selfishness.

But what about, for example, the story of my grandfather? He was a Marine in World War II. A natural leader and a guy who had to be part of the action (he was probably ADHD or something) — and a definite wild man and black sheep in his family — was killed when he singlehandedly stood forth and held off a Japanese counterassault in the battle of Tarawa. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

First, the kind of man he was, he really did seem to have a need to be part of the action, so this was (all his friends agreed) very much in character. His father called him "fearless," my mother said he was "impetuous," others said "reckless." Whatever, he put himself in harm's way - and those who survived the battle said they believed he knew he was very likely to die in this action, because he would have no choice but to expose himself - is that not altruistic?

I'm interested in your take on that one. Incidentally, if you want to look him up, just Google "Bonnyman" and his Wikipedia entry will come up first (it's true so far as it goes, but I plan to commit full-scale revising after I publish a book on the subject).

God does not work in mysterious ways — he works in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence.
Jesus had a pretty rough weekend for your sins.
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27-10-2015, 08:28 PM
RE: Oh no! The 'M' word (meaning)
(27-10-2015 08:24 PM)julep Wrote:  I often find when I've completed a big project that for a bit of time I suffer from a kind of postpartum depression.

This is a very helpful observation, Julep. I have just finished writing what I hope is a finished draft of a book I've been working incredibly hard on for more than five years. Now I have to do the part of being a writer that I don't like - market the thing.

Having had so many big things happen this year, I wonder if I'm not having a little post-partum depression myself.

Thanks!

God does not work in mysterious ways — he works in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence.
Jesus had a pretty rough weekend for your sins.
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