Universal Meaning of Life

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.
User avatar
Loki
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:47 am

Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Loki » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:30 am

How can you know for certain that meaning is always subjective? What if there is some universal meaning of life, something that all sentient beings, from all parts of the cosmos, eventually realize?

Can we know for certain one way or the other?

User avatar
Dan Rowden
Posts: 5663
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Dan Rowden » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:41 am

What is "meaning"?

User avatar
Loki
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:47 am

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Loki » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:59 am

By meaning I mean the becauseness

I do such and such because. I do this and that because.

There's lots of little becauses. I brush my teeth because I want to avoid cavaties. etc, etc.


But is there an ultimate because?


I do this because it's objectively the ultimate, most supreme thing to do?

User avatar
Dan Rowden
Posts: 5663
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Dan Rowden » Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:37 am

Um, you seem to be talking about "purpose" rather than "meaning", or do you think they are about the same?

User avatar
Loki
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:47 am

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Loki » Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:48 am

Well, let me ask you, in what sense are they not the same?

User avatar
divine focus
Posts: 611
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:48 pm

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by divine focus » Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:29 pm

Loki wrote:How can you know for certain that meaning is always subjective? What if there is some universal meaning of life, something that all sentient beings, from all parts of the cosmos, eventually realize?

Can we know for certain one way or the other?
The universal purpose is to be.

Meaning is understanding, and it is always based on perspective. There is no ultimate perspective other than being. That is to say, there is always new meaning to be seen.
eliasforum.org/digests.html

User avatar
Loki
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:47 am

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Loki » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:18 am

Dan Rowden wrote:Um, you seem to be talking about "purpose" rather than "meaning", or do you think they are about the same?
Alright Dan, sorry for questioning you. I can see you're not interested in having the issue turned onto you, understandably.

To answer your question, though; I think we can make a distinction between meaning and purpose.

When a thing has meaning, it is a symbol pointing or connecting to another time, or another object or action, and this other time, object or action usually also symbolizes something. So there is often a web of meaning. Meaning is largely psychological, linking memories and emotions to other memories and emotions.

When a thing has purpose, this refers to something more physical, something outside our minds (like a plunger and it's function with a toilet).

From Wiki:
Perspectivism is the philosophical view developed by Friedrich Nietzsche that all ideations take place from particular perspectives. This means that there are many possible conceptual schemes, or perspectives which determine any possible judgment of truth or value that we may make; this implies that no way of seeing the world can be taken as definitively "true", but does not necessarily propose that all perspectives are equally valid.
This intuitively makes sense, but how do I know it's true with absolute certainty? How do I know that there isn't an omnipresent form of consciousness that can see things in their totality, and not just from a perspective?

User avatar
Loki
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:47 am

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Loki » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:20 am

divine focus wrote:
Loki wrote:How can you know for certain that meaning is always subjective? What if there is some universal meaning of life, something that all sentient beings, from all parts of the cosmos, eventually realize?

Can we know for certain one way or the other?
The universal purpose is to be.

Meaning is understanding, and it is always based on perspective. There is no ultimate perspective other than being. That is to say, there is always new meaning to be seen.
Why can't I hypothetically see it all at once?

User avatar
David Quinn
Posts: 5559
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 6:56 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by David Quinn » Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:26 pm

divine focus wrote:
Loki wrote:How can you know for certain that meaning is always subjective? What if there is some universal meaning of life, something that all sentient beings, from all parts of the cosmos, eventually realize?

Can we know for certain one way or the other?
The universal purpose is to be.

Being is what we are already doing. It can't become an object of purpose.

Meaning is understanding, and it is always based on perspective. There is no ultimate perspective other than being. That is to say, there is always new meaning to be seen.
For most people, something is meaningful if it gives their egos a boost. The local footy team winning the competition can be meaningful to them.

Nature, which is without ego, is of course meaningless and purposeless.

-

User avatar
divine focus
Posts: 611
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:48 pm

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by divine focus » Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:19 am

Loki wrote:How do I know that there isn't an omnipresent form of consciousness that can see things in their totality, and not just from a perspective?
There is, and it is you. It is different from the identifiable you; it is you highly advanced.

David,
David Quinn wrote:
divine focus wrote: The universal purpose is to be.

Being is what we are already doing. It can't become an object of purpose.
Yes, there is no end.
Meaning is understanding, and it is always based on perspective. There is no ultimate perspective other than being. That is to say, there is always new meaning to be seen.
For most people, something is meaningful if it gives their egos a boost.
Very well worded. Boosting the ego is the path of wisdom. The question is, what is the direction of the boost?
eliasforum.org/digests.html

User avatar
Cory Duchesne
Posts: 2320
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:35 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Cory Duchesne » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:32 am

The problem with this sort of inquiry is that words aren't defined prior to the inquiry. Take the word life for example. Is one even clear on what one means by life, prior to asking what the meaning of life is?

If you were to ask me what life is, I would have to say it is the totality of all things, otherwise, I would be speaking of merely a part (or parts) of life, rather than the whole.

Therefore, to say that life (the totality) has purpose is to divide it in two, which is irrational (since the totality is indivisible). Purpose requires duality/division, like a bullet and a gun, or a key and a lock. So it makes no sense to say that life has purpose. So yes, life is indeed purposeless.

User avatar
Loki
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:47 am

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Loki » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:45 am

David Quinn wrote: For most people, something is meaningful if it gives their egos a boost. The local footy team winning the competition can be meaningful to them.
David, do you think it's appropriate for people to make meaning & importance synonymous like that?

I find it confusing. Words have meaning, and it would be odd to say that one word has more meaning than another. Meaning isn't really about quantity or even about quality, is it? Words have different meaning, but one meaning is not better than the other.

Am I making sense here?

User avatar
Loki
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:47 am

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Loki » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:51 am

Cory Duchesne wrote:The problem with this sort of inquiry is that words aren't defined prior to the inquiry. Take the word life for example. Is one even clear on what one means by life, prior to asking what the meaning of life is?

If you were to ask me what life is, I would have to say it is the totality of all things, otherwise, I would be speaking of merely a part (or parts) of life, rather than the whole.

Therefore, to say that life (the totality) has purpose is to divide it in two, which is irrational (since the totality is indivisible). Purpose requires duality/division, like a bullet and a gun, or a key and a lock. So it makes no sense to say that life has purpose. So yes, life is indeed purposeless.
Alright, I understand that. But I don't equate life with totality. I equate life with living, as opposed to dying, being dead, or death in general. I think one can meaningfully separate living/life from dying/death.

What's the meaning of living, as opposed to dying?

User avatar
David Quinn
Posts: 5559
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 6:56 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by David Quinn » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:30 am

Loki wrote:
David Quinn wrote: For most people, something is meaningful if it gives their egos a boost. The local footy team winning the competition can be meaningful to them.
David, do you think it's appropriate for people to make meaning & importance synonymous like that?

I find it confusing. Words have meaning, and it would be odd to say that one word has more meaning than another. Meaning isn't really about quantity or even about quality, is it? Words have different meaning, but one meaning is not better than the other.

Am I making sense here?
Kind of. Meaning is generated when we mentally associate an idea with a word, thought or action. We have the ability to associate different ideas to the same word or action and thus create different meanings for it. Sometimes these associations are more logical or practical than others, which is why the meanings of words or actions tend not to vary in a haphazard fashion. It is why we can have stable dictionaries.

Meaning can be intellectual or emotional in nature, or a combination of both. The word "God", for example, can have a purely intellectual meaning, such as when it is associated with the idea of a great being in the sky. But it can also have an emotional or egotistical meaning when it is associated with the idea of being cared for, or being saved, or striving to reach heaven.

Since personal egotistical concerns are generally the prime focus of most people (whether they know it or not), they do tend to equate meaning with importance - i.e. with whatever is important to their ego's security and well-being.

This is why, for example, many people arrive at the immature conclusion that a godless universe is a meaningless one. Their own egos are unable to get the requisite boost.

It is also why many people affirm that their own family is the most important thing in life - being bereft of vision and imagination, they latch onto the nearest thing at hand which can give their egos a boost. Much like a parasite.

-

User avatar
Dan Rowden
Posts: 5663
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Dan Rowden » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:21 am

Loki,

Here's a couple of questions for you:

How can causality, which drives existence, have a purpose?

How can an infinite reality have a purpose?

Steven Coyle

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Steven Coyle » Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:01 pm

Master plan?

User avatar
Loki
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:47 am

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Loki » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:00 pm

David Quinn wrote:Meaning is generated when we mentally associate an idea with a word, thought or action. We have the ability to associate different ideas to the same word or action and thus create different meanings for it. Sometimes these associations are more logical or practical than others, which is why the meanings of words or actions tend not to vary in a haphazard fashion. It is why we can have stable dictionaries.

Meaning can be intellectual or emotional in nature, or a combination of both. The word "God", for example, can have a purely intellectual meaning, such as when it is associated with the idea of a great being in the sky. But it can also have an emotional or egotistical meaning when it is associated with the idea of being cared for, or being saved, or striving to reach heaven.

Since personal egotistical concerns are generally the prime focus of most people (whether they know it or not), they do tend to equate meaning with importance - i.e. with whatever is important to their ego's security and well-being.
That being said, I suppose, for most people, the word "meaning" refers to either a) placing value on a thing (x means more to me than y) or b) the relating of one thing to another (e.g., a word to an idea).

User avatar
Loki
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:47 am

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Loki » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:17 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:Loki,

Here's a couple of questions for you:

How can causality, which drives existence, have a purpose?
Isn't that it's purpose, to drive existence?
How can an infinite reality have a purpose?
I'm not at all sure that infinite reality is possible. Isn't reality (thingness) finite? Reality is what we experience, and what we experience is always finite.

I just can't seem to make the realization of the infinite. I want to, but I just don't understand how.

User avatar
Dan Rowden
Posts: 5663
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Dan Rowden » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:30 pm

Loki wrote:
Dan Rowden wrote:Loki,

Here's a couple of questions for you:

How can causality, which drives existence, have a purpose?
Isn't that it's purpose, to drive existence?
No; "purpose" is a consciously intended thing with a desired outcome. Causality is a blind process with no possible outcome.
How can an infinite reality have a purpose?
I'm not at all sure that infinite reality is possible. Isn't reality (thingness) finite?
Thingness is finite, but reality can't be.
Reality is what we experience, and what we experience is always finite.
Where did this finite experiential reality come from?
I just can't seem to make the realization of the infinite. I want to, but I just don't understand how.
Try and think about how any finite thing can possibly be the totality of all that is.

bert
Posts: 648
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 6:08 am
Location: Antwerp

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by bert » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:06 pm

Universal Meaning of Life:


by bert on Thu May 10, 2007 7:20 pm

[quote="John Doe"]I hope someone can find the time and/willingness to answer these:

I can answer you in many different was,there is a lot to talk about.

1)What do you think of my intro?

20th year was my worst.

thinking about past and present experiences are important : first to summarize some of the difficulties of our early and most sentient period because it creates our fears and allergies : purpose and virtue of life.

we have Identities.at birth they are wild and amoral.
and possibilities of good and evil come in to play.they are capable of being bent.

in addition we inherit a basic pattern from our genes and chromosomes which is our essential individuality.these too are subject to reform.

and the most potent of all is environment,with parents and everything inflicted upon us in that time.whether environment is good or bad it is our inescapable curse.

these three fundaments are in constant impact creating experiences.they form our complexities,frustrations,good,evil,hate,character,ethics,principles,...
so our beginning is all very chancy....

after the dangerous transition of adolescence we have the chance to break or not with the harnesses of these controls.
we have paid to cross another treshold;some half-awake,most with the ideals of a fish,enter and...
difficult to explain it,this is probably that period you are in.or maybe the next...


2)Have you ever felt that way?

yes.

3)What path can I take, in order to change my outlook/thinking?

it will come automatically.the next step is shaping our domain to some ambition,ideal or desire : more or less form judgements from experiences,knowledge and those things that serve us best....the first hints of 'I am I' ,a sort of psychic masturbation:grasp at things and find every frustration and seek escape in evry kind of illusion ,instead of self-reformation.
_____________

by bert on Sun May 06, 2007 11:50 am

why moan so much,when we can lead a full life...whether as labourer or craftsman - there is no better service to yourself and others - than to enjoy your freedom to choose a passtime or enjoyable activity your own way,making or seeking your creature comforts : generate your own truth and worth without argument, i.e. ,without forcing them on others or allowing others to inflict theirs on you.
but this is a mad world to awake in,robbed of your birthright, freedom measured out,misapplied and seldom trained for our rightfull work...sickenly I could go on.bert

__________________


by bert on Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:21 pm

the most important outcome of human effort is taht we learn to become righteous thieves: to possess more easily of others for self-advantage.

which are more filthy: they who make a profession of their morality, or they who prostitute?
who owns the Earthly Kingdom?what asses these teachers and prophets, and moralists appear now?
life is a sticky charity from which come forth friendships towards parasites.

____________________


by bert on Mon May 12, 2008 2:32 pm

this falling present top-heavy and officieus hierarchy with more parasites than ever before... is heavily cracked ,its feet of clay, without intelligence of its own - if not already, one good shove will see the end. when the intelligent cease to sell their ability to unworthy causes individuality comes into its own. and these saviours, prophets, atheists, nihilists,etc. are useless: they are so entirely self-deceived, such supreme egotists that they really believe that by the extension of their careerism and ideologies can good accrue to others! to hell with their heavens and their miserable bargains... and the atheists, for I have forgotten more than they could digest. let them save themselves... on other days I am different... and even deny my denials ; but sometimes I am blessed, to some extent intoxicate myself, and draw nearer to Gods and Soul than these spielers ever were.

_______________


by bert on Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:12 pm

an experiment in genius is what the function and purpose of life almost seems to be, at one time a few chosen.our early acceptance of things as they are , as dominant reality, later becomes overshadowed by doubt, for us the conclusion that evil is real, and contra to almightyness. but, lest we forget - there was no evil until man's advent, and thereby a certain madness is seeking a rational explanation of life. things totally without knowledge seem to function perfectly, and are alone beyon,d good and evil.


__________________
by bert on feb, 2009

the Byzantine development of body becomes a more elastic medium to work through.
the purpose of life appears as the conversation of matter from the agglomerate uniform into a specialised seperateness, thus, a diversity of individuals

hence, there is no universal fraternity based on equality; just the reverse. whaztever our claims concerning inter-relatedness, this is citizenry not only by heritage - but by aptitude.

the body is the jester of the mind. we begin as automatic, becoming as autonomous....a transference

Sapius
Posts: 1619
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 4:59 pm

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Sapius » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:36 pm

Dan: No; "purpose" is a consciously intended thing with a desired outcome.
Are you saying that – "purpose" or a “consciously intended thing with a desired outcome” - is not caused? And is ‘causality’ some other product than what is produced? How exactly is ‘causality’ apart from what is produced?
Causality is a blind process with no possible outcome.
At least it has come up with one outcome, that 'Causality is a blind process'.
Thingness is finite, but reality can't be.
No; a thing is finite, but not thingness, otherwise, consciousness, or even existence cannot be. Are you saying existence isn’t? Can one even imagine a reality without thingness?
Where did this finite experiential reality come from?
Are you saying it comes from causality? Then that's yet another outcome, or is it not?
---------

User avatar
Loki
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:47 am

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Loki » Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:35 am

Dan Rowden wrote:
Loki wrote:
Dan Rowden wrote:Loki,

Here's a couple of questions for you:

How can causality, which drives existence, have a purpose?
Isn't that it's purpose, to drive existence?
No; "purpose" is a consciously intended thing with a desired outcome. Causality is a blind process with no possible outcome.
I guess this all boils down to me having a clear understanding of how God can't logically exist, doesn't it?

Or better, if there is a God, then I must understand how such a God must be created via causality.
Reality is what we experience, and what we experience is always finite.
Where did this finite experiential reality come from?
I just can't seem to make the realization of the infinite. I want to, but I just don't understand how.
Try and think about how any finite thing can possibly be the totality of all that is.
This boils down to the whole inside/outside dillema I was struggling with before.

I often imagine the universe as something one can examine from the inside, and if you examine it from the inside, you notice a spherical countour. But does this spherical countor of the universe logically necessitate a correlating outside countour?

This is what I'm struggling with. I want to resolve this with absolute certainty, but I can't figure out if a thing can have an inside without an outside. Sometimes I feel that it's possible to be inside something that has no outside.

Steven Coyle

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Steven Coyle » Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:54 am

That makes sense. A self contained within a spacetime planetarium. Only to continue concentric?

Ignius
Posts: 161
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:37 pm

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Ignius » Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:03 pm

Causality creates meaning through us.

"John Doe" was my username a long time ago. Why was it brought up? (lol)

Sapius
Posts: 1619
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 4:59 pm

Re: Universal Meaning of Life

Post by Sapius » Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:30 am

Loki: This is what I'm struggling with. I want to resolve this with absolute certainty, but I can't figure out if a thing can have an inside without an outside. Sometimes I feel that it's possible to be inside something that has no outside.

Steven: That makes sense. A self contained within a spacetime planetarium. Only to continue concentric?
Well, if one says self contained, then I think there has to necessarily be something other than that self which would [contain] it as that “self”. However...

...as far as the inside and outside goes; why cant there be purely insides and outsides, where existence implies just that; contrast or differentiation to be accurate. And there can be neither an inside nor an outside TO such a system of differentiation (since one would require it even to refute it, just like reasoning or logic), incidentally also known as existence, which is merely a descriptive word of what we experience in and off the differentiations we experience (inside and outside included) as consciousness, and what else is consciousness based on other than differentiations. Also know as law of identity.
---------

Post Reply