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Friday, November 03, 2006

THE MEANING OF LIFE… SHUCKS!!!

This is another one of my foolish attempts – a stupid try to make sense of something that has the word “futility” written all over it. The meaning of life?! What was I thinking?! Yet that remark by my teacher about life being a series of structured stages that you just go through – birth, school, work, marriage, old age, death… , echoed in my mind. His question that followed that remark is what really bothered me though, although I had a ready answer for it. “Where is the meaning in that?”, he asked.

In my mind, I believe that the answer of course does not lie in the pattern but in the person. Life is meaningless and will remain to be unless you want it to be meaningful. We either just go through the motions or strive to make our every decision, our every moment a meaningful one. We ourselves create the meaning. We assign importance to what we do. That “importance” is relative, yet that is what makes the things we do “meaningful”.

The Book of Ecclesiastes, in all its wisdom, greatly emphasized the “meaninglessness” of life. If we choose to understand it using a negative perspective, it seems like it is trying to convince us that we are just “accidents” here. We can’t even be sure if we were created with a purpose. And yet it gives chapters of advice on how to go about life, both generally and specifically. The thing is, if life is indeed crap – a meaningless thing, why even bother trying to live?

Another thought: were we really born with or to have a purpose? Who assigns that “purpose”? God? What of those who don’t believe in one? Does that make us believers any better than those who don’t believe in a Creator who “gives/ assigns” purposes in life? Do “meaning” and “purpose” even mean the same? They don’t, I guess.

There. I only have just succeeded in confusing myself….

 
Let me try again…

This is actually how I am trying to live my life. You see, my greatest fear is to wake up one day, look back at what my life has been and realize that I have not really lived – that I have not affected anything and anyone. It would be such a tragedy that death would really be most welcome….

It is my goal therefore to be continually aware so that I would make the most out of the time given for me to live, although of course I am not that consistent yet. I would not consent that my life be a meaningless one. I choose to believe that there is always a meaning and a purpose to everything, even if at the moment I don’t see it and/ or understand it.

If I am to make a decision or an action, it must be clear to me just why I have to do it and if I want to do it. The best deals are those that I have to do and also love doing. Such is not always the case however. In this life there are things we call “duty”- things that we do not have to like but we have to do anyway because our “role” in society demands it so that there could be “order”. The thing is, I always have a “choice” to actually “like” what I’m doing; to not feel forced to do anything. Even if I choose to just hate it, at least I am aware that I could have liked it “if I wanted to”.

In giving myself choices, I actually am creating meaning. I define the things that are important to me. By doing so, I assign values to things and give them a sense of meaning. Those that are not “meaningful” according to my own table of values, I just forget, pass by, or throw away. Those that I give a high value, I take care of and try to keep with me as long as I could.

This practice of “giving values” applies to everything – people, memories, material things. In this respect, meaning resides in the assignment of values. Generally, this view could be seen in how we use our human senses to experience the world. We see that which we choose to see regardless of what we are looking at, hear what we choose to listen to regardless of what we have actually heard… our opinions, our interpretations vary. It doesn’t actually matter if how we interpret things is because of how we were brought up or some such theories. The key word here is that we choose and in doing so, we give “meaning” to things, and to life as a whole. It is why some people would say “life is an adventure”, while others would say that “life is suffering”. We choose what life means to us. We define it and in so doing, create the meaning.

Remember. You can choose not to agree with me.
kaigachi is a conjugation of the Japanese term "kigaicha" or crazy. It roughly translates as "crazy about something."

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious." - C.Jung

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