What's the meaning of life?

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Atreyu
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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Atreyu » September 24th, 2017, 10:10 pm

Steve3007 wrote:Atreyu:
No. Life exists to progress, whether we agree or not.
Nevertheless, I do disagree. It's a silly as saying that planets exist for the purpose of orbiting stars.
Actually, it isn't. Planets simply orbiting stars is not "progress" or "advancement". If all they do is orbit stars, they remain as they are.

Progress (evolution) would be something like the planets eventually becoming stars themselves.....

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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Spectrum » September 24th, 2017, 10:44 pm

Atreyu wrote:Actually, it isn't. Planets simply orbiting stars is not "progress" or "advancement". If all they do is orbit stars, they remain as they are.

Progress (evolution) would be something like the planets eventually becoming stars themselves.....
I believe all things adapt to changes [no agency] within whatever the constraints. Whatever the resultant is due to this adaptation.

However humans with self-conscious and a higher rational brain has evolved [inferred by observations] with a continuous 'improvement' module*, i.e. in general humans will strive to improve upon its existing state in relation to those aspects of life which are changeable.

* note the continual improvements in average, the level knowledge, technology, health, wealth, etc. over the last 1,000 years of human existence.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Bradiation
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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Bradiation » September 24th, 2017, 10:58 pm

If somehow we can chose to recognize that our belief system cannot be trusted, and when we connect with our contributing gifted nature (the whole), the true meaning becomes self explanatory.
Unfortunately the frustration comes from not realizing this as the animal in us seeks recognition, praise, and is unaware of its true nature. This frustration can lead to underlying anger as the animal is alone (individual) and filters what it needs for pleasure (empty meaning).

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SimpleGuy
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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by SimpleGuy » September 25th, 2017, 10:31 am

Life is just a breath , if ends your life is over. So simply close your eyes and feel to the inside during your breathing and listen to own sound. If you begin to understand without explanation, the first step for you is taken.

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Greta
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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Greta » November 11th, 2017, 5:31 pm

SimpleGuy wrote:Life is just a breath , if ends your life is over. So simply close your eyes and feel to the inside during your breathing and listen to own sound. If you begin to understand without explanation, the first step for you is taken.
What I get from such exercises is a sense that we are as rooted to the atmosphere as plants are rooted to the ground. We exist in this effective Flatland on the surface of our world, protected by the thin layer of atmosphere through which we swim like fish, and are just as dependent.

I had an equally simple thought yesterday while watching one of those fun documentaries about the dangers of space - neutron stars, gamma ray bursts, etc. What got me thinking was the depiction of the early solar system as essentially a shooting gallery. Basically, the universe started with the ultimate violence and the processes of star formation, supernovae, and the endless collisions have continued ever since. However, over time it has quieted, become less violent. Looking at the human project, we have long hoped to find safety and relief from violence and suffering, and the best answer we have for it is morality. Love, friendship, respect, mercy, kindness, understanding, goodwill, humour, calmness.

The shift towards ever greater calm and peace (accepting that progress is seldom smooth) is the great project of life as far as I can tell thus far.

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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Belindi » November 12th, 2017, 5:50 am

Greta wrote:
The shift towards ever greater calm and peace (accepting that progress is seldom smooth) is the great project of life as far as I can tell thus far.
It is for me too in many ways. But it ought not to be as , if I lacked the excuse of physical frailty, I'd be out there working and wearing myself out for the Labour Party, nursing , or teaching.

Evil will never go away. I would not have thought that you aim for complacency, Greta?

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Present awareness
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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Present awareness » November 12th, 2017, 10:13 pm

SimpleGuy wrote:Life is just a breath , if ends your life is over. So simply close your eyes and feel to the inside during your breathing and listen to own sound. If you begin to understand without explanation, the first step for you is taken.
I like this statement! Over 7 billion humans on the earth, sucking on the atmosphere, and yet without 5 minutes of air, we are gone. Breathing is one of the few body functions that we may choose to control deliberately. However, as every child learns, we are unable to hold our breath until we die, because as soon as we pass out, our unconscious breathing takes over once again. In yoga, conscious control of breathing, leads to states of mind, which otherwise might not be possible.
Even though you can see me, I might not be here.

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Greta
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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Greta » November 13th, 2017, 2:19 am

Belindi wrote:Greta wrote:
The shift towards ever greater calm and peace (accepting that progress is seldom smooth) is the great project of life as far as I can tell thus far.
It is for me too in many ways. But it ought not to be as , if I lacked the excuse of physical frailty, I'd be out there working and wearing myself out for the Labour Party, nursing , or teaching.

Evil will never go away. I would not have thought that you aim for complacency, Greta?
I don't think of it as complacency, Belinda, so much as maturity. The solar system was once a hot "shooting gallery", the Earth once a ball of molten rock. The unstinting violence of early life has been replaced by ever reducing violence of later eras.

I personally have had my fill of jobs and workplaces. My "employers" are now family, friends, pets and garden.

But the hot shooting gallery was not more evil than for instance the genocide of the Rohingya Muslims, was it? Do you believe in positive progress towards good?

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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Belindi » November 13th, 2017, 10:28 am

Greta wrote:
Belindi wrote:Greta wrote:


(Nested quote removed.)

I don't think of it as complacency, Belinda, so much as maturity. The solar system was once a hot "shooting gallery", the Earth once a ball of molten rock. The unstinting violence of early life has been replaced by ever reducing violence of later eras.

I personally have had my fill of jobs and workplaces. My "employers" are now family, friends, pets and garden.
But the hot shooting gallery was not more evil than for instance the genocide of the Rohingya Muslims, was it? Do you believe in positive progress towards good?

The uncomprehending violence of the hot shooting gallery was replaced at one time by witch burnings, then by dark satanic mills, then by worldwide tax evasion and the rise and rise of the fascist elite.

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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Greta » November 14th, 2017, 1:42 am

Belindi wrote:But the hot shooting gallery was not more evil than for instance the genocide of the Rohingya Muslims, was it? Do you believe in positive progress towards good?

The uncomprehending violence of the hot shooting gallery was replaced at one time by witch burnings, then by dark satanic mills, then by worldwide tax evasion and the rise and rise of the fascist elite.
It's a matter of degree. There will always be parts of reality that are tempestuous, and others that are less so. The entire solar system was tempestuous five billion years ago, now much smaller pockets are. It has improved, even if there are still small disasters occurring from time to time.

Progress is never linear. There have been countless backward steps in moral progress over the last few thousand years (last few billion, actually). Entire species, cultures and nations will disappear, as they have always done, to be replaced by something better suited to the new times.

You, of course, know this, just as I know there are people out there whom I could possibly help people in need. So, why don't you live in peace, accepting that things will most likely work themselves out long after you are gone? Why don't I get out from behind the keyboard and do charity work?

For mine, being with people exhausts me and I've had enough of workplaces.

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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Steve3007 » November 14th, 2017, 5:21 am

I've had enough of workplaces.
Me too. But unfortunately I'm condemned to be in one for the foreseeable future. I've been in my current job for 8 years now (by far the longest time I've had a job) and it always strike me as odd, in office-based jobs, that you end up spending 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, sitting next to some random person who you didn't choose (no offence Ian, if you're reading this). It's a bit like being a hostage in Beirut (back in the 80's when hostages in Beirut were all the rage.)
For evil views to flourish, it only requires good people to say nothing.

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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Belindi » November 14th, 2017, 6:33 am

Greta wrote:
Entire species, cultures and nations will disappear, as they have always done, to be replaced by something better suited to the new times.

You, of course, know this, just as I know there are people out there whom I could possibly help people in need. So, why don't you live in peace, accepting that things will most likely work themselves out long after you are gone? Why don't I get out from behind the keyboard and do charity work?

For mine, being with people exhausts me and I've had enough of workplaces.
I do so well understand and sympathise as I am the same.

I do live in peace after a fashion but feel guilty at the same time for not being good enough. It would be lovely to be a religious person who believes that God will forgive me anyway. ,

"accepting that things will most likely work themselves out long after you are gone" is what I experienced from my one short venture into the mystical and the echo of it still comforts me. However I am pessimistic and although they will work themselves out, won't work out well. I don't believe in Providence, and don't believe in a happy ending. I do believe in evil as opposed to good and I believe the fight will never end as long as there is a world.

I trust God to be good but I don't trust God to be powerful. I am fond of St Teresa of Avila who claimed that we are the hands of God. And wish I was not so useless.

“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by KyCoo » November 14th, 2017, 8:43 am

Life is when you're doing everything to make yourself happy without hurting others.

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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Greta » November 17th, 2017, 6:48 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
I've had enough of workplaces.
Me too. But unfortunately I'm condemned to be in one for the foreseeable future. I've been in my current job for 8 years now (by far the longest time I've had a job) and it always strike me as odd, in office-based jobs, that you end up spending 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, sitting next to some random person who you didn't choose (no offence Ian, if you're reading this). It's a bit like being a hostage in Beirut (back in the 80's when hostages in Beirut were all the rage.)
I was very lucky - saved from office politics, locked down straitjacket network PCs and alarm clocks.

The good thing about open plan offices is learning how to deal with the people and situations. The negative aspect of open plan offices is learning how to deal with the people and situations ...

-- Updated 17 Nov 2017, 17:57 to add the following --
Belindi wrote:Greta wrote:
Entire species, cultures and nations will disappear, as they have always done, to be replaced by something better suited to the new times.

You, of course, know this, just as I know there are people out there whom I could possibly help people in need. So, why don't you live in peace, accepting that things will most likely work themselves out long after you are gone? Why don't I get out from behind the keyboard and do charity work?

For mine, being with people exhausts me and I've had enough of workplaces.
I do so well understand and sympathise as I am the same.

I do live in peace after a fashion but feel guilty at the same time for not being good enough. It would be lovely to be a religious person who believes that God will forgive me anyway. ,

"accepting that things will most likely work themselves out long after you are gone" is what I experienced from my one short venture into the mystical and the echo of it still comforts me. However I am pessimistic and although they will work themselves out, won't work out well. I don't believe in Providence, and don't believe in a happy ending. I do believe in evil as opposed to good and I believe the fight will never end as long as there is a world.

I trust God to be good but I don't trust God to be powerful. I am fond of St Teresa of Avila who claimed that we are the hands of God. And wish I was not so useless.
I think most of as seem "useless". The movements of society, of the world are so incredibly huge. Yet we know that just one person can have a huge impact, if driven, strong and lucky enough, and that is what makes us feel inadequate and guilty and inadequate. There's so many remarkably gifted people out there, with extraordinary drive and energy. And in the face of this impressiveness, here we are paddling along :)

Now, consider this. If you aren't very important then you are free. You have this gift of life, that potentially offers much joy if you let it. As far as I can tell, on this human journey the idea is to truly be human - to not just cater to your animal aspects but to contemplate, consider, wonder, exchange views and seek answers, and to be a helpful, or at least relatively benign and harmless, player in your local realm.

We are no more useless than replaceable cogs in a machine. We have become cells of humanity. Humanity - as a global entity - is still immature and wild. Any person, no matter how involved or not, who hopes for societies to become kinder and wiser is being a useful "cog" IMO. It's not a glorious role, but not useless either, especially when you consider the scale and scope of the extraordinary edifice of humanity of which we are a part.

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Re: What's the meaning of life?

Post by Belindi » November 18th, 2017, 6:40 am

Greta wrote:
Now, consider this. If you aren't very important then you are free. You have this gift of life, that potentially offers much joy if you let it. As far as I can tell, on this human journey the idea is to truly be human - to not just cater to your animal aspects but to contemplate, consider, wonder, exchange views and seek answers, and to be a helpful, or at least relatively benign and harmless, player in your local realm.

We are no more useless than replaceable cogs in a machine. We have become cells of humanity. Humanity - as a global entity - is still immature and wild. Any person, no matter how involved or not, who hopes for societies to become kinder and wiser is being a useful "cog" IMO. It's not a glorious role, but not useless either, especially when you consider the scale and scope of the extraordinary edifice of humanity of which we are a part.
Thanks Greta I like it and I'll try to see it that way.
Actually, Greta, I do see it that way from time to time without your prompting but I often forget in present stresses and strains. I like the way you expressed the point of view from eternity so much that I have copied it on to a Post It note on my computer desk top for easy reference.

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