Where does man's search for meaning end?
by phil on Wednesday Nov 5, 2003 1:05 PM
I'm posting this, it's a rough draft, but I may not finish it, so might as well...
screw Sarte and his retroactivism or pessimism that meaning implies suffering
then screw the agnostic writers who say that our search for meaning is the meaning.
and also screw the religionists or the deifiers of the mysterious who are under the stupor that meaning is in things like having a good job.
what if meaning is in choice, sarte had the right idea, but more along the lines of.. indeterminism, breaking the natural laws is meaningful.
if it is inevitable that x occurs, but then you cause y to occur that is meaningful... because your meaning, that is how you obtain purpose, by not fulfilling what woudl happen otherwise, but because you broke it down.
if you naturally want to preserve yourself and leave a hedonists life, but you sacrifice your well-being so that you can take care of your child, that is meaningful... unmeaningful would be to just go completely with the flow, in which case you'd abandon your child perhaps
but if you're already naturally going to take care of your child, then doing so is not particularily meaningful, doing something meaningful then would be to approsach a challenge, if it's difficult for you to teach but you somehow manage to teach your children to be moral, that is meaningful.
meaning involves challenge, but meaningful challenge, and a meaningful challenge is one that breaks a natural tendancy (good or bad)..
Rosalie Tackett said on May 25, 2004 10:46 AM:
At first consideration I don't go along with my understanding of your meaning - that none of one's acts are meaningful unless one is acting against one's inclination. Rather, it seems to me that one has certain inclinations because one has already found meaning there, and certain other inclinations because of other meanings, needs, understandings, or misunderstandings.
However, in a way this is a description of what I call the level or state of spiritual growth, and growth does not occur under homeostasis. That is, growth occurs when, in response to disharmony in life, one changes ones natural inclinations in a way that will bring more harmony.
You may not agree with me, but I find the truth in your piece under the statement that spiritual growth is the meaning of life.
Thanks for provoking a little thought.