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Whoa, slow down.

To clear up any confusion, I know my first post about metaphysics was regarding personality. Well, I’m now conveniently my area of interest to researching the ever-so-controversial topic: finding the meaning of life.

You see, many people either tend to think that there is only one answer to life or they think of a lot of answers, but people refuse to accept the reasons (either subconsciously or consciously). Those who fall into the latter group also tend to chase after more answers, only to continue rejecting those ideas too. It makes me wonder what the point of searching for the meaning of life is- but that’s not the point of this post.

All things aside, I’ve always believed that there really is no purpose to life, but that’s just one person’s belief. Why does it matter, right? Well, if that’s the case, why is it that when some notable person shows up and coughs up a quote regarding life and its purpose, we often go along with their beliefs (keyword being notable)? Media really seems to influence us greatly, doesn’t it?

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Moreover, can a quote like the above really summarize what life is all about? To me, it seems way too plain and simple- and it involves society’s many preachings. Does this mean that our purpose in life is limited only to what society makes us believe? Who said being useful, honorable, compassionate and being able to make a difference is “good” and what we really should be doing? Ralph Waldo Emerson is certainly not the person who can decide that- and neither is anyone else.

Our lives are not simple, therefore, the meaning to life cannot be as well. One fixed answer that is true to everything and everyone is way too easy, but some people can’t seem to accept that there is no answer. At the same time, we also tend to deny that every answer is different for everyone. Why is it that we just can’t accept that?

 

3 Responses to Whoa, slow down.

  1. bryanjack says:

    Nicely said, Angela. I think you’re onto something key in the approach to Metaphysics we are following this week.

    This struck me as particularly important:

    “Does this mean that our purpose in life is limited only to what society makes us believe? Who said being useful, honorable, compassionate and being able to make a difference is “good” and what we really should be doing? Ralph Waldo Emerson is certainly not the person who can decide that- and neither is anyone else.”

    We are at once a vortex of experiences and memories wrought into a personality (or consciousness) by our societies and environments, as well as a lens looking out on those same forces (and again back at ourselves in relation to them), which makes me agree strongly with what you write next:

    “Our lives are not simple, therefore, the meaning to life cannot be as well.”

    But I don’t know if I follow you through to your conclusion that there is, in the end, merely “no answer.” Perhaps I share the conclusion, even, but believe it is important to push beyond it (making me one of the people you initially describe as “[chasing] after more answers, only to continue rejecting those ideas too”), and formulate an authentic and personal response to the question, “What is a good life?” or “What is my purpose, here?” in light of this admission.

    In other words, if there is no pre-ordained meaning that can be used as a blanket blueprint for us all, what is the meaning or purpose we might make in such a world? What is the meaning or purpose you are making of it?

    What does such ‘acceptance’ look like, for you?

    Thanks for sparking such an interesting train of thought. I’m looking forward to these ideas shaping our discussions in the week to come!

    Mr. J

     
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