The Meaning of Existence.

For the question “What is the meaning of existence?”, two kinds of possible answers exist. The first includes all possible answers to the question “Whither?”; the second includes all possible answers to the question “Whence?”.

You see, existence may have a goal toward which its evolution works - it may be the means to an end. - Or it may have been brought into existence out of a profound need - existence may itself be an answer, the resolution of a crisis. It seems to me that most people who have thought about the meaning of existence hitherto have sought an answer to the question “Whither?”.

Sauwelios, I have been thinking about the “meaning of existence” for a long, long time. I have never asked, “To what place or from what place?” My only question has been “Why?” When confronted by all the conflict in our existence I asked “Why?” My short answer is life is a reaction to the void. My longer answer is THE LAST WHY.

This is an article of mine which appeared in a local philosophy journal.
It deals with Existence and inexistence, it deviates from the main topic of discussion…

Existence and Inexistence of all Life, the demarcation between the two is of unequaled importance. I hope to reconcile both existence and Inexistence and believe that a common ground independant of both is imminent.The present notion of independancy never aids in understanding the absolute actuality. The prevailing idea also sees existence as being closely related to inexistence but fails to ascertain the fact that opposite notions generally do not contribute to the understanding of the primary source of which existence and inexistence are just secondary phenomenon.

  Existence is being; it totally is dependant on the entity that requires existence. Without the entity existence is of no necessity. The being is what is the absolute, the entity forcing existence need not necessarily be of an eternal quality and this notion is not which we are here to discuss and is of unimportance and deviant. We will axiomatically consider the entity to be in existence or inexistence. The unadulterated consideration of the entity as being independant of other entities plays a major part in improving the clarity and to rid us of complexities. It also is clearly evident that the entity does not exist until it comes into existence,hence the entity does not seem to control existence and it is not yet a reality but the converse that existence cannot force an entity to exist is quite vague and cannot be completely ruled out. An insight on the relational aspect of the entity and its existence has provided us with a tool i.e a source that is common to both entity and its actuality.The source that begets can not necessarily have anything in relation other that being the primary. 

Inexistence can absurdly be ascertained to mean non-existence but the vacuity is inherent. I have mentioned vacuity as being singular as all different vacuities still affect as an undivided vacousness. Inexistence in the normal sense is prior to existence wherin the transformation from inexistence to existence will further obscure hence we will not stray into this unless we are inevitably forced to do so. Inexistence can also be expressed as being an imaginary state. With inexistence we are encountered with the inexistence prior and the inexistence after. Ending of Existence is also inexistence, annihilation of an entity would be in retrospect to mean inexistence. Here the entity cannot control its inexistence as such if it is inexistent that the being cannot in this context exert any explicit relation to inexistence but can reflect on the relational aspect on the whole. 

In the normal common sense inexistence is dual whereas Existence is one. Inexistence is a prior and an after to existence which has no such privilege but is contained within inexistence. We can clearly see that existence is surrounded by inexistence but not otherwise, surrounded does not mean the geometrical sense of a bound and no correlation with physics can be made at this juncture. We also are not comfortable imagining such a bound.Try... and you will see the complexity of materializing abstract ideas. The above is applicable to a materialist notion "initially a entity being inexistent and then existing and then perishing into inexistence" but another notion that an entity initially existing perishes into inexistence and then comes into being is also possible but is physically not valid or could be absurd. 

Let us now endeavour in finding the common source by considering the subjectivist and objectivist viewpoints in the physical and the abstract realm. The validity of the viewpoints are tested.

Consider the physical, here the imaginary bounds the actual, we will stick to the objective and lightly touch upon a subjective viewpoint. Let me explain with an example, Initially the apple is not present on the table, subjectively i can at this state only imagine an apple. I am not bothered about the eventual actuality of the apple but am concerned with the inexistence. Here it is explicit that the subjective notion has no bearing on the entity other than the being being a referrant. Now the apple is on the table, subjectively i see the apple and its actuality, the previous idea of an imaginary apple is dimnished into reality. Here i can force my self to think otherwise subjectively but objectively there is no other course. The entity now ceases to exist, subjectively i can continue to force myself into not accepting the fact that the apple is no more and continue to imagine but again objectively the apple is no more, here we are faced with the problem that if the object ceases so does the objective viewpoint hence the objective and subjective here are behaving vaguely. We can resolve by introducing a viewpoint irrespective and independant of the subject and the object and here we can say that this viewpoint is also independant of existence and inexistence. The apples journey from substance to phantasm cannot in any way be influenced by any external entity if we are considering the third viewpoint.

The abstract the the actual can bound the imaginary and vice - versa, let me take a psychological stand to explain this. Initially i have no insight, i cannot imagine an insight as it ceases to be an insight the moment i imagine hence the subjective stand is void and the subjective has no bearing until the abstract entity exists. Now that i have an insight i cannot think otherwise but can force myself but we are in the realm of the psyche hence a deviation is not possible without completely alienating the whole process. now that the insight has ceased (this itself is not very clear...) the insight is not inexistent and I can imagine a fake insight but still it is fake hence throughout the subjective viewpoint is constant, the objective viewpoint faces absurdities in the inexistence of the abstract object.The reverse bound has the same results. The subjective viewpoint is acceptable. 

We have seen the abstract and physical connotations of Existence and inexistence. The introduction of a third viewpoint in the consideration of the physical and the validity of subjectivism in the abstract allows us to consider the third viewpoint to have the characteristics of subjectivism. We shall not endeavour in christening the third notion but understand.

The reconciliation of existence and non-existence is by analyzing the third notion, we can already conclude that objectivist thought is not valid. We shall not discuss on the abstract and the physical as it was just an aid in elimnation. The source or the primary is mostly subjectivist and never objectivist, and because it is never objectivist it means that the entity or the object does not exist and hence the source in not an entity or an object, as a concluding statement the source is nay, but the idea from a subjectivist viewpoint is true and real.

I have never used the word “place” in this context. And what do you mean by “why”? Merriam-Webster defines it as follows:

“for what cause, reason, or purpose”

Which of the three do you mean here, DEB?

Sauwelios, I apologize for appearing to have given unintended context to your words. I am old but no where near old enough to have ever used “Whither” or “Whence” either in my writing or conversation. I was quite certain I knew what the words meant but I looked them up anyway. Here is what I found in Merriam-Webster:

Which do you mean?

To answer your question, when I asked, "Why is there so much conflict in our existence “why” could mean either cause or reason. I don’t see any difference. If I was asked what is the cause of conflict I would answer that in my view the cause of conflict is our efforts to fill the void because the activity of filling the void is directed inward, so the effort puts us in opposition to each other. Similarly, if I was asked what is the reason for conflict I would be able to repeat that answer. However, I do not have an answer for the purpose of conflict.

If I were asked why we have reactions to the void I could tell you the reason and their purpose but I could not provide a cause. I call the philosophical question “Why do we exist?” the “Last Why” because this question will remain unanswered after all other questions have been. Here again “why” could mean reason or purpose but not cause.

So, I hope you can see that it really does depend on the circumstances which meaning of “why” is appropriate.

Hey Sauwelios of all people I thought you would be the one to put on it the Nietzschian twist of who says - whither or whence - I reckon its the Who says x, y or z about the existence question (or any other) that counts in a human world.

kernell your article is just way, way to analytical for me- I’ve printed it out tho’ in the hope of some enlightenment!

Interesting thread…

Whence: from which source or cause;
Whither: to what situation, position, or end.

But you just said you did not see any difference between reason and cause.

In any case, it appears that in asking “why?”, you do or did so in the sense of “whence”, not “whither”: you can answer what is the cause or reason of conflict, but not what is its purpose. Very well. Furthermore, you say that it is a reaction to the “void”. I think I can relate to that, as for me, all becoming is indeed a creation or vision meant to veil the “void”:

“Being resembles Nothingness like a brother.”
[Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche, paraphrase, my translation from Dutch.]

“Who says it” cannot be separated from what is said - or at least not from what is meant by what is said.