Your meaning of life

If lying to yourself makes you happiest then why strive for knowledge. A love for information is a meaning to ones life. Yet it contradicts ignorance. I believe that don quijote had the happiest life. Only in a state of total illusion will we totally be happy. Proof would be drug users. While drugs are shunned by society for whatever reason they are a gateway to total bliss. In some cases the persons life would border death. Which makes me tend to believe that we are only happy when we are dead or close to it. We are a species that strives for happiness. Yet some believe life should be full of hardships. That not everything in life is rosey. Also that you will love things you struggled for more than things that are naturally there.

I guess what I’m asking is what gives meaning to your life if anything? How can you outweigh the negatives of life with positives? What makes you happy sad… Also I’d like opinions those are always nice.

Hmm, very interesting topic.

However, im not sure how far i can agree with your drugs comment. Drugs only create temporary happiness, which, as you said, is totaly illusional. It is “fake”. I look at it as people taking the “easy” way out. Its this fakeness and potential life threatening health risks that discourages wide use of it.

I would say that the meaning of life is different for every person, and depends purely on the individuals “dreams”. Yet we should not confuse this with ‘life goals’.

I for one am yet to decide my future career, not including any religious belifes, my ‘meaning of life’ would be to find some one i really care for and eventually have children and bring them up. The “animal” instict in us to mate and reproduce i suppose. So, assuming this is the meaning of life, is it really just for our human exsistance on this earth to continue forever?

For some reason i think not. And as death is also part of life, we must consider what happens after death. I belive it was this kind of thinking that was supposedly to bring about religion. People scared of death and ageing, think up an idea of Heaven, this would be benificial, “life for eternety in complete bliss” a reason for living, a meaning of life. However a problem occurs when people have no belive in a “after life” for them, what is there to live for?

I my self, do not know.

drugs give as real an experience as anything else. you can hear things, see things and feel things. they might be different to your every day existence but they aren’t nessaceraly bad.

the most interesting drugs for me are hallucinagenics. we think that acid works by preventing part of your brain from working, the bit which filters out all the information around us that we don’t need in order to survive. (trying to hunt for food whilst tripping your head off would be pretty tricky) this leads myself and others to believe that what we experince under the influnce of acid is always there, we just normally can’t percieve it because of the filters.

there is evidence of this when people go bonkers after taking too much acid. they start percieving things which aren’t there, but in many cases half of what they say turns out to be true.

(i knew someone who kept saying the rain in scotland was radioactive, a few years later we found out it was from the Chenobyl incident) the other half of what he was saying might be true, i just don’t know. his brain probably couldn’t cope with his filters being turned on and off all the time.

acid is not a gateway to toal bliss, it isn’t always fun, but it is always an experience you wont forget, and an experience you can always learn something from.

i am just as happy when i haven’t had any drugs as when i have (i only do acid type things twice a year)

i think happines comes from knowing your position in life relative to everything else. understanding where you came from, what you are trying to do and where you want to be.

if you can answer all these things, you will be happy.

Crack cocaine works for me.

I don’t find the meaning of life in drugs, personally. Then…I don’t do drugs, so I might be wrong.

But the meaning of life I think is to live. Why would we be given life if we weren’t supposed to live it to its fullest? We know all to well that life can be taken any second; life’s fragility makes me believe that the meaning of life is to live life to its fullest.

How you live life to its fullest and fulfill the meaning of life is different for each person. So for those who enjoy drugs and find it fulfilling, go right ahead!

What happen with the guy in Pink Floyd…I heard he is/was suffering from a permanent trip …from acid.

Im most likely wrong…any body care to comment on this

As far as life goes, life is about who you love and who you hurt. It’s about how you feel about yourself. It’s about trust, happiness, and compassion. It’s about sticking up for your friends and replacing inner hate with love. Life is about avoiding jealousy, overcoming ignorance and building confidence. It’s about what you say and what you mean. It’s about seeing people for who they are and not what they have. Most of all, it is about choosing to use your life to touch someone else’s in a way that that could never have been achieved otherwise. These choices are what life’s about. :wink:

I like my meaning of life…but yours as well.

I think it’s hard to be consciously aware of what gives your life meaning, and even more difficult to express it. To refer to Camus (once again) the last philosophical problem is that of “suicide”: that is, if life is objectively meaningless (i.e. there is no reason why we are here, there is no ultimate goal or “purpose” for humanity and so on) then why do we continue to exist? What do we stand to gain from it?

For me (and this is obviously a personal standpoint, which I’m not necessarily prescribing as a “good” philosophy for others) there are only two things, generally, that I hope to achieve in life: to enjoy it, and to help others enjoy it. Money, love and anything else are simply means to obtaining happiness, they do not stand as an end in themselves. It is possible to be in love or to be rich and to still be unhappy, or feel unfulfilled, and for me I would much rather be alone, poor and happy, than in love, rich and unhappy.

As for “helping others to enjoy it” I suppose all this really means is a desire to act morally and to help others as far as it is reasonably possible to sustain a positive, happy outlook on life. Thus, I suppose, under my “theory”, morality simply amounts to balancing my quest for personal happiness, and the responsibility to help others find/sustain it.

It may sound a bit simple, but at the most general level, these are the principles by which I try to live my life.

It depends if people use drugs as a way to escape life, or as a way to enhance it. Personally I haven’t had a lot of experience with proper drugs, aside from taking ecstacy on four occasions over the past 12 months or so and also drinking fairly regularly. I do not use these substances as a way of escaping reality, I use them as a way of enhancing it.

I do gain some “ephemeral” pleasure from these substances, and the use of them corresponds with a lot of pleasant memories. I do not believe that I have suffered any adverse effects from using them, so, as long as I am in control and am sure that I am using them for the right reasons, then I fail to see any reason why their use is unjustified or undesirable.

Yeah the guy who founded the band (forget his name now) basically lost the plot, though I’m not sure whether it was due to a “permanent trip” or not. Given the reputation that band has for drug use though, I wouldn’t be suprised. :wink:

For those interested, the song “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” (which goes for some 17-18 minutes) was in memory of this guys’ decay into insanity.

The things that give meaning to my life is change and self-exploration.

I’m at a time in my life where I’m obsessed with myself. I’m obsessed with figuring myself out by realizing what I want as opposed to what I need and finding ways to get both. I’m obsessed with figuring out where I fit in the scheme of the universe, how I’m supposed to affect other people, how other people are supposed to affect me. Right now I’m doing a lot of self-exploration and self-discovery and growing into my own skin. It’s all about me right now. :wink:

It’s like this. I find inspiration in every relationship (that is, every person I can relate to) I make. That inspires my meaning and purpose in life. Inspiration comes from the uniqueness I see in each individual. :smiley:

For me, life is like the proverbial half-full :smiley: or half-empty :frowning: glass concept. Life is basically what I make of it.

Personally, I disagree with being burdened by the notion of lasting love. Love is one of the ultimate things that gives me my meaning of life and I don’t think life can be complete without ever loving someone/something. I have many loves. I love my family, my friends, and I have a passion for art and architecture. :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s what gives me my meaning of life.

I agree with MissWlee

The Meaning of Life

What is the meaning of life? Experience.

Let’s take what we know. We are all here for a reason. We all have a role. This role is different from the rest of the people on the world, as it is different from all those who have been and all those who will be. The only answer can be experience.

I have read all the posts in this thread and disagree with all of them, because I can simply take a second to imagine a situation that the view does not account for. I have heard many people in my own life say the meaning to life is love, as someone else said in this thread, but one doesn’t love, they come to love. So what do you say about a baby who was born but died five minutes afterwards? Did they love. Well I’m sure it can be twisted somehow to seem as though they did, but there is no way to prove it. One thing we know is that baby has experienced five minutes of life.

Experience above all is the most important thing. Especially for those who believe that human beings are nothing but the sum of their experiences. Knowledge is attained through experience whether it be reading a book, experimenting, being taught, realization, or pure accidental finding. It’s all experience. Maybe there is a reason and a purpose for all our lives no matter how bizarre.

What’s so important about experience you ask? Well, everything. The myriad variables associated with each experience one has agglomerates each second to make up the person who you are. Each life has it’s very own experiences that make up the homeless person on the street, it’s very own experience that made Einstein.

Thinking concise postThinking concise postThinking concise postThinking concise postThinking concise post. Okay I’ll end it here.

What’s your take?

I disagree.

Experience isn’t the MEANING of life, it’s the process of it. Through experience can you only be “living”, true, but not all experiences bring meaning. Being only seventeen and having only experienced a handfull of life’s obstacles, I can’t say much about my life’s experiences. Experience doesn’t give meaning to my life.

The baby scenario reminds me of a situation my friend brought up. If a baby dies before getting to know God or even recognizing a higher power, is the baby then condemned to Hell?

The answer to that is… well, we don’t know. It’s all in God’s hands and it’s His decision to destine where that child belongs.

In the same respect, why should we say that the child’s meaning of life is experience? The meaning of life should be different for each individual because each individual chooses to live the next day (unless an outside force prohibits it) and that choice is influenced by that one person’s meaning of life. The meaning of life is much deeper than mere surface things like experience or accomplishments, goals or what not.

As Youngman18’s signature says, “It’s all relative.” - JJohnson

Hello MissWLee,
you say that not all experiences bring meaing, tell me of some.
You say that experience doesn’t give meaning to your life, but do you not agree that everything you know is because of your experiences in the past? If you didn’t get meaning to your life from your past then where did you get it?

In reference to the baby scenario, I actually brought up a similar scenario to a priest in church. I asked him what happens to a person who never learns language because they die in the first year of life, or what do we say to people who have never heard of Christianity, say for instance China a few hundred years back when no one was allowed to enter or to leave. His response to me was that God makes his presence to all in life, it is up to them to accept him and believe in him. How do you argue with that? But he agreed that if someone doesn’t believe in the Christian God then they are condemned to hell.

What’s your take?

Why is this implicitly accepted? I think the rest of your comment seems to react (positively or negatively) to this point but I don’t think it makes any sense. What exactly is a lie? You may disagree but I think it should be defined as an intentional deception: I say “I’m 20” when I know I’m 36 as opposed to believing that I’m really 20. If you accept this, I fail to see how lying to yourself does much of anything.

So are you trying to tell me that a human’s ultimate goal of life is to gather up as many experiences as he/she can because that’s what life is meant for? I don’t know about you, but that sounds a bit superficial to me.

What happens after these experiences are collected? There’s no doubt in my mind that experiences define who we are and shape us, but what’s the point?

To be honest, I don’t think anybody really knows what the true meaning of life is. Maybe in your opinion it’s experience, and I can’t say I have many effective arguments to rebut it, but I still believe that it’s all relative to the person.

There are insignificant organisms out there that are reproduced just so they could be devoured by a stronger life-form. Yeah, perhaps they experienced a day or maybe a week or two of life, but was satisfying another organism’s hunger their meaning for life? Not really.

To say that something has meaning… must mean that something has depth and value. I don’t think you can place depth and value JUST on experience. Experience is a part of life, but it’s not the meaning of life - not in totality.

Having said that, I think people/animals/living organisms alike are placed on this earth in a very specific place in space for a very specific reason, even if it’s a reason no human can really understand.

That’s my stand.

Another point that bothers me here is the implicit statement that meaning and happiness are somehow connected. Why? There are many philosophers who believe quite the opposite. Meaning in life may have very little to do with one’s being happy. Just as a quick examply, if you see Man (or the emperor) as the bridge between Heaven and Earth, his goal is to maintain that balance, his meaning is to keep the rituals working. I think that if you asked him, “Are you happy?”, he would think the question trivial.

I think a meaning of life would involve some type of purpose eternally or internally imposed on you rather than the pursuit of happiness. Looked at this way, recreational drug use would fall quite short of giving life any meaning. On the other hand, drugs might be used if one’s purpose and one’s belief involved seeing drugs as a key to some higher or alternate reality and you wanted to get there.

Yeh, I dont see how ‘experience’ is the sole meaning in life. I dont get that.

Experiecne may put some meaning in life, but I dont think it is the true meaning to Life.

Whats a poor man to do? he works 9-5 7 days a week. How is this experience giving his life meaning. Is he meant to do this?? Does he think this is what puts meaning in life. I doubt it. He doesnt want to work, he doesnt see meaning in working. The only meaning his job has is to pay the bills.

After reading Victor Frankl, Mans search for meaning, I summarized what I think Lifes meaning is.

The meaning of Life is to make your life an act of Love. I believe everyone has an equal opportunity to do this.
Can you disagree with that?

Then I came across this quote "The mystery of life is not a problem to solve but a reality to experience. "
…Frank Herbert, “Dune”
Can you really disagree with that? Nobody knows the REAL meaning of life. Every person will have something different to say.

To stay with my arguement, Experience is not the meaning of life. Experience is a teacher, perhaps the most brutal teachers out there. Experience can be astonishingly good or terribly bad.

In reply to Youngman18:

Youngman18 stated:

If a poor man works 9-5 y days a week, then for him, this may be the meaning of his life. But a meaning to who? Again you are assuming I meant to the person. Which you are right for, but it isn’t just the person. It’s for all people and all things. Haven’t you ever gotten meaning out of something that to you was nothing but to someone else it meant the world to them? Meaning is relative, as is experience, but both words remain unchanged. If you think that a person life is so simplistic as to assume that a poor person works 9-5 7 days a week, then you yourself have not discovered the real beauty of life - the beauty that no matter how bad your life is, no matter where you are - there is a reason, a purpose for life. Why don’t you go further with it? Why not bring in the Jews that suffered in World War II? Did their lives have meaning? It may very well be because of them that democracy proliferates so today, that atrocities such as these are no longer tolerated (Hitler wasn’t the only doing these things) could be their meaning, it could be said that they died so that we could have a better life. Someone’s meaning in life may not come out till hundreds of years after they are deceased.

Youngman18 stated:

How does one go about making anything? They learn, what is learning? Experiences. What is life? Experiences. To act, is to experience. To Love is to experience. These are all experiences.

Youngman18 stated:

First of all, I think you should clarify, the meaning of ‘one’s own’ life, not life in general, since all your points against my point are aimed at humans. My point does generalize to all living things. How are you so sure that nobody knows the real meaning of life, do you mean human when you say ‘nobody’? Have you studied and researched the topic at any length? What would be so wrong about a person understanding the meaning of their life? Do you assume it would automatically make them somehow God like?

Youngman18 attempted to disagree but actually added kindling to the fire:

Look at what you wrote, you are agreeing with me. Your focusing on something I didn’t even say, I never said that experience is somehow a goal, problem, or that it is something conscious that we strive for eavery day. All I said was the experience is the meaning of life. Take the word how you want to, but if you truly want to understand it is going to take more than an impulse, rather it will take a thorough reading of my post to see what I meant.

MissWLee stated:

No I’m not, and where did you get that idea. Experience is not an option, it is not a goal, it isn’t even something that you can be conscious of at all times. Your conception is an experience, the nine months in your mothers stomach is an experience, your birth is an experience, you typing your post is an experience, the A-bomb is an experience, heat is an experience. Experience is apart from a thing or a person but entails everything within a time. To say that the Hiroshima bombing is not an experience because you didn’t experience it is false, it is just simply not one of your experiences. But it is or may have been an experience for someone else. Maybe you answered yourself at the end of your post…

You stated:

First off, I didn’t say they are collected. What point do you see in an experience. I think maybe the problem lies in your thought process that has been trained through TV to believe that an experience has a brief moment. Since one hears majority of talk on experience in regards to quick experiences, seldom does one hear about the experience of being in another country or spending twenty years in a different state of mind. Maybe you just don’t understand the point…

Can you think of a moment in your life when you are not experiencing anything?

You followed up with:

Experience is relative to the person, that’s what’s so great about it. Six billion people on the planet experiences at all times in all places in different ways.

MissWLee stated:

I pity those who like you think that there is such a thing as an insignificant organism. It is thought like these that endangered many animals lives and even caused some to go extinct. It is not until science convinces us until we are blue in the face, that something we have always thought is wrong. You also contradict with…


You stated:

Depth and value are relative terms to a person. To some one thing may have value while to another it will not. Yes, experience can have depth and value and so can many other things, I never said otherwise. I disagree that experience is not the meaning of life - in totality because experience is the only thing we can say we are doing at ALL times in our life - hence it is exactly this experience that gives meaning to our life in TOTALITY.

What’s your take?