Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0018, February 9, 2015


To Be Is to Mean

Copyright 2015 by S. W. Paul Wyszkowski

Structure equals meaning

      It is our universal existential obsession, we're all consumed by it in one way or another, to wit the question: what is the meaning of life and specifically my life? Answering that question has been a profitable though dangerous business for scoundrels; an ecstatic mission of visionaries and madmen; a matter of intense debate for theologians and philosophers and (so far) of no interest whatever to the scientists.

      There is one other source, perhaps the most trustworthy of all, where the answer may be sought: a personal revelation. By this I mean a profound understanding derived from paying attention to what is actually the case. Such understanding is rare because the huge majority of human race is only paying attention to culturally acquired beliefs and prejudices, not to what is actually the case. And this kind of understanding cannot be conveyed by teaching - each individual must arrive at it personally by ceasing to allow the cultural/tribal chatter to distract one from seeing the world with oneself in it as it actually unfolds in the present.

      This is what is meant by "mindfulness" which is currently coming into vogue, and perhaps, hopefully, into wider practice.

      Here, for what it's worth, is my personal revelation concerning the meaning of life, keeping in mind that it is of no use to anyone else, not even as a clue, and could actually be misleading. One part of it is that we are each of us authors of the meaning of our lives. That much is already widely recognized. The part that I cannot really convey in words so that it means anything to you unless you have come to the same understanding already is that the meaning resides in the patterns/relationships inherent in our being/becoming (to be is to mean). The structure of our lives (including their environment) is identical with their meaning and vice-versa. And we have a say in how our lives are structured.

      "The meaning of life is in the enjoyment, appreciation and celebration of sunshine," declares Prickles, "everybody knows that. Nothing mysterious about it." Yes, you're absolutely right, except about everybody knowing that. "Oh," she says.

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