Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Number 42

What is the meaning of it all? It’s a common question and at a glance sounds like the whine of an angst ridden teenager. But I mean, isn’t that a question that should be asked? And in fact there's a very simple answer.

There isn’t any.

I mean it comes down to that.

There isn’t any inherent characteristic in anything that would be called “meaning”. The only meaning that exists is imagined. But that’s how it always is. Every single thing you ever thought had meaning only had it because of the meaning you imposed upon it as a part of the assessment of your own subjective experience.

Now…  What’s wrong with that? I mean why is the meaninglessness of it all looked at like it’s a bad thing? I mean that is, in itself, adding a meaning to it. Why do that?

Well there are a number of evolutionary psychological reasons but suffice it to say. To a human, what is meaningless is discarded. It’s what made us efficient as a species.

So when one is to say that life is meaningless it jerks the reaction of “Then why not throw it away?”. And simply my response to that is, “Why would you?” there is no reason to.

It’s startlingly simple really. And that’s just it. There is that kind of simplicity to the world and it’s so outside of what is commonly held up as a wonderful, magical, really really good thing that it’s difficult to come to terms with all of the implications of the sheer meaninglessness of it all.

But don’t get me wrong. The subjective value and worth of something isn’t useless. In fact it’s entirely useful indeed. 

I mean look at something like chemo therapy.

To anyone healthy it’s simply poison and is of nothing but negative value. But to a cancer patient it’s ridiculously useful. But will the cancer patient think to themselves in quiet contemplation how ironic it is that they violently require chemo while sick but someone healthy violently would not want chemo at all?

No. they couldn’t give a fuck. They’re too busy dealing with the notion of their own potential death. It’s an odd sort of thing really. Recognition of the meaninglessness of it all just subtracts the artificial imposed and for the most part destructive meanings we apply and instead leave us free to experience reality as it really is and basically add and discard meaning to and from meaningless things at a whim.

In short. The number 42? Its as good an answer as any.

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