Thursday, November 21, 2013
The Meaning of Life
I don't have much time at my hand, so I will make this post short (If it's even possible, me being me | Edit: FAILED AGAIN!). This past month, I've had very limited spare time, so I haven't really felt like spending the few free hours every now and then by writing in my, at the moment, unusually inactive blog. We have been working full time on our musical, and apart from that I've been doing part time jobs. However, today I actually feel like writing something quick.
Speaking of quick, a "quick" side note: a couple of days ago I got to know about a most heinous thing. We just received the results of our matriculation exams. It really irritates me that I got 269 points in my English exam, mainly because the amount of points needed for the highest grade, "L", was 270 points this autumn. Fuck. Even more frustrating is the fact that I lost a few very unnecessary points, the main one being, having read slightly wrong, which made me write "century", instead of "decade", which was an error worth precisely 1 point.
Not only that, but my test was sent in by the teachers at our school as worthy of 266 points, and it was ultimately raised by 3! I can almost picture the final score corrector's thoughts in a scenario similar to this. "Oh let's see. Here is one of the final exams I have to check, to make sure the pupil gets what he deserves. Hmm, it seems this student has been given an approximation of 266 points. It also seems like the final boarder between "E" and "L" is closing in on about 270 points this year. Let's see, let's see. Oh well, Christmas is beginning to creep closer upon us, why not be a little nice for once; let's raise the result with a few points! Now what would be a suitable final score, when he is clearly aiming for 270 points? Hmm.... I KNOW! Let's raise the score to 269 points! There; Perfect."
Well, I realize this is not how it works, and I'm not really that mad about it all; I'll just have to redo the test next year. However, it's always a good idea to make light of your adversities; you'll live longer that way. Speaking of living for lengthy periods of time...is that something you should strive for, in life?
So considering I have been working a lot on different projects, my simple brain's first impulse was, of course, to write about work; how some people are drawn to it, while others avoid it like the pest. Then I realized, not only is working usually boring, but writing about it isn't necessarily much better... So we ended up with the title: well... you can read it yourself.
(FINE! Be that way... I'll write it again: The Meaning of Life).
What is the purpose of life? This is a question that humans have asked themselves throughout a very large span of time. Still, no one will ever know who thought about it first. There are many different versions of this question (for instance, why are we here? etc.), and for every version there are a multitude of "answers".
While the question has been romanticized beyond sanity, to me, the question just seems... Wait for it... Meaningless.
This is, because asking the question is basically presuming that there has to be "a purpose". And in order for a purpose to exist, there must be intent behind it.
Let's take the word "meaning", and play around with it. You know that movie scenario, in which it has just been revealed to the hero that his best friend has betrayed him.
*The 'friend' pulls out a gun and aims it at the hero.*
Hero: "What's the meaning of this?"
'Friend': "I've always envied you, but now it is my turn to be acknowledged!"
Hero: "So it was you who blew up the building!"
'Friend' "Yes, now you know, it was ME all along! Muahahahahaha"
Well, something like that. When the hero asks "What is the meaning of this?" he is really asking "Why are you doing this?"
How is this relevant you ask? Well, there is a reason for why the friend did what he did, there always is, no matter how undetectably small it might be (in this case, apparently envy). And the hero is asking why this particular situation they are in, has emerged. The situation emerged, because his friend intended for it to emerge, there was an element of intent. He wanted something, and he wanted it for a reason. There was a meaning for what he did; an intention for why he did it.
If there is to be a meaning behind something, there also has to be someone, or something that wanted for it to happen. Thus, when we aare asking "Why do we exist?" we are presuming that there is a reason for our existence, hence also assuming that someone or something intended for our existence to be a fact.
Now, this makes perfect sense if you're religious, in any way. "Why do we exist?" -> "God was lonely". But for an atheist, asking what the meaning of life is, is just playing with concepts. Don't misunderstand me; I don't think there's anything wrong with thinking philosophically these ways, I just wanted to point out that, really, the universe doesn't care.
This is not the same as saying that life is meaningless!
As I said, in order for there to be a meaning, someone must wish for a scenario, achieving said scenario being the goal; the meaning. Who is to say that one can't create a purpose oneself? However, there can be no generalized definition for the meaning of life. Biologists tend to say that the meaning of life is simply to live, reproduce and die, in an almost endless cycle. But I don't necessarily agree with that either. When it comes to the truth, "life" would probably be better of if all humans, and why not all the animals too died, leaving the living microorganisms to reconquer the throne of being the highest life forms. They would keep life living for a much longer time, and they can often survive extreme circumstances.
Then some people have said that it's not just any life, but intellect, that should be emphasized. Who is to say that, really? And how would that help with finding an answer for the question? Listen kids, the meaning of life is to be as intelligent as possible, so take a good look at Stephen Hawkins! Sure, intellect can help achieve much, extra comfort being one thing. But it in no way solves the problem at hand. Back to work: Some have said that working is the meaning of life. My reply to that could most accurately be interpreted as: "Not for my life it isn't! (You fucktard!)".
Then there are the people who say: "Everyone is free to create their own meaning". At first, this may seem like avoiding the question, but if you follow the logic I exemplified earlier, it makes total sense!
For there to be meaning, there has to be someone that wants a purpose for something. Who wants a meaning for one's own life as much as oneself? Well, there are people; your parents' might just want to have you live your life as they have planned. But do they own your life? This question is actually a lot more relevant, in my opinion. You see, I think that you can have a meaning for every life that YOU own. If you own a life, you get to decide the meaning for it (it's not breaking any rules; existence simply doesn't care!).
So do you own your own life? Mostly, yes, because it is you who have the most control over you. If you have the most control over someone, you get to decide the meaning of life for that person. Not all people own their own lives though (by the "most control" definition). Two examples of this: I said you get to choose the meaning for your own life, what if you yourself choose for someone else to decide what your purpose in life is? If they accept the responsibility for your life, and you actually follow through with what that person tells you to do, than your meaning in life is to do as that person tells you to. Example 2: Some people (especially earlier in history) are born slaves, to some extent. Not all people are born with USA's (ironically) highly regarded "freedom". Same thing here; you have to obey what your master tells you.
So ultimately, I must mathematically come to the conclusion that your purpose in this life is largely divided between a lot of factors. Let's simplify things a bit. Let's take two years of your life. During the first year, you have 34% control of yourself, your parents have 23% control, and other people have 33% control over you, while random chance makes out 10%. During the second year, you have 75% control over yourself, other people have 15%, while what seems to be randomness has 10% control over you. During these years, other people will have had 56 + 15 = 71% (out of 200) control, you will have had 109%, and random chance will have had 20% control. Divided by two: Op: 35.5%, You: 54.5%, Rc: 10%. (All numbers are random, merely made up for the sake of this example)
So over simplified, during a time span of 2 years, you will have decided 54.5% of the meaning with your life, Other people will have decided 35.5% of your purpose, while random chance has power over the remaining 10%.
This, is on a very oddly defined level, but also on a very exact one. This is also definitely NOT what the original askers and romanticizers of the question were looking for. This is simply an odd thought that ocurred to me while sitting on the toilet today, to be blunt.
It's also interesting to think about the meaning of life, as such a thing as destiny. It's basically the same thing. "This is what you're destined for, this was meant to happen"!
Do you think that destiny, fate, exists? I don't, but I like the concept. Actually, I could almost claim the opposite, in fact; I'm certain that destiny exists, it's simply impossible to detect, or measure. This is assuming that time travel is never invented. NEVER! But it probably hasn't been, or we would know it already (unless we go into the sci-fi realm of the time police, or something like that).
You see, destiny, is just a concept, created by humans, just like most other things around us are. Concepts like "luck" and "random chance" don't really exist either, but still, they do! In our minds that is. Technically, if you knew all about every single particle in the entire world, and exactly how it behaved, you could accurately predict the future. It's just an almost infinite amount of information that you would need to have, but in theory, it's possible. That is the law of cause and effect, simplified. 'a' caused 'b' to behave in way 'x', which in turn... etc. (Please don't bring in factors like "what if something comes from nothing?" and so on. Just pretend that the person has access to the information about how that, and all the other things work, as well...).
And thus, there exists no real randomness, just things you couldn't possibly calculate and figure out on beforehand. And if you could accurately predict the future, the concept of destiny would have to be true, in some sense. There is only one outcome (unless time travel/different universes with different rules are brought in to the equation).
Your destiny, your meaning of life is to do whatever you want, everything that will happen will all happen anyway, using this logic. No moral is needed, no one can be blamed; it was predetermined to happen. Then again, no one can be blamed for blaming you and putting you in prison for committing your crimes (and so on).
This is again, just me playing with concepts. I don't really view things this way, and nothing is to say that this is the way to see it all. It's just an interesting perspective, in my opinion; an interpretation of the meaning of life. I could have explained my thought process much better though, but this is just an improvised blog, and it was destined to be this way, so don't blame me! Then again... You were destined to read this, and it was foretold that you would blame me...
Okay, now it has officially gone too far. Bear in mind: although the universe may not care, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't either. There might be no objective morality, and every action, good and bad, that you take may be predetermined. You still wouldn't know those actions on beforehand, or if the assumpiton that there is only one outcome is even true in the first place. And depending on how you define it, even if it were true, it doesn't mean that you cannot choose what to do. We humans, we need our concepts; that is why we created them, false as some may be. (Question: If you could be scrying the future using information about every single particles behavior, could you than change it? Or would even you, predicting the future, be a part of the equation, and thus be unchangable? Let's not think more about it, we will arive at no sensible conclusions anyway).
If you feel like you make a decision, it's practically the same as making it, as it will affect you like wise. As is a common argument in the debate about the existence of "free will" (should I make an entry about that as well?).
Simple solution: "We have no choice but to have free will" (paraphrasing Christopher Hitchens?).
There; no blog post about it needed.
Okay, I think this is quite enough for this sleep ruining blog entry.
Challenge: Count the semicolons in this entry, and tell me how many there were in the comments! (No cheating with Ctrl + f !).
Let us now enjoy some depressing music instead.
I actually made yet another song that in my opinion, is too good to be posted here, so I made YET another song so I COULD post something here.
So basically, I wanted to compose a mood portraying song. And I pretty much knew what mood I wanted to musicize (yup, yet another new word, I think...).
I already know a song that had exactly what I was looking for, and I did something very similar, yet different (basically, I stole the idea, so to say). Named song is featured in the online platform game "The Company of Myself", and its name is simply and aptly, 'Jack'.
Since I was pretending to make game music, I naturally had to loop the entire thing... MORE THAN TWENTY TIMES! :D
That is the way of the musician.
In reality, the composition is approximately 3 minutes and 20 seconds in length. I urge you to listen to it with headphones, for a better experience.
I named the song:
However, I once again was too lazy to use a metronome, and to arrange and edit the piece properly, but I am still quite fond of the end result. Can you notice where the loop restarts? If not, I'm happy.
If you actually listen to a few loops, you might notice a very slight difference in some of them. You see.. ehem... Being the very professional musician that I am (I make like 500 a year or so thanks to my musical "abilities", at the moment... [and lose so much more]), I naturally looped the two different instruments at a very slightly different rate, which results in the time difference between the instruments' played notes being slightly varying, from loop to loop (sometimes more, sometimes less noticeable).
Anyway, feel free to comment about it.
Actually, no, your meaning of life is to comment on this musical Mastepiece! (Says the 0.000001 x 10^(-9)% control that I have over you!). (Very properly calculated).
Also, A picture! (x2!)
I drew this drawing on an A2 paper a couple of months ago, using coal (and white chalk)... I've never really used coal before, so it proved quite difficult. It's kind of like your average pencil, except it's thicker, and if you so much as touch your painting before spraying it, you will ruin everything.
Here's a slightly earlier version (sadly, a bit better optimized; always lazy while taking bad photos with my phone...):
That cave, is where you in your loneliness, will find a purpose for your life.
That should pretty much sum things up for this time. Don't expect me to be as active as I usually am until next year! A.k.a. in slightly more than 1 month...
Have a good one ;)