‘The meaning of life’ is meaningless

The meaning of life is to behold the meaning of life

Aug 30, 2018 · 3 min read

Life shouldn’t make sense, should it?

We awoke on a wet spec of dust, circling an inferno, circling a dark vortex, adrift in the boundless cosmos. What?

What indeed.

Our existence seems so consequential, and our consciousness so ethereal. How do we resolve what it means to be alive? A programmer might attempt to solve a problem first with a ‘spec’, a specification than incants the requirements. So, I the programmer ask, what’s the ‘spec’ for life?

The ceremonious among us might suggest:

• Go to school • Get a job • Grow up

You should resist to ask, what’s the meaning of life?

You’re missing the point––it was never a point, or a destination, or some ascertainable apex. It’s but a direction for us to set our sights; a direction like true North on a compass. But here’s the schtick; we never arrive at North. North is aspirational––not achievable.

In physics, these ideas can be better understood as speed versus velocity. Where speed is directionless displacement, velocity is ‘directionful’ displacement, or in other words, displacement in a direction. So when we ask ‘what is the meaning of life,’ we are seeking speed, when we should be seeking velocity. In other words, we should be more concerned with where we are going, and not how we are going to get there.

The notion of ‘up’ is aspirational, just as is the meaning of life. To be blunt, posing the question ‘What is the meaning of life’ is a meaningless question because it assumes there is some meaning to behold; some destination to arrive; some answer to ascertain. But here be no answers.

Friend, we’re not on a train, but we are in transit if we stop to recognize sufficient life begs meaning because consciousness is a emergent characteristic of self-reflection. But all ‘life’ dies. It wouldn’t be ‘life’ it it didn’t. It would be something else. It would be immortal.

To quote Alan Kay, ‘We make our own meanings.’ The question itself should serve as an acknowledgement of the inconceivable privilege it is to discover what our personal meanings of life ought to be. And when we disseminate our personal meanings, we can live on even when we die.

For me, the meaning of life is to behold and disseminate beautiful ideas. There is nothing more palpable to me than a rare, exotic, catastrophic, life-altering, and suggestive idea. A beautiful idea is like a sci-fi saga where we are given the freedom to experience alternate realities for us to contrast the best of all possible, and impossible, outcomes.

Of all the stories I want to live on when I die, the most consequential would be that a simple and beautiful idea can change time because it introduces new realities to behold. We all posses a supercomputer between our temples, let’s use it a little more, goddammit!

The experience of beholding a simple and beautiful idea should leave is fuller than when we conceived it. It should stop us in our tracks, even render us breathless, and give rise to even greater unimagined ideas. I hope that in reading this, new unimagined ideas can begin to exist.

I propose:

The meaning of life is to pose the question if we can, and to then answer it with our personal meanings, and to disseminate that onto others such that we can live on through others.

What we should want is to we enrich future generations to ask and do the same for themselves and future generations.

And so on, and so forth.

Thanks for reading.

Please share if this made an impact.


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Thinking about distributed education and how to leverage tech to help others create economic freedom for themselves. @username_ZAYDEK 🐦