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Posted by: martin Oct 24, 2003, 11:56 PM

the meaning of life,,, what is it, why are we living, as individuals, as a species, as a global community.
is it simply survival and continuence of life, natures response to an acceptable environment, is it divine and spiritual, a stage in the cycle that is our being, is it meaningless, subject to the whims of imagination and circumstance???? anyone?

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 12:09 AM

It is all that and much, much more. But for you, it is precisely what you choose to make of it. Nobody else can make it for you.

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 12:22 AM

the meaning of life is happiness

Posted by: martin Oct 25, 2003, 12:22 AM

ahh, but could someone explain it for me.

Posted by: martin Oct 25, 2003, 12:24 AM

i'm not happy, does that mean my life has no meaning

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 12:28 AM

that means your aim is to find happiness

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 12:30 AM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg14996 date=1067059326]
the meaning of life is happiness
[/quote]

no, don't listen to Dan. He'll lead you astray. wink.gif

I wouldn't recommend aiming for happiness, since this leads to vanity and self-disgust.

There is more to life than happiness. Look for meaning in your inner vision, heart, and experiences. Look into yourself. The meaning is there. You must find it. You must create it. You must bring it to the surface of your consciousness.

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 12:37 AM

[quote]I wouldn't recommend aiming for happiness, since this leads to vanity and self-disgust. [/quote]
I'm saying that the aim for happiness is the fundamental vector of life. Even you aim for happiness, Bleubear, whether you recognize it or not. Perhaps your understanding of this fact is incomplete, thus you conceive of this aim as a pretentious sideshow to be avoided

tsk, tsk...


8)

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 12:45 AM

no, I understood you, but I still maintain that aiming for happiness is a mistake that will lead to emptiness and self-disgust. We learn from experience, and thankfully, we can learn from other people's experiences too. But it has been my experience that aiming for happiness is misguided. Instead of specifically aiming for anything like happiness, why not simply engage in meaningful activity in the HERE and NOW? Self-less action is often meaningful, for example. Happiness will be yours, but in general, you should not aim for it, but instead focus on meaning. Our actions, perceptions, interpretations, and associations are all sources of meaning. In the end, meaning is something we create ourselves. If your life lacks meaning, then create some. Also, maybe investigating other sources (mental or physical fatigue, stress, boredom, etc..) would be useful for determining influences that may be dampening the meaning that you otherwise would experience.

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 01:08 AM

I say you are describing how you aim for happiness. All that stuff you seek to do, all those moments that feel meaningful, all those pretensions you reject, all that is what you must do to be happy

smile.gif

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:12 AM

but still, happiness is not what I aim for. Read the biographies and, preferably, autobiographies of great men, and they'll, in general, tell you the same thing. Do you think they would all be lying? Do you think happiness was what they aimed for? Of course not, precisely because there is much more to life than happiness. If you're so keen about being happy, Dan, then why aren't you popping 10 prozac a day, or are you? ohmy.gif Maybe you have ulterior motives you'd like to share with us, hmmm?

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:36 AM

you know i was just joking about the prozac thing, Dan.

anyway, i'm off to dream of flying through lands of golden honey.

user posted image


Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 01:50 AM

for a person who speaks with such intelligence, I am surprised that you can't understand what I am saying. Maybe you can enlighten with some counter-examples to my claim? I would be happy to be informed

wink.gif


Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:53 AM


"Well-being and happiness never appeared to me as an absolute aim. I am even inclined to compare such moral aims to the ambitions of a pig." -Einstein


That's right! The ambitions of a pig. wink.gif

There are many more examples I can come up with, but maybe another time.

zzzzzzz

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 02:02 AM

I bet Einstein was more than happy to say that. Sweet revenge of a tortured soul, to denigrate the satisfied simpleton.

I remain unconvinced. I require more evidence


tongue.gif

Posted by: martin Oct 25, 2003, 10:06 AM

i am of the opinion that life, in general, has little meaning, happy or not, selfless or selfish, living in the here and now or trapped in the past, dreaming of the future, it matters not, we may convince ourselves that we have found happiness, or dream up a meaning for our life, but does it really matter, both are quite subjective, created by the indivudual, for the indivudual, and the days roll by, meaningful or meaningless, all the same.

Posted by: jana t. Oct 25, 2003, 11:05 AM

In my view, happiness is not something that you can have, but rather it is something quite ephemeral, quite fleeting and brief. It is a small and passing moment that we experience with recognition. And these small moments of happiness can only be recognized or seen by those who accept their nature. Those who seek happiness as an ends, as an extended and stable state that they can attain, well these people are not only destined for a lifetime of dissatisfaction...but also, in their preoccupation with this “ends of happiness” they risk becoming blind to the true moments of happiness that can be found so easily, if you are looking for them.

The meaning of life is to seek.
To seek those brief moments of truth, beauty, happiness, peace, glory, power or whatever it is that drives your soul.

Satisfaction is another issue.
I would suggest that satisfaction in a meaningful life depends on that which you have chosen to seek

The fact that you are all seeking answers to this question of life, suggests that your lives are all in fact, very meaningful.

But are you satisfied?

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 11:59 AM

satisfaction is the road into happiness. If you feel satisfied, you are on track

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 12:37 PM

here's a little more food for thought:


"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise man grows it under his feet."
-James Openhelm

"Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

"Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."
-Henry David Thoreau

"For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination."
-Souza

"Humankind is staggering blindly towards a crisis, enslaved by its material desires and the deluded belief that the aim of life is personal happiness. The aim of life should be contentment, or self-containment"
-Ray Parkin

"The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for."
-Oscar Wilde

"Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."
-Helen Keller

"The ultimate aim of life is victory over death."
-Swami Satyananda Saraswati

"The pursuit of happiness is a most ridiculous phrase: if you pursue happiness, you'll never find it."
-C. P. Snow

"At present human society is being misled by leaders who are blind, for they do not know the aim and objective of human life, which is self-realization and the reestablishment of our lost relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
-Swami Prabhupada

"These Fools imagine that desire and enjoyment are all the aim of life and (in their inordinate and insatiable pursuit of it) they are the prey of a devouring, a measurelessly unceasing care and thought and endeavour and anxiety till the moment of their death. "
-from Aurobindo's translation of the Gita

"The aim of life is to live it intensely, to be fully born, to be fully awake."
-Erich Fromm

"The aim of life is the intuitive realisation of the Self. For, the Self is the substratum for everything, the cause for everything, and the soul for everything."
-Swami Omkarananda

"The goal of life consists in the full realization of all human potential"
-Dilthey




Posted by: Joesus Oct 25, 2003, 12:40 PM

Life is the manifestation of Expression. What is the purpose? Because you can, or actually it is the nature of the creator. That ability of the creator to create is natural and therefore the most perfect state of being for the creator.
Definitions of meaning as applied to life is ego or the manifest mechanism that allows consciousness to experience itself. The further away from its source as the creator in knowing and being that, the ego identifies with its relative manifestation and becomes immersed not in its Self but in its outer manifestation.
Happiness in dualistic relative terms means to feel happy as opposed to sadness.
Bliss has been attached to a higher meaning of fulfillment that is achieved not from anything in life but from pure being. Being not the emotion or the experience or the expression but the Self in its form and function.
You can be happy or blissful in sadness and even anger if you are released from any judgment or condition that may be placed on the expression/life.
The human expression is not limited to anything other than the presupposed limitations you apply to yourself and life. This loss of awareness and inability to realize the Self as the creator leads to dual interpretation of happiness and sadness, sickness and health, anger and joy.
These separate identifications of being when united into a whole expression become less effective as the illusionary boundaries of expression when the conscious awareness rises above the idea of suffering within these associative limited realities.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was once asked if it wouldn't be more productive to feed the hundgry man rather than teach him how to be conscious.
His reply was if you teach him to be more conscious he becomes energized by his knowledge of Self and his objective approach to life, becomes more enabled to create as opposed to being a victim to circumstance and therefore becomes a 'Happy" hungry man.
It still makes me smile, the look on his face as he happily bounced in his seat telling the student the story in the university auditorium. smile.gif

Posted by: jana t. Oct 25, 2003, 01:01 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15030 date=1067101141]
satisfaction is the road into happiness. If you feel satisfied, you are on track
[/quote]

In my view, if you are satisfied, then you have achieved a sense of arrival upon finding that which you have sought. (So for me, satisfaction comes when you arrive at your destination, rather than along the road to it).

If finding moments of happiness gives you that sense of arrival, then seeking moments of happiness (as one possible action that describes a meaningful life) does indeed bring you satisfaction, and you are satisfied with the meaning of your life.

In contrast, for example, if achievement of greatness or power does not give you that same sense of arrival, once you have found these things, then perhaps seeking these things (as other possible activities that describe a meaningful life) are misguided activities for you.

That is not to say that your life has no meaning if you are dissatisfied, but perhaps that which you have chosen to seek has rendered your efforts futile, because in finding them, you do not feel like you have found what you seek.


Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 01:07 PM

your appeal to many authorities still does not convince me. I find it ironic that so many of your authorities are actually interested being happy. Perhaps you are mistaking a superficial and temporary acquisition of happiness for what I am talking about. I agree with the implication of your authorities; finding true happiness is not an obvious endeavor

tongue.gif

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:17 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15036 date=1067105252]
your appeal to many authorities still does not convince me.
[/quote]

my appeal to authority was only to point out that we can learn from the experiences of others, and in particular, that we can learn from great men who would have us learn such things.

It's quite clear to me that the aims of life should be the realization of your latent potential, self-development, self-knowledge, self-actualization, expanding consciousness, meaning, and the realization of God and Truth. Happiness is a mere by-product that should not be aimed for. Self-satisfaction and contentment are temporary because our very nature is insatiable, pushing us ever upwards towards further self-development and self-realization. Self-satisfaction and contentment should not necessarily be expected during the white heat of one's life, but might be hoped for or expected at the dusk of one's life before death. There is no convincing me that happiness should be the aim of life. I've been there, done that, and I've learned that 'that' is not the way. There are much worthier aims in life, and I would have to concur with Einstein about happiness.





Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 01:20 PM

do you want to be happy? Do you find unhappiness satisfying?

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 01:23 PM

[quote]There is no convincing me that happiness should be the aim of life. I've been there, done that, and I've learned that 'that' is not the way. [/quote]
so, basically, you weren't happy with your 'happiness' (i.e., you weren't actually happy) Maybe you had simply chosen a simplistic route to happiness and it failed. Ever thought of that? ???


Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:23 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15039 date=1067106015]
do you want to be happy?
[/quote]

No. I experience happiness, as well as a range of other emotions, but I do not aim for them or make them my goals in life.

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 01:26 PM

[quote]No. I experience happiness, as well as a range of other emotions, but I do not aim for them or make them my goals in life. [/quote]
I say that you experience happiness by pursuing your goals. In fact, this happiness is what gives your goals meaning

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:30 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15040 date=1067106207]
so, basically, you weren't happy with your 'happiness' (i.e., you weren't actually happy) Maybe you had simply chosen a simplistic route to happiness and it failed. Ever thought of that? ???
[/quote]

no, quite the contrary. I often found happiness if I aimed for it, but such happiness was invariably temporary and fleeting because I was aiming for the wrong thing in life. And I soon realized that such temporary happiness is emptiness and vanity, and it resulted in self-disgust, and so I sought for something more lasting, and what I found was that true, lasting happiness is a mere by-product of worthier aims in life, such as self-realization, self-development, and the realization of God, but happiness itself should never be made into the aim of life.

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 01:32 PM

you said it right there, 'bluebear'!

[quote]I often found happiness if I aimed for it, but such happiness was invariably temporary and fleeting [/quote]
i.e., those ways of being happy invariably failed and you had to find a better way to happiness.

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:33 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15042 date=1067106367]
I say that you experience happiness by pursuing your goals. In fact, this happiness is what gives your goals meaning
[/quote]

I would agree that happiness is a by-product of pursuing worthy goals, but nonetheless, it is not what I aim for, and it certainly is not what gives my goals meaning. What is happiness? It's a rather paltry emotion, little different from the sensations of pleasure and pain. There is little, if any, meaning in the experience of happiness alone as such.

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:35 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15044 date=1067106723]
you said it right there, 'bluebear'!
i.e., those ways of being happy failed and you were no longer happy!
[/quote]

yes, but the fleeting nature of happiness holds, in general, for anyone who aims for happiness, as opposed to the more enduring happiness one experiences as a by-product of realizing worthier aims.

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 01:36 PM

[quote]What is happiness? It's a rather paltry emotion, little different from the sensations of pleasure and pain. There is little, if any, meaning in the experience of happiness alone as such. [/quote]
I would say that you are simply jaded by your previous failures. Your denial of happiness as an end is really a denial of your old concept of what leads to happiness

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 01:40 PM

[quote]as opposed to the more enduring happiness one experiences as a by-product of realizing worthier aims.[/quote]
why do you associate 'enduring' happiness with worthy aims? Is this just coincidence, or is 'enduring' happiness a necessary and desirable consequence of pursuing worthy aims?

methinks you value this 'enduring' happiness, it is proof that you are doing the right thing.


A life without happiness is not worth living

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:43 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15050 date=1067107014]
I would say that you are simply jaded by your previous failures. Your denial of happiness as an end is really a denial of your old concept of what leads to happiness
[/quote]

What failures? I was very successful at attaining happiness when I actively sought it, but its nature was fleeting, and in the end, it was vanity. This holds, in general, for anyone who aims for happiness.

My denial of happiness as an end or as an aim to be sought for is based on my experiences, and in particular, on my experiences that a more enduring happiness results from seeking worthier aims in life. It is not a denial of my old concept of what leads to happiness, because the end itself, fleeting happiness, I rejected as worthless.

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 01:46 PM

[quote]What failures? I was very successful at attaining happiness when I actively sought it, but its nature was fleeting,[/quote]
the fact that your happiness was 'fleeting' is evidence of your failure. What you were doing was finding unsustainable paths toward happiness, and when the happiness dried up you moved on

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:47 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15051 date=1067107246]
why do you associate 'enduring' happiness with worthy aims? Is this just coincidence, or is 'enduring' happiness a necessary and desirable consequence of pursuing worthy aims?

methinks you value this 'enduring' happiness, it is proof that you are doing the right thing.
[/quote]

The simple matter is that I do not aim for happiness, and neither do I 'want' it. It is something that I experience, as a by-product, during my striving towards worthier aims. Happiness, whether fleeting or enduring, is in the end, vanity, emptiness, and meaninglessness. Meaning is not to be found in happiness, but is to be found in the realization of worthier aims such as self-development, self-actualization, and the realization of God and Truth.

If I suddenly became incapable of experiencing happiness, I would still strive towards and realize my worthy aims because happiness is of no consequence regarding the worthiness of the aims as such.

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:48 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15054 date=1067107606]
the fact that your happiness was 'fleeting' is evidence of your failure. What you were doing was finding unsustainable paths toward happiness, and when the happiness dried up you moved on
[/quote]

such happiness that we aim for is always fleeting. It is not a failure. The same holds for you and for everyone. Try to prove me wrong.

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 01:50 PM

[quote]My denial of happiness as an end or as an aim to be sought for is based on my experiences, and in particular, on my experiences that a more enduring happiness results from seeking worthier aims in life.[/quote]
you are contradicting yourself, 'bluebear'. First you say that your experience shows happiness to be no end, but then you say that your experience shows that you should aim for that which brings 'enduring happiness' (is this 'enduring happiness' not an end? If not, why is it a qualifier for 'worthy goals'?)

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:50 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15051 date=1067107246]
A life without happiness is not worth living
[/quote]

I presume you're speaking for yourself. How sad!

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 01:50 PM

[quote]such happiness that we aim for is always fleeting. It is not a failure. The same holds for you and for everyone. Try to prove me wrong.[/quote]
how about you prove it right instead of simply claiming it to be right

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 01:51 PM

[quote]I presume you're speaking for yourself. How sad![/quote]
as opposed to happy?
wink.gif

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:53 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15057 date=1067107810]
you are contradicting yourself, 'bluebear'. First you say that your experience shows happiness to be no end, but then you say that your experience shows that you should aim for that which brings 'enduring happiness' (is this 'enduring happiness' not an end? If not, why is it a qualifier for 'worthy goals'?)
[/quote]

Please do not intentionally misrepresent me. You're just arguing against a straw man now. tongue.gif I never said that you should aim for that which brings enduring happiness. What I said was that enduring happiness was a mere by-product of striving towards and realizing worthier aims. Enduring happiness is not an end and is not something to be aimed for. And I don't think it's necessarily a qualifier for worthy goals, but like I said, is a mere by-product, in general, though there's no reason to assume that every worthy goal will necessarily be associated with enduring happiness all of the time, though admittedly, my experience has been that striving towards and realizing worthy goals is invariably associated with enduring happiness. But it is not obvious that whether a goal is considered worthy or not is in any way dependent on whether striving towards it brings enduring happiness. So I wouldn't necessarily consider enduring happiness a qualifier of pursuing worthy goals, but would say that pursuing worthy goals tends to produce enduring happiness as a mere by-product. Nonetheless, the enduring happiness, in and of itself, is quite meaningless and worthless.

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 01:56 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15059 date=1067107858]
how about you prove it right instead of simply claiming it to be right
[/quote]

It has been my and other people's experience, and you've yet to inform me that you've experienced otherwise, so I can only presume in the absence of such an admission that you concur with me.

Posted by: jana t. Oct 25, 2003, 02:03 PM

[quote author=bluebear link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15056 date=1067107730]
such happiness that we aim for is always fleeting. It is not a failure. The same holds for you and for everyone. Try to prove me wrong.
[/quote]

Could it be that happiness can be known as both a by-product and as an ends?

Could it be that happiness can be known in a diversity of scales, big and small, enduring and fleeting?

Could it be that some of us, perhaps through our choices and actions, have known happiness as only a small subset of these these many different forms?

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 02:14 PM

'Bluebear', somehow you were(are) relating 'enduring happiness' with 'worthy goals' as if 'enduring happiness' was a necessary result of 'worthy goals'. Now that I have pointed this out, you are renegging on your 'enduring happiness' qualifier as you can not explain why it should be so. The only other 'explanation' (that 'enduring happiness' is a qualifier for 'worthy goals') is a contradiction with your position. Are you now going to hold that 'enduring happiness' has nothing to do with 'worthy goals', and that any such correlation is purely coincidental? If so, there is no need to be talking about 'enduring happiness' as it is obviously irrelevant to your 'aim'

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 02:16 PM

[quote]It has been my and other people's experience, and you've yet to inform me that you've experienced otherwise, so I can only presume in the absence of such an admission that you concur with me. [/quote]
you're the one who is claiming that happiness is always fleeting (except you also somehow believe that there exists 'enduring' happiness). The burden of proof is on you to prove your claim, not on me to disprove it

Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 02:30 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15067 date=1067109262]
'Bluebear', somehow you were relating 'enduring happiness' with 'worthy goals' as if 'enduring happiness' was a necessary result of 'worthy goals'.
[/quote]

I never implied that enduring happiness was the result of worthy goals. What I said was that enduring happiness is a mere by-product of striving towards and realizing worthy goals. There's a big difference. Further, enduring happiness, in and of itself, is worthless. We pursue and realize worthy aims precisely because we deem them worthy. The fact that enduring happiness, which is in itself worthless, often or always accompanies the pursuit and realizing of worthy goals is not my problem to solve. The point is that aiming for happiness is foolish. One should aim for worthier goals, such as knowing God and oneself, and realizing one's potential, in which case one will likely experience happiness as a by-product, though will very likely remain indifferent and detached from it since happiness is, in and of itself, worthless. That which is worthy is that which we strive towards and realize, and is that which fills our life with meaning. Striving towards happiness, which is itself worthless, will only lead to it's fleeting experience, from whence one will realize how empty and vain one's striving for it was, and will hopefully direct one's attention towards worthier aims in life, which will result in the experience of happiness too, but it no longer is something that is sought after because it's falsity and meaninglessness has already been discerned. If you aim for happiness in life, and it seems like you do, Dan, then it is very likely because you have yet to experience all that comes from pursuing worthy aims with all of one's being and consciousness.
As such, I would recommend pursuing something more meaningful in your life.



Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 02:40 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=0#msg15068 date=1067109391]
you're the one who is claiming that happiness is always fleeting (except you also somehow believe that there exists 'enduring' happiness). The burden of proof is on you to prove your claim, not on me to disprove it
[/quote]

I've already proved it to the extent that my experience, and other people's experiences, constitute such proof.

Further, if happiness was the real aim in life, and if its pursuit ever resulted in enduring happiness, then there would be no aims left and nothing left in life to pursue according to you. A rather meaningless life, wouldn't you say?

Because you still pursue aims in life, and because you've already professed that the real aim in your life is happiness, I can only conclude that you've failed to achieve enduring happiness in your life, which is further proof of the validity of what I've been saying all along.

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 02:50 PM

[quote]I never implied that enduring happiness was the result of worthy goals. What I said was that enduring happiness is a mere by-product of striving towards and realizing worthy goals. [/quote]
I defy you to explain why this should be


[quote]Further, enduring happiness, in and of itself, is worthless.[/quote]
but somehow you thought to mention it as if it were a 'benefit' of worthy goals. why?



[quote]We pursue and realize worthy aims precisely because we deem them worthy.[/quote]
a tautology is no explanation, 'bluebear'. Try harder




[quote]The fact that enduring happiness, which is in itself worthless, often or always accompanies the pursuit and realizing of worthy goals is not my problem to solve.[/quote]
Declaring such a fact and then denying the responsibility of proof is evidence that you simply want to believe it




[quote]The point is that aiming for happiness is foolish. [/quote]
maybe what you understand as 'aiming for happiness' is foolish, as evidenced by your past failures



[quote]One should aim for worthier goals, such as knowing God and oneself, and realizing one's potential,[/quote]
Why? What makes these goals worthy?


[quote]in which case one will likely experience happiness as a by-product, though will very likely remain indifferent and detached from it since happiness is, in and of itself, worthless. [/quote]
Again, you offer no explanation as to why this association is 'likely'. Why is it likely?


[quote]That which is worthy is that which we strive towards and realize, and is that which fills our life with meaning. [/quote]
Are you saying that worth is simply a byproduct of striving and realizing? Is this another tautology? Why is it meaningful to strive and realize? Tell me why any act should be meaningful without saying 'because one strives' or 'because it is worthy'.



[quote]Striving towards happiness, which is itself worthless, will only lead to it's fleeting experience, from whence one will realize how empty and vain one's striving for it was, and will hopefully direct one's attention towards worthier aims in life, which will result in the experience of happiness too, but it no longer is something that is sought after because it's falsity and meaninglessness has already been discerned.[/quote]
again, you are stating that 'happiness' is a necessary consequence of 'worthy aims'. WHY?



[quote]If you aim for happiness in life, and it seems like you do, Dan, then it is very likely because you have yet to experience all that comes from pursuing worthy aims with all of one's being and consciousness.[/quote]
I have worthy aims because my happiness depends on it. I Cannot Be Happy Otherwise



[quote]As such, I would recommend pursuing something more meaningful in your life.[/quote]
I would recommend that you get a little more real



Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 03:10 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
I defy you to explain why this should be
[/quote]

I decline your challenge because as I said before, it's not my problem, nor is it something that I feel needs an explanation.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
but somehow you thought to mention it as if it were a 'benefit' of worthy goals. why?
[/quote]

no, i never said 'benefit'. I said 'by-product', and the only reason I said it was to point out the silliness of aiming for happiness when one can achieve more enduring happiness by aiming for worthier goals.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
a tautology is no explanation, 'bluebear'. Try harder
[/quote]

Hardly. In the statement, "We pursue and realize worthy aims precisely because we deem them worthy", the relation is causal, not tautological.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
Declaring such a fact and then denying the responsibility of proof is evidence that you simply want to believe it
[/quote]

the proof I've already given. It resides in my and other people's experiences. What other proof do you want? A videotape of my life or of other people's lives?

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
maybe what you understand as 'aiming for happiness' is foolish, as evidenced by your past failures
[/quote]

using your definition of failure, which apparently means the failure of achieving enduring happiness when one aims for it, then you've failed too. So what's your point?

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
Why? What makes these goals worthy?
[/quote]

direct experience and a certain realization will answer these questions for you. It's something I find difficult putting into words, though I'll probably try later.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
Are you saying that worth is simply a byproduct of striving and realizing? Or are you presenting an implied tautology?
[/quote]

I'm saying that we should strive after aims that we deem worthy.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
Tell me why any act should be meaningful without saying 'because one strives' or 'because it is worthy'.
[/quote]

What you ask for requires a general definition of meaning, and this is something that's been written about in other places. If you've experienced meaningful acts, then you can ask yourself what made them meaningful, thereby answering your own question. You'll see that it's hard to put into words (though attempts have been made elsewhere).

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
I have worthy aims [b]because my happiness depends on it.
[/quote]

so without happiness, your life has no meaning and is without worthy aims?

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15072 date=1067111406]
I would recommend that you get a little more real
[/quote]

I'm as real as they come.


Posted by: Joesus Oct 25, 2003, 03:15 PM

More blah blah blah?

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 03:36 PM

[quote]I decline your challenge because as I said before, it's not my problem, nor is it something that I feel needs an explanation. [/quote]
Hey, if you want to believe what you want to believe, that's fine with me. Just don't expect me to believe you



[quote] the only reason I said it was to point out the silliness of aiming for happiness when one can achieve more enduring happiness by aiming for worthier goals.[/quote]
so you are saying that a person who seeks happiness would be wiser to pursue 'worthy' goals, because one would achieve 'enduring' happiness this way.



[quote]Hardly. In the statement, "We pursue and realize worthy aims precisely because we deem them worthy", the relation is causal, not tautological.[/quote]
and why do we deem them 'worthy'?


[quote]the proof I've already given. It resides in my and other people's experiences. What other proof do you want? A videotape of my life or of other people's lives? [/quote]
that's not proof, that's evidence. you offer no explanation as to why happiness must be fleeting, thus you have no proof



[quote]using your definition of failure, which apparently means the failure of achieving enduring happiness when one aims for it, then you've failed too. So what's your point?[/quote]
My point is that your 'evidence' is not proof


[quote]direct experience and a certain realization will answer these questions for you. It's something I find difficult putting into words, though I'll probably try later.[/quote]
now you sound like every religious dingbat on earth, unable to explain yourself but perfectly willing to claim that you 'somehow know' you are right



[quote]I'm saying that we should strive after aims that we deem worthy. [/quote]
can you tell me why something should be deemed worthy?



[quote]What you ask for requires a general definition of meaning, and this is something that's been written about in other places.[/quote]
so repeat it. surely it isn't difficult to repeat a general definition



[quote] If you've experienced meaningful acts, then you can ask yourself what made them meaningful, thereby answering your own question. You'll see that it's hard to put into words (though attempts have been made elsewhere)[/quote]
I'm asking you to tell me what makes an act meaningful. And I can see that you have no idea why



[quote]so without happiness, your life has no meaning and is without worthy aims? [/quote]
To fulfill a worthy aim brings happiness and is thus meaningful. If an aim does not bring happiness, it is not worthy


[quote]I'm as real as they come. [/quote]
don't kid yourself


8)

Posted by: Dan Oct 25, 2003, 03:42 PM

sorry 'bluebear', but I gotta run for now. I'm going to the OU-Colorado football game and won't be back 'till late. Go ahead and take the time to offer your best rebuttal, and I'll get to it when I can


smile.gif

Posted by: Swan Oct 25, 2003, 04:00 PM

happiness is definately a good motivator ; pursuits which achieved fleeting happiness ultimately led me to look for happiness elsewhere ; enduring happiness is a by-product of following my happiness which led me to what some might call worthwhile goals ; which others might call completely useless ; the one underlying theme was my happiness ; I was not content to wallow in my self - pity or misery


Posted by: bluebear Oct 25, 2003, 04:09 PM

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
so you are saying that a person who seeks happiness would be wiser to pursue 'worthy' goals, because one would achieve 'enduring' happiness this way?
[/quote]

yes, but the person who pursues worthy goals will soon realize that happiness is, in and of itself, worthless.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
that's not proof, that's evidence. you offer no explanation as to why happiness must be fleeting, thus you have no proof
[/quote]

the proof is in the experience.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
and why do we deem them 'worthy'?
[/quote]

so your strategy is to keep asking 'why' questions to every reply and explanation I post?

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
now you sound like every religious dingbat on earth, unable to explain yourself but perfectly willing to claim that you 'somehow know' you are right
[/quote]

I've tried explaining, but there comes a point when recourse to actual experience is necessary.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
I'm asking you to tell me what makes an act meaningful. And I can see that you have no idea why
[/quote]

And I asked you to ask yourself what makes an act meaningful, and I can see that you have no idea why. At least I took the extra step and said that I would talk more about it later.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
To fulfill a worthy aim brings happiness and is thus meaningful. If an aim does not bring happiness, it is not worthy
[/quote]

That's fine for you, I suppose, but I have found aims much worthier than happiness, as have many of the great ones of the past that I've learned from. Fortunately, many people don't require happiness to have worthy aims in life and to have meaning. The life without happiness would be completely devoid of meaning and value for you, but certainly not for me. I think that says a lot.

[quote author=Dan link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15078 date=1067114178]
don't kid yourself
[/quote]

but aren't you kidding me with this whole 'happiness should be the aim of life' business?

Also, you never answered my question about why you don't (or do) pop 10 or more prozac each day since you're so keen on achieving happiness.


Posted by: rhymer Oct 25, 2003, 04:19 PM

Hi all,

just thought I might dip my oar in before this one runs out of space.
We wouldn't be happy then, would we?

One dictionary definition.
"State of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy".

So, there are degrees of happiness. I think we all know that!

I tend to think of happiness (by analogy) as like a thermostat which has a reference setting (set by ?). If glum, motivation kicks in to bring it back to or above that setting.
[by doing somerthing to increase contentment].
I can accept that if I feel glum, I may choose to do something I enjoy doing in order to increase my current state of happiness.


What I would like to know is how the stat is set.
Is it 'expectation', or by comparison to other peoples apparent state of happiness?

Best regards, Bill.

Posted by: bluebear Oct 26, 2003, 08:49 AM

[quote author=rhymer link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15082 date=1067116789]
One dictionary definition.
"State of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy".
So, there are degrees of happiness.
[/quote]

it's good to point that out, that there are degrees of happiness, and that for any state of happiness, even happier states can be envisioned and are possible. As such, it would not be possible to be aimless if one's aim in life was happiness since one could always aim for more happiness and greater degrees of happiness. Therefore, Dan needn't worry about ever being aimless and purposeless in life, though I would still dispute that happiness is the aim in life that people should seek.

[quote author=rhymer link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=#msg15082 date=1067116789]
What I would like to know is how the stat is set.
Is it 'expectation', or by comparison to other peoples apparent state of happiness?
[/quote]

I think its basis involves many factors, including the two that you mentioned, and also involves expectations based on other peoples apparent states of happiness. Happiness can be considered within the context of brain function and dopamine release, or it can be considered from a 1st person perspective, in which case we know that we have some control over our happiness to the extent that we know what makes us happy and know how to acquire or achieve such things, and also to the extent that we recognize that happiness comprises part of one's state of mind, which we have considerable control over.

Posted by: bluebear Oct 26, 2003, 09:53 AM

Dan,

I would like to clarify a point. When I said that happiness is worthless in and of itself, I meant that to experience happiness alone is worthless. Nonetheless, without contradicting myself, I will acknowledge that happiness can attain meaning and worth when considered to comprise a part of more meaningful and worthwhile experiences, even while I maintain that considered in and of itself, happiness, alone, is meaningless and worthless. If happiness attains meaning and worth, it is only within the context of more meaningful and worthy experiences, and these more meaningful and worthy experiences are, in general, the result of pursuing and realizing meaningful and worthy aims. Pursuing happiness as the sole aim in life is not meaningful, nor is it worthy. This does not rule out pursuing happiness as the means to further aid one in pursuing one's meaningful and worthy aims. But as such, happiness, in and of itself, is a tool and an aid, and not an end in itself to be sought for. One should aim for worthier and more meaningful goals in life, such as knowing God and oneself, and realizing one's potential and humanity's potential.

If you make happiness your sole aim in life, then you might as well be shooting heroin or overdosing on prozac, since this is what your ethics justifies and really boils down to, and this, to most people, is simply repugnant, pathetic, naive, and is not what one's life is or should be all about. Or better yet, the culmination of your 'ethics of happiness' for you would be to hook electrodes into your own brain and continuously stimulate your happy centers so as to make you happy all the time. Forget everything and everyone else, right? So long as you're happy, nothing else matters, right? The world could go up in flames, but so long as you're happy, everything's just great, isn't it?

Since you would put the pursuit of your own happiness above all else in life, Dan, I take it you have no calling in life. Further, you seem rather ungrateful to life, since according to you, the life without happiness is not worth living. Well, did you ever think that perhaps it is you who are not worthy of life? Life is a gift of sorts, and with it comes tremendous responsibilities. Yet, you don't want the gift unless there's happiness included in the package. Besides being ungrateful, that's also just irresponsible, don't you think? The key difference between your 'ethics of happiness' and my ethics seems to be that mine can justify life in the absence of happiness, whereas yours cannot. In the absence of happiness, you would turn tail and run away from life and reject it, considering it not worth living, whereas I would still fully accept life's challenge and find meaning and worth in pursuing my aims. In essence, your 'ethics of happiness' is weak and it degrades Man to a very small and ridiculous stature indeed, whereas mine elevates him to heights you cannot imagine and which are completely inaccessible to those following your 'ethics of happiness'.

A note about definitions, by 'meaningful', I mean 'significant, full of significance', and by 'worthy', I mean 'deemed sufficiently meaningful to oneself and/or to humanity to justify personal sacrifice and investment of resources'. Happiness is not a necessary condition for being significant or meaningful. If you ask me what 'significant' means, I would reply that this is something that everyone hopefully knows from experience, and for me to further define such terms would result in a circular definition (which all definitions are if we continue to pursue the meanings of different terms indefinitely), or it would amount to me trying to explain to a blind person what it's like to see. At some point, you need to have recourse to the actual experience, and without this experience, nothing I say will get through to you.

And finally, on a different note, and maybe this is already obvious, but having aims in life (i.e., being oriented towards the future in a particular manner) does not preclude experiencing the here and now, and of vividly living in the present. On the contrary, living in the here and now, and fully in the present moment, while at the same time pursuing meaningful and worthy aims, is very meaningful indeed.


Posted by: Joesus Oct 26, 2003, 02:15 PM

Joseph Campbell once said "follow your Bliss"
In the long way around the barn approach to relative happiness we find that we travel from one idea to another. Each idea hopefully creates an experience equal to, or better than the previous experience. This maintenance approach to life is fairly consuming.

The meaning behind the words of Joseph Campbell is to follow that which expands your consciousness Permanently.
When it comes to measuring chemical levels in the body or brain such as dopamine or endorphines and making comparisons to relative conditions, Science has not yet developed a measurment for levels of consciousness, nor has science been able to come to any agreement on whether such a thing exists beyond levels of fantasy.

Only by expanding consciousness does the need for the maintenance approach to happiness become unnecessary.
If the mind is expanded in its awareness beyond fear and judgment then what has meaning in happiness is no longer relative. Simply experiencing becomes a Joy.

Consciousness recognizes consciousness. Until man can fabricate a means to measure spirit and the awareness of higher states of consciousness then one will have to rely on experience for validation.

The subjective/objective experience will have to evolve into something greater in order to escape the differences that prevent the world and what is in it to be anything less than perfect.

Posted by: bluebear Oct 26, 2003, 02:26 PM

I found this at http://brainmeta.com/redirect/redirlink2/redir.php?id=tobyjohnson.com/clearlight.html

Joseph Campbell said, "Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you never knew there were going to be doors."

Bliss is a technical term in Buddhism. It does not mean mere happiness or satisfaction. Rather it means fulfillment of who we really are, realization of buddhahood (expanding consciousness), accomplishment of the goals that drive us to find meaning in life. To follow our bliss is to disregard all the rules that tell us how we are supposed to behave and to seek our own path.


Posted by: Dan Oct 26, 2003, 03:56 PM

[quote]yes, but the person who pursues worthy goals will soon realize that happiness is, in and of itself, worthless.[/quote]
I disagree that happiness is worthless, and I disagree that anybody should come to that conclusion in the pursuit of worthy goals


[quote]the proof is in the experience[/quote]
since your experience does not exhaust all possibility, you have 'inducted' your proof. I have not seen an explanation as to why your 'induction' is reasonable


[quote]so your strategy is to keep asking 'why' questions to every reply and explanation I post? [/quote]
this isn't a strategy, 'bluebear'. You have simply not explained how one can deem an aim as 'worthy' short of declaring that one can deem 'worthy' aims. This is the tautology I am speaking of. Your pseudoexplanation that 'worth' involves 'striving', and that 'worth' is indicated by 'meaningfulness' do not explain what makes an aim 'worthy'. (unless you are saying that 'striving' alone makes it worthy, to which I wholeheartedly disagree).



[quote]I've tried explaining, but there comes a point when recourse to actual experience is necessary.[/quote]
I disagree. I say that this is an excuse of those who just don't understand their own motives well enough to articulate them



[quote]And I asked you to ask yourself what makes an act meaningful, and I can see that you have no idea why. [/quote]

yes, I do recall you passing the buck. Clearly I have stated that happiness is integral to the meaningfulness of an aim or have you been absent for this entire conversation?



[quote]At least I took the extra step and said that I would talk more about it later. [/quote]
all you did was dodge the question with promises of future engagement. I want to know NOW! smile.gif



[quote]That's fine for you, I suppose, but I have found aims much worthier than happiness, as have many of the great ones of the past that I've learned from. Fortunately, many people don't require happiness to have worthy aims in life and to have meaning. The life without happiness would be completely devoid of meaning and value for you, but certainly not for me. I think that says a lot.[/quote]
I think that says you don't have a clue as to your motivations. You are seeking some kind of satisfaction from your aims, and to be satisfied is to achieve a measure of happiness.


[quote]but aren't you kidding me with this whole 'happiness should be the aim of life' business?[/quote]
NO! wink.gif


[quote]Also, you never answered my question about why you don't (or do) pop 10 or more prozac each day since you're so keen on achieving happiness.[/quote]
because it's a fool's question. Prozac is like all those other 'failure' paths of yours; happiness from a drug just isn't going to 'endure'


8)




Posted by: Dan Oct 26, 2003, 04:23 PM

[quote]it's good to point that out, that there are degrees of happiness, and that for any state of happiness, even happier states can be envisioned and are possible. As such, it would not be possible to be aimless if one's aim in life was happiness since one could always aim for more happiness and greater degrees of happiness.[/quote]
your belief in infinitely higher degrees of happiness is not implied by the 'evidence' you are referencing. This implication is yours alone, and it along with the consequences of it are simply your own speculations until proven



[quote]I will acknowledge that happiness can attain meaning and worth when considered to comprise a part of more meaningful and worthwhile experiences, even while I maintain that considered in and of itself, happiness, alone, is meaningless and worthless. [/quote]
who can say if you are contradicting yourself, when you lack a reasonable explanation as to what constitutes 'worth' and 'meaning'.



[quote]If happiness attains meaning and worth, it is only within the context of more meaningful and worthy experiences, and these more meaningful and worthy experiences are, in general, the result of pursuing and realizing meaningful and worthy aims.[/quote]
still only a pseudoexplanation. You have not explained why an aim should be deemed 'worthy' or why it should be 'meaningful'



[quote]Pursuing happiness as the sole aim in life is not meaningful, nor is it worthy.[/quote]
I'm thinking that you are simplifying the idea into some kind of juvenile pursuit. I agree, pursuing what you think is 'happiness' as a kid (like riding a rollercoaster) just may not work for very long


[quote]This does not rule out pursuing happiness as the means to further aid one in pursuing one's meaningful and worthy aims. But as such, happiness, in and of itself, is a tool and an aid, and not an end in itself to be sought for. [/quote]
until you tell me how I can 'deem' worth, or know that an aim will be 'meaningful', I say that you have offered no real explanation at all



[quote]One should aim for worthier and more meaningful goals in life, such as knowing God and oneself, and realizing one's potential and humanity's potential. [/quote]
and why are these goals 'worthier' and 'more meaningful'? Simply stating that they are is no explanation



[quote]If you make happiness your sole aim in life, then you might as well be shooting heroin or overdosing on prozac, since this is what your ethics justifies and really boils down to, and this, to most people, is simply repugnant, pathetic, naive, and is not what one's life is or should be all about.[/quote]
this is a 'straw man', because I disagree comletely that these pursuits will maintain happiness (or, as you know it, bring 'enduring' happiness). i.e., these means toward happiness will fail



[quote]Or better yet, the culmination of your 'ethics of happiness' for you would be to hook electrodes into your own brain and continuously stimulate your happy centers so as to make you happy all the time. Forget everything and everyone else, right? So long as you're happy, nothing else matters, right? The world could go up in flames, but so long as you're happy, everything's just great, isn't it? [/quote]
I'm quite disappointed in your use of straw men in arguing your position. But I guess this is your best recourse as you cannot logically explain your position without deferring to ambiguities and undefined notions


[quote]Since you would put the pursuit of your own happiness above all else in life, Dan, I take it you have no calling in life. Further, you seem rather ungrateful to life, since according to you, the life without happiness is not worth living. Well, did you ever think that perhaps it is you who are not worthy of life? [/quote]
My calling is to teach you some common sense, so that you are worthy of being called 'sensible'



[quote]Life is a gift of sorts, and with it comes tremendous responsibilities. Yet, you don't want the gift unless there's happiness included in the package. Besides being ungrateful, that's also just irresponsible, don't you think? [/quote]
straw men again, 'bluebear'


[quote]The key difference between your 'ethics of happiness' and my ethics seems to be that mine can justify life in the absence of happiness, whereas yours cannot.[/quote]
I think you are just living the fantasy of supreme self-importance, must be due to your coming up as a 'genuis'



[quote]In the absence of happiness, you would turn tail and run away from life and reject it, considering it not worth living, whereas I would still fully accept life's challenge and find meaning and worth in pursuing my aims. [/quote]
I would 'try again', because there is no escape.


[quote]In essence, your 'ethics of happiness' is weak and it degrades Man to a very small and ridiculous stature indeed, whereas mine elevates him to heights you cannot imagine and which are completely inaccessible to those following your 'ethics of happiness'. [/quote]
your self-importance is without bounds


[quote]A note about definitions, by 'meaningful', I mean 'significant, full of significance',[/quote]
OK. since you are pushing the definition to 'significant', can you tell me what makes an aim 'significant'?



[quote]and by 'worthy', I mean 'deemed sufficiently meaningful to oneself and/or to humanity to justify personal sacrifice and investment of resources'. [/quote]
great! so we remain with the question of why something should be 'significant'. At least we've condensed two unknowns to one



[quote]If you ask me what 'significant' means, I would reply that this is something that everyone hopefully knows from experience, and for me to further define such terms would result in a circular definition (which all definitions are if we continue to pursue the meanings of different terms indefinitely), or it would amount to me trying to explain to a blind person what it's like to see. [/quote]
I figured as much. You can't explain it so you blow a lot of smoke


[quote]At some point, you need to have recourse to the actual experience, and without this experience, nothing I say will get through to you. [/quote]
actually, an explanation will get through to me. It's the cop-outs that don't convince me


[quote]And finally, on a different note, and maybe this is already obvious, but having aims in life (i.e., being oriented towards the future in a particular manner) does not preclude experiencing the here and now, and of vividly living in the present. [/quote]
I pretty much agree with that assessment. After all, it's not like I can live anywhere else than where I am. In fact, I would say that it is impossible to live at any other place than 'here and now'.

[quote]On the contrary, living in the here and now, and fully in the present moment, while at the same time pursuing meaningful and worthy aims, is very meaningful indeed.[/quote]
Since I can't live anywhere else than 'here and now', 'here and now' is the only place where meaning can be found. Thus, you have not explained what the meaning is, only that if there is meaning to be found 'here and now' is where it's at


8)





Posted by: bluebear Oct 26, 2003, 05:50 PM


It's a funny thing, that when you should be shown the absurd consequences that result from your 'ethics of happiness', you should mere shrug them off as straw men, when in fact they aren't straw men at all. Hmmmmm, looks to me like someone's in denial. wink.gif

Another weakness in your argument is that you're unwittingly projecting yourself onto everyone else, meaning that since the only purpose of your life is happiness, you project it onto others and presume the purpose of their lives is just as base as yours, which Einstein himself labeled the ambitions of a pig. But of course you still believe that you're right, because in your mind, you're never wrong, right? And in this case, I suppose you can convince yourself that Einstein, and the countless other great individuals who explicitly warn against making happiness the sole aim of life, are just downright wrong, because if they were right, then god forbid, you would have to admit being wrong, and of course, you can't do that, now can you? I suppose you can convince yourself of just about anything, am I right?

Whatever be the case, I'm sufficiently comfortable with my refutation of your 'ethics of happiness' and of making the case for a higher ethics in this thread, that I'm sure most, if not all, reasonable and open-minded people will agree with me for the most part, if not completely.

Posted by: Dan Oct 26, 2003, 05:57 PM

What's funny is that you still have not explained what makes an aim 'worthy' (by virtue of deferring to the yet-unexplained idea of 'significance'). As for your theory of 'unwitting projection', what do you think you are doing?. I'm not interested in your appeals to authority, only your explanations (which are at least incomplete). Enjoy your illusory comfort while you can


8)

Posted by: T_Tom_Terrible Oct 26, 2003, 07:10 PM

Hey, what's going on in here fellas?

It seems silly to argue at great lengths about such an intangible and extremely subjective experience. As soon as you tear the idea out of the experience you have reduced it somehow into something that is not real and never found in reality.

I agree with blue. Happiness ought to be thought of in proper context, as relative to experience. But whether one ought to pursue happiness directly and/or indirectly seems to be a personal choice where one approach may be perfectly suitable to one and unacceptable to another, with no ultimate "right way."

I keep my options open in this regard. I don't shun frivolous entertainment or the contempletive life. I say try it all and see how it works out for you.

tongue.gif

Posted by: bluebear Oct 26, 2003, 09:33 PM


[quote author=T_Tom_Terrible link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=50#msg15120 date=1067213425]
Hey, what's going on in here fellas?
[/quote]

Right now, Dan is still in flat-out denial over my classical reductio ad absurdum of his 'ethics of happiness', which states 1) that happiness is the meaning of life, 2) that everyone aims solely for happiness whether they know it or not, and 3) without happiness, life is not worth living. Clearly, such an 'ethics of happiness', if taken to its rational conclusions, results in the absurdity of each person doing anything, no matter how distasteful, repugnant, or degrading, in order to achieve personal happiness. He also seems to be in denial of the fact that multiple individuals, myself included, constitute counter-examples to his argument that everyone aims solely for happiness, and has tried to rationalize all the irrefutable evidence against his 'ethics of happiness' in some oftentimes amusing ways, though recently, he's put up a rather disappointing performance by resorting to aping some of my arguments against his position, seemingly unaware of the asymmetry between our two positions, and of the fact that the burden of proof has been on him all along to prove that everyone aims for happiness, and that happiness is the meaning of life, which he has never given any evidence for whatsoever. And so, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that Dan's mind is completely impervious to reason, at least insofar as the issue of ethics is concerned, and so it's probably best to just end on the semi-pleasant note, "To each his own".


Posted by: Dan Oct 26, 2003, 11:33 PM

I am not in 'flat denial' of your reductio ad absurdum, I am in disagreement with your conclusion of absurdity. Your conclusion:
[quote]such an 'ethics of happiness', if taken to its rational conclusions, results in the absurdity of each person doing anything, no matter how distasteful, repugnant, or degrading, in order to achieve personal happiness.[/quote]
is a non-sequitor concerning the alleged absurdity. Why is it absurd that a person should seek happiness, and that their actions would reflect that underlying theme?

And why is my refusal of your references as proof of your claim evidence that I am 'in denial'? Where is the irrefutable evidence you claim to have presented? All you have presented is appeals to authorities who are unavailable for cross-examination, and your own personal testimony. In fact, I present as a counter-example to your authories the Dalai Lama, who says I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy and I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. http://brainmeta.com/redirect/redirlink2/redir.php?id=www.thinkexist.com/english/Author/x/Author_825_1.htm . The reason I am 'aping' your arguments is because you offered them as evidence that refutes my claim. If the burden of proof is on me to prove my claim 'Happiness is the meaning of life', then simply refuse my claim until proven. However, you have gone to 'disprove' my claim by offering your own counter-claim that 'Happiness is not the meaning of life'. The burden of proof for that claim is on you. The comment about my being impervious to reason is rather ironic, considering that you have not offered a sound reason to support your counter-claim yet believe that you have. I'm happy to end this conversation at any time, however I do not concede that you have either proven my claim wrong (which is not your burden) or proven your counter-claim right (which is your burden).

tongue.gif

(p.s. Joesus, where's the image? ??? )

Posted by: bluebear Oct 27, 2003, 12:02 AM


I'm glad to see you're a good sport about things, Dan. smile.gif You know I was just joking about being impervious to reason. In fact, I do believe you're permeable to it sometimes, though it seems certain that we do have very different conceptions concerning the nature of Man and about what Man ought to do with his life. Nonetheless, some good may come from laying the arguments out on the table and making clear the definitions we're using and the assumptions we're making.

Posted by: v3d4 Oct 27, 2003, 12:35 AM

" making clear the definitions we're using"

i think you guys are using different definitions of 'happiness'.

personally, i think i like dan's definition better becuz dan's seems like a more noble and worthy definition than the idea of happiness being "i got what i want and screw everybody else" or a definition that would include having the pleasure centers of your brain stimulated till you rot to death.
thats my interpertation, i have no idea if anybody elses is the same or similar.
but then im not gonna argue if nobody agrees with me when i say that the yab norgile flamapanatat imperative gleek leepadrit without first making sure they understand what i mean by it. ;D

Posted by: Dan Oct 27, 2003, 01:08 AM

well, 'bluebear', I am likewise glad to see your sportiness and humor concerning our little debate. I agree that our debate can be taken in a positive way toward understanding this fundamental question, and I appreciate the opportunity to dance with you.
smile.gif



(p.s. v3d4
I, like, totally disagree that the yab norgile flamapanatat imperative would ever gleek leepadrit. And anybody who has shipnot forrge could easily see that! ;D )


Posted by: T_Tom_Terrible Oct 27, 2003, 03:59 AM

I'm not sure that happiness can even be defined in an objective sense.

...But, supposing that it could, I would postulate all over the rug, uh, *ahem* that is, postulate that sorrow and happiness have an interdependent, cyclical relationship. Which is why happiness alone is not the meaning of life, even if the Honorable Dali Llama's mama said so herself. ...Mr Don't Appeal to Authority.

wink.gif

Perhaps we should start another thread entitled, "What is True happiness?"

Posted by: swan Oct 27, 2003, 10:30 AM

[quote]postulate that sorrow and happiness have an interdependent, cyclical relationship.[/quote]

It has been my experience that as some point these became one :-*

Posted by: rhymer Oct 27, 2003, 12:13 PM

Hi Swan,

"Happiness and sorrow" as 'one', yes ... but at opposite ends of the scale of the emotion of contentment.
Back to my 'thermostat' concept. We all have a different 'normal' setting.

And, pity the manic depressives who oscillate from end to end (bliss to hopeless sorrow) in an uncontrollable fashion! smile.gif :'(

I have amended the line above in view of negative criticsm received later.
My amended words, (which mean exactly the same) are:-

I have sympathy for all those suffering from manic depression (who oscillate between the extremes of despair and exuberance, characterised by deep depression and manic excitability). Indeed, I have sympathy for anybody who suffers from mood swings, however strong or weak their experiences may be, if it adversely affects their experience of life. The sympathy I have for such people, resides within myself and is expressed as a fact. It should not be construed to be sent or given to anyone.

Bill

Posted by: +Franziska+ Oct 27, 2003, 03:23 PM

Why should we aspire worthy goals?

To improve our effectiveness.

This improves and boosts our intelligence, skills, satisfaction and finally our happiness.
So this would support the quote of Happiness being a by-product.

But very generally, one does aspire happiness, contentment, enlightenment. There are people who do more, and people who do less for it.

Posted by: Timothy_417 Oct 28, 2003, 02:24 AM

I'm disposed to regard life as ultimately meaningless, and consciousness merely a sinister trick of evolution.

But ask me again tomorrow....

Posted by: Maniac Magee Oct 28, 2003, 03:26 PM

[quote author=rhymer link=board=5;threadid=3066;start=50#msg15138 date=1067274798]
And, pity the manic depressives who oscillate from end to end (bliss to hopeless sorrow) in an uncontrollable fashion! smile.gif :'(

Bill
[/quote]

And, pity the greyfaced hunchbrains who are trapped in such dull and "normal" lives that they must try to prop themselves up by disparaging those who can change rapidly. Sure, some folks need help getting a handle on it, but all "manic depressives" do not suffer, Bill.

Magee

Posted by: rhymer Oct 28, 2003, 05:05 PM

Hi Maniac Magee,

I have amended my post on the presumption that my use of the word pity is what caused the problem. It is an emotive word with different meanings for different people.
If that is not the problem you will need to be more specific.

Why not come and join us on Mind-Brain?
Our intentions are good, even if we sometimes upset each other!
It is a good place to relate experiences, thereby educating others and gives an opportunity to remove biasses, prejudices and misconceptions.
It is also a good place to learn, or at least be aware of other peoples thoughts.

Best regards, Bill.
PS.
If I see any of those people you referrred to I'll boot them for you!

Posted by: LoneStranger Nov 10, 2003, 08:43 PM

wel.. I onyl read soem of that really long thread. I decided to put my input of teh meanign of life into this discussion because...well...I felt like it. I think that there is no meanign of life. We all live here because our parents had sex and you knwo all that good biology stuff. anyways, the meaning of life is nonexistent. peopel talk abotu teh meanign of life today because of hte inner need to establish a reason for them to live. So maybe in a way the meanign of life is to live? hmmm.....

Posted by: Neoactive Nov 11, 2003, 09:59 AM

One might say happiness is dependent on its antithesis to exist. If you step beyond your emotions, you would move on from happiness, as well.

And perhaps the "meaning" of life is simply to do as you will do; nothing more, nothing less...

-James


Posted by: Ga Mar 25, 2004, 10:41 PM

Many have the conviction that the modern society is crossing by a deep crisis of values and meaning at the moment. Some alarming situations seem to indicate that the world has deteriorated to huge steps in the last years; but Is it really like this? can say truly say that our world is crossing by a period of crisis? The problem with this question is that it estimates a normality parameter, the existence of absolute values and an objective standard of behavior that governs all the human beings the same. If in the African forest a family of lions attacks a wild boar and she breaks it, the news will not appear on the following day in newspapers; but when an adolescent one takes a firearm and unloads its fury shooting against its professors and companions of school, that frightens and scares, because one does not hope that the human beings behave thus. But, how do we determine the behavior that is expected of the human beings? Based on the authority of whom, do we distinguish the good thing of the bad thing, the unjust from the just, the true thing of the false thing? Perhaps its determined by the things each person believes? The tradition? The opinion of the majority or an elite of experts in the human conduct? We needed a base legitimate authority that could establish the values that are to prevail the same to all, otherwise we will not have no parameter to pass judgment over the actions of the men. That is the great problem which nowadays the western society faces: it has rejected the jew/christian base on which it had constructed its system of values and now is as a boat to the drift in the ocean of the relativism and the subjectivity. What is good for you might be what is bad for me and vice versa. The concept of the absolute truth has become obsolete and with the death of the truth the virtue has also died. The modern man contemplates frightened the deterioration that there is to his around, but does not perceive that that one is the fruit that is harvested inevitably when it rejects to God and Its revelation. If a personal and supernatural God does not exist that created and maintains all the things with an intention, a God that has revealed itself to the infallible man in a book which we can include/understand rationally, then we do not have towards where to watch to find true answers to the most important questions of the man: Which is the intention of our existence? How one assumes that we must live? What is what is well, what is what is bad? If everyone has the prerogative to respond according to its own criteria or convenience, that is equivalent to say that the absolute and objective truth does not exist, nor the moral values either. When the foundations are destroyed is only time question so that the law of the forest prevails in the human society: the survival of the fittest

Posted by: ganji Mar 26, 2004, 12:32 AM

QUOTE
If a personal and supernatural God does not exist that created and maintains all the things with an intention, a God that has revealed itself to the infallible man in a book which we can include/understand rationally, then we do not have towards where to watch to find true answers to the most important questions of the man: Which is the intention of our existence? How one assumes that we must live? What is what is well, what is what is bad? If everyone has the prerogative to respond according to its own criteria or convenience, that is equivalent to say that the absolute and objective truth does not exist, nor the moral values either. When the foundations are destroyed is only time question so that the law of the forest prevails in the human society: the survival of the fittest


*yawns*

This is all old news. It's obvious we need to create our own values and meanings. What have you created?

What do you understand by absolute and objective truth? I have no idea what you mean by these terms, or whether you even know what you mean by them. Can you please explain exactly what you mean by absolute and objective truth, considering that all truth that we know or experience has a subjective basis?

Posted by: Rune Mar 26, 2004, 02:47 AM

I would argue trhat truth is always subjective. What we believe is conditioned largely by our hopes, our fears and our experiences. The truth for me, born female in a certain time and country, having had various experiences and emotions about those experiences cannot be exactly replicated by any other human being. My perception of the world, no matter how open I may be to the viewpoints of others, is inevitably coloured by this. Personally I find little to believe in the book to which the original writer refers, finding it more interesting as socio-political history of a primitive tribe. The basic premise seems to be that there are those (men!) who have, or claim to have, a 'god-given right' to dominate and control others. Macchiavelli did the same thing in a much more entertaining way!
However, lack of belief in an omniscient masculine deity does not, per se, obviate a personal standard of ethics and morality; indeed, when one has worked out one's own values, free from the hypocricy and double standards of the churches (of whatever persuasion), one may well find these not merely easier to adhere to, but much more meaningful.
It is, of course, so much easier to accept the standards and beliefs of others without taking the time and trouble to formulate one's own, in religious as well as political matters. But it's a darned lazy or unintelligent way to live one's life.

Posted by: Shai'tan Apr 01, 2004, 04:14 PM

To Dan and Bluebear,

I'm a newbie, this is my first post (if you hadn't already noticed) and I am engrossed in your discussion. That said, i haven't had the time to read all of it yet, but i want to raise a point that you've already touched on, which i consider an integral part of the argument.

If you're not happy, then...what's the point in being 'alive' as we know it?

You can know everybody in the world, you can have everything, but that will not necessary make you happy. It will only contribute to your happiness.

Cheers, hope to see you guys around soon.

Posted by: Dan Apr 05, 2004, 08:18 PM

hi Shai'tan

this is an old conversation that was pretty much concluded in a state of mutual acceptance of fundamental difference of opinion, but does have extension into recent conversation. Further comments on this thread are always welcome, as is engagement in more recent conversation

smile.gif

Posted by: spuh Apr 23, 2004, 07:51 PM

Isn't "in all things, moderation," immoderate?

Posted by: Guest Apr 23, 2004, 09:10 PM

QUOTE (spuh @ Apr 23, 04:51 PM)
Isn't "in all things, moderation," immoderate?

No more so than the saying "the only constant, is change" is valid

Posted by: Tone Mar 04, 2006, 04:59 AM

QUOTE(bluebear @ Oct 24, 11:45 PM) *

no, I understood you, but I still maintain that aiming for happiness is a mistake that will lead to emptiness and self-disgust.


Because all the aims are wrong and its biologically rooted. If person X experiences a sublime state of happiness (State X) for just 5 minutes as a fleeting peak experience, Hypothetically, person X can be in that state of consciousness 24/7/365 if all the internal factors which produced that state + all the external factors be sufficent to allow it to continue were reproduced and maintained constantly. Also whos to say that state X cant be farther improved upon. We see increasing evidence that the hardware (brain) will do whatever its designed to do. produce whatever state its inner workings can produce.

Posted by: mayonaise Mar 06, 2006, 08:14 PM

You can jack me up too Tone :-)

Posted by: foreigner Oct 11, 2007, 08:06 AM

QUOTE
the meaning of life,,, what is it, why are we living, as individuals, as a species, as a global community

I think every person in the world ask this question him/her self.it comes time when human thinks about his life,who is he,what he wants,what is he doing in this world,what is his goal and at last, how is he going to finish his life. sombody thinks that he was born to live several years,to do some things, to make a family,etc. and then die.and some one thinks only about his entertainment,relaxation,how to make his life more beautiful and happier... and what then?is this all?do you think that you were born in this world only for this?
only for this reason create you God? God?-you may ask surprisingly. Yes God.He create you,he was tortured for you, and with what are you going to answer him in return?
You must love God, live with Christian way and defence the commandment.

I like this words very much: What would be my life without your love, my God?

Posted by: Rick Oct 11, 2007, 12:51 PM

What is the evidence for a belief in a supernatural being?

A better explanation of life is evolution by natural selection.

Posted by: Flex Oct 11, 2007, 03:55 PM

QUOTE(Rick @ Oct 11, 2007, 10:51 AM) *

What is the evidence for a belief in a supernatural being?

A better explanation of life is evolution by natural selection.


Evolution does not explain how anything came to be. Evolution and creation are completely different.

Posted by: Rick Oct 11, 2007, 04:43 PM

What evidence is there for the involvement of a supernatural being in creation?

Posted by: Flex Oct 11, 2007, 05:20 PM

QUOTE(Rick @ Oct 11, 2007, 02:43 PM) *

What evidence is there for the involvement of a supernatural being in creation?


I have no more evidence for than I do against, thus is it only proper to assume that both possabilities are valid. I will however say that it would not be a supernatural being, but the ultimate natural being if anything. Who knows, maybe that singularity which scientists know nothing about is the Godhead--the ultimate natural force, the Tao maybe.

Posted by: Rick Oct 11, 2007, 05:23 PM

QUOTE(Flex @ Oct 11, 2007, 03:20 PM) *
... I will however say that it would not be a supernatural being, but the ultimate natural being if anything.

I won't argue with that. It implies that the universe is self-created.

Posted by: Flex Oct 11, 2007, 05:25 PM

For all I know the Universe is no more than a thought--I don't understand how consciousness works, so I really don't think I will be able to understand how the Universe works. It seems like an atom trying to understand how life works; the atom can be a part of a living being, but in and of itself, it has no characteristics of life.

Posted by: Rick Oct 11, 2007, 05:33 PM

Maybe it's no less than a thought. Certainly it contains many thoughts.

Posted by: maximus242 Oct 12, 2007, 05:37 AM

QUOTE(Flex @ Oct 11, 2007, 04:25 PM) *

For all I know the Universe is no more than a thought--I don't understand how consciousness works, so I really don't think I will be able to understand how the Universe works. It seems like an atom trying to understand how life works; the atom can be a part of a living being, but in and of itself, it has no characteristics of life.


Thats a good point. If your talking in scientific terms, life is a chemical composition that randomly formed billions of years ago. Living beings are in themselves a chemical equation.

So if you want to define "life" it is a chemical equation made up of atoms, which have a certain number of protons and electrons which when formed together in a very complex equation - make up a human being. Its like making artificial intelligence with a computer, the silicone in itself could be used for anything, but when it has a certain combination of variable transistors - it can make up an intelligent computational being.

Your right, atoms in themselves are not what we define life - but personally I find the very concept of life and death a bit cavemanish. For me, it gets more and more difficult to define the line between what is living and what is dead. We eat things, which are not alive - such as iron (although in micro amounts) and somehow this causes us to stay alive.. which seems perplexing to think a metal - is making an organic being.

My understanding is right now, its about the whole - not the pieces. You can use paint to make any sort of painting, just as you can use chemicals (see organic chemistry) to make any sort of being.

This certainly isnt a perfect explanation, but it is a good starting point. The truth is, nobody "understands" consciousness. All we have are theories right now, the thing is, there is so much we dont know about our minds and about our reality. I think the best way to start getting an idea of consciousness theory, is to ask a single question.

What if this world is just a dream?

For me, this leads to about 10 more questions, such as.

If its just a dream, what is beyond this dream? How do I know its a dream? Can I change the dream if it is one? Why do the laws of physics apply if this is a dream, or is that a figment of my imagination? Maybe this is a computer simulation? What if im already in a consciousness singularity but am unaware of it?

Consciousness and Reality are joined at the hips, you cannot separate them from each other.

Posted by: Joesus Oct 12, 2007, 11:03 AM

QUOTE

Consciousness and Reality are joined at the hips, you cannot separate them from each other.

But it doesn't keep people from thinking they are separate. How can something so inseparable be so gracious as to allow itself to be perceived as separate?
Consciousness has a hip? ohmy.gif

Have you ever read the Urantia book?
Personally I can't agree with everything that is in it but there is a great deal of useful information about this subject.

Posted by: maximus242 Oct 12, 2007, 12:55 PM

It's because people perceive consciousness as how the human mind perceives reality. People view reality as a objective existential world in which others interact and our perception is simply an interpretation of reality.

The problem with that theory is that one has not, to this day, been able to get outside ones own little box of consciousness. What I mean is that, while its nice to believe that there is something to reality beyond our perceptions - there is no proof of it because we have yet to get beyond our own perceptions of reality.

The expression consciousness and reality are joined at the hips - is a metaphor, consciousness is the interpretation of reality. Therefore, reality does not exist without consciousness - consciousness does not exist without reality.

Posted by: Rick Oct 12, 2007, 12:57 PM

I tried to read the Urantia book, once. It didn't seem useful to me. What did you find useful in it? It's pretty big. Maybe I just didn't look in the right place.

Posted by: Joesus Oct 12, 2007, 10:01 PM

What I liked was certain comparatives in religious insight and religious teachings.
In studying belief and the evolution of revelation and belief, what remains consistent between teachings is viable.
The need to know and the means to know keep evolving.
I like the way they describe it from their perspective.
I don't know if you believe in a race or races of people that exist beyond the comprehensive reality of earth life but if you did, to listen to a point of view that is supposedly given after having traversed earth life into greater experience of reality and living within an alternate construct still having its own natural laws to maintain levels of successive evolution and experience makes sense to me.

It sort of picks up where Seth, in the Jane Roberts books I read back in the mid 70's left off. Going into greater detail.

What I found useful was tuning in to the information and playing with resonance.
A Wise man once taught me that if it ain't true in the heart then set it aside and seek that which resonates.
The first time I read the Urantia book about 6 years ago I could hardly read it. I've found that on occasion I can pick up a book that I read once before and got nothing out of and get something I didn't notice before.
It's the same with the Upanishads and the Bible.
If you can filter through the crap, what stands out is resonating at levels that are not often comprehended when you are in a certain state of mind that prevents you from being objective.

Part III is an easy read.(for me)
I suppose I should mention that the Urantia book has a lot of truth mixed with fabrication, and so when reading it I think one has to be inspired to look for Truth rather than just accepting what has been written as Truth.

Posted by: Rick Oct 15, 2007, 04:09 PM

QUOTE(Joesus @ Oct 12, 2007, 08:01 PM) *
... I don't know if you believe in a race or races of people that exist beyond the comprehensive reality of earth life but if you did, to listen to a point of view that is supposedly given after having traversed earth life into greater experience of reality and living within an alternate construct still having its own natural laws to maintain levels of successive evolution and experience makes sense to me. ...

I don't believe any people exist except on Earth. Nobody can be certain, but I have a hunch we are alone in the universe. Some life had to be the first to arise and it may be here that it did.

Posted by: LifeMirage Nov 01, 2007, 03:45 AM

life..........is a mirage.

Posted by: forgottenpresence Nov 01, 2007, 02:11 PM

QUOTE(LifeMirage @ Nov 01, 2007, 01:45 AM) *

life..........is a mirage.


is it ever not a mirage?

Posted by: Flex Nov 01, 2007, 05:01 PM

QUOTE(forgottenpresence @ Nov 01, 2007, 12:11 PM) *

QUOTE(LifeMirage @ Nov 01, 2007, 01:45 AM) *

life..........is a mirage.


is it ever not a mirage?


IMO no. I find life to be nothing more than a classification.

Posted by: forgottenpresence Nov 12, 2007, 01:38 PM

QUOTE(Flex @ Nov 01, 2007, 02:01 PM) *

QUOTE(forgottenpresence @ Nov 01, 2007, 12:11 PM) *

QUOTE(LifeMirage @ Nov 01, 2007, 01:45 AM) *

life..........is a mirage.


is it ever not a mirage?


IMO no. I find life to be nothing more than a classification.


How about outside the confinement of conceptualization, like when experiencing astral projection or expanded consciousness?

Posted by: Flex Nov 12, 2007, 03:49 PM

Expanded consciousness to me seems as much an illusion as my current consciousness, unless by expanded you mean my consciousness has become a vaccuume of sorts, in which case I would not be conscious.

Posted by: code buttons Nov 12, 2007, 09:36 PM

QUOTE(Rick @ Oct 15, 2007, 01:09 PM) *

I don't believe any people exist except on Earth. Nobody can be certain, but I have a hunch we are alone in the universe. Some life had to be the first to arise and it may be here that it did.

I concur with you wholeheartedly. We are the first. And all we got is NOW. And I also believe that's all we need.

Posted by: trojan_libido Nov 13, 2007, 03:25 AM

What about panspermia? I thought that was gaining a little weight since it was discovered that the Moon was bombarded millions of years ago by a wave of asteroids which had been flung out of orbit from the resonance of Jupiter.

It was simply a hypothesis because every rock they brought back from the Moon had the same geological age, which seemed strange. But they eventually found moon rock on the Earth that correlated the same date. Obviously we weren't bombarded like the Moon because of Earths atmosphere.

Posted by: Rick Nov 13, 2007, 03:18 PM

QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Nov 13, 2007, 12:25 AM) *

What about panspermia?

Panspermia merely shifts the problem of the origin of life elsewhere. Earth is the best place for life to originate because it is the only known planet with liquid water.

Posted by: forgottenpresence Nov 13, 2007, 04:23 PM

QUOTE(Flex @ Nov 12, 2007, 12:49 PM) *

Expanded consciousness to me seems as much an illusion as my current consciousness, unless by expanded you mean my consciousness has become a vaccuume of sorts, in which case I would not be conscious.


Expanded consciousness will always be an illusion when perceiving within conceptual reality. It doesn't make much sense to say there would be no consciousness when experiencing an expanded sate of consciousness.

Posted by: Rick Nov 13, 2007, 04:34 PM

QUOTE(Flex @ Nov 12, 2007, 12:49 PM) *

Expanded consciousness to me seems as much an illusion as my current consciousness, ...

On the contrary, consciousness, expanded or not, is the only thing that we can know directly. If consciousness itself is an illusion, then there is no hope of ever knowing anything for sure.

Posted by: forgottenpresence Nov 13, 2007, 04:39 PM

The fact that I am conscious could never be an illusion, based on my own personal experience.

And then there is the fact that I could become either less conscious or more conscious. If this is what you mean by consciousness, that is.

Becoming more conscious is a good interpretation of expanded consciousness, but of course it could never cut it.

Posted by: Rick Nov 13, 2007, 04:46 PM

QUOTE(forgottenpresence @ Nov 13, 2007, 01:39 PM) *
... If this is what you mean by consciousness, that is. ...

Consciousness is what one experiences when one is conscious. It is a thing that can be observed (sort of) as well as experienced. Consciousness expansion can result from consciousness expanding drugs. Some say meditation can do that as well. Others say that meditation is something to be done when consciousness has already been expanded by drugs.

Posted by: forgottenpresence Nov 13, 2007, 04:51 PM

Like those couple of times I blew myself up on acid and had to integrate the experience through meditation!

I'm followin ya smile.gif

Posted by: forgottenpresence Nov 13, 2007, 04:53 PM

or should I have said, re-integrate myself

Posted by: Hey Hey Sep 19, 2008, 06:07 PM

If this is an illusion, how could we ever know it?

If this (consciousness) is an illusion, what is the illusion and what might the actual nature of "us" be? (And I don't mean the nature of the physical world, cos we already know that what we see is not what is there, though we don't quite know what IS there yet).

Seems like "expanded consciousness" has too many definitions to be useful. It's bad enough having no useful definitions for mind, consciousness, thought and life, but let's at least deal with them first, eh, before getting into science fiction.

(By the way, chilli highs are almost mystical.)

Posted by: Joesus Sep 19, 2008, 07:40 PM

QUOTE
If this is an illusion, how could we ever know it?

If you believe the senses are not capable of such an ability there would be no opening for the awareness.
If you a have a belief that it is possible you would have to find a way around the ego and its other beliefs in what is possible and impossible, to open yourself to the reality of knowledge and experience beyond illusion.

But then how are you defining illusion and how do you apply it to the relative?

Posted by: josephrettig Feb 08, 2012, 03:17 AM

Meaning of life is enjoy,peace and happiness.



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