Meanwhile, away from space punk and beer cans, here’s a short-and-sweet piece about how nothing has meaning (via my beautiful Karma). Some excerpts:
We humans are meaning-making machines. We want, even need to see meaning in our lives. We look for patterns, for answers, for signs from the divine, to psychics, tarot cards, astrology, and psychology to give us the answers we desire.
It is a weighty thing to accept that this life we each live really has no grand meaning. We are not pawns on a cosmic chessboard, and we are not here to discover meaning. We are the script writers of our own existence, and we are solely responsible for the life we create, the meanings we attribute to our lives, and the ways we interpret our existence. It is not at all a hopeless thing to surrender to meaninglessness; it can be one of the most empowering ways of being. When I accept that I am fully responsible for the creation of my life’s meaning, I can choose how to lead my life. I can see tragedy as the sum total of who I am, or I can see it as a stroke on the canvas of my life. I can choose to see the trash on the freeway or the flowers dancing softly in the wind
And finally, a beautiful quote at the end of the post:
What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms. — Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (1959/1984), p. 12
As a female who actively tries to achieve rationality, being a part culture that believes in astrology, luck, and all other kinds of خزعبلات means that I am always getting sucked into useless debates.
Luck (for lack of more politically-correct terminology):
“Do you believe in energy?”
“Then you must believe in luck.”
“No, I do not know enough about energy nor am I intelligent enough to claim belief in luck, but I do know that randomness rules our world.”
(I must add here that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT when science-illiterate idiots try to use magnetic fields and magnetic energy as topics to make sense of bullshit. I personally don’t grasp much about either topic, but I can grasp just enough to be able to tell that YOU’RE AN IDIOT.)
“How can you not believe in horoscopes? The alignment of planets on the day you were born really affects your personality, your life, and your future.”
“If distant objects in space are able to influence the character and lives of human beings to the degree alleged by astrologist, then fundamental principles of physics, biology and chemistry which we already take for granted cannot be accurate.”
“But it makes perfect sense!”
“But I’m a certified NLP trainer!”
“And this is why I will never take you seriously. Ever.”
“Water is atoms, and atoms remember. That’s why homeopathy works.”
“This crystal will influence your energy field.”
“Oooh, this crystal is pretty!”
I know. Most people don’t see the fun in actively seeking rationality. After all, there’s so much more magic in star signs and rabbit feet (I find the Internet to be the most magical thing in existence, so I can’t relate). It’s also easier to pin the misfortunes of our lives on cosmic divinities, but more often than not, things don’t happen for a reason.
It’s not an easy thing to come to terms with. I am constantly reading, thinking, and doubting myself in my war against my own irrationality. Sometimes, I just want to believe what my mother taught me as a child, which is that “everything happens for the best”. But that’s not true. The world is random. It is liberating being honest with oneself.