Saturday, 12 January 2008

The cake is a lie

This 'spirit' that we feel within ourselves - this significance, interconnectivity and meaning is a Gestalt - "A physical, biological, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts."

Yet we're nothing more than meat, bones and interesting connections of nerve cells that interact with the world through fuzzy and unreliable senses. Somehow they make up all that we are. But being human and therefore incorrigibly arrogant, we find ourselves wholly meaningful and significant.

Which is absurd of course, as we live in a universe devoid of meaning.

There are ways to deal with this ambivalence, which for me, are related to the individuals ability to cope with it.

For those who struggle, there is always religion and God, as it imbibes their world with significance, certainty and purpose. They no longer need to struggle with their own unimportance, as they're made in the image of God and so, their little lives are granted equal significance to the entire universe.

There are those who feel this ambivalence in every fibre and wonder what's the point? Depression, withdrawal, revolution or suicide are ways of coping with it.

Plenty don't even think about it. Perhaps the majority don't. I guess there's something to be said in not thinking too hard about stuff.

There's the middle ground of course - that precarious path set in between existential bleakness and religious rapture;

If there's no point to life then it's incumbent upon us to make one for ourselves. If we use the term 'spirit' in this context, then we mean nothing more than how we fashion our own wholeness, interconnectivity and contentment, regardless of its lack of objective significance.

I choose truth, beauty and love. My purpose is to learn all that I can in the short time that I have and perhaps pass some of this learning on. I want to enjoy all that I find beautiful and spend time honing my sense of the aesthetic so that I might enjoy it more.

But if there can be anything significant and with real substance, then it's love and our connection to others. If the world finds me meaningless, then is it unimportant, if someone finds me meaningful? Love finds itself meaningful just for the sake of itself, yet it takes effort to nurture and keep alive. And what better purpose than that?

Who cares if it's a lie.


The Grocer said...

Is there a difference between those who "feel the ambivalence in every fibre" and the "middle ground" you refer to? Surely the difference is only in the choice of response?
Hate to be picky but the word "incumbent" just doesn't sit right with me in this as it implies an obligation placed upon us by someone/something else. You sure your an atheist?

Larro said...

Great post. Loved it.

This incumbent wording could be just that. Although I think it could just as easily be self-imposed.

Stew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stew said...

Good Lord, your last 3 posts are making my brain hurt!

Go back to the bourgeois felling sorry for yourself mode, I could understand that!

btw, I've split my blog in 2 for the frenchy cuteness and for atheist nastiness

(previous post deleted because of html stupidity)

jamon said...

Good point Grocer. Perhaps it was an unwise choice of word. I guess I meant that if one is not to submit to this existential nothingness, then the only adaptive alternative is to make one's own meaning.

And thanks Larro, and sorry Stew for hurting your head ;)

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

There is no practical biological need to feel the slight pleasure from relieving the bladder of its contents, yet (at least for me) there's always that moment to say, "ah, that's better," as the deed is done. If that's not a sign of some divine benevolence, what is?

jamon said...

Are you taking the piss?

Anonymous said...

Well, I should say, "a piss" rather than "The Piss", provided my body's ability to turn water into urine is hardly a miracle, of course.

Mojoey said...

Well said. The cake is a lie and who really cares anyway? Only the cake eaters I'm sure.

Mojoey said...

now, back to portal.

jamon said...

How's your weighted companion cube these days Mojoey?

stuart said...

No, no, no. The cake is not a lie. If you saw my sister-in-laws backside, you would know that the cake is not a lie. It takes a significant amount of very real cake to make an ass that big!

Samanthamj said...

I loved this post... and the one before it. Nice. ...And, if I have to pick a lie - and lord knows there's enough to choose from - I guess I'll go with the lovely cake... even if it does go right to my hips.. ;)

jamon said...

Thanks Samantha - I'm glad you enjoyed them, which is good to hear, 'cos sometimes I wonder if I'm just talking out of my arse ;)

jamon said...

And Stu - talking about arses, I have to say I agree.

Though I try not to think about it ;)

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