Prev topicNext topicHelp

Topic 8 of 38: Meaning...

Thu, Nov 27, 1997 (00:49) | Americ Azevedo (americ)
Does life have purpose?
Does the universe have purpose?
My teacher, Jacob Needleman, used to talk about
philosophy as a search for meaning.
So what are we searching for? Is it really meaning?
173 responses total.

 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 1 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, Nov 27, 1997 (12:51) * 2 lines 
 
Amusement before the final curtain.
Is there, or should there be, any other meaning?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 2 of 173: Steven Garrett  (Estaben) * Thu, Nov 27, 1997 (17:51) * 1 lines 
 
If by some small and tiny chance, the only reason we are here is to experience that which is in front of us. Then purpose/meaning etc.,all loose their edge. I have always noticed that each dream comes complete with everything it needs for my benefit. Perhaps the waking dream is no different. In searching for hidden meaning, we may be missing the obvious.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 3 of 173: Americ Azevedo  (americ) * Thu, Nov 27, 1997 (22:18) * 3 lines 
 
So here we are making meaning by just living.

I sometimes think that Victor Frankle was right when that we can choose to make our meaning as will. For example the meaning of my life may just be being on the internet and talking with you here.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 4 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, Nov 27, 1997 (23:43) * 5 lines 
 
And maybe that should be,
"So here we are making meaning by choosing how we live."

And I don't think that is the entire meaning of your life, Americ,
but I do believe the statement is very definitive of/for you.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 5 of 173: Steven Garrett  (Estaben) * Fri, Nov 28, 1997 (10:45) * 3 lines 
 
"So here we are making meaning by choosing how we live."

Living each moment, each meaning, each experience, one by one, one dream at a time. Just like sleeping dreams; One at a time, none of them necessarily connected, each complete with everything it needs for resolution.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 6 of 173: Americ Azevedo  (americ) * Fri, Nov 28, 1997 (12:16) * 8 lines 
 
Yep, cyber-kid is just one of the meanings of my life.
Children. Relatives, relationships, playing music, relationships, etc.
Lots of things competing for attention.
All seem to be part of it.
But I think that we are not really grabbing this meaning thing hard enough.
Sometimes you have it all,
and still life can feel meaningless.
We seek a deeper meaning than just the stuff and dreams of this life.



 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 7 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Fri, Nov 28, 1997 (13:57) * 3 lines 
 
But, if it was outside of this life,
wouldn't it be beyond our ability
to comprehend, thus comment on?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 8 of 173: Americ Azevedo  (americ) * Fri, Nov 28, 1997 (15:32) * 7 lines 
 
"outside of this life"
yes
i don't think we can grasp
"outside of this life"
and have any need for "meaning"
"meaning" and "this life" must be connected
i think


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 9 of 173: Steven Garrett  (Estaben) * Fri, Nov 28, 1997 (19:08) * 6 lines 
 
Americ says; Sometimes you have it all, and still life can feel meaningless.
We seek a deeper meaning than just the stuff and dreams of this life.

When you have it all, and life is meaningless, perhaps your at that point where you need to 'dump' it all and start anew. Ooooohhhh but the ego holds on soooo tenaciously to its hard won 'assets'. Maybe you shouldn't let go Americ. Maybe you should haul all that meaningless garbage around with you. Course... If you could let go, maybe you'd be able to see your next adventure. Something deeper?

Naahhh


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 10 of 173: Americ Azevedo  (americ) * Sat, Nov 29, 1997 (11:40) * 10 lines 
 
i hold on
i let go
i hold on
i let go

every breath itself seems
like this ultimate pattern
which you call our attention to -- steven

thank you


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 11 of 173: Rita Garrett  (ritaberry) * Sat, Nov 29, 1997 (12:05) * 1 lines 
 
Perhaps, when 'stuff', becomes meaningless, it's an invitation by the "greater self" to let go again, because a new adventure is possible. Is this what Christ meant when he said, "Give up your worldly goods and walk with me"? It seems like the more 'stuff' I let go of, the more fun I have.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 12 of 173: Americ Azevedo  (americ) * Sun, Nov 30, 1997 (13:51) * 2 lines 
 
Yes, the letting go can actually become a deep pleasure -- a going to
a new kind of Self.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 13 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Fri, Dec  5, 1997 (18:20) * 1 lines 
 
And the more "baggage" I give up, the more fun I have!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 14 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Fri, Dec  5, 1997 (18:51) * 1 lines 
 
hmmm...often seems, though, that the more fun I have, the more baggage I acquire...


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 15 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Fri, Dec  5, 1997 (19:03) * 1 lines 
 
or am I having the wrong kind of fun?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 16 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Fri, Dec  5, 1997 (19:39) * 2 lines 
 
I don't know nick... sounds like you're having LOTS of fun!!
a legitimate question though. yes, what some people term 'fun' might be detrimental to their well being in the end.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 17 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Sun, Dec  7, 1997 (00:15) * 4 lines 
 
No...

Does it matter? For once it's over,
isn't it no longer reality? *smile*


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 18 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Sun, Dec  7, 1997 (00:51) * 1 lines 
 
guess it's sort of like some fun just LASTS longer than other types...


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 19 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Mon, Dec  8, 1997 (17:55) * 1 lines 
 
Ahhh, yes, it's over. But the impact remains.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 20 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Tue, Dec  9, 1997 (06:00) * 2 lines 
 
certainly does...
(they do, i'm told, eventually graduate from college, though)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 21 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Tue, Dec  9, 1997 (10:12) * 1 lines 
 
Ha!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 22 of 173: Americ Azevedo  (americ) * Fri, Dec 12, 1997 (22:42) * 3 lines 
 
So in the end we are all dead,
but between now and death
we have a lot of adventures to go through.



 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 23 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Sat, Dec 13, 1997 (02:48) * 1 lines 
 
Hopefully...


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 24 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Mon, Dec 15, 1997 (18:14) * 1 lines 
 
I like that Americ, it appears to my slightly sick sense of reality.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 25 of 173: Americ Azevedo  (americ) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (20:28) * 3 lines 
 
I used to go to graveyards to meditate.
To be reminded about the ultimate fact.
Thus to live more fully this present moment.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 26 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:16) * 2 lines 
 
i don't know...
that could be, like st. hubbins said, a "little too much (frigging) perspective", americ...


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 27 of 173: Wolf  (Wolf) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:24) * 3 lines 
 
not in the dark, Americ? The only cemetary I was glad to visit was one in
Germany. Very beautiful and peaceful. It was more like a garden of real
blooms rather than those K-Mart plastic specials.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 28 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:28) * 1 lines 
 
well, germans have more cemetary practice than we do...


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 29 of 173: Wolf  (Wolf) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:30) * 1 lines 
 
hey what was that?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 30 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:32) * 2 lines 
 
what was what?
(yeah, i'm in trouble alright)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 31 of 173: Wolf  (Wolf) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:34) * 1 lines 
 
am gonna let that one slide, this time..........


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 32 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:40) * 2 lines 
 
let what slide?
(mein fuehrer?)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 33 of 173: Wolf  (Wolf) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:41) * 1 lines 
 
Ah, sprechen Sie Duetsche?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 34 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:48) * 2 lines 
 
omigod...
(it is unloosed)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 35 of 173: Wolf  (Wolf) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:50) * 1 lines 
 
(whatever)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 36 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:52) * 2 lines 
 
cool.
(shall i report to my detention center?)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 37 of 173: Wolf  (Wolf) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:53) * 1 lines 
 
(why, you into crime and punishment?)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 38 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:59) * 2 lines 
 
crime can be fun...
(beginning to understand the significance of the straps)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 39 of 173: Wolf  (Wolf) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (22:59) * 1 lines 
 
(oh boy-i had to ask)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 40 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (23:06) * 2 lines 
 
what does this mean?
(hmmm...what does this mean?)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 41 of 173: Wolf  (Wolf) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (23:08) * 2 lines 
 
just what are you trying to accomplish? let's go back to the "talk" room...
and STAY there!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 42 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (23:14) * 2 lines 
 
why, certainly...
(shall i click my heels, too?)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 43 of 173: Wolf  (Wolf) * Tue, Dec 16, 1997 (23:14) * 1 lines 
 
(smart aleck)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 44 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Wed, Dec 17, 1997 (01:06) * 6 lines 
 
Lo siento, Wolf, pero yo no hablo alemanes...

And, Americ, I love to walk through cementaries
at sunrise, especially ones where I "know the
people." It is very calming and relaxing, and
something else that I haven't done in awhile.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 45 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Wed, Dec 17, 1997 (09:55) * 1 lines 
 
Not until fairly recently could I even calmly walk into a cemetery. Seems until I reconciled a few things concerning death (of loved ones & strangers) the stimulus was just too much -- unsavory and uncomfortable.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 46 of 173: Americ Azevedo  (americ) * Thu, Dec 18, 1997 (00:46) * 12 lines 
 
a friend of mine who first suggested cemeteries to me
pointed out that it is a great place to hang out and feel
any sad feelings.

you know that if you cry there,
nobody is going to think your odd.
crying for your personal life there
is just as good as crying for the loss of a friend.

and there is comfort in knowing that my own personal stuff
will pass away.
boy! extreme stuff. but it happens.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 47 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Thu, Dec 18, 1997 (09:42) * 1 lines 
 
I agree but usually when I walk into a cemetery, sadness is one of the emotions furthest from my mind. I am curious. I am thoughtful. But most of all I am centered.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 48 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, Dec 18, 1997 (10:17) * 2 lines 
 
We should go on a picnic at one
sometime, stacey.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 49 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Thu, Dec 18, 1997 (10:22) * 2 lines 
 
I must say, I've never gone with anyone and had a conversation.
But, after a bit of consideration, I do not think I'm averse to the idea.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 50 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, Dec 18, 1997 (10:24) * 1 lines 
 
What an eloquent yes...


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 51 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Thu, Dec 18, 1997 (10:25) * 2 lines 
 
I am glad you were able to take it as it was intended.
*smile*


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 52 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Sat, May  9, 1998 (17:43) * 5 lines 
 
HELLO, Cemetary Club!

What is all THIS talk?! I mean, what does a cemetary do for all you guys that a fridge doesn't do for me?! No, I suppose the reason why I don't need to visit the dead in order to cope with my life, is because I'm a happily incurable insomniac.
I have all the time in the world to think deep thoughts, deal with sorrows and all that.
I just love the quietness of the night; it is Daytime I can't always cope with so well. Too light, too noisy, too hectic, too impersonal.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 53 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Sun, May 10, 1998 (00:34) * 2 lines 
 
thus, the cemetery...silent and peaceful and full of nothing
but reflections


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 54 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Sun, May 10, 1998 (03:12) * 1 lines 
 
And people having picnics . . . thus too crowded for my taste.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 55 of 173: death warmed over  (stacey) * Tue, May 12, 1998 (21:46) * 2 lines 
 
perhaps you would like to join us...
crowds rarely seem overwhelming when you are a contributing member!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 56 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Wed, May 13, 1998 (01:37) * 2 lines 
 
HA-HA! That's a good one. Yes, for an hour or so of pleasant social discourse I could easily seek a picnic with you guys in a graveyard - as long as we can drink wine, eat strawberries with cream and smoke long cigars.
But not to think deep thoughts - I'd probably burst out laughing at the drama of it. I find graveyards as ordinary as my back yard in that sense.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 57 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Wed, May 13, 1998 (12:10) * 2 lines 
 
so, what you're saying is,
everyone's invited over for a picnic in your backyard?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 58 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Wed, May 13, 1998 (12:47) * 4 lines 
 
Sure.
As long as you bring the strawberries and cigars - I'll provide the wine. Seems
I have lured you away from that depressing place and thoughts of death . . . we're making progress.
What'll it take to get a smile out of you, oh black soul?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 59 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Thu, May 14, 1998 (17:06) * 1 lines 
 
a lick or two in the right places, I suppose!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 60 of 173: Ray Lopez (ratthing) * Thu, May 14, 1998 (21:29) * 2 lines 
 

always works for me.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 61 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Fri, May 15, 1998 (01:37) * 3 lines 
 
I Dick or two in the right places works even better for me!

Could not resist . . .


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 62 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Fri, May 15, 1998 (17:02) * 2 lines 
 
not to worry Riette...
we all lack typical amounts of self-control and moral obligation!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 63 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Sat, May 16, 1998 (01:23) * 3 lines 
 
ha-ha!! So true.

So, have you found the meaning yet, Stacey? Frankly, I'm not sure what to look for. Or does this have something to do with the universe and all that again - in which case I'll just shut up and sit in the corner.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 64 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Sat, May 16, 1998 (13:09) * 2 lines 
 
don't sit in the corner,
we have a perfectly good couch...


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 65 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Sat, May 16, 1998 (16:33) * 2 lines 
 
Do we?
Does it bounce?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 66 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Sat, May 16, 1998 (23:24) * 1 lines 
 
depends who all is on it...


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 67 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Sun, May 17, 1998 (00:38) * 2 lines 
 
"If life had 'meaning' it would drive me crazy."
--Mike Bryan


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 68 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Sun, May 17, 1998 (01:08) * 3 lines 
 
I agree.
So what the hell are we talking about here?
Why the UNmeaning of life is so pointFUL?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 69 of 173: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Sun, May 17, 1998 (22:06) * 1 lines 
 
We really need to get over it.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 70 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Mon, May 18, 1998 (01:02) * 7 lines 
 
Hmm.
But why? Is that not what makes life so much fun?
If there were a point to it, a meaning, then we would all know exactly what to
do and where to go, and precisely what life had in store for us.
Would if even be worth living with the sort of burden it would put on us?
No, to search for the answers, to search for the purpose to it all is what makes
us human - vulnerable, humble, THINKING creatures.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 71 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Mon, May 18, 1998 (17:34) * 1 lines 
 
insert existentialism here.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 72 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Tue, May 19, 1998 (01:23) * 2 lines 
 
All ears . . .
Feel free to continue, Stacey.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 73 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Tue, May 19, 1998 (01:25) * 1 lines 
 
Something with creating one's own values, living by them, living each moment to the full?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 74 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Tue, May 19, 1998 (01:25) * 2 lines 
 
Something to do with, that is.
Damn!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 75 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Tue, May 19, 1998 (16:48) * 1 lines 
 
existentialism actually tends toward the "life in itself is meaningless beyond the meaning we 'inject' into it."


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 76 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Wed, May 20, 1998 (01:15) * 1 lines 
 
Right. So there IS meaning after all. Only it kind of resembles Pamela Anderson's bosoms as far as the reality of it is concerned . . . And THAT's why she symbolizes the true meaning to so many male persons . . . Think I'm going to go commit suicide now.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 77 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross) * Wed, May 20, 1998 (02:11) * 12 lines 
 
And just because meaning is meaningless doesn't mean life is meaningless.
For example, to see a tree may be something that we can't experience
as meaningful because it's just seeing. It's seeing, it's not
meaning anything. But that's meaningful. To say what that means,
though, is ultimately meaningless, because it's not the seeing:
because the [to say] is just a bunch of meaning-making. Why is meaning meaningless? Because it's somehow irrelevant to the realness of living
life. In fact, it gets in the way, if living life is being in
direct contact, like truly seeing. I have no idea what I just said.
And I hope y'all don't either.....it means nothing. A vagrant just
stole my mind. Won't give it back. He walked off and is entering
a bullfight with a box kite....the sight of him is getting more and
more pointtillist and elongated, the further he moves off from me.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 78 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Wed, May 20, 1998 (05:10) * 6 lines 
 
Don't recall having seen you here before, Le Pleppa Plep . . .
Are you new here, or haven't you been for a long time?
Whatever the case, the things you say seem to make more sense than your name!
Mine is Riette - yeah, I know! And I didn't even make it up!

Hope you stay.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 79 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross) * Wed, May 20, 1998 (05:26) * 6 lines 
 
Newbie. I'll stay....less I get into one'a those kiddy cars
tomorrow. I sorta shy, in some ways....in some ways that
sorta crest over and around the protocols. Fer that I would
like to say I'm sorry in advance. Don't hardly mean no harm
by it. Jest is me is all...tiz the way I am. Born wrong, fell
on m'noggin real real early or somethin'.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 80 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Wed, May 20, 1998 (10:44) * 7 lines 
 
Wait a second . . . where are you from??
You're not in America, are you?
Are you English or Scoattish or Oi-rish?
From your response I shall place my bet on . . . say, north of England, or even Northumberland? Turn the accent on a little sharper, so I can hear better.
Or have I got it all wrong?

Well, nevermind. So what is the meaning in your life? Besides looking at trees, that is.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 81 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross) * Wed, May 20, 1998 (13:16) * 13 lines 
 
Gotta admit, and I tremble as I say this, there stands a fine tall tree
just 15 feet outside my tiny hovel's one and only door (which is
like bathroom door-size). The doggone hovel lies promiscuously in
Austin.....and I think Austin lies alot, and when it does, if I not
mistaken, it lies somewhere in Texass. Meaning can be pretty mean
to me sometimes. I try to calm it down some, so it can relax into
a warm lone silhouette of a quiet lender of the soothing and tender.
Yeah, it's emotion that keeps drawing me in. The emotion in reaction.
That part of life, or my life, is what has me wondering the most, I
think. Meaning what, I wonder? Wonder, think, emote.....got caught
in my throat. Wanted to come to the surface and barely float in this
silly post I just wrote. Sorry.



 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 82 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Wed, May 20, 1998 (14:11) * 7 lines 
 
Sorry to interrupt and all, but if I had to put the meaning
of life into my own words, it would be:

To accept and fulfill, to the best of your ability,
your responsibilities.

That's it. No more, no less.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 83 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Wed, May 20, 1998 (14:47) * 7 lines 
 
And with that he reminds everyone that they really have nothing to live for . . .
Bloody hell, you get more depressing by the day!
That's not meaning, that's P.T. - physical torture.
How can there be any joy in meaning if it is only about fulfilling abilities and responsibilities and all that? I see those two things as important, certainly, my duty to myself, but not the ultimate Meaning of my life. (Far too irresponsible, I suspect.)
To have only my few talents and alot of responsibilities to live for, would make me the most depressed person in the world, I think. The meaning lies in pain, but also in the pleasure. The pain helps us appreciate the pleasure, and the pleasure makes it all worth while. One must just go ahead and TAKE the pleasure out of life.
One of the things that help me get up on a morning, is the hope that my day will bring not only rushing around and irritation, but amusement and fun while doing the things I have to do. Yeah, I know, it sounds a little like I'm hitting you over the head with a 'Get Well Soon' card! Ha-ha! But are you always this black
mooded? You sound so afraid of happiness, somehow. Why?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 84 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Wed, May 20, 1998 (15:40) * 7 lines 
 
not afraid of happiness...
afraid of wanting happiness, of desiring what you want to deserve...
and being let down.
For some it is easier to lessen the expectations than bolster the spirit.
and a lot less painful.

Leplep... I'm glad you're here. You make me laugh and (inconsistently of course) make me think.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 85 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Wed, May 20, 1998 (21:55) * 32 lines 
 
Riette, you said,
"One of the things that help me get up on a morning,
is the hope that my day will bring not only rushing
around and irritation, but amusement and fun while
doing the things I have to do."

Right, taking care of your responsibilities. The manner
in which you choose to do so, I did not address as that
is a matter of personal choice and irrelevant to the basic
statement that I made. Nothing in the statement I made is
depressing, you added that sentiment to it when you over
layed your world view onto what I said. All I did was
reduce my personal meaning of life to its most basic feature,
and stated it in my words, as you have asked me to do. Your
response is why I sometimes choose to either be silent at times
or depends upon another's words. When I state what I feel, I
am usually told that I am wrong, or that I need to seek counseling
because I am too depressed, or that I need to do this or that to
become more than I am because it is apparently impossible for me
to be accepted by anyone for who I am. If I am not me, then a)
who the hell am I? and b) who the hell am I supposed to be so
that I am me? So, as you can see, after awhile all of this gets
to be very tiring and disheartening, so once again and with a
different set of people, I allow only parts of me to surface
and am never completely myself.

as to being afraid of happiness and/or of wanting happiness,
I am neither. Happiness is not my natural low energy state,
and most times I do not have the extra energy for that particular
self-delusion. This does not mean that I am necessarily unhappy,
however, as one can be content (sometimes judged (and sometimes
rightly so) as being complacent) without the extreme of happiness


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 86 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross5) * Wed, May 20, 1998 (22:33) * 32 lines 
 
I'm glad you're here Stacey. I almost can't believe you are.
This is blushingly embarrassing to say (please don't read this
part) but you had become the heart of what Spring.net came to
mean to me. I really shouldn't have said that. The real heart
of spring is probably Terry Paul: his spirit certainly has
incredible generosity and energy and vision, initiative. I know
I know I know: the real heart of spring is everyone who partakes.
But I like how you compose yourself, Stacey, and how you bring
reliable balance that touches, and hugely topnotch pinpoint humor.
You steadied me (and I'd only been a reader of so many of those posts you contributed since you came on, as I've read back over them). And Wer,
you've got such a powerful ingenuity....your wherewithal is enormous....
I mean I am staggered by it and by the knockout strength of your
humor....[and, yeah, I know, you can make a lotta fun outa the word
'wherewithal' here]. I relish that repartee that goes on with y'all
and Wolf and Autumn, in other topics. Nick I definitely like to pay
close attention to. Paula's poetry goes way way way into me.
Spring.com is a rave. So many other people here make it great.
Fun to see what was going on in 1994. Man! By the way, I was liking
to think that Wer could, not that he would, feel that a
responsibility he has is to die to everything every day so he can
see things as they are without distortion, thereby making contact
with life where it is, beyond meaning, and where it is the source
of all meaning, all everything, all creation, all love. Don't y'all
think Wer is all love? I went to church last sunday....and, uh, church was
at the bottom of the Colorado River, and who but who did I see down
there along the river bottom, no less, and leading the congregation, at that!!??? WER! He was like blowing bubbles, I think, and each bubble
had the word 'love' just whooshing around inside it. I guess love makes the
bubble go 'round, I thought as I came up from the deep (almost drowned).
I mean Wer wasn't explicit at all about what he felt his responsibilities
actually are, so I thought I'd take a crack at it. One never know,
do one? 'Course anyone should know better than to go speakin' for Wer.
Wonder if I'll be allowed to live another day......


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 87 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross5) * Wed, May 20, 1998 (23:10) * 14 lines 
 
I did #86 before reading wer's #85. It's refreshing
to hear you elaborate on what you mean, Wer. It's
also refreshing to hear you react to what you react
to, Riette, Stacey. Interesting how each post made
sense on its own terms, quite a bit of sense. Now we
intuit this little bit more: of how feelings are
affected in ways we hadn't intended, and what those
expressed feelings (anyone of ours) tell of what's
going on in our inner worlds. It's good. Learning.
I respect each of you much more than a whole lot. I
respect how this here post of mine can strike any
of you as too assuaging, too pacifying....to the
detriment of truth and meaning....your meanings.
My goof, then.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 88 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (00:58) * 18 lines 
 
WER, I am really sorry if that is the way I make you feel. I think that perhaps
we just touch a wrong nerve with each other, and for that I apologize. But I do
respect you a hell of a lot. Just thought I'd say it.
The reason why you touch a wrong nerve with me, I think, is because you are
so unbearably realistic - it depresses me, and therefore I probably project it onto
you. And then I say the wrong things that touch a wrong nerve in you again, because you can probably not bear my senseless prattling either, and so on.
Perhaps we should stop that from happening by using some sort of a stopper.
If I don't like something you have said, I shall simply write

CORK

Just that. No need for elaboration, or animosity. And you can write

BUGGER OFF

or something like that, and perhaps we'll get on better. I don't just respond ne-
gatively to you though, do I? We do have a bit of fun in one of the other
conferences too . . .


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 89 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (01:27) * 3 lines 
 
so be it then,
truce...
(and, yes, we do...)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 90 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (01:44) * 17 lines 
 
back to the happiness...
Anyone read "Johnny Got His Gun"?

when I do give up and reach for happiness, whose version should I
strive for? this is where the selfishness topic came from
everytime that I have gone for my version, the resulting pain of
those involved, either directly or indirectly, has far outweighed
any momentary bliss that I might have received in my moment of
selfishness...and yet, when I am not selfish and give in to another's
wants, similar pain is the end result also...so, again, am I afraid?
no, it just seems a waste of energy to me to force oneself (good or bad)
to the extreme of happiness and as for the pain, a good dose of physical
pain applied correctly in the right mood is quite an effective stimulant
and/or mood stabilizer, but the anguish of emotional pain is as draining
an extreme as utopian happiness...there, you have the basis for my
black soul and the moods to go with it, although those are also based
on dietary imbalances as well


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 91 of 173: Riette Walton  (SKAT) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (02:11) * 7 lines 
 
Don't you think that you perhaps expect a bit too much, when you let yourself in for happiness? And that therefore you always get dissappointed? You mustn't
try to rationalize it so much. Don't go for one version or the other - go for grey.
Expect both happiness and sorrow, don't give in completely, but be willing to bend a little, don't let your fear of getting hurt suppress the good things about you. Just say things as they are right from the beginning. If you're afraid, then
say so, because often fear can come across as agression and apprehension, and the other person will never even know that you were merely feeling vulnerable.
I mean, one can't always just 'pick up' everything about another
person, can one? If you say from the beginning, look, this and this are the things I'm afraid of, and these are the things that make me feel insecure, the other person will either accept it, or drop you there and then - before too much harm is done. And you musn't FORCE yourself to anything! If I thought for one moment that a person was with me, because he forced himself to be with me, I'd tell him to . . . reciprocate himself in hell!
Here on the spring you come across as someone with an extremely ironic twist of mind, yet also someone with a certain amount of insight, feministic tendencies, but also as a sensitive sort of person. Which of those sides do you allow to reveal themselves when you really care for someone?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 92 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (02:25) * 16 lines 
 
I do that, Riette, and the other person doesn't believe me.
What then? They get upset because they don't understand how
anyone can be/think that way, and get mad at me because I
reacted the way I told them that I would. Then I go off because
I told them what to expect, and they chose to believe what they
wanted to anyway. I am then called childish for my behavior, and
I often wonder if self awareness is but a crutch to use to avoid
evolving...

sorrow is a given, happiness isn't

I show all sides, but from the outside I probably have a tendency
to dwell on the why can't this be a compromise, why am I the one
who has to change part of my insecurities and tend to come across
as somewhat selfish and insensitive at times, as well



 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 93 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (02:26) * 2 lines 
 
and as for going for the grey, that was my point about
being content instead of going for the extreme of happiness


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 94 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (03:19) * 10 lines 
 
my needs, and the needs of others, are almost
always prioritized over my wants, and that is
usually okay by me because my "reward" is
knowing that I was able to help and was there
when someone needed me to be there,
sometimes however it gets very old always taking
care of others and having one's own needs to
meet instead of being able to be selfish and
irresponsible and getting what one wants, as
trivial as it may be at times


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 95 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross5) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (04:07) * 43 lines 
 
I always wonder why was I so scared or hurt or in pain or in love.
Why couldn't I have been untouched? It's what I wonder about because,
see, I keep thinking that if I wasn't dysfunctional, I could feel what
I feel, but it wouldn't throw me so much for a loop. If love were unconditional, it would be just happening easily with everything I come in
contact with. Like even with pain and hurt and fear: I would love
unconditionally my pain, hurt, fear. It would work like this, in a
non-dysfunctional way: I would, without force or even the least
little bit of effort, move in so near to the fear, the hurt, that
the honest actual psychological facts would then be near and clear, and I
can face them and what they mean.....their living meaning and how they
seem to play out on a moment to moment basis throughout my day. Can
I feel and see these facts if I've become used to them and habituated
to them? No, that's how I become dull. I must love these facts
about myself, without putting a 'must' in there in my mind, and
without facing the facts through the screen of my image of myself, or
the screen of words and explanations and rationalizations. Meaning
doesn't have so very much of a chance unless my mind, on its own,
comes to a stop, goes quiet, and listens in with love to the pain,
and not in order to understand it---because that would be creating
a motive....in other words: a screen through which it is impossible
to perceive the truth in the meaning of the psychological facts of
what and how my me goes on about itself through life. Love is so
unconditional that it can and does love everything, even our worst
discomfort. And seeing with the eyes (heart) of love brings us near
enough to suffering, sorrow, pain, fear, to enable us to feel our
way into what's actually going on there, understand it, and begin
to live in a fuller expansiveness, openness to where meaning
unravels, unfolds its beauty, its truth, its intensity, its realness.
I was afraid tonight when I saw your post, Wer. I ran from it (the
fear I felt). Yep. Sure did. Your post, and what you felt and said,
wasn't wrong. Riette wasn't wrong. Stacey not wrong. My running
from fear wasn't wrong. It just happened. Those are facts. If I
can't face those facts, well, it's not that that's wrong. Wrong gets
in the way of facing. It prevents me from moving in near enough for
genuine, effortless learning. That's the meaning of love. Love ain't
what we ever thought it was. Love isn't positive. It's not a word.
It's much more real and totally different from positive. Happiness can
only be a result. If it's ever strived for, it's killed, instantly.
And please regard the above as further rantings of a moron in need
of a knuckle sandwich. I shoulda stayed down there at the bottom of
the Colorado. Sorry for passing this junk off on ya jez cuz I
happened to need a fix, poor readers of this germ sqirm of words.
T'weren't meant for human eyes. Uggghh.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 96 of 173: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (20:36) * 1 lines 
 
LePlep (BTW, are you French? ha ha), you are a breath of fresh air with your stream-of-consciousness approach to life. Welcome to the spring!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 97 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross5) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (21:59) * 22 lines 
 
Autumn talking about Spring. You're wonderful. When your
leaves turn colors, time stands still and snows premature
seconds of sweet cool agonizing ecstacy. I am most honored
indeed to make of your acquaintance.
I've read you like a book
(various other postings you've done that took
me by surprise by delight and had me hooked)
and I'll try not to forget or overlook
that this might sound to you like insincere flattery
coming from a dead battery
but it's not, and I'm not trying to be a schnook
---By the way, I'm so out of it....I mean I don't know what any of
these things mean: BTW, IMHO, LOL, ROFLMAO, TTFN
--I can imagine how ignorant you must now think I am, but hey...it's
true, I'm pretty naive and stuff
....even so, it feels really nice to
be welcomed by you. Thank ya, Autumn.
And you really are statuesque?
That alone makes my wrists shiver and my thoughtstreams quiver
Oops gotta go, there's another dodge ball rippin' thru the air at my head
--gee, wonder what the meaning of that really means if the meaning were
really dodgy


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 98 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (22:05) * 9 lines 
 
By The Way
In My Humble Opininion
Laughing Out Loud
Rolling On Floor Lauging My Ass Off
Ta Ta For Now

and yes, Leplep, welcome, and forgive
my tardiness in responding specifically
to your presence


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 99 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross5) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (22:33) * 10 lines 
 
Thanks alot, wer. What a revelation.
I'll just go right ahead and print that out,
tape it to my monitor under a picture of a tall chef
--maybe by autumn I'll have these codes memorized.
I really like you...
your acumen is, whew, i dunno what....Redoubtable
--when i read things you say, something shifts inside
I think to myself: here it comes...a super-direct take on what's goin' on
--it's like nothing I've encountered before
BDIFHIYPLW......(boy, do i feel humble in your presence....later, wer)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 100 of 173: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (22:35) * 1 lines 
 
Oooh, beware of the doggerel! (*beaming*)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 101 of 173: Stacey Vura  (stacey) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (22:44) * 7 lines 
 
Quite a lot hath transpired in a mere 24 hours.
Truly wish for a group hug.
Does anyone want to hazard a guess as to why we as a whole seem to mesh so swell. not perfectly, not seamlessly, but so well?
It reminds me of our love question... what is the attraction.
Ours is obviously not physical (or have I just missed to much by telneting??) attraction. And the apparent 'safety of anonimity' is a ruse because if we have revealed anything to one another, we have revealed our true thoughts, questions and in some cases... fears.
WFAAILYA(u?) -- warm fuzzies all around I love you all (unconditionally?)
*smile*


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 102 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, May 21, 1998 (23:31) * 2 lines 
 
roflmpaiuu
(rolling on floor laughing my philosophical ass into ultimate understanding)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 103 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Fri, May 22, 1998 (00:04) * 1 lines 
 
hey, does that doggerel bite harder than I bark?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 104 of 173: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Fri, May 22, 1998 (00:14) * 3 lines 
 
Good question, wer...time will tell...

Stacey, I think you're right, we all deserve each other! LOLYOTVOFAATK (laughing out loud yet on the verge of falling asleep at the keyboard)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 105 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross5) * Fri, May 22, 1998 (00:33) * 57 lines 
 
.....and then along came post 101.....
I feel like one of those 9 kids in your class.
The stuff you teach in your posts
so often it's about how to get along
with real glee
--not how to get along in an instructional sense
--but just how to do it by doing it yourself
I'd totally undergo a seizure of disbelief if
any of your students, when they reach their nineties
and are lying there on their beds, as their lives are about to close
and are asked by their great-great-grandkids
if they can remember any teachers that they ever had that they liked
and they say anything else but something like:
well, Mildred, I mean Lucy, I'm sorry darlin', what's yer name again?
oh, Oota? so it is....yes, well, Oota
my memory can't get it goin' so good anymore
but one teacher stands way way WAY out
I had her in third grade, some 85 years ago
aughhh, you're making me cry, now, Oota
I'm really glad you asked me that
it turns out to be a most beautiful question
this teacher I could only wish upon you
I wish you could have had her for a whole year like me
she just did the impossible, that's all, day after day
"whatdaya mean, great-great-grandaddy?"
oh Oota, dearie, I had many dark and threatening clouds
running me down....it was a life you won't have to have, yourself, hon'
I needed an anchor, a patch of hope
or I probably would've been eaten on the spot
by my own dreaded, mixed-up despair and anger and personal demons
I felt left out in the cold by what had been happening to me, you see
and she was there in the middle of all that
she was there in the room with me and the others
she was there for me
I found out that I was actually an okay person
Oota, do you know what that can mean if it hadn't occurred to you?
it's so bewilderingly uplifting
it just makes you dumbfoundedly grateful
you get to have your heart back
and your heart drives over to your soul and
asks it if it wants a lift anywhere
my soul jumped right in and said, "hey, let's go all
the way to the end of our lives"
heart said, "no problemo, I know the way now"
I gotta tell ya something else, too, Oota
there were a few of us who really knew how to get teach goin'
we would do somethin, whatever it was, and she'd crack up
then she had this lightning quick ability to crack us all up right back
and I mean time after time after time
it could go on and on
this was the purest fun that ever came my way
and Oota, something else....Oota....
"yes, grandda.....granddad?....granddaddy?...."
just a few moments later: "Mom, granddad's eyes closed
he stopped breathing......
Mom....he had this.....a smile....he had this gentle smile, Mom"



 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 106 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Fri, May 22, 1998 (00:58) * 1 lines 
 
amen


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 107 of 173: Stacey Vura (stacey) * Fri, May 22, 1998 (15:34) * 2 lines 
 
the meaning I find and hope to continue finding in my job is to have an impact even a fraction of what you just described.
thank you.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 108 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Wed, May 27, 1998 (07:33) * 7 lines 
 
WER, finally I get a chance to respond to the things you said earlier.

I am sorry. I was wrong about you. I honestly thought you were this man who always wore a white hat, smoked alot of cigars every day, which he smelled of, and spent his nights in front of the computer with only virtual reality to keep him company, and not being able to find someone willing to counsel him. No, please don't laugh or get angry. It's just the way it was - I don't know why. But this week you were very different, so kind, and trying to help me, even though you don't like me much and all th
t. You are really alot more sensitive than I thought, and not a control freak, and therefore my response was wrong too.

I don't know what kind of women you've been dating, but you must find a different type altogether. Some people see the compromises that their partners are willing to make for them as a kind of submission, and see it as their right to control the other person. It's wrong and selfish. I think it is quite rare to find someone with whom, and who will want to be one's equal. That's the problem with love and relationships and all that. People take advantage of one another far too easily. It is a shame, b
cause being another person's equal is so much more exciting and stimulating than standing above them. There is just so much more interaction, so much energy, and, oh, just so much more going on on the whole. Those who fancy control and the false sense of power and security it creates, will always be unhappy - because just taking or just giving is no fun - and deep down he/she will know that they will never truly be esteemed and loved for what they are.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 109 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Wed, May 27, 1998 (09:02) * 1 lines 
 
(the control freak thing, at times, is a very correct summation)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 110 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Wed, May 27, 1998 (12:49) * 1 lines 
 
And now you have control over my user name . . . the very thought is making me tremble. Does that mean I have to be nice to you from now on?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 111 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Wed, May 27, 1998 (12:49) * 3 lines 
 
nope, go to
http://www.spring.net/yapp-bin/restricted/userinfo
and change your password


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 112 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Thu, May 28, 1998 (01:18) * 1 lines 
 
Nah . . . I can handle you, I think. And besides, I like being so close to you . . . all those knives and forks rattling away as you speak - it gives a strangely musical ring to your voice . . .


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 113 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, May 28, 1998 (16:51) * 2 lines 
 
that's because you're in Switzerland and
aren't getting all the volume...


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 114 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Thu, May 28, 1998 (18:02) * 1 lines 
 
Oh. Must've been a cow bell I heard then. Sorry.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 115 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, May 28, 1998 (18:10) * 3 lines 
 
no need to be...

so, where should this here conversation go now?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 116 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Thu, May 28, 1998 (18:14) * 1 lines 
 
Let me think - this conversation, you mean, or should be stick to one conference, 'cos this is getting confusing!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 117 of 173: wer  (KitchenManager) * Thu, May 28, 1998 (18:22) * 3 lines 
 
this conversation in this topic...
(and, actually, I need to run,
see ya later)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 118 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Thu, May 28, 1998 (18:23) * 1 lines 
 
Bye.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 119 of 173: Stacey Vura  (stacey) * Sat, May 30, 1998 (18:52) * 4 lines 
 
and the meaning in all this...

or perhaps we could really stir up the mix and discuss 'hidden' meaning.
Oh shit! Here come the worms!!!!!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 120 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sun, May 31, 1998 (03:38) * 3 lines 
 
Catch them and use them for bait next time you go fishing.
The meaning?
Bullshit is what makes the world go round?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 121 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Sun, Nov 22, 1998 (21:10) * 4 lines 
 
Or at least the world seems to run on it. If it doesn't make the world go round
then it's the primary lubricant on the gears.

There is so much of it produced, It has to be good for something.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 122 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Mon, Nov 23, 1998 (01:26) * 1 lines 
 
What gives meaning to your life, Tim?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 123 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Mon, Nov 23, 1998 (01:54) * 1 lines 
 
My friends and my religion. How about you, riette?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 124 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Mon, Nov 23, 1998 (07:39) * 3 lines 
 
Family, dreams, the idea that there's still more to see and do, and other spiritual feelings. I am not religious in the concrete sense - but I think alot about spiritual things too. Like where I come from where I'll be going after this, and what and who God is.
Are you Catholic?



 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 125 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross) * Mon, Nov 23, 1998 (12:39) * 14 lines 
 
No I'm not Catholic at all.
I'm religious in the concrete sense only.
I helped Katie lay a slab of cement in the backyard where she's living.
It's gonna be the foundation for her to do welding.
She creates unusual-looking objects.
I believe they call it art or something.
But I haven't seen the slab since it was cement.
Maybe it's concrete by now.
It's been more than a week.
I think I'll venture over there by way of a weeklong pilgrimage.
I'll tiptoe the whole way, since it's only a couple miles.
The slab is sacred.
Intuitively I can already sense the visions I'll have when I arrive
there will be holy and abundant.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 126 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Mon, Nov 23, 1998 (12:45) * 9 lines 
 
I was born and raised Catholic. Attended catholic schools until college. Then I
Started looking at the history of the Catholic Church and found that their
teachings fly in the face of their history. I now attend the church of Christ.
Each congregation is autonomous. There is no hierarchy. Our congregation is
wealthy, by this I mean we take in many thousand more than we need in
contributions. so we support missionaries. Currently we have two churches in
Russia, one in Italy, two on Indian reservations in this country, and one in New
Zealand. Our weekly contribution averages ten thousand dollars. and we only have
600 members.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 127 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Tue, Nov 24, 1998 (01:32) * 1 lines 
 
That's pretty impressive! I knew you were Catholic though! Hence the many many many siblings!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 128 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Tue, Nov 24, 1998 (01:41) * 3 lines 
 
Everybody says that. My godparents only had one child, and they were catholic.
admittedly they were the exception to the rule. Right now, at afamily reunion,
limited to first cousins and their children and parents, we have over 300 people


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 129 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross) * Tue, Nov 24, 1998 (11:53) * 1 lines 
 
I was the youngest there


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 130 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Wed, Nov 25, 1998 (01:45) * 1 lines 
 
But wouldn't have been, had your answering maching been there too.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 131 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross) * Wed, Nov 25, 1998 (10:07) * 3 lines 
 
and they had said I could bring "somebody".
I'm so self-centered.
Didn't even think to ask it.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 132 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Wed, Nov 25, 1998 (11:13) * 1 lines 
 
You'd have to buy it flowers. Is it male or female?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 133 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross) * Wed, Nov 25, 1998 (11:30) * 2 lines 
 
it's not even hermaphrodite.....it's an it.
it turns off when I try to leave flowery messages.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 134 of 173: God's own Satanist  (KitchenManager) * Wed, Nov 25, 1998 (15:47) * 1 lines 
 
I personally hate when that happens...


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 135 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Thu, Nov 26, 1998 (01:03) * 1 lines 
 
Buy whoever you are trying to reach, a new answering machine for Christmas.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 136 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Thu, Nov 26, 1998 (06:25) * 1 lines 
 
He's trying to reach THIS answering machine! He's in love with it, you see. I don't think trading it for another is going to make it any happier though!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 137 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Thu, Nov 26, 1998 (21:38) * 2 lines 
 
True, Riette, But if he trades for the one he wants. then he'll have it. It will
be his alone to do with as he wishes.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 138 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Fri, Nov 27, 1998 (01:23) * 1 lines 
 
PLUS it would have more buttons!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 139 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Fri, Nov 27, 1998 (01:24) * 1 lines 
 
And many different kinds of squeaks!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 140 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Fri, Nov 27, 1998 (01:30) * 1 lines 
 
And, he could make music with it.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 141 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Fri, Nov 27, 1998 (15:34) * 1 lines 
 
The perfect partner! Why don't all people not do that? He is just so way ahead of us!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 142 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Fri, Nov 27, 1998 (15:53) * 1 lines 
 
Riette, I definitely prefer the situation that I'm in right now.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 143 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sat, Nov 28, 1998 (00:56) * 1 lines 
 
You mean you're having a relationship with your hi-fi???


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 144 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Sat, Nov 28, 1998 (01:15) * 1 lines 
 
Well, Riette, If I have to depend on a Hi-Fi, I'm in trouble. Because I don't have one.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 145 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sat, Nov 28, 1998 (15:02) * 1 lines 
 
Master Blaster then - whatever that word is you use! It doesn't matter. But have you given her a name? Like 'Melody'? 'Cos she lingers on....


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 146 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Sat, Nov 28, 1998 (15:08) * 1 lines 
 
Perhaps, Riette, you meant boom box. And it is definitely not a woman, because...


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 147 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Mon, Nov 30, 1998 (01:36) * 1 lines 
 
You mean it has a THING sticking out somewhere to make it male? WHERE?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 148 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Mon, Nov 30, 1998 (01:42) * 1 lines 
 
Riette, have you ever seen a collapsible antenna?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 149 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Mon, Nov 30, 1998 (01:42) * 1 lines 
 
I see one every night, and every morning.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 150 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Mon, Nov 30, 1998 (01:42) * 3 lines 
 
It receives, then collapses! Isn't that how they all work??




 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 151 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Mon, Nov 30, 1998 (01:42) * 1 lines 
 
Well Riette, you understand the principle then!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 152 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Tue, Dec  1, 1998 (01:40) * 1 lines 
 
Do you know what that means, Tim? You have a gay radio fetish!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 153 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Tue, Dec  1, 1998 (01:45) * 1 lines 
 
Riette, I've heard of quantum leaps before, but that takes the cake. Explain, please.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 154 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Wed, Dec  2, 1998 (01:13) * 3 lines 
 
I asked you if you had any particular fancy for telephone answering machines too? You said no. So asked about your Master Blaster, and whether you were in love with her too. You said, yes, except she's not a she. And I asked, 'huh'?
So you said your Master Blaster is really a boom box, and has a collapsible antenna - which makes him male, right? Because all males have the collapsible antenna thing. So: if your Master Blaster is really a boom box, and male, then you're in love with a gay radio!
See? It makes perfect sense!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 155 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Wed, Dec  2, 1998 (01:30) * 1 lines 
 
Riette, that is what I get for not reading the responses through


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 156 of 173: Riette Walton  (riette) * Wed, Dec  2, 1998 (11:29) * 1 lines 
 
No, it's too late for excuses, Tim - I know what you did last night!


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 157 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Wed, Dec  2, 1998 (11:52) * 1 lines 
 
So Riette, What little bird is talking to you?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 158 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Wed, Dec  2, 1998 (14:58) * 3 lines 
 
off subject, tim, but do you mean the church of christ
that one can find in practically any small town in texas?
or is your church independent from that?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 159 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Thu, Dec  3, 1998 (06:02) * 1 lines 
 
did i say something wrong?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 160 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Thu, Dec  3, 1998 (12:47) * 1 lines 
 
Slightly, Nick, There is no central hierarchy in the church of christ. Every church is governed by it's elders. No two are the same.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 161 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Thu, Dec  3, 1998 (15:19) * 13 lines 
 
thanks... but can you explain?
did you think i was taking a shot at the church of christ? (i wasn't)...
was only trying to figure out if you were referring to the church
i was familiar with, or some same-named church (i have heard tell of
them) with no connection at all...
and it was interesting to me mainly because i was raised in the church
of christ (which, again, should be regarded as no reflection upon the church)...
interesting too because a recent period of church-lessness caused me
to re-evaluate my old church, or the several of them, as well as my beliefs
as a christian... and i was curious...
anyway, if you did believe i was somehow denigrating the church or your
choice of it or whatever, i do apologize... as i said, was not my intention
at all...


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 162 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Thu, Dec  3, 1998 (16:26) * 6 lines 
 
Actually, It's my belief's that I was a little sensitive about. In these conferences, I have been put in the position of defending some really off the
wall stuff, simply because whoever replied after me had a pet peave about how I
expressed myself. I do not want to be put in that position again. so, when
a male that I don't know asks a question about something that I'm not discussing at the time, I just ignore it. If a woman does the same thing I'll reply. The women in these conferences aren't into head games the way that some of the guys
are.



 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 163 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Thu, Dec  3, 1998 (21:56) * 38 lines 
 
i understand (i think)...

i'll always have a place in my heart for
the church of christ... from my experience
growing up, i have nothing but positive feelings...
the thing you always hear (from others when
they find out that you belong) is the thing about
no musical instrumentation (which was true in each
of the churches i attended)... and the thing about
the exclusivity of church-of-christers among the
saved (which, as far as i can tell, has no root
in reality at all, cause i never heard a single
word about it during all those years)...
did try, a year or so ago, to attend my old church
(in cherokee, ever hear of it?)... but just outside
the front door, just before i entered, i heard a bit
of what the minister was talking about, and i sort of
stopped in my tracks, and listened a bit... the entire
sermon concerned homosexuals, and the tone of the minister
(a man i did, and do not know) was stern, hostile even...
the words made me blanch- won't relate any of it here,
but it disturbed me enough to cause me to turn around
and leave... my children were with me, too, and i certainly
didn't want them to hear any more of what was being said...
afterwards, reflecting upon it, i was a little puzzled by
precisely what it was that had troubled me so... after all,
i'm a liberal commie-type living in rural central texas...
i'm quite accustomed to hearing points of view that i don't
agree with, and have learned it best usually just to keep
my peace, let it roll, whatever... but this really bothered
me, and i guess the thing is, the guy was biblically basically
sound in what he was saying... and that realization sort of
shook my world, cause there was no way i could see to reconcile
these two things that i knew to be true (or thought i did)...
wasn't exactly what i would call a crisis of faith, but it was
something of a reminder to me of my terribly inept powers of
comprehension... have yet to resolve this within myself...
(does this make any sense at all?)


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 164 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Thu, Dec  3, 1998 (23:49) * 9 lines 
 
Yes, it does, by taking words out of context, the bible can be used to justify
anything. The bible does teach against homosexuality, but it does not rank it
any worse than heterosexual promiscuity. The one is held to be equally as bad
as the other. Also,(MAJOR POINT HERE) these teachings are in the old testament.
The old covenant was done away with when Jesus died. A true Christian cannot
hold a violation of old covenant laws against another. For that matter the Bible
teaches the opposite. The Bible teaches tolerance. The new testament of the
Bible says that we are all sinners, and all EQUAL in the eyes of god, no matter
what the sin.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 165 of 173: Leplep le Plep  (jgross) * Fri, Dec  4, 1998 (01:40) * 6 lines 
 
Tim, if I'm reading you correctly, you're saying that the Old Testament
regards homosexuality as a sin?
And the new testament, do you feel it also regards homosexuality
as a sin?
Is there anything in the new testament that you disagree with?
Are you okay with me asking you these things?


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 166 of 173: Ray Lopez (ratthing) * Fri, Dec  4, 1998 (14:33) * 4 lines 
 

i've always viewed the sermon on the mount as a pivotal point in
"changing" between the beliefs of the old and new testaments.



 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 167 of 173: nick a'hannay  (pmnh) * Fri, Dec  4, 1998 (14:33) * 51 lines 
 
i agree regarding the distinction between old and new
covenants (as well as the pivotal nature of the sermon
on the mount in the understanding of it)

don't think there's any doubt that according to
the old testament, homosexuality is a sin (along
with multitudes of other things)... in the new
testament, 'sodomy' is listed as a sin (by paul)
a couple of times, this definition presumeably
inclusive of behaviors indulged in by heterosexuals
as well... as well as 'effeminacy' (by paul again)...
it may be instructive to note that paul also said
something like, as christ was the head of man, man
was the head of woman... that a woman could only
rightly pray with her head covered, but that man
needn't bother, because he (man) is the 'image
and glory' of god... whereas, woman is merely the
glory of man...
neither of these beliefs is advanced in any way by
the reported words of christ himself... so far as
i know, christ never made mention of sodomy or
homosexuality at all, and only mentioned the story
of sodom in reference to other ideas... i think
this is significant, because- logically- the most
reliable words are those attributed to him... there
has been much discussion re: the reasons for great
similarities found in the synoptic gospels, originating
as each did from geographically different areas, and
containing enough deviations in each to make one being
source for the others problematic... one explanation
is the former existence of a 'Q' gospel, upon which
all three were derived... another, more plausible to
me, is that the words attributed to christ were by
his express desire committed to memory by his followers...
while the authorship of each document is open to question,
i think it doubtful to the point of absurdity to conclude
that eyewitnesses did not have at least some hand in
their creation... therefore, when these books were, after
the passing of some 30, 40, and 50 years, finally committed
to written form they contained those particular synoptic
qualities, christ's words... and this is important, especially
from the point of view i allude to, because, no doubt, he
would've been circumspect concerning which of his words
posterity would remember... that he didn't speak of these
issues at all rather disempowers those who later did (and do),
or so at least is my hope...

read that thomas jefferson actually cut christ's words from his
bible, and assembled them together, pasted upon blank pages...
this, he said, was his bible...
.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 168 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Fri, Dec  4, 1998 (14:33) * 1 lines 
 
That is pretty much the way I see it.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 169 of 173: Tim Guenther  (TIM) * Fri, Dec  4, 1998 (14:33) * 4 lines 
 
Jesus came up with two commandments to avoid sin.
"LOVE GOD"
"LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF"
And that's all folks.........


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 170 of 173: Stacey Vura  (stacey) * Mon, Dec  7, 1998 (19:05) * 1 lines 
 
I like the second one, I'm not so sure about the first


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 171 of 173: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Sat, Feb  5, 2000 (21:09) * 1 lines 
 
Having just read this topic for the first time, my understanding has been confirmed by words written by others. I knew that and I hope I conveyed the fact that I did understand.


 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 172 of 173: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Sun, Feb  6, 2000 (15:57) * 60 lines 
 
This is long, but really worth the reading...

America's Thanksgiving holiday originated when the Pilgrims gave thanks to
God for sending them an Indian friend named Squanto. This much you already
knew. What you didn't know is that long before the Pilgrims landed at
Plymouth Rock, this same Squanto had been captured by two English sea
captains, George Weymouth and John Hunt, and abused as a slave for fourteen
years. Squanto had been free less than five years when Capt. John Bradford's
Pilgrims arrived on the good ship Mayflower.

Squanto had every reason to organize a killing party and wipe out the
pale-skinned invaders, but he chose to help them instead. Gazing with
pity at Bradford's pathetic band of would-be settlers as they huddled
around Plymouth Rock, Squanto thought, "If I don't help these silly
white men, they're all going to die in the coming winter." And with
that, he walked out of the woods and introduced himself.

Squanto died two years later of a disease contracted from these same
Europeans.

When I was a boy, all the movies were about heroic cowboys and evil
Indians. And in virtually every one of them, courageous settlers had
to circle the wagons to defend themselves against unprovoked attacks
from ape-like Indians who said things like, "Ugh. Me want'um whiskey."

Would you like to know how Indians actually spoke back then? Consider
the musings of Ispwo Mukika Crowfoot, a Blackfoot Indian who was twenty
years old in 1803, the year that Lewis and Clark launched their famous
expedition. As he lay dying, Ispwo left us with these last words: "What is
life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a
buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the
grass and loses itself in the sunset."

Was Ispwo Crowfoot a particularly eloquent Indian? Not at all. Fifty-
nine years earlier, when George Washington was just a twelve-year-old
boy, the Collected Chiefs of the Indian Nations met to discuss a letter from
the College of William & Mary suggesting that they "send twelve of their
young men to the college, that they might be taught to read and write." The
Chiefs sent the following reply:

Sirs,
We know that you highly esteem the kind of learning taught in Colleges, and
that the Maintenance of our young Men, while with you, would be very
expensive to you. We are convinced, therefore, that you mean to do us Good
by your Proposal; and we thank you heartily. But you, who are wise, must
know that different Nations have different Conceptions of things; and you
will therefore not take it amiss, if our Ideas of this kind of Education
happen not to be the same with yours. We have some experience of it. Several
of our Young People were formerly brought up at the colleges of the Northern
Provinces; they were instructed in all your sciences; but, when they came
back to us they were bad Runners, ignorant of every means of living in the
Woods,unable to bear either Cold or Hunger, knew neither how to build a
cabin, take a Deer, or kill an Enemy, spoke our Language imperfectly,
were therefore neither fit for Hunters, Warriors, nor Counselors;
they were totally good for nothing. We are, however, not the less
obliged by your kind Offer, though we decline accepting it; and, to
show our grateful Sense of it, if the Gentlemen of Virginia will send
us a Dozen of their Sons, we will take care of their Education;
instruct them in all we know, and make Men of them.



 Topic 8 of 38 [philosophy]: Meaning...
 Response 173 of 173: Master of the Universe  (cfadm) * Thu, Mar  3, 2005 (09:37) * 16 lines 
 
Sect. 43 of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations says that: "For a large class of cases--though not for all--in which we employ the word "meaning" it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language."

It is quite clear that here Wittgenstein is not offering the general theory that "meaning is use," as he is sometimes interpreted as doing. The main rival views that Wittgenstein warns against are that the meaning of a word is some object that it names--in which case the meaning of a word could be destroyed, stolen or locked away, which is nonsense--and that the meaning of a word is some psychological feeling--in which case each user of a word could mean something different by it, having a different feeling, and communication would be difficult if not impossible.

Knowing the meaning of a word can involve knowing many things: to what objects the word refers (if any), whether it is slang or not, what part of speech it is, whether it carries overtones, and if so what kind they are, and so on. To know all this, or to know enough to get by, is to know the use. And generally knowing the use means knowing the meaning. Philosophical questions about consciousness, for example, then, should be responded to by looking at the various uses we make of the word "consciousness." Scientific investigations into the brain are not directly relevant to this inquiry (although they might be indirectly relevant if scientific discoveries led us to change our use of such words). The meaning of any word is a matter of what we do with our language, not something hidden inside anyone's mind or brain. This is not an attack on neuroscience. It is merely distinguishing philosophy (which is properly concerned with linguistic or conceptual analysis) from science (which is concerned with discovering
acts).

One exception to the meaning-is-use rule of thumb is given in Philosophical Investigations Sect.561, where Wittgenstein says that "the word "is" is used with two different meanings (as the copula and as the sign of equality)" but that its meaning is not its use. That is to say, "is" has not one complex use (including both "Water is clear" and "Water is H2O") and therefore one complex meaning, but two quite distinct uses and meanings. It is an accident that the same word has these two uses. It is not an accident that we use the word "car" to refer to both Fords and Hondas. But what is accidental and what is essential to a concept depends on us, on how we use it.

This is not completely arbitrary, however. Depending on one's environment, one's physical needs and desires, one's emotions, one's sensory capacities, and so on, different concepts will be more natural or useful to one. This is why "forms of life" are so important to Wittgenstein. What matters to you depends on how you live (and vice versa), and this shapes your experience. So if a lion could speak, Wittgenstein says, we would not be able to understand it. We might realize that "roar" meant zebra, or that "roar, roar" meant lame zebra, but we would not understand lion ethics, politics, aesthetic taste, religion, humor and such like, if lions have these things. We could not honestly say "I know what you mean" to a lion. Understanding another involves empathy, which requires the kind of similarity that we just do not have with lions, and that many people do not have with other human beings.

When a person says something what he or she means depends not only on what is said but also on the context in which it is said. Importance, point, meaning are given by the surroundings. Words, gestures, expressions come alive, as it were, only within a language game, a culture, a form of life. If a picture, say, means something then it means so to somebody. Its meaning is not an objective property of the picture in the way that its size and shape are. The same goes of any mental picture. Hence Wittgenstein's remark that "If God had looked into our minds he would not have been able to see there whom we were speaking of." Any internal image would need interpretation. If I interpret my thought as one of Hitler and God sees it as Charlie Chaplin, who is right? Which of the two famous contemporaries of Wittgenstein's I mean shows itself in the way I behave, the things I do and say. It is in this that the use, the meaning, of my thought or mental picture lies. "The arrow points only in the application that a livi
g being makes of it."




Prev topicNext topicHelp

philosophy conference Main Menu