Saturday, July 09, 2005

The impulse for meaning

In an earlier post on evolution I wrote that there is no meaning in the universe. I also said that we as human beings want to find meaning. We talked about this at dinner the other day. My fundamental belief is that our primary responsibility as human beings is to be aware of ourselves. Awareness, in my view, is the highest value. From awareness, all else flows.

Awareness doesn't mean deprecation. The fact that the impulse for meaning is in us and not in the universe doesn't say anything one way or the other about the value of searching for meaning. It simply says that we should be aware that we are looking for meaning to satisfy something within us rather than because the universe must have meaning. It is similar to hunger. Being aware of hunger doesn't mean that hunger is unimportant. When one is hungry it makes sense to eat. But even that is a decision. Hunger is a subjective experience. It is then up to us to decide what to do about it.

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