Saturday, June 26, 2021

211 You're under no obligation to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago.

 Alan Watts

210 Why does something have to last for eternity to be meaningful?

Why does something have to last for eternity to be meaningful? Is there some kind of connection between permanence and having a "point"? Even if something did last for eternity, how would that transmute it into something that has meaning or a point? 

Or maybe you think it doesn't have to be eternity, but only a long period of time. Well, people live for many decades. Let's round that up to 100 years. Is 100 years a long enough time to be meaningful? In the scope of humanity (200,00 years), 100 years is not much. In the scope of life on Earth (3.5 billion years) it's nothing. On the other hand, compared to most living things, 100 years is a lot. 

Sit still and just look at a clock, doing nothing else, for 5 minutes. Seems like a pretty long time.

Again, what has time got to do with meaning.

So what if you will end? So what if when you are gone, that's it. Nothing else. You don't continue and you are gone forevermore. So what even if it's true that in 100 or 200 years no one will even know you ever existed? So what? What has that to do with meaning?

Meaning, or "the point" is whatever you want it to be? If you decide that the point is to last forever, you're fucked. If you think that the point it to make yourself happy in this moment, you maybe can do that. Maybe you decide a point would be to make your family and friends feel a little better. Or maybe you decide the point is to explore this crazy world by traveling. 

Some people make the point of their lives to be about creating something that will last a few generations, like a book or a piece of music. Lots and lots of people accept that their point is to procreate and then ensure the survival of their spawn. 

And most people, the vast majority, find a number of different "points". They mix procreation, immediate enjoyment, some notion of the eternal via religion, serving their friends, and numbing out the existential dread that they still can't fill -- as their point.

What will it be for you? 

The great news is, no one is telling you what your point has to be. No God and no person is forcing a point upon you. YOU get to choose. 

Or you can not choose and just bump along like a billiard ball hit by forces outside your control or even awareness. 

And if you choose one thing for a while and then decide you want to choose a different point later, you can do that too. 

It's all up to you.

Via Reddit