The meaning of life and other topics...

Discussion of other topics not necessarily Keats or poetry-related, i.e. other authors, literature, film, music, the arts etc.

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Postby Saturn » Tue May 16, 2006 11:24 pm

The greatest minds in history haven't been able to figure it out - what hope have we got?? :?
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby dks » Wed May 17, 2006 4:52 am

Anyone who loves Keats gets the meaning of life... :wink:
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
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Postby AhDistinctly » Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:43 pm

Excavating on the Keats site, the amateur archaeologist finds another promising tomb to explore. While the topic died a quiet death on May 17, 20006, artifacts remain.

I like looking around on different forums to find topics about which to write. Saturn’s question, “what is my purpose?” is really the penultimate one for every living person, while the ultimate question (with apologies to Mr. Adams) is on the more grand scale of “what is the purpose of any of this?”

On first blush, I would have assumed this would have been one of the most populated of the non-Keats strands. The wonder, curiosity, and joy exhibited in the postings on topics such as favorite passages touch on the spiritual.

But on further reflection, perhaps the question was almost too personal, even for a forum such as this one. To first acknowledge to yourself who you are at your core (assuming acknowledgement of that inner core equates purpose), and then to share that with ANYONE – well, that takes a level of personal insight that (in my opinion) the greatest of poets and philosophers did/do not possess.

Once you’ve really and truly “got it,” you no longer feel compelled to “write it,” so to speak. If such composition (of words, of thoughts, of facts or ideas) can be equated to a journey, you stop when the destination is reached.
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Postby Falina » Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:48 pm

Wow - the more I look through this forum, the more interesting topics I find :wink: !
I know it's been quite a while since the last post in this thread - but the topic really made me think... (Well, I've already thought about that before - but I'm thinking about it more than usual at the moment :wink: .)
It's just that for me, the question would rather be "Does life have a meaning?"
(*lol* That sounds more terrible than I mean it, I believe :wink: )
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We are like frost flowers, too beautiful for the day...
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Postby greymouse » Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:34 pm

This is an interesting question. I would rephrase it into "What is the purpose of life?" I think for life to have a purpose, either an individual has to define it, or somebody defines it for them. Otherwise, it should just be a fun free for all.

In my mind I believe the purpose of life is to serve God. However, I don't even come close to doing that in real life. I feel like I'm trying to make life suit my own purposes.

In my actions my purpose of life is basically what Credo said: immortality. Yes, I want to have a good time and avoid suffering in the short term, but there's a deeper pervading longing to leave a mark on this world. Ever since childhood I've dreamed about my legacy, even if it's just hitting that homerun in the bottom of the ninth with bases loaded. I'd like to do something notable. Something that makes me a footnote in the pages of history. It feels unappealing to me to just do normal things, die, and be quickly forgotten. It's a form of vanity I suppose.

I like Saturn's usage of "philosophical" as a synonym of "depressed". Whenever my father says he's feeling "philosophical" I know he's pretty much bummed out.
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Postby Malia » Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:48 pm

Is life only limited to one purpose? I think there are myriad purposes for living in this world--each individual is called to many, many things and if you spend your life wondering and fearing about that *one* purpose--well, that's like not seeing the forrest for the trees.
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Postby Bobo W » Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:07 pm

Well, I think life is something, that every single person must understand alone. And follow his own ideas. Or, in other words, life is a point of view.
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Postby dks » Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:23 am

Life is a song...

...and I'm a-singin' it, folks...from atop the mountain...

...the blues...
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
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Postby Falina » Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:13 pm

Hmm - I'll try to put my (weird) thoughts into words ;)...

First of all: I totally agree with Bobo that "life is something that every single person must understand alone". Absolutely true, no doubt about that! And I find it really interesting what all of you have written!

I think my main "problem" is the term "meaning/purpose of life". I really enjoyed reading your answers - like "love and passion" (dks), "making things better" (Brave Archer) etc. I really liked these a lot! But for me, these are all either things that make life really worth living or something like goals you want to achieve in life - but I personally wouldn't call it the meaning of life. I know that this definition is in all probabilty something that bothers only me *lol*, but I somehow felt the need to explain why I asked the question "Does life have a meaning?"...

The answer I found for myself is "No"; maybe - no, surely - it would be different if I believed in God - but that's another topic ;).
We are like frost flowers, we blossom at night...
We are like frost flowers, too beautiful for the day...
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Postby AhDistinctly » Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:49 pm

Malia wrote:Is life only limited to one purpose? I think there are myriad purposes for living in this world--each individual is called to many, many things and if you spend your life wondering and fearing about that *one* purpose--well, that's like not seeing the forrest for the trees.

I agree, Malia. I think it is important to have a purpose -- something that gets you out of bed in the morning. However, I think people get into trouble when they start talking about the purpose. As in: I am not doing (insert purpose here) so I am not living up to my potential and am wasting my life.
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the meaning of life

Postby Richard » Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:52 am

Steven, :) super thread, and thoughts.
I have more than some empathy with your position, I would show you my scars, if I could.
Inherently there is no meaning to life, is that desolate or delightful?
Where the bee sucks there suck I. :D
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Postby Saturn » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:16 am

I kind of like the idea that there is no "meaning" to life.

I just try to hold onto the things and the people that make me happy in whatever way that is.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby Richard » Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:23 am

Succinctly obtuse here again.
Saturn what do you like about the fact that there is no meaning to life?
Did you see that frustrating Steven Fry programme?
The bee has never done the national lottery.
What are the chances of of all these random bits of the earth coming together to make you or me sentient beings ?
We have all won the celestial lottery with odds of centillions to one. But does that make us 'happy' ?
Or to be more precise.

The Enlightened Cat

A black cat, lying under blue sky
Soft belly warmed by the sun,
Gazes through a blissful half closed eye
And pays little attention
To just how happy she is today.
Sub animals shuffle around
Muttering something under their breath,
I watch the way
Deep sun poured shadows surround
The self-actualised animals death.


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Postby dks » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:11 pm

Yes, and your (Richard's and Stephen's) badinage has just played out the very normative center of Keats's Negative Capability philosophy...not to try and grasp life's meaning through thought or ponderance--to avert any "irritable reaching after fact and reason."

To be simply--to "pick about the gravel," to be "too happy in thine happiness," to notice those sweeter "unheard melodies" among the "happy, happy boughs..."

and so on, and so on... :shock:

It all ties back to Keats, doesn't it? :wink:

Richard, I love your warm-bellied black cat! He is invariably charming in his annihilation of "self." There's that Keats again...
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
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Postby Saturn » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:35 pm

John Keats wrote:To a Cat

Cat! who hast pass'd thy grand cliacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroy'd? - How many tit bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick
Those velvet ears - but pr'ythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me - and upraise
Thy gentle mew - and tell me all thy frays
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists -
For all the wheezy asthma, - and for all
Thy tail's tip is nick'd off - and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a mail,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enter'dst on glass bottled wall.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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