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#370574 - 11/16/07 09:18 AM What is life about?
MattJ Offline
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I used to think it was about being right. Recently I thought it was about being fair. I no longer have a clue.

Maybe Butterflypalm is right.
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#370575 - 11/16/07 09:37 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: MattJ]
harlan Offline
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Do you think it might be different for each person at different times in their lives, or that there is only one answer that fits everyone at all times?

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#370576 - 11/16/07 09:42 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: harlan]
MattJ Offline
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Gotta be one answer. It's too hard the other way.
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#370577 - 11/16/07 09:43 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: MattJ]
harlan Offline
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#370578 - 11/16/07 11:51 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: harlan]
Stormdragon Offline
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Whose to say it's about anything? The existentialists would say life has no meaning other than whatever you care to give it to make it bearable.
I would say knowledge and wisdom.
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#370579 - 11/16/07 11:57 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: Stormdragon]
MattJ Offline
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Sorry, probably wasn't being clear. I mean what is life about, as far as dealing with others? Everyone will have an answer as far as their personal meaning/direction of life itself.

I really have no idea what I'm talking about.
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#370580 - 11/16/07 12:13 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: MattJ]
harlan Offline
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My life is about paying bills. Thankfully, martial arts isn't one of them.

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#370581 - 11/16/07 12:18 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: harlan]
MattJ Offline
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Paying bills......is that a metaphor, too? Is it wrong to assume receiving something for these "payments"?
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#370582 - 11/16/07 12:20 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: MattJ]
harlan Offline
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'Do not take what isn't freely offered.'

Quote:

Paying bills......is that a metaphor, too? Is it wrong to assume receiving something for these "payments"?



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#370583 - 11/16/07 12:31 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: harlan]
MattJ Offline
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Quote:

freely offered




Quote:

Paying bills




This is why life is hard. Conundrum.
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#370584 - 11/16/07 07:13 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: MattJ]
jkdwarrior Offline
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I think it kind of depends on what you mean by the question. Is it, "why are we here?", or , "what should we be doing with the time we are given?"
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#370585 - 11/16/07 07:25 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: jkdwarrior]
MattJ Offline
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Neither, exactly. More like "What is the intended nature of our relationships?"
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#370586 - 11/16/07 08:45 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: MattJ]
Stormdragon Offline
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Why did you give such a vague question in the first place rather than that?
Anyway who says relationships necesairly have an intended nature? They mean whatever you like. For me the nature of a relationship is for 2 people to move side by side as equals, in a synergistic fashion, towards the same goal/s. Or something to that effect. Of course specifics can change, for example whether or not there is romantic attraction, or whether they are family or not, but those are trivial differences. One person maybe be slightly farther ahead but in a relationship they hold up a bit and pull the other forward.
That is my idea of the nature of a relationship. But what do I know I'm 17.
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#370587 - 11/17/07 08:25 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: Stormdragon]
MattJ Offline
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Quote:

Why did you give such a vague question in the first place rather than that?




Must be nice to be able to perfectly articulate yourself every time.

Quote:

Sorry, probably wasn't being clear. I mean what is life about, as far as dealing with others? Everyone will have an answer as far as their personal meaning/direction of life itself.

I really have no idea what I'm talking about.




Maybe the idea is to accept people and situations for what they are, as opposed to what you (I) want them to be.
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#370588 - 11/17/07 11:15 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: MattJ]
ButterflyPalm Offline
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What is Life about?

I will not even attempt to answer that; greater minds, prophets, yoga gurus, charlatans and even martial arts masters have been giving answers since time immemorial and will, I believe, continue to do so so long as someone is listening.

But I will say something about that "I'll rather be happy than right"

Whether East or West, we all live in a culture of "Rightness", that is, being right about things as opposed to getting it wrong. When we are right, we get praised, being looked up to, chest-thumping pride in ourselves, emotional satisfaction, alpha status. It was and is, I admit however, important to be right; your college exams, your job, meals on the table for your family, depended on you getting things right.

So for the past half century or more I strived to be right in all things I did and when in a senior position, getting others to get it right in things they did; needless to say I was not always successful, but I somehow pulled through with major and minor hiccups here and there and, most importantly, avoided being subject to structured restraint (ehhh...avoided jail, that is)

And so I now arrive at or near the 60th year milestone and anyone who has been here will, on looking back the long road just travelled, ask themselves, not what life is about, because that question is just too difficult, often embarrassing and perhaps even meaningless, given that you've spent the last 60 years living it without giving it much thought, but the easier one of what is really important. I've had enough of being or wanting to be right, which meant also showing that others were wrong, which was rather nebulous because even if others were wrong did not necessarily meant that I was right, though I often liked to think so, but have since abandoned it.

So I asked myself, what is so important about being right anyway? Then it dawned on me that it is important because we were brainwashed since the age of two and continues till the day we die, the life or death importance of being right, at all times, in all places and towards every other human being we meet in real or virtual life, whether it is truly important or not. With due respect to the Buddha, I think this is a major cause of human suffering.

I have finally settled on being happy as being more important, with the qualification that it should not be at the expense of the suffering of others. I understand that this may not be for everybody, as when you are still struggling to survive in the swim of life, getting your swimming strokes right is all important if you want to reach the safety of the distant shore.

But, if you can manage it, every now and then, just be happy and let others be as right as they want.
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#370589 - 11/17/07 11:23 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: ButterflyPalm]
harlan Offline
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Nice post.

I'm not so articulate. I woke up one day realizing that 'my life was a waste...that it had all been for nothing.' Doing the 'right thing' doesn't equate with happiness.

I too would rather be happy than right...but doing right is more important.

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#370590 - 11/17/07 11:48 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: ButterflyPalm]
MattJ Offline
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Quote:

which meant also showing that others were wrong, which was rather nebulous because even if others were wrong did not necessarily meant that I was right, though I often liked to think so




This is kind of where I'm coming from. Good post!
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#370591 - 11/17/07 01:17 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: MattJ]
jude33 Offline
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Quote:

Neither, exactly. More like "What is the intended nature of our relationships?"




Hi
Might depend on the term relationships.
I think one of the main driving forces of life is to further the specia with everything attached to that proccess.

Seems like(in this day and age) in a hidden way everything is all aimed at that goal.

I suppose in a way when I reach 60 I might look back and think how things might have been different.
But then there is this strange thing called fate.
So maybe I wont
I suppose fate can be another mind blowing subject.

Jude

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#370592 - 11/17/07 03:51 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: MattJ]
oldman Offline
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Matt,
If you are working from a scientific/ evolutionary perspective relating and relationship's meaning would be found in wheither or not it supported the continued wellbeing/ life of the individual or group. In chimp societies you will find all sorts of behavior and different types of relationships. Being an alpha has it's advantages but it also has it dangers too. Within a community animals use different strategies i.e. sharing food, play, and grooming to create and solidify bonds. So even in Chimp communities it is not just about winning/losing but about the benefit available to all and the different way we meet needs. Mutual benefit may be part of the answer to your question about relating, but that is a different question than your first question.
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#370593 - 11/17/07 06:17 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: MattJ]
Ed_Morris Offline
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taking emotions and ego out of the answer, I come up with life is about contributing. aquiring and passing on.

whether it be genes, parenting, companionship, morals, time, knowledge or Art ...anything which is 'yours' is contributed. The amount/quality/quantity/positive/negative of that contribution is irrelavent. it's the contribution itself that makes it life.

everything in nature contributes by passing on all or part of what 'it' has aquired.

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#370594 - 11/17/07 06:46 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: Ed_Morris]
MattJ Offline
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Good posts, guys. I think that there is truth in all these to a large extent. Except maybe.........

Quote:

taking emotions and ego out of the answer




Wish I could! Maybe THAT is the answer!
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#370595 - 11/19/07 05:08 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: oldman]
eyrie Offline
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Quote:

If you are working from a scientific/ evolutionary perspective relating and relationship's meaning would be found in wheither or not it supported the continued wellbeing/ life of the individual or group. In chimp societies you will find all sorts of behavior and different types of relationships.


Not as interesting as bonobo societies though... especially when it comes to recreational sex.

I think life is what you generally make of it, the choices you make, and the risks you take (or don't take).... So, you win some, you lose some, you come with nothing, and you'll leave with nothing. It's the stuff in between that makes it all rather "interesting".

Now, bonobos lead a rather casual, uncomplicated but no less interesting life... If re-incarnation exists, I think I want to be a bonobo in my next life... just eat, have sex, sleep, have sex, have some more sex, play, have sex... (not necessarily in that order)

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#370596 - 11/19/07 05:15 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: eyrie]
General_Neo Offline
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Registered: 11/19/07
Posts: 70
Life,
it means different to everyone, everyone persieves life in a different way.
I think the real meaning of life is to learn. that (in my point of view) is a universal meaning of life, one we all have, but then there are others, specific to each individual person.
For some it may be to protect or to help, others simply to live. i dont know, isnt this what we all meditate for??

take care everyone.
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#370597 - 11/19/07 10:49 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: General_Neo]
Stormdragon Offline
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If truth is perception then life means nothing except what you want it to mean. It is completely subjective and all is your responsibility to dictate.
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#370598 - 11/20/07 03:30 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: Stormdragon]
jude33 Offline
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Timeless words

Born then.
Lived then.
No longer around now. Not much point in thinking about life then.

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#370599 - 04/01/08 07:38 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: jude33]
ninjaninja Offline
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I agree with General Neo, the meaning of life is learning. From my years of learning martial arts, it's opened up a whole new world to me that I am always learning everyday. Neo's also right about people living in their own styles. People find a way through their life to live. This is a great topic.

I just finished reading this article online that talks a little bit about that: http://www.ninjaninja.com/site.php/arti/read/ninja_article_find_a_way/

Thanks.

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#370600 - 04/01/08 08:22 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: ninjaninja]
wiggy Offline
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Sounds like one of your last posts were right Matt . Everyone appears to have an answer which is correct... It all depends upon too many variables. To me it depends upon the end (after death). To some it depends upon the journey (present day)... Everyone is playing this game with a different set of rules which means that you are constrained by your own opinion/rules... Break free of those rules and you unleash more ideas on what life is (or at least makes it a hell of a lot more confusing ).... Great Thread though!
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#370601 - 04/02/08 02:31 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: MattJ]
oldman Offline
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As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished. No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that. That is why people are always searching for a meaning to life. But life has no meaning; it cannot have meaning because meaning is a formula; meaning is something that makes sense to the mind. Every time you make sense out of reality, you bump into something that destroys the sense you made. Meaning is only found when you go beyond meaning. Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes no sense to the conceptualizing mind.

A. deMello
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#370602 - 04/03/08 12:47 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: oldman]
jkdwarrior Offline
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That kind of sums up my view oldman. Don't give it meaning, just see it for the way it really is, right in front of you.
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#370603 - 04/03/08 02:05 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: jkdwarrior]
Stormdragon Offline
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A great teacher of mine had this to say (I asked him when he was at home o na weekend and a bit drunk so it's slightly uh.. odd but there are some kernels of truth from his sober side buried in)...

"Someone finally asks the question now that the smoke is cleared...
Well, this ought to clearly answer the question.

I believe in jacks of all trades and masters of none, but wouldn't it be
nice if someone would be consistent and follow through with just one thing
and perfect it?

I believe that water is wet, the sky is blue, and grass is green, but that
everyone's concept of wet, blue, and green is skewed from what someone else
believe.

I believe that there is no greater hope for humanity that the love of
fellow-human that is present in nearly every religion, along with the
reality that if you stop loving your fellow-human then you pronounce jihad
or crusade and try to annihilate their ass.

I believe that people have an immense potential for cruelty and occasionally
act for the good of other people just because they can and it feels right.

I believe that we are all miniscule thoughts in time of a greater
consciousness than we will ever define with our muddled language that makes
us pronounce tomato differently in the same country.

I believe in my dreams, and my terrors, which wouldn't make any sense to you
because they are my demons and angels, not yours.

I believe that pancakes for dinner and ice cream sandwiches for breakfast
are a sinful delight, but can't figure out why that is so wrong.

I believe there is a pronounced difference between religious and
spirituality. To understand the difference, you need to understand the
difference between fly-fishermen and lure fishermen.

I believe people ask a hard question because they are looking for someone to
answer it for them and avoid the unnecessary unpleasantness that sometimes
accompanies deep understanding.

I believe there is a God and that he/she/it is laughing their cosmic ass off
at me on a daily basis, especially when I decide to make a life plan to
accomplish something.

I believe sacred scriptures contain divine inspiration and keen insight into
the meaning of life, The Bible, The Koran, The I-Chang, and fortune
cookies...oh, and South Park scripts.

I believe that life is a tragedy to those who feel and a comedy to those who
think.

You can find your wisdom and answers anywhere you want to find them. The
problem is knowing when and where to look.

I believe that you should never trust a man who has two first names (e.g.
Jesse James)

I believe that chaos killed the dinosaurs and our current attempt to rectify
that and create order in the universe will kill us.

I believe that people are either dog people or cat people. If they don't
like dogs or cats, then they ain't people.

I believe that people who lack self-confidence see others who have
confidence as arrogant.

I believe that the Traeger Grill is one of the greatest human
inventions--seriously, look it up on the web: amazing food I can cook with
one of those puppies.

I believe my dog loves me, but she also loves to lick her own butt. Makes
you kind of wonder.

I believe that at the end of life, you get to meet up with all the socks and
other items that just plain disappeared out of your life for no clear
reason.

I believe that life is like a river, but rivers follow the path of least
resistance and that is what makes them crooked.

I believe that we are all wrong, but are too afraid of someone else being
right to listen to them very long, especially when it comes to the proper
temperature for a cooked steak.

I believe that at some point you have to choose between living to work or
working to live. If you make the wrong choice, hopefully your friends will
start Farm-Aid to get you out of debt with the IRS like they did for Willie
Nelson.

Cruz, after 33 years of mucking up most everything and everyone around me, I
realize that it is all for fun. If you take anything too seriously, you're
bound to become serious, and that would be tragic.

Yeah, that's the short answer and a few of the conclusions.
Try that on for size heh?
Hehe.
Feel free to share this with whomever. I've plagiarized most of it
anyway--cheap bastardizations of the original brilliances wherever I picked
them up.

Word,
-A"

Also, you can find answers in the movie "Rosencrance and Gildenstern are dead."


Edited by Stormdragon (04/03/08 02:16 AM)
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#370604 - 04/03/08 12:20 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: Stormdragon]
Prizewriter Offline
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Posts: 2573
As this is fast turning into a soundbyte fest:

" To be an individual and to be yourself you don't have to do a thing. Culture demands that you should be something other than what you are. What a tremendous amount of energy -- the will, the effort -- we waste trying to become that! If that energy is released, what is it that we can't do? How simple it would be for every one of us to live in this world! "

" Whatever pursuit you are indulging in, somewhere along the line it has to dawn on you that it is not leading you anywhere. As long as you want something, you will do that. That want has to be very, very clear. What do you want? All the time I ask you the question, "What do you want?" You say, "I want to be at peace with myself." That is an impossible goal for you because everything you are doing to be at peace with yourself is what is destroying the peace that is already there. You have set in motion the movement of thought which is destroying the peace that is there, you see. It is very difficult to understand that all that you are doing is the impediment, is the one thing that is disturbing the harmony, the peace that is already there. "

" Food, clothing and shelter- these are the basic needs. Beyond that, if you want anything, it is the beginning of self-deception"

" We are not created for any grander purpose than the ants that are there or the flies that are hovering around us or the mosquitoes that are sucking our blood. "

" No talent is required to reproduce. Nature has done a tremendous job in creating this extraordinary piece - the body. The body does not want to learn anything from culture. It doesn't want to know anything from us. We are always interested in telling this body how to function. All our experiences, spiritual or otherwise, are the basic cause of our suffering. The body is not interested in your bliss or your ecstasies. It is not interested in your pleasure. It is not in interested in anything that you are interested in. And that is the battle that is going on all the time. But there seems to be no way out. "

UG Krishnamurti
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#370605 - 04/03/08 11:18 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: Prizewriter]
Stormdragon Offline
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That's some good stuff right there. Nuff said...except that, from what I know, we are largely who we are due to experiences so it seems there is not really a "you" that before culture and "you" after. Just an ever evolving individual. We absolutely have a few personality predispositions though.
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Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#370606 - 04/04/08 08:36 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: Stormdragon]
jkdwarrior Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 341
Loc: belfast, Antrim, Ireland
I agree that we have some genetic behavioural traits. We also have a default state of mind and body that is beautifully adapted to deal with the present. I'm pretty sure, - well, I heard on a documentary recently so i'm not that sure - that it comes from our evolutionary biology. In prehistoric times, life was so uncertain that mostly this present awareness was used. If you're distracted by thoughts, then your were more likely to be prey than if you were always focused on what is happening around you. Of course, certain emotions are part of our biology, such as the fight or flight, or fear response. The trouble is that nowadays, people seem to overstimulate the nervous system in everyday situations. You may fall in front of people and merely get embarrassed, but your body reacts like, "RUN OR DIE!!"
This seems a bit off topic, but my point is - in accordance with the above few posts, which were brilliant by the way - that we all have a default state of mind that simply observes the environment. This mind is peaceful. But we also have the emotions, which cause a physiological response that blinds us to the world.

I especially liked this bit of Stormdragon's teacher's drunken speech, "I believe that life is a tragedy to those who feel and a comedy to those who think." This suggests that those who feel (an emotional response) are somehow less happy than people who see the world through eyes of logic.

Before I finish, I want to repeat that I heard the science part on a National Geographic documentary, which I feel are sometimes biased. But it does seem to make sense.

I'd also love to change my forum signature to that quote.

Mark
_________________________
Sticks n stones'll break my bones, but if I land the first one, you're in trouble!

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#370607 - 02/02/09 07:55 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: jkdwarrior]
Landus Offline
Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 373
Loc: UK
I have recently got an idea that life is possibly about going to space (this sounds lame so far) and finding something else. Space is infinite? maybe life is about infinity? never knowing. Infinity creates a desire to see if infinity does indeed extend for an infinite amount of time or space. Literally, does space end, or does it go on forever? forever would suggest time?

However, this world and its culture has been diseased (possibly by media) and society is on strings, everyone is looking at everyone else "why are you looking at me?". This could just be UK culture/society.

Further yet, despite the fact our Earth could be so advanced, united and wise, it's not. There happens to be a very world impacting damage to Earth every so often. World War 1, 2. The Plague. Life grows, and is restricted again. Will the Earth ever become overflowing with people- will they then find a place on the Moon? This could happen in our life time, yet it most likely won't on a large scale due to all the damage done by conflict and not uniting.

Maybe life is about knowledge, advancing our minds and bodies to become- something more. Apparently there are some 20 dimensions, and yet the human mind simply fails to understand them. We know the title of the book but we can't even open it, we don't even know the blurb.

Maybe this is a question, Mattj, that we can't even begin to answer, can't even begin to COMPREHEND yet.

Maybe we are not destined for knowing, but just breeding so that we can be the ancestors of people that have a chance of knowing such things.

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#370608 - 03/28/09 11:30 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: Landus]
formless Offline
Member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 72
Not sure what all of you think, i try to live my life so at the end of it, i can assure myself that at least one person was able to breathe easier because of my existence. I feel that helping others is the highest calling.
_________________________
Serve no master.

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#370609 - 03/29/09 12:17 AM Re: What is life about? [Re: MattJ]
karl314285 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 326
Loc: The Matrix, Serif is Teacher
Hi,

just my orientation...The Buddhists would say 'to recognize life is suffering....blah,blah,blah"

The Zen Buddhists would "probably" not answer, if so probably to smack you with a Koan or a stick as tho to say "Life is fleeting and all you have is now, dont ask the unanswerable...go back and just sit."

I Kinda dig that

-Karl. Peace. (Not that I get flush being hit or anything like that...)
_________________________
do not try to spork the post, for that is impossible, only realize there is no post to spork

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#370610 - 03/29/09 08:42 PM Re: What is life about? [Re: karl314285]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Hmmm... it's rather odd to see a dead thread resurrected, especially considering the topic.

There is no right or wrong answer... life is what YOU make of it... and then you die. So, perhaps this thread should follow the natural course of its life and

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