"Why are we here?",
"What is life all about?"
"What is the meaning of it all?"
The meaning of life has been the subject of much philosophical, scientific and theological speculation throughout history. There have been a large number of theories to these questions from many different cultural and ideological backgrounds. The meaning of life is deeply mixed with the philosophical and religious conceptions of existence, consciousness, social ties and happiness. It touches many other issues, such as symbolic meaning, ontology, value, purpose, ethics, good and evil, free will, conceptions of God, the existence of God, the soul, and the afterlife.
Scientific contributions focus more on describing related empirical facts about the universe; they largely shift the question from "why?" to "how?" and provide context and parameters for meaningful conversations on such topics. Science also provides its own recommendations for the pursuit of well-being and a related conception of morality. An alternative, humanistic (rather than religious) approach is the question "What is the meaning of my life?" The value of the question pertaining to the purpose of life may coincide with the achievement of ultimate reality, or a feeling of oneness, or a feeling of sacredness. But why? Why the meaning of my life when life is about our life? It is about OUR life on Earth where the term OUR represents me and you and them and us. It represents us all, human mammals and animal mammals alike. So should the value of this question, pertaining to the purpose of our life, coincide with the achievement of an ultimate reality that is reflective of individual me? Or should this include you and them too?
Should the feeling of oneness stem from a feeling of sacredness of My individual life or should it reflect the sacredness of all life including your life and all other earthy life too?
Why has the 'my life' become about the person in the mirror as opposed to you and they and us and them?
How can the meaning of My life also be about the meaning of your life?
One answer could be about embracing life differences yet how could this be achieved? When the change arises from a 'why is this so?', the how becomes about learning. It becomes a changing process. How long it takes for a why to become a how depends upon how much learning needs to be achieved in order to understand the complexity of the why in question. In this case lets say the why that we are talking about is human communications. Human communication is vital when seeking to make a change to the meaning of your life because without the ability to communicate, how could the meaning of life be explored?
The simplest of all change plans can manifest into the biggest of all hurdles, essentially because the reason 'why' of all change is 'how on earth am I going to do this?" And a key answer to this is try not going it alone.
Why is it so hard to change? because the how of the changing process needs the support of other people.
Why do we need other people? because one person only has enough perspective to support their own learning experiences.
Learning from the experiences of others deepens the process of learning. While the danger of relying on others for learning may be operant conditioning that we'd prefer not to experience, learning in isolation limits supported living and modern human living depends on other life forms for well being.
Why and how go hand in hand when considering changing from a place of my individual meaning to a place of shared meanings.
Without the question why, how would just become a process entered into on behalf of an indoctrinated belief system given to us firstly by our carers, siblings and peers before entering the outer world of multi-cultural education. How would become an unchanging procedure of rote learning from generation to generation which is a large percentage of pedagogic education. Adults have the right to question because of their responsibility for themselves and others. As guardians and protectors of the young, adults need to ask why in order to enter into a changing process that favours all life to ensure the survival of their offspring.
Why is How the reason why it’s so hard to change something? because how is about learning and mammals learn in lots of different ways. How to change is the beginning of a move towards empowerment. Empowerment is all about adult learning. As an adult, who you chose to learn from determines what will aid you in your own operant conditioning.
Making a conscious decision to learn from the intelligences of all life forms is one of the most valuable capabilities human kind has utilised to save itself from extinction, so far. It now seems as if this trend is reversing because the Earth resources are drying up and suffering from extinction caused by humans not asking Why enough.
Should this ability be used in accordance to the meaning of my life, where would this leave you? If this ability is used in accordance to the meaning of your life, where would this leave me and those who depend on me for their life? I depend on the Earth to shelter, feed and clothe me. Is the Earth also providing for you? If yes, Why and How can we ensure this trend will continue?
When searching for the answer to my meaning of life, is "why me? " the right question to ask? Is the meaning of my life any more important than yours?
What is the question to be asked when considering the meaning of the term 'me' in the 21st Century Information Age?
What is the question to be asked when considering the meaning of the term 'you'?
Why not me and you? is the question about change that will dominate the meaning of all life during this next ninety years. The answers we get back will undoubtedly be philosophical ones.
© Chris Tyne, 2011.