Search For Meaning

...'I was just thinking,' I tell him, laughing, 'that here we are, all of us, eating and drinking to preserve our precious existence, and that there's nothing, nothing, absolutely no reason for existing.'...

Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea

If you try to overlook the absurdity of existence, you may become preoccupied with trying to find what is personally or individually significant, but this will be based upon the ideas and values with which you have been brainwashed, due to your particular makeup.

...I know perfectly well that I don't want to do anything; to do something is to create existence - and there's quite enough existence as it is. The fact is that I can't put down my pen: I think I'm going to have the Nausea and I have the impression that I put it off by writing. So I write down whatever comes into my head...

Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea

Where do our 'deepest values' come from? Where do we get the idea about the kind of person we'd like to be? Aren't these memes?

...They did not want to exist, only they could not help it; that was the point. So they performed all their little functions, quietly, unenthusiastically; the sap rose slowly and reluctantly in the canals, and the roots penetrated slowly into the earth. But at every moment they seemed on the verge of dropping everything and obliterating themselves. Tired and old, they went on existing, unwillingly and ungraciously, simply because they were too weak to die, because death could come to them only from outside... Every existent is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness and dies by chance...

Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea

My life could be summed up thusly.

...The trouble is, your tent is made of paper. Paper won't keep anything out. You know you must write on the walls, the paper walls, on the inside of your tent. You must write upside down and backwards you must cover every available space on the paper with writing...

Margaret Atwood, The Tent

I have made myself 'conspicuous', I can't protect anyone, and I know how 'flimsy' my tent is,

but you keep on writing anyway because what else can you do?...

Margaret Atwood, The Tent

I'm not sure if I've messed up that quote, but like the structure I have recorded.

I keep writing, I keep expressing, I keep trying to communicate with people in new versions of the old ways, because I don't know what else to do.

My approach to relationships has been to try to build relationships that are not built on the kind lies and illusions that most people assume are necessary. I question the necessity. I want to explore the 'unacceptable' or the unacknowledgeable. I can't shut out awareness that there are many sides to individuals, and it's impossible for me to just relax and accept superficial pleasantries. It could be about being something of a control freak - but I realize that even if you try your best to understand human complexity, you cannot be prepared for everything. I would like to try to avoid some of the old wornout clichés.

For most people, it may not be a big issue. There may be spats about porn and 'do I look fat in this?', but for the most part, a relationship works, or is better than being alone. A whole lifetime can be lived out while one or both partners hide a secret discontent, a secret fantasy life, and neither ever finds out who the other is, not just when it comes to minor unexpressed facets, but to who the other thinks they are at the core. I realize that this is how a lot of people get through life. I just didn't want that kind of life for myself. I think it's necessary to examine the biological and psychological reasons that fantasies are created, and rather than judge them, to try to understand them and figure out if it is possible to change some aspects of what we desire. I think the important part is in the ability to communicate openly with another person about what normally remains hidden, and maybe to come to more of an acceptance of who we ourselves are.

In relationships, I have struggled to identify what is real, and what is about saving face or putting off things for later or pretending that something is better than it is, or giving misleading impressions in order to sound more interesting or more together.

If I have to acquire more data in order to make a more accurate personal assessment, then it's important that I try to figure out how to get that information. I prefer to ask directly rather than beat around the bush. Things can get messed up, it can throw other people off when you use these kinds of approaches - everyone seems to assume that everyone tries to save face to some extent, and that much of what people say can't really be taken at face value. Even when a relationship has many positive components, it's important to face the negative ones, examine them, try to put things into perspective.

I don't see how intimacy is possible when people are compelled to hide who they are and find that acceptable. It may be a realistic approach, and it may be the most comfortable approach for most people, but I have a hard time seeing any kind of point to it for myself or personally defining it as 'intimacy'. It comes down to what people get out of life and what they want out of life, and I suppose that each person has to decide for herself or himself.

If a person's actions are to have personal meaning, actions and participation in the world would be the result of careful consideration. It would not make sense to me that I attempt to participate in order to hide my lack of belief or lack of feeling of connection to the world.

My attempts to explain and understand myself are related to trying to 'demystify', and my approach to relationships is not to perpetuate illusions. I do think it's likely that a lot of what is unexplained or seems freaky or uncanny or mysterious will eventually be explained by science, but I can't shake off the influence of image or the idea that it is interesting to try to use drama, symbol, ritual, creativity - without disguising motives - to enhance experience, stimulation, and possibly to unlock more doors or paths to discover - as creativity is in itself a path to further creativity or new concrete knowledge. All of this represents a way to expand life rather than control or restrict it.

I don't believe that there is an end point, a final say. The world keeps turning, change is constant, and different times and lights reveal new perspectives. For me, there is a kind of meaning in trying to face the new information bravely. If up until now I have put a lot of time and effort into a way of thinking that turns out to be faulty or erroneous, then I would also try to face that.















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