Wednesday, July 15

Everything means Nothing

I can’t think of a proper introduction. I tried using an empty bowl of chili but that didn’t work. So be prepared to just jump into hard core philosophy. 1, 2, 3, go!

This world that we live in is full of physical objects, obeying the scientific laws that command the world into order. In this world, we find only a series of facts, certain physical attributes, actions preformed or emotions experienced. There are atoms that make up every object you see. There is energy or potential energy in everything you see. The world is full of facts.

But this next sentence is the sentence that means everything. Everything means nothing.

Let me emphasize that. Every single thing in this world means exactly NOTHING. Absolutely, thoroughly NOTHING at all. The chair you sit on, the table you eat at, the body you use, the emotions you feel, the food you eat all mean nothing. There is nothing in this world that holds any meaning what so ever…

…UNTIL you believe in it. That is, until you give it a name, a reason, a history or choose how you will respond to it, there is no meaning what so ever in the world.

There is meaning only in our beliefs.

The sunset it just a bunch of chemicals in the atmosphere, and light rays bouncing through from the sun’s chemical reactions. It is fact, and it is meaningless until a human lets the sunset into their personal world, and believes it is something of worth. Sunsets are beautiful, vibrant, inspiring, amazing. But sunsets mean nothing at all if you don’t believe in them.

If someone says “I love you”, the sounds mean nothing at all. Sounds emitted through the use of a human voice box which allows sounds to form and travel through the air which is in turn carried to another person’s ear. But as soon as those sounds are interpreted, given a name, a reason, a history… as soon as those words are believed… Those words can mean the world. I love you. Is there power in those words? Absolutely. That is my belief.

It is our beliefs that shape our individual worlds.

The truth is, that the world is exactly what you say it is. There is no getting around this. You can’t escape believing. It happens as naturally as choosing one thing over another. It happens, and even if you try to avoid it, that in and of itself is a belief. And the world shall be shaped just like that.


Jessica and Richard said...

There is no reality, only perception.

putznschmuck said...

I will agree as long as we accept that when you say reality and world you mean, my personal reality and my personal world. As long as we stay away from the fallacious ideas such as those that moulder their way out from under the pleasing exterior of 'The Secret'.

If I were to wander into a forest that has, as yet, been miraculously unsullied by human contact and perception, then there will be something there. And I did not create it. The fact that trees, plants and animals all grow, die, reproduce and, in short, live; means that there is a reality outside ourselves.

Now the personal reality of that secret forest is created the moment we see it, and whether or not we appreciate and are touched by the majesty contained therein is dependent upon our belief in that majesty. We give it meaning that is not inherent within itself. And when we leave, we take that meaning with us. For it is not part of the forest, but a part of us.

To quote the fox belonging to Aesop "The grapes are sour anyways" With this statement the fox changes not the reality of the physical nature of the grapes, but merely his perception of them. And by doing so makes it easier to live within the reality that is presented to him. The foxes inability to get the grapes is no longer a failure, and his decision to stop trying becomes a rational choice for his own good. And the fox walks away happy.

And perhaps a little hungry.

Hawley said...

This morning I was reading - in Mosiah again, still, I will be there forever - and there were these verses:

"They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ. And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened." (Mosiah 26:3-4)

Any other morning I would have skittered over that and continued on. This morning I had your post bouncing around in my head, and so this verse sparked a small epiphany. Now I have a better idea of why belief must be part of truth and why faith is necessary. Thanks for writing this post and planting these ideas. They are bearing fruit. Whether or not the fruit is sour is yet to be seen . . .

Ah yes. And Sera, I love you. :)

Ignominion said...

"Everything means nothing 'til we give it meaning" I interpret to mean "nothing has value until we give it to it."
I was shocked by the ramifications of this when I reflected upon how that applies to other sentient beings (which must, by necessity, be part of "everything") 'til I concluded the same is true of them as well. Yes, other people are of value irrespective of whether WE value them or not, but that, I conclude, is because God values them whether we do or not. Perhaps people are not really of intrinsic worth unto themselves, but "the worth of souls is great in the sight of God"--and that is what gives them their value.
Yet that line of reasoning still leaves me uneasy, for the implication is that God values us because we, through our obedience, intensify and add to His glory--and there this line of reasoning breaks down, for I can only conclude God's glory is added to by our obedience because he cherishes our happiness, and to argue that he cherishes our happiness strictly for the sake of his glory is a circular argument.
...unless we agree that there's a universal law at work here to which even God is subject: serving other people and helping them to be happy makes oneself happy. That being the case, God values us simply because we have the capacity to be happy and He has the capacity to help us in that regard, in which He finds cause to be happy.
Furthermore, we are subject to this universal law, and therefore other people are useful because they have the potential to contribute to our happiness one way or another--whether by serving us or providing us with someone to serve. We don't universlally value inanimate objects such as rocks and bones and clouds because, insofar as we can tell, they don't possess a capacity to be happy. But intelligent beings, by contrast, are of worth because they do.
This raises the question of what we mean by integral worth. I think if something is potentially useful to anything with a will, then it's pretty safe to say that it has integral worth. What do we even mean by "integral"?
"necessary to the completeness of the whole"
What whole, in this case? There are two possiblities, both of which on their own levels are valid:
1) The individual entity
2) The Grand Scheme
Given that the Grand Scheme is a contrivance to facilitate the happiness of the individual, differentiation becomes irrelevant; the universe, we might say, would be a lesser place as a whole for the absense of Person A because Person A has the potential to facilitate the happiness of others in one way or another. And given that Person A is an intelligence, which intelligence is eternal, and which intelligence, God knows, would be happier with a soul, the issue of the nonmortal existence of Person A is also irrelivent.
This still leaves me wanting for an explanation of the eternal law in question; I don't think it suffices to say that halping other people be happy makes us happy simply because there's a law that states as much. That's like saying that it is a universal law that if we don't eat we die, and that's all there is to it. WHY does helping other people make us happy, really?

Ignominion said...

Ramble ramble ramble...oops, sorry. *sheepish grin*
I shall have to try to be more coherent in the future.