Meaning & Life (Sam Sly)

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I’m suspicious of those things where more is always supposed to be better. Nature prefers moderation, so good things can harm you when you get too much of them. I think “meaning” is one of those things that is usually good, but that can cause you problems when there is too much of it.Meaning is a slippery word, so it’s hard to be clear we’re using it the same way. However, we all know when a person, thing, goal or idea feels significant to us, and when those same things feel ordinary, the difference is meaning. A complete absence of meaning usually (although perhaps not always) feels awful. Similarly, a lack of meaning in the conceptual sense is confusion and ignorance. We’d prefer to say what things mean and believe it, than to simply shrug our shoulders and say, “I don’t know.”

The anxiety and fear we often feel in our daily lives is a result of too much meaning, rather than too little. It’s a combination of a strong feeling of significance, along with a perceived lack of control. Repetitive attention to something that would be processed at a level of meaning dissolves into parts that lack that meaning and you start experiencing something that seems to lack connection to the meanings you had previously. De-habituate your normal filters for processing meaning and new ones will start forming again in the vacuum. Those new ones may not have the same obstacles as the old ones and the fresh perspective may be more enjoyable.

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Meanings, especially intense ones, are an important part of living life well. Don’t confuse what I’m saying for arguing we should all live in a nihilistic way. Don’t look for the flaws as you go through life, and even when you find them, it is wise and kind to be somewhat blind and look for the virtue behind them. We need to temporarily “relax” our meanings in life time to time. This relaxation may be necessary to get out of ruts where your current way of viewing the situation is frustrated and can’t allow you to live your best life.There is no perfect state of meanings, no eternal viewpoint that will be good for all things. Therefore, relaxation of meaning is probably a necessary adjustment that needs to be done every once in a while. The new meanings you get to may not be any better (in an absolute sense) than the ones you went in with, but they may help you see around obstacles that keep you from living a good life.

Here is Bard Mwendwa’s Poem, Lucky’s Poem, HOME

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