Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Meaning of Life

           "What are your interpretations about the meaning of life? Is there one to you? If so, what is it? If there isn’t, what’s the point of being alive, in your opinion?"
              I think a distinction needs to be made between purpose and meaning because in my mind “purpose” should be in place of meaning in the question, but I will include my interpretation of “meaning” at the bottom.

              Purpose is pretty much the belief that you were meant for something and eventually, no matter what, you will achieve that purpose; it’s your destiny. Now, if we put purpose in place of “meaning” in the question it translates to there being a purpose to my life, your life, everyone’s life; however, if that were the case then we would have absolutely no choice in how we live our lives. Purpose will be fulfilled and freedom (in the form of choosing for oneself) no longer exists; this is called determinism. Whether or not there is a purpose to life is unimportant though, because if there is no purpose to life then you are completely free to do as you wish and essentially “make” your own destiny; moreover, if there is purpose then there is nothing one could do about it anyways - it will be fulfilled.

              Now, meaning is completely different because meaning is what you make of it. Life does not have meaning unless you give it meaning. Purpose is out of our mind’s realm; it’s unknowable and therefore uncontrollable as well. But it’s not about control, it’s about how you view things.

              So, is there a meaning to life? I can't answer that on your behalf. But for me, the meaning of my life is perspective. I'm always curious about what others think, why they do what they do, what they believe in, how they see the world, etc because if I can compare, include, fuse, understand their perspective then I will have also broadened my own scope at the same time. For my actions alone, I act the way I do because of how I view the world - generally, I try to see things in a positive light and as a continual process of “growing.”

               For the last part of the question: "If there isn't [a meaning to life], what's the point of being alive...?" Stemming from my descriptions above, if there was no “meaning” to life then life would not be life as we know it. The meanings you give to the "small things" in life are usually linked to the meaning you give to life in general. "What's the point of being alive" without meaning? If there was no meaning there would be no point, but that is life; there will always be meaning because we humans always place a meaning on things - nihilists themselves give meaning to no meaning. So, simply answered; there is no point of being alive without meaning. But a harder question that stems from that answer: What kind of meaning are you going to place on life?
Life is all about perspective.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What I Am Truly Thankful For

            I am literally thankful for everything! There is nothing that has happened, is happening, or will happen that I will not be thankful for. Because what has happened, is happening, and will happen will be the determining factors of who I was, am, and will be and the same is true for everyone else. Each experience will be absorbed and transformed within you and me to create worldviews and unique perspectives. It is all a challenge to me; a challenge to be overcome either by defeating it or accepting the “realities” of it.
In short, it’s much easier to live with oneself if he/she sees the past, present, and future in a positive light, as a growing experience to continually better oneself. Personally, that is why the bad and the ugly can look good and beautiful. Life is all about perspective.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Time Traveling

Time travel is such an interesting topic: all sorts of crazy ideas have been passed around all trying to give a definitive answer as to what the consequences of it might be, how it works or if it is even possible. Today I will give you my version of time travel with the help of Back to the Future’s version since it is a movie I highly prefer and slightly agree with in terms of time travel schematics.

The diagram provided has a description below basically explaining how each timeline is created in Back to the Future. According to the diagram, as some of you may notice, jumping “into” the future will not alter the current timeline at all. This is where my own disagreement comes in. Any sort of prolonged absence between the present and the future (by which we are traveling to) would result in change of the current timeline. Let us say that I take a trip “into” the future twenty years from now. Though the trip was instantaneous for me the people who saw me most, assuming that would be several times a week, would think that I had disappeared; moreover, I pass up a myriad of opportunities to “leave my mark” upon the world due to this absence. In short, I did not exist for twenty years.

The diagram also suggests that traveling back in time is quite different from traveling forward in time. Any sort of time travel to the past that interacts or interferes with something that “inspires” the future will result in an alteration of that timeline and create another, different timeline (as Doc says, “erased from existence”); it really means that any time travel to the past will distort and create an alternate future – in the eyes of the time traveler only because for everyone else the change would be unknown. I agree, and yet again disagree. I agree that time travel to the past will create an alternate future that is unknown to me (if I am the time traveler), but I disagree on another level which I will discuss next.

 The way I see time travel is somewhat like a description I’ve heard of other dimensions – dimensions in the sense of dots, lines, depth, and time. The first dimension is a dot, the second dimension is a line or plane of which we can only see one side (i.e. cartoons on a sheet of paper), the third dimension incorporates depth to shapes and multiple sides, and then the fourth dimension brings time into the formula (i.e. how much time it takes for the image of an actual object to reach our eyes). The further one delves into dimensions the more complicated it gets. Eventually one ends up looking at dimensions that deal with the infinite possibilities of a single universe, then infinite universes, and finally the infinite possibilities within an infinite number of universes. Anyways, I see my life full of infinite possibilities that may turn into outcomes, and other people’s lives are the same; moreover, while there is an infinite number of possibilities for every second of my life and every other life or inanimate object there is also an infinite number of other universes in which the infinite number of possibilities are each tried out for my life alone which is then compounded by the infiniteness of all “other’s” as well.

I see time travel as a type of traveling from my universe to another universe. This means that if I time travel I may arrive in a universe in which another “me” exists and is living out one or more of the infinite possibilities that did not occur in my universe or I arrive in a universe that I never existed in or I arrive in a universe that precedes my existence and any interaction I have in that universe will ultimately change that universe before the other “me” is even born or I travel to a universe in which the other “me” is long gone though my presence in that universe at that time still has some quite profound effects on the future of that universe. Unfortunately, my view of time travel means that the probability of the time traveler going back to their universe is one to the infinite number of possibilities of one universe to the infinite number of universes to the infinite possibilities within an infinite number of universes. 

But since the unknown cannot be spoken of as fact I must say this was merely a play for the mind.