On 27/11/2005, at 10:07 AM, Quentin Anciaux wrote:

While I agree it is quite of topic.. this is something that I got lot of interest into. Why are we looking for a consistent meaning of our own life ?


How can anything be off-topic on a list calling itself "Everything"????? ;>

Because that's what the human brain does. The nature of the system called "human brain" involves use of a software (our Greek Gang of Three judgment-based thinking system) that proceeds on pattern- recognition for shaping all data. The brain in turn can also supply patterns of its own. A pattern can be many things of course, but it in order for our brain to deal with it at all, it has to exhibit some degree of consistency or regularity, however crazy this may turn out to be. If you can see meaning in a piece of music then you know what I mean instantly. If the consistency or regularity don't occur in the data (or we simply don't percieve it for whatever reason) then our brains impose a pattern on the data so we can sift it (en faire le triage).

I always like to say that the absence of real knowledge of something has never been much of an obstacle to humans tricking up "explanations" of one kind or another. Without its patterns of recognition, the brain is a very halting machine.

Also, if we don't actually know something then we can always believe something, which, it turns out, is almost as good (but not quite as good).

The search for a "consistent meaning to life" is then the search for certainty about that pattern one recognises as the 1st person experience, or the self. I assume that this is not so much for confirmation of solipsism but for the knowledge that our pattern counts for something amongst all the others. A kind of emotional relativity if you will.

The patterns of recognition help us to survive but for what do we survive? If the white rabbit DOES fly in through the window, then you've got a problem with the consistency of that meaning. Given half an hour and a bit of reflection though, you would probably convince yourself of some explanation. Which is to say you would at least supply and append (from your own brain) the minimal pattern of recognition "Gee, if it happened once it could happen again, so I will suspend my judgment"). Having seen once in my life what I later came to believe was a UFO, I realise now that for many years I unconsciously believed some minimal explanation of what I saw unquestioningly until I really, rationally examined in detail this "belief". So, whatever we need in the way of consistency of meaning, we can never be certain we aren't just making it all up as we go along. I think this brings us back to Bruno and Goedel?

Kim Jones

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