Saturday, July 17th, 2010
"The Search For Meaning"
I finally finished
The Search for Meaning,
a philosophical book thatís an interesting read, though a little hard to get my head around.
Dennis Ford covers all forms of thought that have governed us. Starting with Mystic, Philosophic,
Scientific, and Post-Modern, he continues with contemporary sources like Pragmatism, Archetypal
Psychology, Metaphysics, and Naturalism. I guess thereís a reason itís subtitle: a short history.
And he uses it all to show how each mindset invests life with meaning. Like the mystic, who is
following Christís example of how to live, or the scientist that disregards meaning for questions
like ďHowĒ for the purpose of control. Ford go through each of these, giving examples of how others
His work is backed up by other philosophers, artists, and psychologists, as he does a lot of
quoting from all sorts of people throughout the ages, from Plato to Blake. But he ties everything
together, tearing apart the ideas of meaning and truth.
But in the end Iím almost forced to believe that the very question of the meaning of life is a
philosophical trick. When asking it you must question meaning and life, and everything in between.
In the end coming up with at best, something subjective. I really think that William James had it
right all those years ago, when he said:
How it all turns out Ė whether our lives are meaningful or meaningless Ė may depend on us and
on what we add to reality.
If the question of meaning is a trick, then it should be rewritten. It should be: How can I
contribute meaningfully to my community? Whatever community you choose to be a part of, Internet
community or your own backyard.
And this question of Why? Why should I do this, what is it all for? A tennis player never asks
why heís playing tennis in the middle of a competition, only a two year old would, and itís a two
year olds question. Why is the sky blue? Sometimes itís just best to be in the moment, and in the
end, it just is.
Currently Playing: Champions of Krynn