Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
God. Hmmm. I don't really like this word; it has connotations associated with it that you just can't strip away. So I'll try to by-pass it.
I do not believe in any variety of a Judeo-Christio-Islamic God. That said, I begin with Wittgenstein's statement:
"The meaning of life, i.e. the meaning of the world, we can call God."
Such a meaning, if it exists at all, is hidden from our intellect. Life may have a meaning but we don't know what it is. [The meaning i am referring to is the 'intrinsic' meaning, not the meaning that we create for ourselves.]
The existence of such an occult meaning may be supposed or assumed on a number of reasons:
*To some people, the idea of an absurd universe seems very unlikely.
*To believe so can be an emotional need.
*Many people get the 'feeling' that there is some higher meaning to apparently coincidental things that happen in life. ['We were MEANT to be together...' etc]
It is all philosophically valid, as long as it is accepted that you cannot rationally prove that such a meaning necessarily exists.
It is almost futile to debate the nature of this meaning. Is it a 'Being' that creates this meaning? Or does this meaning exist in itself, like some grand metaphysical narrative that forms the very structure of this world? I do not know and I have no way of knowing.
Since this meaning of life, if it exists at all, is unknown to us, does it have any bearing on our lives? It seems not. Because in the absence of any apparent intrinsic meaning, we have to create a meaning for ourselves anyway. But what the idea can do is to provide a sort of 'therapy', bring a perspective to our lives. It determines our attitude to life. The thought "I don't know how but all this that is happening to me somehow makes sense in the greater plan" can be comforting on many occasions.
At this point in life, it seems likely to me that an occult meaning of life exists. But as i said, i do not know what it is, and i do not think that it's existence can be proven. So, all the existential dilemmas still exist, but in a milder form.
P.S. Mystics claim to experience "God" through spiritual experience. I have never had a mystic experience, so i can't say, but the testimony of mystics also gives me some "likelihood" points that a higher meaning does exist.
P.P.S. I have had enough of God debates on my blog in the past, so I am not allowing comments on this post. If you really have something to say, email me.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
She saw that in my heart. Smiled and withdrew her hand. 'It is not time yet...'
Sunday, July 4, 2010
CBT = Existentialism?
"I've recently come to the conclusion that cognitive behavioral therapy, the empirically-demonstrated gold standard for treating depression and a host of other problems, necessitates a belief in existentialism, a philosophy holding that we live in a meaningless universe.
How can happiness derive from appreciating the fundamental pointlessness of existence?
Existentialism (at least atheistic existentialism) does not argue that meaning does not exist, only that it does not exist out there in the real world. All meaning is human-constructed. You have complete freedom to interpret events however you like (a freedom that some find nauseating.)
CBT similarly places interpretive control in the hands of the individual. The premise is that thoughts lead to emotions (which lead to behaviors), and we can learn to control our thoughts--even if they've become habit. We're not at the mercy of an emotional system automatically placing valuation on experiences.
I suppose my connection between CBT and existentialism comes from a conversation I had several years ago with a girlfriend who was studying philosophy. I'd said that because of my depression I was an existentialist--I had trouble finding meaning in things. On the contrary, she said, I was *too* depressed to be an existentialist. I was fatalistic. I instinctively saw everything as bad."
Read the complete article at Psychology Today.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
The website is now officially launched!
(Don't miss reading the Ten Questions.)