Friday, September 29, 2006

Kurt Vonnegut, Cats Cradle and The Meaning of Life

The First Book
Warning from title page: Don't be a fool! Close this book at once! It is nothing but foma!

Verse 1: All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies.
Verses 2-4: In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.

And God said, "Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done." And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close as mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. "What is the purpose of all this?" he asked politely.

"Everything must have a purpose?" asked God.

"Certainly," said man.

"Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this," said God.

And He went away.

Friday, September 22, 2006

About the Book The Seekers by Daniel Boorstin

I started into this book with high anticipation. Maybe it would lend me some insight into the meaning of life. After all it goes through some of the great people throughout history. People like Socrates, St Anthony, Aristotle, Kant, Descartes and more.

But I was surpised to see that none of these people really looked for the underlying meaning of existence. They all looked for making sense of life through the world that they lived in. True that all of these figures brought about change in the way the world thought about the world but not in the way that I seek.

some of the bios were interesting and some of them dragged on for too long. Boorstin explained the ups and downs of their lives, the political maneuverings, where they lived, what they did and so on. This all proved the premise that each persons viewpoint on life was shaped by the circumstances in which he lived. And that left out the underlying search for the real meaning of our existence.

I took extensive notes from this book so I could further look into some of them. Here are some snippets.

Socrates - The unexamined life is not worth living
Aristotle - Obsessed with the notion of the changeful world of motion and the unmoved mover (God)
St Anthony - The first hermit the the virtues of the simple life
Herodotus - the father of history, he changed myth into history
Descartes - What path of life should I follow?
John Locke - Sought a definitiion of teh limits of human knowledge and postulated that from experience all knowledge is derived
Hegel - The World Spirit

Hebrew Prophets - reached upward
The Greek Philosophers - Reached inward
The Wheel of Samsara - Life-death-life
The Spanish-Arabic Averroes - There is only a single mind in which all souls participate.

If you would like to help me in my quest to find the meaning of life consider buying this book. Thanks :)

Friday, September 01, 2006

a quote

found a great little snippet from ALbert Schweitzer's The Philosophy of Civilization

Only when we are able to attribute a real meaning to the world and to life shall we be able also to give ourselves to such action as will produce results of real value.
Great thought and I don't want to comment on it. Just let it roll around in your presence for a while. Funny abuut this book. I was methodicaly going through books at the public library looking for something that would help in my quest. This book is so old the embossed title is rubbed right off. So it sat in the shelf nestled between two other books. I passed right by it to examine some other books that looked more interesting but I thought better of it and returned to pull it out. I didn't want to miss one single opportunity. This is how the search goes. I have to be careful not to overlook anything.

Funny how the library check out card is still in its sleeve in the back of the book. The little red stamp shows that the last time this book was checked out was June 3 1964.