Friday, October 16, 2009

The Meaning of Life - I

This post is a tough one, so I am asking you for a favor; give it a chance :)
It is a tough read but I believe that in the end the patient reader will be rewarded with a new understanding of life in general and his or her personal life in particular.
There are endless blogs out there talking about the meaning of life; to the point that any concepts on the subject matter have turned into clich├ęs.
So on that note, let’s take a path less traveled and look at life from a different perspective.

The general consensus is that death is that specific event in time when life ends, in other words death is the passing away moment of our life.
But look at it carefully and you will see that death is not merely a moment in time.
Death is a state that existed long before our birth; it is interrupted for the duration of our life journey and resumes its course after our passing away.

From that perspective, life and death are two exclusive ways of existence of the universe.
The “dead” or inorganic existence and the “live” or organic existence.

Due to extensive scientific work in the last decades we have come to know a great deal about this “dead” material existence and unfortunately very little about the “live” or as I like to call it; spiritual existence.
We know that the physical universe is ruled by physical laws.
One of my favorite of the many laws concerning the physical universe is the law of entropy.

According to the law of entropy the universe has a tendency to attain the maximum of homogeneity in which all matter is at uniform temperature – or level of energy – also called heat or thermodynamic death.
To put it in lay terms the fundamental principle of the physical universe is “death”

Anything that exists has a tendency to degrade, break down, crumble, decay, die and turn into dust.
The brand new car you just bought will be old in 10 years, in 20 it will be junk and in 50 an antique!
Like a wind up toy, the universe will spend up all its energy and come to a stand still.
(At least that is what the law of entropy tells us :)

One question the scientists never ask and therefore never answer is; who the hell wound up the universe in the first place?
If the pyramids will crumble to sand it is because somebody built them in the first place.
If my hair is falling off, leaving behind a dignifying bold spot, it is because I used to have a full head of hair.
You get the idea; in order t have destruction you have to have creation in the first place.

Life and death are two opposing forces in the universe.
Like the mythical Sisyphus life pushes existence up while death is trying to tear it down.
Like the universe our human existence and everything in our life is the result of this “dance” of life and death.
Understanding this principle and its far reaching effects will put your life in a different perspective.

“Life is suffering” – Buddha
“Not quite so” – Buddha of Hollywood

(Actually I believe that the master did not say “suffering” and what we got actually is a bad translation :)
Any way: Life is a continuous effort against this infamous “entropy”
That makes life arduous, challenging, demanding – but does it make it painful?
No, not at all.

What makes us suffer, what makes life painful is lack of love.
Conversely what makes us happy, what makes life wonderful is our love.

Going to work to a job that you hate makes that job into a painful ordeal.
Going to work for a job that you love makes that job into a rewarding experience.
A relationship with a person you don’t love is a burden and a pain.
And of course, a relationship with a person you love – no matter how demanding – makes it into the most wonderful thing in the world
Take for example raising my two daughters: It is a very hard demanding thing but I wouldn’t exchange it for anything in this world.

So next time something breaks down in your life – a car or a relationship – don’t look at it as bad luck, look at it as “entropy” in action.
Realize that life is a continuous effort and that effort is both the source of your happiness and satisfaction as well the source of your pain and suffering.
Life is not merely being alive, breathing and having a pulse.
Life is the dance of creation and destruction.

To be continued…


Quantum_Flux said...

Entropy is a statistical probability, but given that the universe is infinite in size and eternal, that means there is plenty of probability that entropy will go in reverse in some times and places while it will naturally proceed everywhere. I tried to make the analogy between the collective masses that go to vegas each year, most lose money, however some people walk out of there richer than when they got there.

S = dQ/dT .... heat has a probabilistic tendency to expand, and temperature has a probabilistic tendency to cool down, thus entropy has a probabilistic tendency to increase....however, that doesn't mean that it has to, really anything could possibly happen as far as heat and temperature goes, the difference is that there are far more outcomes where entropy gets increased than there are outcomes where entropy decreases.

Who wound up nature? Well, let's just say that nature plays dice, lol.

Poetic Shutterbug said...

I believe there is no beginning or end but rather a continuum.

Flight said...

I think the universe seems infinite only if we use Edwin Hubble's redshift observations. He only proved that galaxies are moving away from each other not that the universe is expanding. If we are on the outer edge of a continuing vortex the red shift would show the same results .

What I'm getting at is science and religion both have never been able to prove where we came from or where we are going. All we have is here and now. Who started the bang and where did god come from is the same question to me. E=MC2 may be it's all relative.

Ted Bagley said...

Like the -1.

Quantum_Flux said...

I can not explain how absurd it is to ask a question such as "who started the Big Bang?" .... it wasn't like it was a bomb with a detonator switch or anything like that you know.

Who causes supernovas or who starts earthquakes? See, such things are widely known to be "natural" disasters, well, the same goes for the Big Bang, that was a natural occurence and there was no "who-done-it".

Quantum_Flux said...

An even more absurd one that I get asked quite frequently is "who invented gravity?" Once again, gravity is a natural phenomina, just like electricity and the nuclear forces, it wasn't designed by anyone.

Even more absurd than that line of questioning is "Who invented abstract logic"? Well, nobody invented abstract logic either, it just exists. Abstract logic is also not a language either, it is rather a group of relationships that is based upon fundamental axioms. Nobody invented the axioms for math, however, but the axioms were discovered by many mathematicians over the years. Similarly, the laws of physics and nature were not "invented" by anyone, they were instead discovered, by scientists performing experiments to see how nature functions.

Another absurdity that I keep hearing about is that "the Bible contains all the information that scientists are trying to discover". No it doesn't. The Bible has NOT ONE single mathematical formula in it, and it certainly does not have any physical formulas in it. Sure, there are numbers in it, such as curencies, weights and measures, but those were all invented by people as a means of understanding the quantities of nature and to accurately organize society based on the distribution of resources. The Cubit, the Talents, the Days and Years, the Generational Lineages, the Laws, the Philosophies, those were all invented by humans as a way to keep track of things and a primitive means to make sense of reality. I would also argue that the miracles and the big fish stories in the Bible are clearly the products of human imagination, and not the products of divine inspiration. There are many things which humans imagine which don't correlate with reality, and there are many things which humans believe to be true that are not true, however, science is the only means by which humans can combat the ignorance of their ways.

Philosophy plays a role in how humans think about their place in the world, but there are no divine philosophies aside from, in my best guess, Rational Objectivism. Allow me to explain that, in a way, if truth is divine and abstract logic reveals the truth, then by inference using abstract logic to reveal the truth is partially divine (the rational). But it is not by abstract logic alone that the truth can be revealed, because there always needs to be premises for abstract logic to work from. Thus, people, in order to be truthful and divine, also need to observe nature to discover her secrets (therein lies the objective).

It is not possible to make an observation of nature unless there is an observer, and it is not possible to derive a conclusion without a rationalizer (thereby the ego must exist).

Quantum_Flux said...

Nature always was, so says the conservation laws. Nobody has shown the conservation laws to be in error.

Buddha of Hollywood said...

@ Quantum - "given that the universe is infinite" who is given that?...
Yes some people might win in Las Vegas but Las Vegas wouldn't exist if that was left to chance.
For the casinos to make money it is not a probability it is a certainty...
Entropy is a law not a dice roll.

@ Poetic - The only permanent thing is change :)

@ Flux - It has to have a meaning - other wise the question wouldn't exist.

@ Quantum - There is no effect without a cause and action without reaction.
I get the impression that you don't know what "probability" means.
If you flip a coin you get heads or tails but not a water melon - NEVER.
Probable does not mean anything goes.
I can't explain how absurd it is to say that things start and stop without reason or appear and disappear into nothing.

@ Anonymous - This was supposed to be about the meaning of life from the perspective ; entropy vs life
I don't even know what we are talking about :(
Well, but then again, we are talking and that is for sure a good thing :)
Thank you for stopping by and participate!

Quantum_Flux said...

Entropy is a probabilistic property too. Let's use a dice as an example of entropy. Let's call increasing entropy getting any number between 1-5, and decreasing entropy getting a 6. Okay, so roll the dice a couple thousand times, the net effect will be increased entropy, however there will be local places where entropy decreases.

Buddha of Hollywood said...

@ Quantum - LOL! - Yup!
You might beat the odds occasionally but in the end everything will reach maximum entropy.
In the end everything dies.
It is the law...
Yet after millions of years of death life keeps flourishing.
Isn't that odd?

Flight said...

Not odd at all, without death there can be no life.

Quantum_Flux said...

You've any idea how rare it is for life to form in the Universe BOH, it's even more rare than for matter to form in the Universe. The majority of the Universe is just empty space.

Talon said...

I've always thought of death as part of life - not separate. It would be awesome if there was definite evidence of what transpires when a person dies. Until we experience that part of our life cycle, it's conjecture and always interesting to speculate upon.

Ted Bagley said...

Maybe everything lives and dies, 1/-1, is a reflection of there being no living and dying but something else, X.

timethief said...

You have said: "Life is a continuous effort against this infamous “entropy”. That makes life arduous, challenging, demanding – but does it make it painful? No, not at all. What makes us suffer, what makes life painful is lack of love.
Conversely what makes us happy, what makes life wonderful is our love."

I agree wholeheartedly.

P.S. The change you made to your theme has made it easier for me, a visually challenged person, to read. Thank you. :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the threads of Noetic Science being mentioned here. Some of it is off the wall and some of it will blow our (future) minds ...

Buddha of Hollywood said...

@ Flight - It was a rhetorical question, but yes; life and death are two sides of the same coin.

@ Quantum - That empty space is not empty - it is my spiritual reality :)

@ Talon - We know what happens after we die: we return to what we were before we were born :)

@ Ted - Maybe some time we will talk about meta realities and multi-dimensional existence but for now let's stick with the mundane problems :)

@ TT - Great minds think alike :)
PS: But do you like it?

@ Aggie - I don't know much about "noetics" but I know that if the human kind continues on its present course will end up in a major catastrophe.

Ted Bagley said...


Ted Bagley said...

As if Quantum and Flight haven't been doing that.

HuNNi said...

Great article...very deep, it really does leave me thinking!!!

laughingyogini said...

Let's remember where old man Buddha was going when he said life is suffering (stress): Suffering is caused by desire. If we can invite some death (savasana) into our lives to mitigate the desires, we can experience nirvana or the free flow of energy throughout our being. If we can do this even partially, we will invite love into our lives, as the energy moves through us and into others around us.

PS, I'm with Timethief on the theme ~ this is MUCH easier to read therefore I LIKE it.

timethief said...

You have said: "@ TT - Great minds think alike :)
PS: But do you like it?"

Yes! I like it very much :)

Gregorio said...

I am in agreement with what you have said.Life really does have a lot of suffering in it,but your attitude in dealing with it is what makes the difference.Take the negative and tweak it until you find the enlightened positive,it is always there.It is better for your health to be an optimist than a pessimist, always looking for the bad or evil.