Friday, September 14, 2007

The Real Meaning of Life

I have no minutes to post today (but it's Friday!), so I decided to post about a "lightweight" topic like this, LOL! ;-) I got a little book at the Columbia book sale last weekend called The Real Meaning of Life. It is basically a compilation of responses to the question, "what is the meaning of life?" posted online by a college student in 2005 (his question garnered tons of responses and he ended up writing a little book). It was interesting--responses seemed to range from nihilistic (only a few) to spiritual, but with a lot concentrated around either "happiness" and/or "service."

I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about weighty issues and analyzing life in detail, so I was struck by the quote:

"It is true that the unexamined life is not worth living, but it is equally true that the overexamined life is also not worth living." (emphasis mine.)

Okay, I'm editing this post on 9/22 to add one more quote:

"...We avoid it prolong it, and in most cases fear it, yet could we live without it [death]? Death begets time's omnipresent importance. Without death, life is meaningless....Life without death is tragedy. It's like playing poker and getting a royal flush every hand...would you keep playing the game? Or, better yet, what would motivate others to keep anteing up?"

I thought this was an interesting way of looking at it--kind of like the, "if we were never sad, would/could we recognize or appreciate happy?" thing. One requires the other.

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