One might call it "Derrida'a Paradox." If the statement: "all language refers to nothing but itself in a circle that explains nothing about nothing" is true, then the statement itself is meaningless. And meaningless statements, being meaningless, can neither be true nor false.

Either way, it tells us absolutely nothing about language.

I'm old enough to remember EST. I (and most other people with any modicum of common sense) realized at the time that it was nothing more than a joke (not to mention a con).

The punch line was all those other people who paid good money to be mistreated for hours and hours, only to come out at the end with the realization that it had been a joke all along. Moreover, few laughed at that realization.

"Suffering, says the Buddha, is caused by our inability to recognize the absurdity of our own thinking."

Now I have no doubt that the Buddha was a poor, long suffering, absolutely miserable excuse for a man. Fortunately, the Buddha has no more influence on modern life than Aesop. Otherwise we would have killed ourselves off as a species years ago.

Robert Powell says, Wisdom is to reject conventional wisdom about almost everything. The problem with that statement is that it assumes there has been very little wisdom taking place in the entire history of Mankind.

Except, apparently, starting with Mr Powell.

I can understand that statements that are truely deeply profound may appear, at first aquaintance, to be absurd. This is because deeply profound statements may require something of a paradhim shift in thinking before they are completely understood.

It does not follow, however, that every obsurd statement must be deeply profound. In general, absurdity is nothing more than absurdity.

So how does one distinguish between the two. It can be difficult at times. However, one telling difference between them is that absurdity is extremely easy while profundity is extremely difficult.

Fortunately, the ease and difficulty lies mainly with the dispenser of the concepts under question.

For the listener, the challenge is reversed. Absurdity is difficult to understand. Our brains are hard-wired to accept reason and logic. It is the unreasonable and illogical that it struggles with.

Especially because the dispensers of absurdity knows they are spouting nothing more than absurdity and deliberately obfuscate their language to hide the fact that behind all their verbage there lies little in the way of actual meaning.

Anyone who who has tried to read James' Pragmatism or anything labeled "Existentialism" will come away with one clear observation: the writers have deliberately gone out of their way to hide any actual meaning behind their words. This is how they hide their absurdity.

In fact, I have often entertained myself with thoughts of one day meeting such an author and declaring, "I want to thank you for the clarity of your writing. You have a way of making your meaning very easy to understand." and then watch them as they recoil in horror.

Now I just have to reconcile the thought that I have just been invited to a dance with someone who has "proven" that dance has no meaning.

But does "life" have meaning? Is there meaning that exists out in the universe somewhere?

Fortunately, the answer is a resounding NO!

Fortunately? Yes. This is great news. Our lives, it turns out, is a blank slate (or empty canvas, depending of one's metaphorical preferences) upon which we write or paint those meanings we desire.

Meaning is not something that is thrust upon us by an all-powerful god or an indifferent reality. Purpose and meaning are not edicts or aspects of life that must be sought after.

Purpose and meaning are decisions we make. What meaning do you want your life to have? Great, Now go out and live your life so as to give it that meaning.




A retired software engineer who hates retirement with a passion. My hobbies are economics, philosophy and futurism.

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Tomm Carr

Tomm Carr

A retired software engineer who hates retirement with a passion. My hobbies are economics, philosophy and futurism.

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