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Life, The Universe, Everything & Yourself in perspective

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by rogue49, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Everything's Relative...

    So that being said...periodically we get article's such as this.
    Wait buy why, putting Time in Perspective

    These try to make you feel meaningless and insignificant in comparison

    However, I'll say this...no matter who you are...
    First, you've hit the lottery to be here.
    Second, in comparison to most things...what you've done in a day is more than a rock has done in centuries.

    There is no meaning but what you give yourself.
    But even the worst of us, for the most part has done something more than much of the Universe.

    I don't know about the rest of you...but I know that half my battle is with myself.
    Just getting up and getting through the day.
    Then there's that little thing called ambition...goals & dreams.
    How do I do that???
    When do I do that???

    Yet, many of us do. Some of us don't.
    Does it mean anything??
    Yes & No.

    I hope I can do something that leaves a mark that lives on...that is my goal.
    But I also know, just living the day...I've done more than most things in this place we call the Universe

    Here's to living life.

    And let me know your thoughts on the matter...in this nice little place called TFP.
    Time keeps on surfin'... :p:):(:mad:;):confused::eek::rolleyes::oops::cool:
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
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  2. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Human meaning is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it allows us to see beauty in things that, say, to a cat, only has useless material meaning. On the other hand, broader meaning contrasted with our own sense of significance can make us feel, well, insignificant.

    It's about perspective, and awareness of what goes on in your mind.

    First, a bit of science.

    This link points to a graphical interpretation of the concept of deep time. Anyone who has studied evolutionary theory, among other things, will be familiar with it. Deep time helps us grasp the concept of how evolutionary changes can actually happen. Creationists and those who are boggled by the mechanisms of evolution probably haven't contemplated the sheer magnitude of time from the beginnings of life to the living beings today.

    Natural selection within a single species is a process that has happened astoundingly more times than our quad core processor has made a calculation over the past five years of high-end gaming. It's an astounding number over an astounding number of years. Humans measure time in large part by seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years. Going to decades and beyond is "a long time." However, a decade is but a slice in the grand scheme of things.

    Many of us are bored when we have nothing to do to kill an hour.

    An hour.

    Most of my perceptions of life and the universe are informed/influenced by Buddhist philosophy. Its foundations point out our interconnectedness and "non-self," the latter of which is a difficult concept to grasp because of ego—or a strong concept of self. I haven't quite figured it out, and it's not something to go into here.

    What I will say is that Buddhism helps us realize our place in the universe and to make peace with it. It views the universe (and our concepts of self) as in constant flux. Our minds are resistant to change, unless it is to grasp for pleasure or to escape pain. In Buddhism, it is taught to accept that these experiences are inevitable. The thing to do is learn how to manage them, not cling to them or escape them.

    Basically, I admire the magnitude of time and space, but I don't feel belittled or worthless in contrast.

    No—I feel like an integral part of it all.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
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  3. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Well, in the same context I made above...an ant likely has more in it's life than a grain of sand.
    I'm not going to presume that I appreciate more than it.

    Any more than I can say my dog in front of me completely enjoying it's bone...than a Billionaire who inherited their riches who can't get out of bed.
    Or me reading a good article vs. my same dog sniffing something interesting I can't see in the grass.

    It ends up what you do...what you notice...and what you partake of.

    I can't say that what I do is more significant than the Sun.
    Then again, who can say the Sun can do what I do...

    And does it get envious??? Because I know my dog and the ant wants the steak I'm having. ;)
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  4. Stan

    Stan Resident Dumbass

    I can't speak to cats; but Molly chooses to sit down and rest at the prettiest possible overlooks. I'm 100% certain that she appreciates the view.

    I have a hard time balancing shit that goes wrong with shit that goes right. I've worked hard to get to a pretty good place. Taking time to enjoy it, rather than driving for more is a constant battle.
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  5. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    The matriarch under whom I live appreciates many of the same vistas outside the home as I do; however, she's depressingly indifferent about my Van Gogh print. She'd scratch it up along with any old newspaper she'd come across.

    And what's the saying? Something like, "If you point the moon out to a cat, she'll look at your finger." We may appreciate some of the same things, but we can't always partake in them on the same plane. When we do, however, it sure is nice.

    Scientifically speaking*, we always have 99 problems. When you solve one, another one will immediately take its place.

    *not really, but you get the idea
  6. Taliesin

    Taliesin Slightly Tilted

    Western Australia
    Not really on topic, but the above comment made me think of this.
    I don't have a whole lot to add to this thread, but I'll keep reading it with interest
    PLOS ONE: Preference for and Discrimination of Paintings by Mice
    Mice can tell the difference between paintings, if they have the encouragement
    • Like Like x 1
  7. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member


    Actually, that brings to mind a question.
    Is what WE as human beings consider important...important and of significance...or important to others???

    Do other animals care what we think?
    Do they place significance on what we consider significant?

    Are we just being arrogant, thinking...well, they can't do this or that.
    And a dog just thinks we're just unlucky that we can't smell as well as it does...and could really care less about having hands or talking...or can do without it in life.

    Or as Douglas Adams put so succinctly, "So long...and thanks for the fish" (from the dolphins, escaping the doomed Earth, which was built by mice...who did tests on us)

    We humans are really self-important and self-centered.
  8. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Not as self-centred as most species, thankfully.
  9. DamnitAll

    DamnitAll Wait... what?

    Central MD

    Yes indeed. I love it.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member


    But I wanted the luxury suite...
  11. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    Finding meaning and perspective to make an effective life requires finding a certain balance.

    One of the great early Hasidic masters, Reb Simcha Bunim of Przysuche, taught that every person should bear two notes on their person at all times, one in the pocket on one side, the other in the other side's pocket. And the first note should remind them, "For my sake was the whole world created," while the second reminds them, "I am only dust and ashes." [both quotes are from the Talmud].

    Like many things, human life exists in a tension of paradox. Every person's life is singularly important, uniquely precious, unlike anything else in the entire universe. And yet, at the same time, we are nothing but collections of complex molecules, barely a different combination of elements than any tree, rock, or chunk of random space debris, and life goes on with or without any or all of us, without even a noticeable ripple in the flow of the universe's history. Both of these aspects are entirely true, though they would seem mutually contradictory.
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Fremen

    Fremen Allright, who stole my mustache?

    E. Texas
    When I think too much about the "nothingness" I get depressed.
    Are we really here?
  13. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    I'm with DamnitAll. An immensity that I can't comprehend? An expanse of energy and dust that I don't have the faculty to fully contemplate? It's fascinating and makes me feel more alive. I don't need to feel significant.
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  14. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    Just use the Star Trek motto to "boldly go where no one has gone before" and explore the universe and live your life to the fullest to figure out what is out there.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Yes, we are...whether we want it or not.
    And even if you do go, it still keeps going.
    Events occur, whether you are aware of them or not.

    One of my favorite quotes is...
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." -Link to other words on reality.


    There's a funny thing, that most don't realize.
    You know the rule in math...your teachers say you can't divide by zero.
    And if you do it on a machine or calculator...it errors out. (seems to prove the rule...)

    But if you take ANY number, and start dividing it by smaller and smaller numbers,
    lo & behold...the solution number gets bigger and bigger.

    So this means you CAN divide by zero.
    It's just that ANYTHING divided by nothing...is Infinity. (that's why it errors...and why most teachers don't say it, because it is very abstract)

    So, there is something in the nothing.
    The universe has to exist, because you exist...even if an atom of you existed in nothing, it would become the universe in the void.

    And what most don't know...is that there are trillions of particles going through even one inch of your body in a second. (neutrinos)
    Dark matter also is all the matter we have not observed or cannot observe...but it's still there.
    The void of space is no void.

    And what others don't realize that everything exists within the dimensional structure of the universe.
    Because what do you think Mass is warping to create the affect of Gravity?? (Einstein proved this one)
    Yes, ANYTHING with mass warps space & time (or even more...)

    And who knows? Perhaps there is something even "outside" of the universe... Another universe? Multiple?? Another level?
    Scientists are just starting to think on this theory...and it's looking more and more likely.

    And for as big as just this is...there are incredibly smaller objects within you.
    And what looks like space inbetween those, seems relatively huge...but there is likely something inbetween.
    We haven't observed this yet.
    Hell, We haven't defined this yet.

    Yet, you are able to do incredible things...even just breathing...or seeing. or just being born.

    Do not fear the nothing.
    Enjoy the idea of something being there.
    Even if you know it or not.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
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  16. DamnitAll

    DamnitAll Wait... what?

    Central MD

    Here's another quote, a favorite of mine, so much I got it put under my skin:

    "After death human thought lives on by momentum." —Vladimir Nabokov

    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Fremen

    Fremen Allright, who stole my mustache?

    E. Texas
    Thanks for the quotes and trying to make the nothing into something.
  18. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Actually, that's one of the reasons I have my signature,
    "The truth is, even at the most basic level, it's always a hardware and software story."

    Meaning, "hardware" is reality...it is what it is. (even quantum mechanics' extreme ideas can't change that)
    But "software"
    is HOW you perceive it
    And HOW you define it
    And HOW you interpret it.

    Because much of what we know is how we've are thinking about it. Your perspective.
    That CAN change...

    But Fremen the one that will put a smile on your face and is REALLY deep is Groucho Marx's quote,
    "I'm not crazy about reality, but it's still the only place to get a decent meal." :cool:
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
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  19. Fremen

    Fremen Allright, who stole my mustache?

    E. Texas
    Yep, I'm smilin'. Thanks!
  20. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    Quoted in agreement.

    Some big master plan? Some big cosmic mistake? Who cares? I'm just glad to be a part of it all.
    • Like Like x 3