INFLUENCE
by David Eide .

I was flipping through a magazine that posed the question to various famous and infamous personages, "what is the meaning of life?" It struck me that this question is asked every generation. It has been asked from the very beginning of things. It was asked 2000 years ago in Rome, not simply among the Roman philosophers and aristocrats but among the general run of the mass creatures who labored and were subject to disease and pain and saw things from the outside of the structure of Rome as we know it 2000 years after the fact. Even the wretched asked the question, "what is the meaning of life?"

Which brings us to an interesting dilemma. If the billions and billions of human beings on planet Earth who have drawn a breath and taken a few steps and been subject to all of the desire and pain of any normal life- if the billions and billions of human beings who have proceeded us have not answered the question, then how in the world could we? The only way that we can answer a question such as this is to determine what our relation to things are. Ask the question, "what has meaning and what derives from meaning. What is the source of meaning?" We can hardly get any meaning out of the physical facts that the scientists articulate. That is, the chemical composition of organic and inorganic life- ie. the physical projection of the human being has absolutely no meaning in and for themselves except that our imagination and sense and intellect are excited about the prospect of knowing such things. You cannot possibly gather together enough information about the evolution of the universe to give it meaning. What you can give meaning is the desire to learn about these things and the evolution of this knowledge.

It is the relation to knowledge that is the meaning. It is our psychology that is the meaning. It is our awareness that is the meaning. The only thing that is meaningful after the development of consciousness is the knowledge of use- the use of knowledge, the use of the human being in his free actions, the use of resources and so on.

Yet- who authorizes this meaning? It is eventually that aspect of ourselves that we call faith or belief that finally gives us our meaning. And, as well, our anti-meanings because many bad manifestations have emerged out of faith and belief.

How large an act does an act have to be before it has meaning?

Is it simply through our images that meaning exists? What about the political emotions that we feel from time to time?

God has proven to be the only long-term and reliable source of meaning and yet we can ask, "what about the gods that God displaced? Isn't this an indication that meanings, even ultimate meanings, change over a period of time?"

* * * * * * * *

Belief in what you do, as an extension of your will is a struggle to attain. The belief is in a nearly independent object which, for whatever reason, is outside of you. It is outside because it has been pulled out or pushed out. And once outside of you subject to all kinds of relations and critiques. It joins other objects; it separates from us as a rose is separated from its stem. We bring understanding to the object, it is ourselves. The object laughs at us, it is not ourselves.

The object is connected to B. Therefore, once the object is so connected we are implicated with B. B is not of our making, B is something we had no knowledge of until the object connects. B is connected to a complex structure DAC. DAC contains elements that, if isolated, would threaten us, threaten our very existence. How can we be implicated in that which threatens us? We are and that is a conduit we have difficulty with from time to time.

Therefore it makes it imperative for us to step back and study the DAC from time to time.

Obviously, all around us is the universe. We are, in some profound sense, anti-universe. We are enlarged by the universe no matter how many times we are demoralized by our littleness in it. Will we struggle for dominance when we meet life in the universe? Or will we howl in derision at our former ignorance and learn brand new, the secrets of life?

1979


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