Student,

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Does life make / have sense?

You might say that life doesnt have to make sense, and that that is the reason why it is so magical. But can you live senselessly? How? Whats the point of life and living, if there is any? Is there something universal we can all live for? How can we gain and preserve it?

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    Dec 24 2011: "The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." (p.52)
    - Tuesdays with Maury

    Life is a gift. I don't know why we are here. But what I do know is that we are all on earth TOGETHER and that life is short.

    Enjoy the time we do have. Leave a legacy of helping others. And enjoy life.
    • Dec 24 2011: Thanks a lot for your comment Andrew, I must say I agree. Living for love and for somebody else seems to be a nice meaning of life ... but tell me, is love eternal? Do you think there exists such love that can last forever- love that can not be bound by time, age, money, society or anything else that influences our lives?
      All in life (and life itself) is temporary- that is what scares me - to live for something that never lasts and is quickly changed and forgotten. Love seems to be pretty hopeful in having a long-lasting meaning, but is it really?
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        Dec 24 2011: Thanks for your response Katarina.

        "Do I think there exists such love that can last forever- love that can not be bound by time, age, money, society or anything else that influences our lives? "

        No.

        I think love, just as life, occurs in the context of time, space, circumstance, etc. A central condition of all life is that it is temporary. Life can reproduce itself. But as individuals, our time is limited. So in searching for meaning in our lives, I think we must be cognoscente of our temporary existence and the need to finding happiness in the short time we do have. That's where I think love comes in. Love and respect for others (humans, other species, the Earth, future generations) allows us to enjoy life to the fullest and to leave a positive lasting legacy.

        With that said, finding love (and not just the romantic kind but love in all of its forms) and happiness is always a struggle. I know it is for me and I'm sure it is for most people. However, that should not prevent us from striving to open our hearts to the idea.

        I really appreciate your question and would love (no pun intended lol) to hear what you think.
        • Dec 27 2011: Yes, life of a single being is temporary, that is true.
          Now, I guess that if you want to be remembered, (if you want your life to be useful and maybe have a deeper sense), you should leave something behind you. (Pass your genetic code and knowledge to your offspring / express yourself through music or art, / invent a machine that can significantly change the quality of life...)
          I guess for me, life would grow form a "temporary state of being" to "a useful time spent being productive", if I managed to use my limited time wisely and produced something that would not be forgotten.

          Now to the subject of love- yes, even though love has always been here and will be here lets say forever, you only live for a short period of time so you dont really have a chance to absrob it fully ... For our mortal lives that are prescribed into certain years and environments, I believe the grandness of love is not completely graspable, because even though we experience it, we can never understand the absolute power and "size" of love ... (I dont know if this makes sense, if I was not clear enough please tell me :D.)

          Where I aimed previously was whether you think that you can love someone throughout your entire life (and now I mean specifically romantic love). Do you think that you can love someone and long for someone with the same strength and intensity for decades- even when you both grow old, ill and wrinkled, even when all the lovely mysteries disappear? Or is loving a person just as temporary as everything else in life (and as life itself)? If not, what makes love different?

          Hope this wasnt too unordered and messy :D
          And thanks a lot for your reply :)
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        Jan 9 2012: Your questions are valid. The scientist will tell you romantic love will last long enough that you might fall pregnant - about 18 months( Used to be called the state of limmerance not sure what its called now) and after that (hopefully if a child or dog comes along) enough time to bring that being to some form of independence. Around 13 years. If you have the passion, commitment and intimacy with your partner you can expect around 13 years. After that Katarina, I believe something else is at play. Minds are so wonderfully woven together. As in love making where you might forget what body part is yours - so to the minds of friends merge. Now if this entanglement is for the most part healthy. Then love can last and grow and form shapes and colurs one might have previously thought unimmaginable.
        • Jan 9 2012: Thank you Phillip!
          I think you are completely right. Humans are animals, therefore we still have this "visceral urge" or instinct to have as much offspring as possible, hence love plays a less important role. However, as times change and people evolve in many ways, the function of love changes- and that, as I believe, is the "13 years +" period you desribed. That is where all the aspects of love- attachment, romance, lust and memories combine, to make it last.
          Your perception makes sense to me, thanks a lot again :)
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      Dec 26 2011: Just a quick correction:
      Tuesdays with Morrie (by Mitch Albom)

      For those who still wonder about the questions posed in this conversation, this book is indeed packed with answers (answers that perhaps we already know, but have neglected nonetheless).
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    Jan 9 2012: What a brilliant question, Ms. Kondrótová, as it recognizes instantly the insanity in which we all find ourselves immersed, but then proposes why don't we just relax and enjoy the insanity?

    I would say that I would love for life to make sense. That said, I recognize now that Life doesn't have to make sense just because I want it to. Yes, that is the magic of it: I have found that some of the happiest people in the world are those who have made peace with their inability to make sense out of the world, but have kept their drive to keep themselves positively focused on challenging personal goals.

    I don't think that a person can live senselessly (at least not very well) - the reason why I call this world insanity is that we each try to make our own sense of reality, which impacts on the hundred or so other people we encounter daily who are each trying to make THEIR own sense of reality - and that's why the world is senseless . . . too many realities all trying to fit together in the same space/time.

    The point of life and living? To LEARN all that we can in the short time allotted to us.

    Something universal to live for? LOVE

    How do we gain it? We all agree that it's worth striving for. And to preserve it? We LIVE it.

    We have to LIVE our beliefs, and by the expression of our sense of peace as we live those beliefs will be what makes others want to partake in the love that we are living and that we share.

    However, I did not define "love" (although I see some posts have already touched on it), so let me be clear that I am not talking solely about romantic love/erotic love - I'm talking about the love that gives out without ever expecting anything in return. From the Greek, it was called "agape" - And I'm not saying that striving for it will make sense of the world, but I am saying that more of it would certainly make the world more magical.
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    Jan 8 2012: Suggest asking does life having meaning or does life make sense have slightly different connotations.

    Suggest we are the only species on this planet that questions the meaning of life.
    Others perhaps don't have the intellectual capability, sense of self, awareness of life/death we do.

    Suggest this question could be answered from at least 2 perspectives

    1) Does biological life on this planet have meaning. What is the purpose of biological life if any. Suggest the biological purpose of DNA driven life is to survive, reproduce etc. Not sure there is any universal deeper meaning in this.

    Meaning may differ for a plant, or an ant, or a dolphin, or a human.

    2) Then from a human perspective does our conscious life make sense or have meaning. I note many opinions on this and some common themes in comments. Suggest everyone develops their own views on what a meaningful life is, how meaningful life is in general, and how much meaning their own individual life has.

    Interesting that most of us, not in chronic pain, with reasonable quality of life on balance, prefer to be alive rather than dead. Why do we prefer to be alive , rather than cease to be a conscious living being. Suggest this is more than just the biological imperative for humans. Some of the reasons to live may be shown by the reasons people sometimes choose to die or risk death.
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    Jan 4 2012: I like to think at life, at we, as the conscious part of the cosmos, as Carl Sagan said: "Because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself" and I would add "to admire ourself".

    Yes we are made of star stuff, the cosmos is a single entity made a many small parts held together by invisible forces, and we are in the consciousness department... ;-) so what is the sense? maybe the sense, the purpose is to enjoy life , searching for happiness, admiring the sky, being vain of the cosmos, of us, for the simple pleasure of it.
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    E G

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    Dec 28 2011: No , it doesn't , why would do ?
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        E G

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        Jan 20 2012: thinking that there is life out of the actual one .
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    Dec 25 2011: You've asked a universal question which deserves a universal answer.
    The meaning of life is: fulfillment.
    Great. Can I narrow that down? No sorry... That's as reductive as I can get.

    We are all looking for fulfillment, yet what will cause this state of fulfillment is different for each one of us. Because, what might fulfill me, will not necessarily fulfill you and vice-versa.
  • Dec 24 2011: I remember a discussion between 2guys , let's call one a philosopher and the other a naif.
    the philosopher argues that life has no purpose , the naif replied : so , these shoes you're wearing have no purpose!
    the philo. replied : no, that's not what I told , are you drunk? I just told life is without purpose .
    The naif replied : if I understand you , your shoes have a purpose, but your whole life is without purpose !
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    Jan 23 2012: it might just be that life has meaning has a meaning that we can barely make sense of. so we muddle through life as best we can giving our own meaning to our short existence. glad i had this life.
  • Jan 22 2012: Every newborn child,
    Every drop of rain,
    Every golden ray of sun,
    Each head of grain.

    All are gifts from God,
    They reveal his way,

    Miracles performed by him,
    sustain us each day.

    So what are we to do
    With this gift so grand?

    But to love the ones around us,
    And show them we care.

    Not matter what we do,
    we never can earn it.

    This gift, is still a gift,
    The miracle of life.

    Your question made me think of this song.

    Life can make sense, and life can have sense.

    It is up to you to discover what it is. Balancing the mind and heart, the physical self with the emotional and spiritual self, helps us with making sense of life.

    This is my humble opinion.
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    Jan 21 2012: I don't think life can make sense if I chose to live in the context of the Ego exclusively.

    From an invalid context such as the Ego, come invalid perspectives on life, therefore I live a problematic life as a result. If I am seeking enlightenment, I will come to realize that living in a more valid context (background) such as Spiritual Reality will bring a valid perspective on my daily life.

    As a Christian I am called to live and move and have my being in Divine Reality. My life makes sense when I am living in such a valid context, because from that context comes a spiritual perspective on daily life.

    When we seek to live our lives in harmony with reality as we know it, we live better, peaceful lives and therefore healthier lives as a result
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    Jan 19 2012: It does and it doesn't. Depends on you really. If you want it to make sense of it or not. Or if you want it to have a point or not. If you're looking for a universal truth then it probably hasn't been found yet or doesn't exist. :)
  • Jan 18 2012: Yes. Raising children and working to contribute something makes sense to me.
  • Jan 10 2012: Those who think life is to enjoy should either be an ignorant or a Selfish person. Enjoying life always means, destroying someone's , something's life.

    Life is not magical.

    for your reference : http://www.realization.org/page/namedoc0/self/self_1.htm
  • Jan 9 2012: Live fully...live NOW, the moment. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not yet here...and stay compassionate. Enjoy love for what it is NOW...does it really matter if it lasts forever as long as it is alive at this moment?

    I agree that love is what it is within the context of time.
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    Jan 2 2012: Life certainly makes sense.... it would only make sense for people who live lives ..... for those who are not living and enjoying every bit of it will not make any sense.... just like music does not make any sense to a deaf person and colors does not make any sense to a blind person
  • Dec 26 2011: Live! That's what life is for. Experience.
    Use good judgment. Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.
    Trust and have faith in what you know. Come to know yourself. Trust yourself.
    For those who believe in God, someone once said, "God is speaking to you in whatever is happening
    in the moment." Most are not paying attention. We are not now in the now.
    I prefer that the universe is always speaking to me in whatever is happening in the moment.

    But, if we are not true to ourselves, we wind up being false and living a ..........l i e.
    There is mystery which performs magic and with it we find meaning, if only for ourselves and it is only we who understand it.
    I don't know how one can live senselessly since we are born as one with our senses and they but need
    experiences in order for us to learn how to trust and use them. But we can live mindlessly, or forever be trying to access the past or be in the future and ignore the now and what is speaking to us now. And trusting them, to me, is of the utmost importance, no matter the apparitional risk that appears with them as its personal shadow.

    When I do this, I experience grace, an effortless happening in my life, that to others appears as though I am doing it, but I know I am not, and when that happens, life makes sense. It is always making sense. John Wheeler said, "time was invented so that everything wouldn't happen at once." But it is all happening at once!, right now, everywhere in the universe and there is enough room for it all, and it all makes sense. One only needs to be open for it to reveal itself. I cannot seem to "make the sense, make sense" no matter what I have tried. It only does, when I, a man in the body of a leaf, allow powers beyond me to take me wherever they will until I drift downward, trusting in what I know (Faith), and settle in between the letter "i" and "e" in the .......l i e....... I was living, and make the word .........l i f e.
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    Dec 26 2011: I think life make / have sense when love and God is in your heart and soul (perhaps this phrase should be last). Life in many situations doesn't have sense but i think, in some cases this is the beauty of life. You can live senselessly if you really believe it`s a goal for you and helps you to feel better. How? By trying not to reduce everything to make a sense. For example if you meet a person in a strange way, or in a way that you never imagine and it simply changed your life from the moment you meet him / her. This type of situations are not everyday of course but when they happens, it`s great. On the other hand the point of life depends on what`s your wish and how bad you want to fight to complete and define that wish. Regarding, if there is something universal we can all live for, i empathize with Andrew Hecht. Love is the most pure and sincerely feeling that anybody can imagine, and my opinion is that without love we simply cannot live a day. Gaining it and preserving it`s the most difficult but also wonderful thing we could ever do over a lifetime. Wish you all the best !
  • Dec 25 2011: The meaning of life is life itself. Experience life, love it as a precious gift !
    I believe, it is a good starting point for the lifelong search for the meaning of life. :)
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    Dec 25 2011: I like your thinking Katarina. We make sense of much in life and there is real enjoyment in solving the puzzle, if only to appease ourselves. If dying makes life senseless then so be it. but the game of life and mind is enough for me.
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    Dec 24 2011: I ask myself that every day :)
  • Dec 24 2011: It is important to understand who is asking this question? If it is you, then you need to make sense of your life. The life itself will never make sense of you.
    It is as simple as that!