.ll 72
.fo off
.co on 
.ce ((Editor's comments in double parenthesis - Homer))
 
.ce Copyright (C) Flemming A. Funch
.ce Redistribution rights granted for non commercial purposes
 
Technical Essay # 49 - FAF 2 June 1991

.ce Meaning


One of the basic elements of human nature is the need for meaning. For that matter it might
be one of the most basic impulses of life.

Meaning is significance. It is ideas as separate from mass. The ideas signify data, value, or
importance. Meaning  is usually used in connection with mass, it is the significance of the
mass. It is mostly used as the positive value or importance of something.

Mass is anything that persists. You create a mass by making a significance and altering it.
The mass is an alter-ised significance.

To search for meaning is somewhat paradoxical. It could be a manifestation of the drive to
find the significance that a given mass is based on. However, if you uncover the precise
significance then the mass as-ises, it vanishes. You cannot find the significance without
losing the mass.

The only meaning you can assign to mass without vanishing it is an arbitrary one. It is not
something you search for, it is something you assign.

To find the true meaning of life would mean the vanishment of life. If you want to maintain life
you need to manufacture the meaning you need. It won't be the true meaning, it will be
arbitrary. However, for practical purposes, the "true" meaning of life can be whatever you
make it.

In practical life all meaning that is assigned to anything is arbitrary and artificial. However,
few are the people who will readily admit that. It is difficult to maintain meaning if you are
aware that you are manufacturing it. As with anything else one needs to make it persist by
altering it somewhat.

The universe is constructed as a playing field for the game of life. It has been carefully
designed out of significances that have been cleverly disguised so as to make the resulting
mass persist and to make its vanishment unlikely. The original significances aren't important
for the actual playing of the game, they aren't the rules. They are the secret code for the self-
destruction switch. You don't need to know how the playing field was made or how it is
destroyed in order to play the game.

Understanding the game is a different activity from creating or destroying it. You can
understand the game by observing it and developing the rules that seem to apply. You can
then go on and play the game. Understanding the game is basically an observation of the
mass that is there. What is there is what is there. For practical purposes, there is no hidden
meaning beyond what is there.

The universe can be regarded as a playing field without meaning. You put meaning into it in
order to play games in it. If you don't introduce any meaning there is no game. A basic rule of
the overall life game is that there are no rules, you make the rules yourself. The skill with
which you do that determines how much you enjoy it. Happiness is proportionate to the
achievement of meaning. You don't necessarily have to invent the meaning yourself, you can
agree to the meaning that somebody else has manufactured for you.

A games maker is someone who can manufacture meaning. He doesn't find it, he creates it.
His success as a games maker lies in how well he can convince players that the game is
meaningful. He does that either by appealing to an existing agreement or by creating a new
agreement.

The person who can add meaning to other people's lives is a leader whom they will follow
anywhere. As has been demonstrated many times, people will happily devote their whole
lives to hard work with little reward as long as they are convinced that it is meaningful.

If you believe that what you are doing is meaningful and you are making progress, then you
can be happy. If the activity is "objectively" meaningful has nothing to do with it, there is no
such thing as absolute meaning anyway. All that counts is what you believe is meaningful.

To play any sort of game you have to convinced that it is meaningful. That can be looked at
as fooling you into believing a falsehood. But since it can be said about any game it is not
very productive to see it that way. There is ultimately no game that is absolutely important and
meaningful. Any game can be made important and meaningful if you believe in it.

There is a phenomenon of disappointment that usually goes with the discovery that a game
was manufactured. However, only for people below an understanding of games making.
When a scientologist discovers that the church was just a game he might become very
disillusioned and drop anything associated with it. Showing people how they were fooled
into playing a game, without teaching them some of these basics or showing them how to
play another game, is a rather suppressive activity.

The best guarantee of a happy life is to assume control of the assignment of meaning.
Somebody might come along and give you a fun and important game to play. On the other
hand they might not, or somebody might come along and "expose" the game you were
playing and destroy it for you. Only if you can make things meaningful by your own force can
you be safe.

You manufacture your own responses. The search for something that will make you feel good
is somewhat futile. You ultimately get positive emotions by creating positive emotions. You
might just as well start right there. If you can create positive emotion at will you can
accomplish just about anything.

The key to success is to establish something as meaningful, generate positive emotions
about it, and then go for it. Somebody might apparently do it for you, but you would be best off
if you could do it by yourself. This is the secret of success and it is the basis of most success
seminars. It is also a fundamental principle of life.

Don't look for meaning in life, create meaning in life.