Your Better Self > Our Primal Quests > Unravelling the Quests > Standard Answers

Answers to «The Purpose/Meaning of Life»

The THEE Advantage

Primal Quest as a THEE entity must be about «the enduring meaning you are giving to your life». This is a practical, subjective question, because you cannot avoid assigning meaning to your life—even a rejection of meaning is a meaning, just as refusing to make an existential choice is an existential choice. Of course, you may opt out:Closed just be too busy to consider such things, or consign the issue to your mental «too hard» box, or block awareness of how you are living your life.

The Primal Quests are existential and integral to the human condition. As such, they are universal: transcending both time and culture.

In regard to other thinkers, my difference (or advantage) is starting from empty cells in a given pattern within a Taxonomy. I know that each cell has to correspond to something. But what? My mind started, if not totally empty, then open.

Philosophers, psychologists and other thinkers start in a totally different place. Their minds are full: they have the history of their discipline at their fingertips, often colleagues looking over their shoulder, reputation at risk, and sometimes a fierce urge to communicate something welling up from within.

Some writers propose, in a considered and reasonable way, what should/could be «the meaning of life» for everyone. On the World Wide Web at present, it seems that this sort of passionate promotion outweighs balanced reviews of alternatives.

Philosophical debate lies outside the scope of the Taxonomy. But it is safe to say that Primal Quests are definitely not about «the one meaning of life for everyone».

Warning:Closed The formulations and propositions in this Satellite will surely have errors. If you find any, then contribute your views to help me and benefit others.

Categorizing Standard Answers

My Internet review of «purpose of life», «meaning of life» and «pursuit of happiness» generated many different suggestions. You can check out views here and here and here and elsewhere. The variety is great. No-one, to my knowledge, expects or assumes a set of Types that would fit within THEE's Root Typology.

Here is a rough-and-ready classification of what I found:

●  Life-style Recommendations

E.g. find someone, settle down and raise a family; make a good living; become a leader in your community; build a valuable business. These are personal endeavours that entail work. The appropriate location is in the hierarchy of personal endeavour-RH as explained elsewhere when discussing the Human Condition.

●  Practical Advice

E.g. make money, get out more, do exercise, take a holiday, spend more time with your family, find a hobby. These are offered by advisors who look skeptically at ethical or imaginative possibilities. The advice appeals because of its immediacy, necessity, enjoyment and natural feel.

●  Aspirational Specifications

E.g. organize good experiences; get deliverance from suffering (i.e. fear of life) &/or handle the fear of death; seek wisdom or truth; become a better person or a «truly good» person; stop trying so hard and be content; get more power or feel your power; happiness as a project; realize your potential (or self-actualization); Journey of the Hero; integrating archetypes.

●  Religious Specifications

E.g. adherence to commandments in holy texts, spiritual enlightenment, acting in accord with traditional customs, praying and turning to God, living a pious life, experiencing divine bliss.

●  Ultimate Values-PH6-L7

E.g. Love, Justice, Freedom, Truth, Beauty, Peace, Devotion, Goodwill, Happiness, Meaning. Ultimate values (PH6L7) are eternally pursued inner experiences (or states of being) so linking them to happiness would be natural. More details: via the toggler below or see Working with Values Ch.4.

ClosedHappiness and Meaning as Values

●  Ethical Maxims-PH"6-L5

E.g. doing good, acting kindly, using your talents, working off karma, showing gratitude. These are ethical rules that underpin virtuous living. See more on ethical rules in Working with Values Ch.8. Rules are found in value systems-L6, and like ultimate values-L7, are primarily a context for endeavour.

●  Personal Identity-PH'4

The importance of identity is a feature of all taxonomic Frameworks, and the deep wish to maintain identity is repeatedly discovered and proclaimed in semi-academic and popular texts. Almost any identity could be selected, however, in the area of personal existence-PH'4:

See a special group of relevant identities:Closed as defined by the Interacting-for-Benefit framework. These are examined as part of a review of the Primal Quests.

●  By-product of Human Existence

E.g. just living, engaging in life, having experiences, coming to your own conclusions, instinctual activity especially procreation. The underlying notion varies: e.g. ●everyone is unique; ●you get what you deserve.
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●  Miscellaneous Fragments

E.g. pithy sayings, proverbs, specific beliefs, specific value systems. These are often in collections or essays. They are often inspiring or wise, but some are cynical or superior.

Originally posted: 18-May-2012

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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