- There are many who get pleasure discovering more than the meaning of life and how the universe works...they get pleasure discovering the meaning of everything. In order to discover the meaning of everything, though, one must first understand their innate anxiety about the dark lonely nothing of empty space.
Our pleasure in discovery is an axiom that is in some sense like the axiom of matter; since matter is just the way it is and there is no further definition of matter possible except by the two complementary primal axioms of action and time. Although we can say a matter object is red or is large or shiny, once we reduce an object description to a primal belief like matter itself, matter is just matter, which is an identity or ontology and therefore an axiom.
Of course, our life and consciousness are both prerequisites for an awareness of belief or of any other axiom. Just like objects are the accumulation of moments of matter, memory is an accumulation of moments of thought as the brain matter that is a part of consciousness. The matter moments of long-term memory couple with the neural recursion that comprises the moments of thought of a day. The sensation-feeling-action of present thought along with long-term memory and emotion completes the neural recursion that we call consciousness.
Our memory is a function of consciousness and memory is a record of the action as moments of thought. The neural recursion of action along with the memory that we have are both objective mechanisms of our mind that together form our consciousness. Our time-like consciousness, though, is a combination of these two objective properties of our brain that result in feeling. Therefore consciousness represents a subjective reality in our mind that complements the objective reality of the world outside of our mind. This dualism of mind and body has a long history in philosophy.
The question of our purpose has only one clear answer; our purpose is discovering how the parts of the universe work and so purpose is an identity and a primal belief that is only explicable as the other two complementary primal beliefs of origin and destiny. Ultimately, discovery is all about discovery for its own sake. Once again, we see the replay of the dual representations in the definitions of an axiom.
Purpose as discovery is how we get from where we are to our destiny, from yesterday until tomorrow and why we imagine desirable futures and how we make choices in our journey from an origin to a destiny. Therefore, purpose, origin, and destiny as such are always what other qualia (the properties of object, like color, weight, and so on) are like, whereas primal beliefs are not like anything else except combinations of their complementary axioms.
If you ask a person in what do they believe, their reply is usually in a religion or in a science or in a metaphysics and we imagine their beliefs are a purpose for their lives. Belief and meaning are essential to every conscious life and we all know how to answer the question of in what do we believe, but we do not often recognize that without belief, we simply cannot be.
We have an innate anxiety over the nothing that is the empty void of space and we each must first of all frame our reality to deal with this anxiety over the nothing of empty space and over being alone in that empty space. With our relational reality, instead of a largely empty space with just a few objects of our Cartesian reality, we fill time with the many possibilities of relations with those objects. We frame each of our lives and each of our physical realities with the three primal beliefs of origin, destiny, and purpose for all objects and this trimal is essential for predicting action and indeed trimal beliefs are necessary for survival.
We might have a purpose driven by innate anxiety, say about dying or about the empty voids of a lonely life or about what's for lunch, and yet we might not even consciously know why we are are anxious about dying or why we are anxious about being alone or why we are hungry. Such a hard-wired anxiety can drive purpose whereas anxiety is an emotion which we simply have and believe in and yet many want to associate our innate anxiety with a supernatural agent. Innate anxiety has evolved like so many of our other behaviors and is something that we just accept and deal with in a variety of ways.
We all are innately anxious about the empty voids of our lives and of the nothing of space and of being alone, but in order to understand anything, we must first believe in the nothing of empty space. Since most of the universe that we imagine is the nothing of empty space, that nothing is the most important part the universe that we imagine and that nothing is the most important thing in our lives as well. But nothing is really not as important as it seems.
It is important and often vital to be anxious about nothing since with nothing to eat or drink or without shelter or clothing, we could not survive very long. We look into the nothing of the dark sky at night and wonder about the points of light that we see as part of the universe, but we do not wonder about the empty nothing that separates those distant stars. That dark emptiness is just the same dark empty voids about which we are anxious in our lives.
It seems strange to be anxious about nothing since most of our reality is made up of the nothing of space, and yet we are more certain about the infinitely divisible nothing of empty space than we are about the objects that we sense embedded into that space. We sense many objects around us and so we know their directions quite well, but object distances can be very difficult to sense and know without some guide like parallax or a reflected echo or a standard candle or a tape measure. Space then is a very convenient way to keep track of the many objects of our reality and we get many cues about distance from other objects.
Religion often claims a special role for a supernatural agent everywhere in all the empty voids, especially for innate beliefs like anxiety, since a supernatural agent is fundamentally a belief in a void as something rather than nothing. Religion provides various supernatural agents that make us anxious about nothing, but there are also supernatural beliefs about nothing in science, albeit a more limited set, called axioms.
Where did the big bang come from? What exists inside of a black hole? What is the destiny of the universe? Where do physical laws and their constants come from? The untestable axioms of science provide a very rational framework for prediction of action and a further belief in the science of aethertime allows us to understand our reality.
We call the axioms of science natural because even though there is no way to understand why they are the way they are, we can accept science axioms and use them to predict future action by trusting the intercessories of science. Philosophy calls an ontology the axioms that we accept as true while philosophy calls an epistemology the rules that we derive from such axioms or ontology. In a completely analogous way, innate anxiety naturally affects behavior even if we do not necessarily understand the origin of that anxiety. We can call the innate anxiety over nothing natural or we can associate that innate anxiety with a supernatural agent of some kind for the nothing that we firmly believe does exist.
Although we see or sense objects in space all around us all of the time, we do not often wonder about the process of sensation, how sensation affects feeling, how feeling results in action, and the recursion of how our action results from sensation then in turn feeds back and affects sensation.
While there are clear roles for belief in axioms like matter, time, and action, we also believe firmly in the continuous void of empty space as well. What is space like? It turns out that we can describe objects and predict their futures without knowing the volumes they displace in space, but those volumes, surfaces, lines, and points of space do provide a very convenient frame of reference for action. We further use objects as landmarks in that space to anchor our sense of direction on earth and these landmarks are a prominent feature of conscious thought.
If we know the time delay of objects from each other and how aether exchanges relate objects to each other, we can describe an object as full of its possible futures without knowledge of motion or space or volume. Aethertime completely represents objects as superpositions of many possible futures with just matter, time, and action, and the Cartesian locations of objects emerge in our mind from that relational representation.
Cartesian space is an innate part of our imagination and is a convenient and also a very useful whiteboard for keeping track object action. Cartesian space is therefore deeply embedded into our consciousness and intuition and is a powerful tool of consciousness, but the limitations of continuous space and time can also blind us to a greater understanding of the universe.
We can trust the intercessories of science because science repeatedly tests its propositions against an objective reality, which means that the reality of science is largely of observable Cartesian objects and actions on trajectories in continuous space and time time. Science works best by observing the universe and then making predictions about object actions and then verifying those predictions by careful observations of action. An ongoing discourse of the principles of science provides a means to cull and prune and distill the essence of truth about our material world.
In a Cartesian particle-like reality, objects only interact weakly and exist on separate trajectories in continuous space and time. In a complementary relational reality, wave-like objects strongly interact and exist as matter waves that fill time with a large number of possible futures. A relational reality represents an object as a spectrum of matter waves with matter exchanges that relate it to all other objects as matter waves, which is a matter spectrum. For a reality of weakly interacting objects, though, science can measure and project a red object into a single location in Cartesian space. For the reality of strongly interacting objects, though, science cannot always test its predictions.
For highly relational objects like people, science is often limited to just observation and even though a person can relate their experiences such as that of seeing a red object, science cannot predict a person’s experience in seeing a red object without knowing everything about that person. An experience of a red color will vary from person to person and each person’s life will relate a different set of experiences of red objects to any new experience of a red object. Science can neither measure nor quantify a person’s relational experience of red even though science does very well predicting and measuring the objective Cartesian experience of a red object.
Once science knows enough about a person’s past experiences with red objects, science can then predict fairly well that a person’s experience will be much like those who have similar past experiences with red objects.
The qualities of our feelings about objects, though, are what we call subjective or relational experiences of objects and a feeling is not possible to test or falsify except by query and discourse. A red color, for example, is simply one of the many qualia that we use to help identify and classify objects. How we might feel about a red color is our feeling alone although we can use a machine to measure a red color for an object. Our feeling of the same red of an object is simply not possible to measure, although we can relate our experience of red to others.
Qualia are the hard wiring of our minds and human qualia are therefore a part of the augmentation of Cartesian space with discrete aether and we can describe our feelings about space to others. We associate certain qualia with objects in the same way that we associate the spoken sounds of language with objects and action in time. For example, the names we give objects and their properties allow us to relate those objects to other objects with similar properties and therefore we can predict action much more precisely and describe our predictions to others as well. As others describe their predictions of action to us, we cooperate and that cooperation provides the basis of civilization by enhancing survival in an objective universe.
We project the qualia of space around the objects that we observe. Whether an object is near or far away, whether it is high or low, or in which compass direction it lies, locating objects in space is an absolutely vital means of organizing reality in our mind. In this sense, the infinitely divisible void of empty space that we imagine is just a part of the more general notions of aethertime. In order to imagine objects, we certainly do believe in the null object of empty space and that belief defines how we predict the actions of objects as motion in empty space. But we can also derive any motion in space just from the exchange of an object’s matter in time since all motion is equivalent to a change in inertial mass.
The trimal axioms of discrete aether, time delay, and aether exchange are the primal qualia that relate objects to other objects and matter, time, and action are likewise hardwired into our consciousness. Matter-like qualia are red, black, heavy, light, pain, heat, cold, etc., and time-like qualia are fast, slow, quick, hurry, sluggish, etc., while action-like qualia are weak, strong, hard, soft, feeble, mighty, etc. We relate objects with similar qualia to each other to better predict and describe the likely futures of those objects.
The meaning, imagination, and feeling of each human life is woven into the fabric of civilization and our meaning becomes a part of the collective beliefs in which many of us share. However, just like there are thousands of languages, there are necessarily thousands of beliefs in the meaning of life as well. Despite the existence of many different languages, Chomsky and Wittgenstein have shown that languages are all rooted in the same machinery of our consciousness and that language machinery is part of what makes us human. In a similar way, the machinery of consciousness provides an innate purpose in finding out how the parts of the world work, but on which part of the world we focus varies just like language varies.
Our relational minds have the basic machinery of consciousness that relates objects to other objects as qualia for the purpose of finding out about the world. Just like language is a communication among people about objects, qualia are the relationals of our minds that permit us to find out about the world and describe experience. The machinery of consciousness is present in our minds, but we do need to learn the qualia of consciousness just as we need to learn the words to speak and how to place our feet to walk. Matter, time, and action form a trimal qualia of belief that are hardwired into our consciousness and therefore are a nexus or connection between the objectivity of science and subjectivity of experience.
For example, in our subjective experience of religion and philosophy, we often refer to the objectivity of science. But religion and philosophy deal largely with the relational and not the Cartesian world of consciousness. There is irony in that while aethertime reveals our Cartesian reality actually emerges from the actions of objects, we usually presume that our Cartesian reality is the only reality of both our religious and our scientific worlds.
There are plenty of indications of the limitations of Cartesian space. The infinite divisibility of a void of space, infinitely dividing nothing at all, has posed a conundrum ever since the philosophy of Aristotle and Zeno. More recently, quantum physics shows a universe that differs from that of Cartesian experience and relativity and evolution likewise show us a universe that is different from ordinary experience.
Our Cartesian space, motion, and time are very useful and indeed essential for predictions of action and will always be a very useful and therefore essential parts of consciousness. A Cartesian reality emerges from a multitude of very complex sensations into a few simple imaginings of important objects moving on time trajectories in a void of space. Even though we actually only sense some limited number of an object’s possibilities, with this very limited information, we nevertheless imagine that object and predict its journey through space and in time and sometimes we predict very well. Although we are part of an object’s matter spectrum, we usually presume that the reality that we sense is not affected by our presence.
Just as for all life, predictions of action are the basis of our survival as well and our action predictions evolve given the ever more elaborate stories of science. The stories of science have evolved into such complexity that it takes years of advanced study for even scientists to achieve a current understanding of just a tiny slice of the universe.
In fact, the enterprise of science divides into pieces that seem more like religions than any other religion has ever been. Today people believe very fervently in scientific concepts that they barely understand and sometimes, they simply do not understand them at all, they just believe them as told by a trusted intercessory.
When we do not understand a concept that is nevertheless important to us, we trust an intercessory when they tell us about the actions and objects of that concept. So we now have a new cadre inside of monasteries of science, preaching an everlasting life given the meaning of nothing. Instead of accepting the inexplicable walls of our own universe, some scientists now imagine universes far beyond any testable hypotheses within this universe. Not unlike the mystics of ancient China, India, or Greece, theories of everything abound and propagate and provide a fertile soil for nurturing humanity’s immortal soul.
We ask about the meaning of life because it is only with purpose that we discover how the universe works and we imagine desirable futures and choose actions to journey to those futures. The meaning of life really has no unique answer except as a reflection of the purpose of discovery, and without a purpose, we can have no life since there would be no desirable future, i.e., no desire to discover how to survive. We must discover our desire to survive with purpose and meaning and it is a desirable future that we discover as the purpose and meaning further discovery.
My dog asks for meaning and purpose from me...every day and many times a day. Of course not in human words, but dogs imagine desirable futures and choose actions to realize those futures just like we do.
My dog breathes, drinks, eats, seeks shelter, and constantly searches for scents in the backyard and park, and of course, he revels in the purpose of companionship. My dog loves to walk and smell and leave his scent in the park. He loves to be petted and will sit on any lap for hours and so my dog lives his life imagining and choosing desirable futures and his purpose evolves along with mine.
In fact, that is exactly what humans do as well. Purpose is different for different people and purpose evolves with each person over time, but basically is finding out about how the world works. Purpose is embedded within each life and purpose is why we imagine and choose desirable futures, and that purpose is part of what life is and therefore part of life’s meaning as well.
The recursion of purpose and meaning with a desirable future is actually deeply embedded into each of our life journeys even though it is not always easy to understand why we are on some of the journeys that we are on. When we ask about purpose, we imagine a desirable future with an answer from someone else that will give us purpose. But purpose comes ultimately from within each of us and it is only when we choose actions for a desirable future that we realize our purpose and meaning by those actions.
Our purpose is to understand how various parts of the universe work, imagine the possibilities of desirable futures, select one, and choose actions to journey to that desirable future. Our imagination and our consciousness exist only because of the compassion others and without other's compassion, there is no purpose and no meaning in our own lives either. We see others on very similar journeys in life and we therefore share some purpose and compassion and cooperate with each other on our journeys.
Howard Hughes was a very famous recluse who was selfish in his privacy. And yet Hughes was surrounded by a cadre of compassionate caretakers, bodyguards, and servants and so had compassion and selfishness with others. He also watched television and his security monitors relentlessly and sadly through much of his later life. His reclusive nature still gave him a purpose in discovery of the world around him that depended on the compassion of others that were not typical.
The Unabomber was a recluse who lived alone in a small cabin in Montana on a very modest fixed income. And yet he built explosive devices and mailed them to unsuspecting strangers as part of a selfish diatribe about the selfishness of technology. He found a very selfish purpose injuring strangers in the world with explosive devices since he had no compassion for people in the world with a more civil discourse.
My mother-in-law lived the last several years of her life in the fog of dementia. Unable to completely care for herself, she lived with my wife and me for her last years and we therefore became a part of her purpose. Without us around constantly relating to her, she would get very disoriented and agitated and so we simply could not leave her alone for very long periods of time. She was in some sense alone in her thoughts and increasingly unable to read or watch tv or listen to music.
Although she did read and watch tv and listen to music, she could not relate any of those experiences to anyone with whom she spoke. Her conversations became very rote and about things like the weather. At first, she could still talk about things of her past, experiences that she remembered, but like the driftwood of childhood amnesia, even those memories slowly eroded one by one as the dementia took her spirit from her. She would say that lunch tasted good and would enjoy eating lunch, but she could not remember what she had for lunch after lunch was finished.
Without the purpose and without belief of conscious desire to understand, she increasingly survived on her primitive desires until there was no sense even in those primitive desires and she passed away in a confusion of primitive meaning and purpose. “I am done,” were her final coherent words and a week later, she passed into the same oblivion into which we all shall pass.
We predict futures for isolated Cartesian objects by means of the trimal of matter, time, and action. Although knowing the relational trimal of origin, destiny, and purpose of an object is also helpful, for isolated objects, a Cartesian representation of objects in space is usually sufficient. Our Cartesian reality is a particle-like representation that imagines the isolated behavior of an object interacting with another isolated object.
For highly interacting relational objects like people, though, we need to know more about them and their purposes to predict their futures. That is, we can predict an object’s future by knowing its Cartesian properties of matter, time, and action, but to predict a person’s behavior, it is more important to know about that person’s motivation and purpose than about their Cartesian state. In fact our own relational reality is a wave-like representation that is more about the relations of objects with each other than it is about their Cartesian states.
We tend to ascribe human-like characteristics like purpose and meaning or compassion and selfishness to other objects as a result of the complexity of object action. This anthropomorphic tendency comes from our relational reality where trimal beliefs of origin, destiny, and purpose interpret the action of a complex system as a purpose. Purpose and meaning are simply a way to bond interacting objects within a complex system, and for people, purpose and meaning take on much more importance compared with other simple objects.
The importance of purpose and meaning is with predictions of action and prediction of human behavior also affects human behavior. We teach our children compassion in a complex relational civilization, but we also teach a certain amount of selfishness as well. We then predict their compassion versus selfishness as adults in response to various sensations, feelings, and actions and we are usually pretty good at those predictions.
If people are hungry and thirsty, they will selfishly find food and water. If they are cold and wet, they will selfishly find shelter. If they are on a journey, they will selfishly find transportation. If they are sick, they will selfishly find health care.
However, we are affected by the actions of others and the nature and purpose of our predictions evolve along with the nature and purpose of other’s predictions. These cooperative relations support a relational humanity that has its own purpose and meaning along with its own origin and destiny.
If people are hungry and thirsty, we will compassionately give them food and water. If they are cold and wet, we will compassionately provide them shelter. If they are on a journey, we will compassionately give them transportation. If they are sick, we will compassionately find them health care.
As an accretion of matter from a nebula, the sun in one sense is a selfish accident of time, but our sun has a compassionate purpose in warming us on the earth. While the sun as a Cartesian object follows the selfish physical laws of nature, it is the sun’s compassion relations that binds the earth with gravity and warms earth with radiation from its sun. In the sun’s relations with earth, we say there is purpose and meaning since the consequences of the sun’s warmth are the biomes that support life and support us in our purpose.
We might also consider the water on earth as an accident of time from the accumulation of comet impacts, but those comets are bound to the sun and earth and planets. Water as ice on a comet is a Cartesian object that follows the selfish physical laws while water as a compassionate relational object determines the destiny of earth’s oceans. The purpose of water is to support life just as our purpose is to support life by finding out about the world.
Finally, we might consider ourselves an selfish accident of time and that there is no compassionate reason for our existence, which is part of our innate anxiety about the nothing of space. We surmount that anxiety by finding out how the world works and we do find a purpose and meaning in existence and we do imagine desirable futures and we do act to journey to those futures.
Our purpose is an axiom and is how we deal with our anxiety about the nothing of space and how we get from where we are right now to one of the many possible futures that is our destiny. Both the compassion of relations among objects and the selfish loneliness of empty Cartesian space are our destiny.