Where does meaning come from?

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Re: Where does meaning come from?

Postby gib » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:53 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:James S Saint wrote:

Discover the objective truth of what you are and from there the meaning of your life will spring



I was going to follow the pattern which is a part of me at times well, often actually, in responding to posts ~~ giving my own answer. But I decided to adhere to the Socratic method which is clearly not a part of me. lol. Don't expect that too often.

You have just left the student in the mighty forest. Where does he/she go from there? 8-[

So, what are you saying here, James?
How do we go about accomplishing this great feat?
What is our guiding light to get there?
Is there any one specific thing (or something which cannot be left out) which must be used in order to do this?


If I may, Arc, does James' comment remind you of the What Of Your Essence? thread? If we are ever changing creatures, is it even possible to discover the objective truth of what you are?
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Re: Where does meaning come from?

Postby MagsJ » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:24 am

...a need from within... everybody has their own agenda of what they want to get out of life, and so meaning is pertinent to the individual through input and output/a self-serving process, interrupted by work and modern woes.
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Re: Where does meaning come from?

Postby Arminius » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:53 pm

Dan~ wrote:Thank you for your post.

I equate meaning to core qualities.

The core is like the existential everything of a being.
It has all kinds of temporary and changing aspects,
as well as repeating or old aspects.
Meaning can be found in the mental aspect of the existential core.
Meaning is like an alchemical biproduct.
A biological rare chemical complex.

That is the closest thing to an accurate description that ive got.

It would be like a forest supporting the life of monkeys.
In this case, the man suppports the life of meanings as memes.

Do you see what i mean?

Yes, I see what you mean. Thank you for your response, Dan.
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Re: Where does meaning come from?

Postby Some Guy in History » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:27 pm

All I can think of that might relate in any way, shape or form that you all might be able to take to heart is something shown to me by a dog during my awakening. He showed me how so many had engraved a giant dick into the baseline of creation. I thought he had done it, so I told him 'bad dog', but turns out, as he explained to me, the balls symbolize the eternity symbol:

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The shaft then represented all those trying to escape from eternity, breaking free from the figure 8 to travel high only to crash back down and from both directions.

The engraved giant cock of existence and creation even had 3 little drops of sperm to symbolize their escape from eternity.

The meaning that was then perfectly clear to me was that there was no escape from life, reality or existence and that by sheer accident all those that tried had wound up creating a giant dick and it was funny as Hell to those who never even had it occur to them to escape but instead made it their meaning to try to make their lives as meaningful as possible, to live their lives no matter how hard things got.

Which coincides with my belief that penis-wrinkle is an insult not used often enough. A lot of people are like penis-wrinkles. When things get hard, they vanish only to come back around after the party is over all pissed off about not having been around for the fucking fun.
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Re: Where does meaning come from?

Postby gib » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:08 pm

Some Guy in History wrote:All I can think of that might relate in any way, shape or form that you all might be able to take to heart is something shown to me by a dog during my awakening. He showed me how so many had engraved a giant dick into the baseline of creation. I thought he had done it, so I told him 'bad dog', but turns out, as he explained to me, the balls symbolize the eternity symbol:


Was it anything like this:

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Re: Where does meaning come from?

Postby encode_decode » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:08 pm

    MagsJ

    I agree . . . everybody has their own agenda . . .

    MagsJ wrote:...a need from within... everybody has their own agenda of what they want to get out of life, and so meaning is pertinent to the individual through input and output/a self-serving process, interrupted by work and modern woes.

    I like what you wrote "a need from within". Meaning does tend to be interrupted by work and modern woes. I can only hope that despite the things that interrupt our individual searching to find meaning that we are able to hold onto . . . to the meaning gained - it is perhaps precious.

    :D
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    Re: Where does meaning come from?

    Postby Arcturus Descending » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:54 pm

    gib wrote:


    ....If we are ever changing creatures, is it even possible to discover the objective truth of what you are?



    I'm an ongoing process, gib. I can only speak for myself here. Well, we are all ongoing processes.

    The way I look at it, I think that I can discover the objective (actual reality) truth about myself, I mean, see myself as I really am. But I think that takes an enormous amount of honesty and a lot of time and energy, a lot of investigation, a lot of agonizing moments when we see what we do not like. That can be a great revelation as to who we are.
    It also takes a lot of compassion and sensitivity toward ourselves because we are, after all, human.

    But don't you think that that can only happen in the moment, in each moment, in each phase or through each path of our existence - and there are many different ones, I think.


    I don't intuit that we just automatically come to discover this just as we do not automatically come to discovery the reality and truth of deep space or anything. And just how often has that changed?
    Everything unfolds at different times for us. Sometimes we see our light and sometimes we see our darkness. We need to see it all in order to see us at any given moment.
    Human beings are complicated creatures - at least I think that we are.

    Since we are ever-changing, I think that we can only discover the true reality of who we are as individuals step by step by step within the particular phase which we are in - if that made sense.
    Sometimes we can find this ourselves and sometimes it is something which just *happens to us* like an epiphany.

    I don't think that we discover this objective truth about ourselves all at one time. How can we?
    Time does not stop for us - it flows on. So as it flows, we have help discovering this map, this great big puzzle of who we are - though the pieces move around and the puzzle becomes a different puzzle. lol
    As you say, we are ever-changing.
    There is no straight line when it comes to who we are and we will never ever discover all of the objective truth about ourselves. There is just not enough time and we are after all FLOW.

    It's like climbing a mountain. Up we go, down we go sliding. Then we discover at some point that we have to edge ourselves around to another path that we feel will bring us closer to the summit. Then up we go, down we go....ad continuum.

    Too much.
    SAPERE AUDE!


    If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


    What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

    Thomas Nagel


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    Re: Where does meaning come from?

    Postby Some Guy in History » Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:27 am

    gib wrote:
    Some Guy in History wrote:All I can think of that might relate in any way, shape or form that you all might be able to take to heart is something shown to me by a dog during my awakening. He showed me how so many had engraved a giant dick into the baseline of creation. I thought he had done it, so I told him 'bad dog', but turns out, as he explained to me, the balls symbolize the eternity symbol:


    Was it anything like this:



    Naw, more like this:

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    Re: Where does meaning come from?

    Postby encode_decode » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:21 pm

      gib

      As promised, I said I was going to answer this post twice.

      I have named the topic that you and I are discussing, Meaning Is the Foundation For Things To Exist, taken from your first post.

      Last time I answered my favorite part of your post: Incomprehensible meaning is like hearing a foreign language, You know it means something but you can't tell the difference between that and random meaningless babbling - You made the contrast between what we perceive as meaning and meaning that otherwise exists even when we do not become aware of it. This time I will answer the bit relating to reality being information expressed as matter. At a later date you might also be interested in a method I have devised that derives meaning from analogy - if you are, I will happily PM this method to you. My claim in this post, is that we do receive meaning from things that we come into close enough proximity with, even if it is only subconsciously.

      Meaning Is the Foundation For Things To Exist

      Meaning is in everything . . .

      gib wrote:My belief is that all reality is fundamentally information. In human terms, it is information expressed as matter.

      As meaning is the foundation for things to exist . . . It is the intention to communicate something that is not directly expressed as the underlying basis or principle for any object that one need not give a specific name and has objective reality or being. It can be communicated to any person by way of each individuals senses - and becomes internalized as a subjective copy to be integrated into that which we call consciousness. Meaning then has a special relationship with consciousness and is connected to the fundamental, driving forces of life itself, expressed as direction, from energy to matter, from the past to the future, from the unknown to the known et cetera.

      1 ► Here we are claiming that all reality is fundamentally information.
      2 ► Meaning is the intention to communicate something that is not directly expressed.
      3 ► We can say that meaning boils down to information.
      4 ► Communication is all about information.

      gib wrote:The question for me is: how to make meaning comprehensible? Many people look out at the universe and fail to find meaning - it all looks arbitrary and accidental, without purpose, without aim - and become nihilistic.

      To make meaning comprehensible is to differentiate between patterns by way of our conscious mind and has to do with some kind of fundamental ambiguity of things. It is the difference between these patterns that we turn into meaning - from enigma to transparency . . . from paradox to harmony.

      gib wrote:But how would you distinguish true meaninglessness from incomprehensible meaning? They would look the same.

      We do this through vicinity and analogy. The closer something is to us the more meaning it is going to have whether the meaning is consciously expressed or subconsciously expressed. The expression itself is by virtue an analogy - it is a comparison between one thing and another - a comparison of the objective version of the thing and the subjective version of the thing - a correspondence that is trying to reach harmony. Conversely to distinguish true meaninglessness from incomprehensible meaning still requires us to be in the vicinity of the objective element - if it exists then we can be in vicinity of it and therefore it has meaning - the meaning remains incomprehensible until enough correspondence is made to determine meaning.

      Meaning has a special relationship with consciousness and is connected to the fundamental, driving forces of life itself, expressed as direction, from energy to matter, from the past to the future, from the unknown to the known. We receive meaning from things that we come into close enough proximity with, even if it is only subconsciously.

      Meaning is the foundation for things to exist . . .

      . . . meaning is in everything . . .

      With any luck gib, my post is not analogous to random meaningless babble for you - if it is, my apologies that you drew close to it's vicinity.

      :lol:
      Last edited by encode_decode on Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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      Re: Where does meaning come from?

      Postby encode_decode » Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:50 pm

        gib

        I have been told a few times that I am very structured - I know a couple of those times were not compliments - but my civilized exchanges with you online tells me something different - it tells me that you have taken notice of something about me - remember that time I said to you that I like your friendly nature? Well, it reminds me of that because I was taking notice of our interaction - I was aware that you were being genuinely friendly.

        I also really enjoy a civilized exchange online and I agree that it gives both parties a chance to express themselves to the wider world. Your metaphysics of consciousness sounds very interesting if your posts are anything to judge by. I really like how you describe it as a whole Pandora's box of philosophy.

        gib wrote:Think of it in terms of sensation. Our sensations are essentially information. What they tell us is: there's matter.

        There's also energy, of course, and physicists now-a-days tell us they're the same thing, but I'm a subjectivist (a specific approach to idealism). While that doesn't mean I disagree with science, I don't think science represents the "natural" or "intuitive" view of man. I think to get at the natural/intuitive view of man, one must appeal to one's subjective experiences. What we can glean about the world by appeal to our subjective experiences is that it seems to be made of objects--macroscopic sized objects around the order of chair, trees, TVs, human beings--that seems to be what's naturally "given" to us (or told to us if you buy my reality-qua-information spin). Energy's in there too, of course, but we experience energy as objects doing things, or changing, or perhaps as properties of objects, like light or heat, but objects are the basic units of our world, at least with respect to human subjective experience.

        I also think that our sensations are directional and contained within a feedback loop - our higher senses are able to build meta-information from those sensations. Essentially information about information. They tell us there is matter and because of their directional nature and their containment within the mentioned feedback loop they lead to us knowing information about that matter.

        Most certainly science does not represent our substance as beings - at most it can give us a meager description from the outside looking in. I think the term is introspection when you speak one one appealing to one's subjective experiences - and indeed that can give us a more natural view of man. In my last post I mentioned how vicinity and analogy help us to build meaning - the more meaning we have collected the easier it should be to connect the "future dots".

        Incomprehensible meaning is like hearing a foreign language:

          ► You know it means something but you can't tell the difference between that and random meaningless babbling.
        Yep. Still like it.

        gib wrote:Well, analogies are very powerful for getting a point across. I'm glad my use of them can make someone's day. :lol: Thank you!

        Have you ever wondered why? :D They seem to be a naturally occurring phenomenon. Your analogy did make my day and you are welcome.

        gib wrote:I think it requires a bit of hubris to think that where you can't find meaning there is none. It's even more challenging when the meaning is incomprehensible--it means you're not only failing to find meaning but can't find it even if it's right in front of you.

        What does hubris mean? :lol: Nah, kidding. Excessive pride or self-confidence reminds me of the saying: The bigger they are the harder they fall. What you are saying in the above quote is kind of like being in constant denial of reality from my point of view.

        Until next time . . . may the thinking be with you.

        :-k
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        Re: Where does meaning come from?

        Postby gib » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:29 am

        encode_decode wrote:At a later date you might also be interested in a method I have devised that derives meaning from analogy - if you are, I will happily PM this method to you.


        Yes, please do.

        encode_decode wrote:As meaning is the foundation for things to exist . . . It is the intention to communicate something that is not directly expressed as the underlying basis or principle for any object that one need not give a specific name and has objective reality or being. It can be communicated to any person by way of each individuals senses - and becomes internalized as a subjective copy to be integrated into that which we call consciousness. Meaning then has a special relationship with consciousness and is connected to the fundamental, driving forces of life itself, expressed as direction, from energy to matter, from the past to the future, from the unknown to the known et cetera.


        Yes, and that's only the start. I'm particularly captured by your use of the phrase "subjective copy". Every played telephone? Is the final message received at the end of the line ever like the initial message?

        encode_decode wrote:To make meaning comprehensible is to differentiate between patterns by way of our conscious mind and has to do with some kind of fundamental ambiguity of things. It is the difference between these patterns that we turn into meaning - from enigma to transparency . . . from paradox to harmony.


        So do you mean the way we take phenomena that we don't understand and come up with some kind of explanation for them? And that makes them meaningful?

        encode_decode wrote:We do this through vicinity and analogy. The closer something is to us the more meaning it is going to have whether the meaning is consciously expressed or subconsciously expressed. The expression itself is by virtue an analogy - it is a comparison between one thing and another - a comparison of the objective version of the thing and the subjective version of the thing - a correspondence that is trying to reach harmony. Conversely to distinguish true meaninglessness from incomprehensible meaning still requires us to be in the vicinity of the objective element - if it exists then we can be in vicinity of it and therefore it has meaning - the meaning remains incomprehensible until enough correspondence is made to determine meaning.


        Here's where the nihilist might object: getting close to the phenomenon to be understood brings us no closer to meaning. If we found no rhyme or reason, no grand purpose, when we stepped back and looked at the universe from a holistic point of view, what greater reason/purpose would we find by getting acquainted with the details? Or perhaps this is not what you meant to say.

        Of course, I can see what you mean. If you take photosynthesis, for example, we can say that getting a better understanding of the biochemical process of photosynthesis (being in the vicinity, creating a subjective representation of the objective process) generates meaning for us: now, when we see sun light resulting in the growth of the plant, we know what that means: it means the process of photosynthesis is at work. <-- But I don't think this would satisfy the nihilist.

        My interest, on the other hand, lays in this question: what is the experience of the plant like? What does it feel like to undergo the process of photosynthesis, to be the process of photosynthesis? Capture that and you will get a little sample of incomprehensible meaning.

        encode_decode wrote:With any luck gib, my post is not analogous to random meaningless babble for you - if it is, my apologies that you drew close to it's vicinity.


        I was able to make sense of it. Though you might have to confirm whether I got it right.

        encode_decode wrote:I have been told a few times that I am very structured - I know a couple of those times were not compliments - but my civilized exchanges with you online tells me something different - it tells me that you have taken notice of something about me - remember that time I said to you that I like your friendly nature? Well, it reminds me of that because I was taking notice of our interaction - I was aware that you were being genuinely friendly.


        Well, it certainly wasn't meant as an insult--not even criticism--more like a quirk. Everyone's got their quirks, and that's what I like about people. It's what makes us all different. I'd encourage people to keep their quirks. Anyone who brings them up as criticisms simply doesn't appreciate the diversity of quirky people we are.

        encode_decode wrote:I also think that our sensations are directional and contained within a feedback loop - our higher senses are able to build meta-information from those sensations. Essentially information about information. They tell us there is matter and because of their directional nature and their containment within the mentioned feedback loop they lead to us knowing information about that matter.


        Yes, and I'd even say "matter" itself is already derived at a higher level of sensory processing. What's derived at the really fundamental level of our senses are very simple geometric data (they say that the first layer of neural networks our optic nerves hit at the occipital lobe are "line detectors"--so our world is essentially made of lines before anything else). But once "matter" as such is derived (or maybe objects), it seems to be at that level that the rest of our mind (our thoughts at least) say: that's what I'm looking at.

        encode_decode wrote:I think the term is introspection when you speak one one appealing to one's subjective experiences


        Well, I'm trying to get at what the world looks like without the effect of abstract preconceptions of what the world "really" consists of or how it "really" works. For example, when you look at an object, you might think: a network of molecules. When you look at the Sun (don't actually do that), you think: a burning ball of gas. But what would primitive man have thought? I don't think primitive man would have thought anything more than: it's an object (the sun might have been different, but you get my point). I'm saying the view of the world held by primitive man would have been: just a bunch of objects. Of course, primitive man probably would have had his own religion to taint the way he saw his surroundings, but I'm trying to get at the way we would look at the world if we somehow were able to brush away the tainting influence of what we've been taught (whether that be science, religion, our upbringing, our own crazy thoughts, etc.)
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        Re: Where does meaning come from?

        Postby encode_decode » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:22 am

          Arcturus Descending

          Many of us make valuable exchanges of our thoughts on this forum, and you are no exception. I have witnessed you thinking with depth, curiosity and many times quite an impressive accordance to rationality. Your skepticism seems to serve you well Arcturus Descending. If both you and the others you have interacted with in this thread do not mind, I have taken the liberty to borrow/quote a couple of items of interest from those interactions.

          Arcturus Descending wrote:I'm an ongoing process, gib. I can only speak for myself here. Well, we are all ongoing processes. The way I look at it, I think that I can discover the objective (actual reality) truth about myself, I mean, see myself as I really am. But I think that takes an enormous amount of honesty and a lot of time and energy, a lot of investigation, a lot of agonizing moments when we see what we do not like. That can be a great revelation as to who we are. It also takes a lot of compassion and sensitivity toward ourselves because we are, after all, human.

          We are all ongoing processes - this is a humble perspective if one chooses to accept it. Anyone of us can only really speak for ourselves, so it is with hope that my intervention does not offend you or the others you are interacting with. Investigation, honesty, time, energy and agony - in a peculiar way I like it and otherwise I feel I have to respect it. I have great affinity to your last two sentences in the above quote Arcturus Descending.

          If I may Arcturus Descending, quote, edit and answer the following:

          Arcturus Descending, James and Aaron wrote:Regarding the statement: Discover the objective truth of what you are and from there the meaning of your life will spring . . .
          You have just left the student in the mighty forest. Where does he/she go from there? Logic is the path out of the dark clouds.
          A ► So, what are you saying here, James? Only when you can personally verify that there is no alternative.
          B ► How do we go about accomplishing this great feat? And you can only do that through careful use of Logic.
          C ► What is our guiding light to get there? Aspiration and Fortification through Logic.
          D ► Is there any one specific thing (or something which cannot be left out) which must be used in order to do this? Logic.

          Sprinkle a little beneficial emotion and reality over the top and one is well on their respective way to achieving a sound mind. The answers to C and D, I have provided. The other three answers come from this post in another thread. Many things are at the very least worthy of consideration.

          The interaction that gib and I are having in this thread is one of those things worthy of consideration.

          May you think about this for a moment please? When zero outcome has taken place then infinity outcomes are possible - lets transpose this to the physical reality by saying that existence can not be in a state of zero existence otherwise it would not exist - let us further state that when you have that feeling of zero thoughts flowing through your mind - or the silent mind - you are now connected to the totality of existence. This is a toy because why?

          You may now ask me any question.

          Arcturus Descending wrote:Yes?

          Ah nothing . . .

          Arcturus Descending wrote:That is a perfect scene to me, encode_decode.

          It is such a perfect scene that it escapes us. Why? Because we cannot know zero or infinity entirely. We can only know that one is there.

          Mr. List has left the garden, who knows where he went? He could be experiencing that kind of day now - even with the Eagle. A rare day that included the shining of the sun. There is no reason why you, Mr List or I could not have our very own Zen Gardens. Healthy skepticism is healthy, no? The trees are still because they are unaffected by the caress of the breeze due to the breeze leaving them to peace. They still breathe - they have decided to leave fear. Their moment is calm.

          Arcturus Descending wrote:Have you commanded them not to dance?

          Only when they command me to dance. Perhaps your subconscious is absorbing the meaning - only to surface as a memory in the future. A memory that you get to decide whether is pleasant or not. What is one wearing on one's feet?

          You may in good stead, attempt not to think in terms of what one is wearing on one's feet and instead you may think of what the wearing is.
          Even if you think you have nothing on your feet, you may ask yourself, if that is really true? Thoughts can be permissive that way . . .

          . . . judging things by appearance or not judging things by appearance . . .

          Three tall glasses - the company is already here - all around. The Koi just keep swimming. Does their movement experience them?

          Yes, what are your thoughts in this moment? Koi do swim in your mind when you are watching or remembering them. And then in the transition of thought from Koi to something else - the Koi become ripples in the water as a silent moment of contemplation enters.

          Arcturus Descending wrote:Yes, for many, it would have to be that way. It is for me too. We are social creatures. I think that without trying, that meaning just slips in. But I do not believe that it can be the same with any and all. Yes, like the meaning which comes from a sunny day after we have experienced days of rain - though I love the rain. A smile can be like a burst of the sun's rays.

          A smile . . .

          :D
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