Do you think there is a right way of doing things? A 'correct' objective? Or, is there a fundamental truth to the means of achieving maximum value, a 'sacred idea' or commandment, so to speak?
I'm sure that man pondered what life was, how it came to be for so long. Darwin seemed concerned with it's fundamental nature and explanation, and sought to resolve the riddle. Things change (mutation), some changes are heritable, some contribute to survival more than others, these characteristics are more likely to survive than others and so descent with modification, or evolution, accounts for all of life. Novelty, survivorship, time. Simple truths underpinning complex realities. And if we step back from the endless forms most beautiful (or horrifying) of the great many trees of life, we can see the big picture. And with understanding maybe we could find... unspeakable joy?
If I could know only one thing it would be the only thing I can imagine important to know - what good is, and how to get it. Can we call it wisdom? Is there a simple, fundamental understanding that underpins and/or instructs all valuable actions or achievements?
So far I figure this: Words mean
what we mean them to mean - they have no inherent truth, they are expressions of mind. Naming might give the impression that that which is named is a solid, unchangeable thing. Rock is rock, dog is dog. Not what you think it is, but what it is. Good is good. we associate that which we value and that which we dislike with physical phenomena, such as good relationships with joy and damage with pain. So we may think of popularity, wealth, health and the such like as 'good'. A mechanical universe therefore makes laws out of achieving good - water turns to ice when cold, ice to water when warm. Laws. You require water, and shan't be happy without it. You must go out into the cold and melt ice, like it or not. And a million other necessary work tasks... you are a slave to the factual, impersonal notion of good. But what is the point of hydration, health, wealth, popularity, love or anything else without the capacity to value, to be satisfied? They surely can only be 'good' if they mean something to us. And perhaps it is not in our nature to work, but to receive. Can we find happiness as slaves to our understandings of value? What motivation have we to work - is not the motivation to gain that which is desired? Electricity will not flow until it has a path back to itself. Maybe that is where we need to look - the soul. I don't think we really feel something is good unless it is truly satisying, enjoyable, in some way meaningful ... Good is spiritual. I can't imagine being happy without eating well, heating in winter etc. But if electricity must flow through a circuit to return home so be it, the aim is still spiritual even if the means are physical. Does this mean we must dissolve our desires for the extrinsic? Sacrifice the desire for relationship, love, family, wealth, health, glory and all else for spiritual purity? self-centredness, perhaps. Choose to be alone?
To understand what good is may only be part of the necessary understanding to achieve it. We may need sufficient motivation to do so - positivity. If it isn't truly desirable what will motivate us to achieve it? And don't we forget, or perhaps just don't know, how good good can be... maybe we must sing the praises of good, what we value, venerate and celebrate it? 'GOOD IS GREAT! Let's get as much of it as we can!!!'
And misery, suffering. it's real. Real enough to make us decline good, as to venture to find joy is to engage with reality, the much feared, hurtful reality... the negative, fearful mind holds us back, defeats our will. So... we must accept suffering, or the risk of it at least, as acceptable collateral? Again, positivity. Freeing ourselves of fear.
'It can be so good (quiet silly fears), get as much of the 'good stuff' as you can!'. An answer, an answer, my kingdom for the answer...
My desire is to boil the point down to key understanding, so please attempt fundamental minimalism in your replies (should I be lucky enough to receive one, or more). Let's get to the point... what is most valuable, and how do we achieve it? Is there an answer to life, the universe and everything, so to speak?
Also. I'm going to kick anyone who says '42' in the bum.