Imagine that someone someday discovered the hypothetical meaning of life, and could write it down in, say, less than 120 words.
And you could read it—the whole point of existence, human and otherwise—on an index card.
Wouldn’t that make everything seem even more stupid than it is now?
Wouldn’t having the meaning of life written out in a small paragraph actually take away at least some of the meaning we now find in it?
In such a hypothetical enlightened world, the essence of everyone’s spiritual journey all becomes the exact same thing: whether or not you’ve read the sacred index card.
Therefore, if our current human life does have any meaning, part of its meaning must be that it always verges on meaningless. Whatever meaning is derivable can only be obtained in the context of a strong potential for meaninglessness. Without meaninglessness, meaningfulness is merely a trite truism.
Meaning must be greater than truth, lest we reduce it to mere information and lose its important qualities of enactment. And therefore meaning can never be fully true, not like 2 + 2 = 4. It must elude all cognitive captors, even if they be loyal bailiffs of Truth and Justice, or else cognition would then stand outside meaning, and lose itself to meaninglessness.
Meaning is like the world’s fastest and sloppiest fugitive—too adroit to arrest, but always leaving clues and traces wherever it runs.
Does it beg us to catch it precisely because it knows that we cannot?
That would imply that the meaning of life is to always keep looking for mo’ better meaning. And that would be the same as saying we already know the meaning of life.
And that would be meaningless.
(c) Alan Brech 2011