There is no meaning to life. Trying to figure out an answer is beyond us all. People always assume meaning comes through religion, the social structure, the family, the work. That’s all an excuse for people not being able to cope with the fact that we’re here and nobody knows our true purpose. Anybody who tries to apply a direct meaning to life is just grabbing for a security blanket.
Life’s destructive forces are authoritarian powers, ruling forces such as government, police, the educational system, the religious system. People were not meant to have power over them. We’re meant to have a power within, to run things through ourselves through mutual respect and honor. Too many people abide by laws they don’t really believe in, laws they practice through fear instead of sincerity.
I believe in a form of anarchy but it’s a misconceived term. It has nothing to do with chaos and violence. It has to do with people leading themselves in a freer form of existence. In true anarchy, there is no chaos because there is self-respect and respect for the world. My responsibility is to help evolve our society and our world toward a state in which people want to create a free existence for everybody to mutually enjoy. People don’t want to destroy, they want to create.
Amy Keim is a lead singer in Nausea, an anarcho-punk band.
You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed that’s what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant… oh, fuck it.
M. Gustave - The Grand Budapest Hotel
A lot of people talk about love, even though it’s almost always mixed up with some other animal/vegetable/mineral traits, even thought it’s always being conveniently redefined to conform to our clumsy expressions of it. Most people, if pressed, probably could not swear that they absolutely, positively, know what it is. Its existence is taken for granted, as if the study of love was not worth the effort of, say, the study of economics or politics.
If we recognize love, it is by its beauty. If we recognize truth, it is by its beauty. The meaning of life is beauty. When we sense and experience beauty, we are looking straight into the face of the creator. We achieve transcendent union with the mind of God. We were born to be aware of it and to create more of it. Money, health, power, comfort mean nothing without it. The beauty of love and truth are what make the ugly parts of life worth enduring.
Todd Rundgren, songwriter, video artist and record producer, is founding member of the rock group Utopia.
The human species has inhabited this planet for only 250 000 years or so - roughly .0015 percent of the history of life, the last inch of the cosmic mile. The world fared perfectly well without us for all but the last moment of earthly time - and this fact makes our appearance look more like an accidental afterthought than the culmination of a prefigured plan.
Moreover, and more important, the pathways that have led to our evolution are quirky, improbable, unrepeatable and utterly unpredictable. Human evolution is not random; it makes sense and can be explained after the fact. But wind back life’s tape to the dawn of time and let it play again - and you will never get humans a second time.
We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because comets struck the earth and wiped out dinosaurs, thereby giving mammals a chance not otherwise available (so thank you lucky stars in a literal sense); because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a “higher” answer - but none exists. This explanation, though superficially troubling, if not terrifying, is ultimately liberating and exhilarating. We cannot read the meaning of life passively in the facts of nature. We must construct these answers ourselves - from our own wisdom and ethical sense. There is no other way.
Stephen Jay Gould is a paleontologist, essayist and humanist.
The past is just a story we tell ourselves.
Samantha - Her
The first thing I look at each morning is a picture of Albert Einstein I keep on my the table right beside my bed. The personal inscription reads: “A person first starts to live when he can live outside of himself.” In other words, when he can have as much regard for his fellow man as he does for himself. I believe we are here to do good. It is the responsibility of every human being to aspire to do something worthwhile, to make this world a better place than the one he found. Life is a gift, and if we agree to accept it, we must contribute in return. When we fail to contribute, we fail to adequately answer why we are here.
Armand Hammer, industrialist, physician and self-made diplomat, was chairman of Occidental Petroleum