Thursday, April 22, 2010

Aphorisms on Meaning

To achieve an end, one employs means.

The "mean"s are "mean"ingful to achieve the int"end"ed "end".

To question the end is not meaningful within the context of the means. To question whether to bring up a child is a valid question, but an invalid one when you are seeking to find out what the best way to bring up a child (whether corporal punishment is a valid technique for educating a child or not).

There is a hierarchy of ends. Each end can be a means for a wider/bigger end.

Questioning must be careful. If somebody is discussing ways to be good, to question his beliefs about goodness is uncalled for. Or is it?

Relentless questioning, moving from end to higher end, will establish all intermediate ends as "merely" means, and therefore subjective strategies to achieve a goal.

(to be continued)


itsme said...

The "mean"s are "mean"ingful to achieve the int"end"ed "end".

A thought about means, meaning and meaninglessness:

Even though means are towards achivieng an intended end, too much of goal orientation may be a hindrance in itself and can destroy the 'fun' of using the means. (whether it is an intellectual goal like understanding the meaning of life or a day-to-day goal like seeking promotion in job or raisinng children).

For example, some people take care of children as a day by day activity and can enjoy the chores like giving them bath playfully or singing to them to put them to sleep while some parents may be obsessed with the ultimate 'goal' of raising perfect children and focus so much on imparting values, discipline and education that they may lose the joy of observation in just letting a child be a child.

On the intellectual side of things, why so much restlessness about unravelling the mysteries of life and understanding its meaning? How about letting things unfold themselves as the time goes by and being a curious observer and using intellect to meaningfully translate the real life experiences?

itsme said...

In reference to my earlier comment, is it that maybe once one has passed through that stage of curious observation and moved beyond and it does not seem possible to go back and live meaningfully content in using the means?