The Meaning of Life: A Poetic Interlude

(The other night I awoke with thoughts running through my head.  A prominent one was, “Who am I to try to tell others the meaning of life?  How presumptuous!”  And as I thought about that, the poem below started to take shape.

“Presumptuous” derives from the word “presumption”, it occurred to me.  There are two distinct senses; one, “arrogant”, “disrespectful”, “transgressing the limits”; two, “an idea that is taken to be true, and used as the basis for other ideas, although it is not known for certain.”  Like ‘the presumption of innocence’.  It is this second sense that I am shooting for, narrowly avoiding the first, I hope. 


Silly of me
to be so presumptuous,
to think I could tell you,
about life.

On a topic as this, 
at a time so dire, 
I do dare aspire:
I do.

I hope to help, 
but for nothing else, 
it seems least we should do,
me and you.

The thing we call life, 
it presumes so much, 
you talk and me too, 
and rightly we do.

What else would make sense, 
what better to do?
What lies below?
Let us strive to know.


(Just warming up, here at The Natie Rel Connection.  “Dose 5″ in “The Meaning of Life, in ten easy doses” series, to be Published Soon.  Its the half-way house in our journey, so I figured I should make it a good one, or try really hard.)


13 thoughts on “The Meaning of Life: A Poetic Interlude

  1. Second sense comes through nicely. Like the spacing embellishment. Looking forward to next series.Get your rest and stay safe!



    Which came first chemical reactions or life?
    Did not chemical reactions form the “information” in your DNA?
    Would you have thoughts without chemical reactions?
    Would there be meaning without chemical reactions?

    So in this sense we are always catching up with chemical reactions.


    1. In these comments, you and I are not reacting and interacting chemically. First and foremost we are communicating via meanings. This is a deeply human environment and not the environment of physics. When I interact with my wife I focus strongly on the Meanings I may be and, some, intend to be ‘sending’. That way I sometimes stay out of trouble with her. I suggest you try it with your wife or sig other.

      And actually, I’m sure you do But your philo view is not big enough to handle it—meaning, human purposes….,


      1. As usual you do not respond to my point.
        I asked four simple questions, which indeed question your “Staying ahead of chemical reactions”

        You did not answer a single one of them.

        There are answers to these questions.


      2. In these comments, you and I are not reacting and interacting chemically.

        Are you suggesting weak emergence is not at work here?

        If your answer is weak emergence is at work here, then how can our interaction not be chemically based? Are you denying weak emergence in this case? Strong emergence?

        If you want to suggest information and meaning, then let me preempt you, by saying meaning and information is written into our brain chemistry.

        Just because it is convenient to discuss in terms of meaning and information, it does not disqualify the actual role of chemistry in the underlying process of ‘discussion’.


  3. Here is a link on emergence
    The blog is also an excellent example how to define what is being discussed when a technical term is being used.

    Weak emergence means that the emergent property can be derived from the properties the system’s constituents and the interactions between the constituents.

    In physics the only type of emergence we have is weak emergence. With strong emergence philosophers refer to the hypothetical possibility that a system with many constituents displays a novel behavior which cannot be derived from the properties and the interactions of the constituents. While this is logically possible, there is not a single known example for this in the real world. …
    The problem with strong emergence is not only that we have no scientific theory for it, it’s worse. Strong emergence is incompatible with what we already know about the laws of nature.

    Hope this gets past the link police.

    The discussion is also interesting. And if you think I am mean … try some of your emergence stuff on Sabine, see how far you get, 😉


    1. Rom, I have already addressed that issue in the Sean Carroll series. I guess you missed it. Yes, weak emergence is what Carroll advocates, not strong. Sabrine, is that that European physicist that is so intolerant of “fools”? Not me take her on, but how bout Carroll or Dennett?

      I’m working on a post on The Ult Physical Background using mostly Carroll. Wow, what a stark and devoid world. Must be Magic that all that seems to be us and around us should ‘really’ be so little; and I don’t care how many incredible math equations you need to ‘understand’ it,. Carroll makes it plain that its hard to imagine how to fit it all together. Seems like you somehow get “blood out of a turnip!”

      The odds are good that your puritanical scientism is just that, extremism. Oh, well. nice talk’n to ya. No harm intended, after all, shouldn’t Religious Fundamentalists be our real ‘target’? But aren’t you an agnostic?


      1. The odds are good that your puritanical scientism is just that, extremism. Oh, well. nice talk’n to ya. No harm intended, after all, shouldn’t Religious Fundamentalists be our real ‘target’? But aren’t you an agnostic?

        Ah your real self is beginning to show here Greg.


      2. I’m just doing what I’m caused to do and I have no “moral” responsibility for my behavior. Isn’t that your position? Explain to me what a “real self” is. I believe in strong emergence. And aren’t you an agnostic?

        The tone of this interchange is deteriorating. Unless it can return to civility, it will be done on this site. That is the meaning of it that I’m starting to understand.


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