Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Life is neither meaningful nor meaningless. Meaning and its absence are given to life by language and imagination. We are linguistic beings who inhabit a reality in which it makes sense to make sense.

For life to make sense it needs a purpose. Even if our aim in life is to be totally in the here and now, free from past conditioning and any idea of a goal to be reached, we still have a clear purpose - without which life would be meaningless. A purpose is formed of words and images. And we can no more step out of language and imagination than we can step out of our bodies."

Stephen Bachelor, "Buddhism Without Beliefs"

2 comments:

AidanSemmens said...

That first paragraph is so fully true it makes the second paragraph redundant. Arguably, it makes everything I've written and am ever likely to write redundant. And perhaps that goes for everyone else too.

Or not. Who knows? These are just words, after all.

Alan Baker said...

It depends how you look at it, I suppose. You could take it to mean the oppsite: that using language (allied with imagination) is the most important thing we do.

But I think the attitude in your second para Aidan, is useful, if only to stop us (poets, that is) taking ourselves too seriously.