Previously I’d assumed our purpose was mechanical in the machinery of evolution. Every living thing plays a role in the circle of life. That alone seemed like a decent enough purpose for mankind. But what if?

While it is difficult to talk about a mindful god without evoking a biblical God, most who honestly question their spiritual side at some point consider the possibility. So lets just imagine there is a force within nature that has something like a mind. Not a brain (thoughts/memories/emotions) but a Spirit that is self aware, as we are self aware. 

If we imagine the possibility of that Creator, then purpose may be a rather interesting consideration. The entire universe could be here simply for humans to exist. To some that seems a silly suggestion, but in reality what difference would it make to god?

I remember decorating my son’s nursery, knowing full well he’d never understand how much care went into every little cloud that was painted by hand. It ran from the border high up on the wall, to the ceiling where the shade of blue grew deeper toward the light centered on the ceiling. There was a cross-stitch hanging over his crib made by his grandmother. It was a Winnie the Pooh theme with the letters A through Z stitched in baby blue. There were thousands, maybe tens of thousands of needle strokes put into that gift.

Did he grow in his awareness and interest in his surroundings? Absolutely. I’m sure he enjoyed it far more than he would have liked a featureless room painted dark grey. But the honest truth of it is that his room was filled with love for our enjoyment as much as his. Now if my son’s room is privy to this amount of extravagance, why shouldn’t our home be far beyond our rather limited human understanding?

If we are a unique hybrid of animal evolution and spiritual birth, the purpose of everything we see is to please god…as it pleases us! And the purpose of ‘us’ is god’s secret. I say secret because any talk of god’s motivations seems off the mark. We’re here for god’s happiness? His glory? I’m not sure I agree with ascribing my understanding of happiness to god. And I don’t know that I really understand glory in its essence. I’ve always imagined god as the embodiment of joy instead. Anyone who has ever seen their child smile knows what I mean by joy. 

What if my purpose, the entire reason I exist, is god’s joy? It is impossible to prove of course, but this is a reasonable question in my opinion. It should at least be asked–and asked seriously–to see the soul’s response. As crazy as the idea of a god, or his joy, are to my tiny brain…the place where my brain waves stop and the ocean of my soul starts? No objection there. So I won’t rule it out for now.

Okay, so I posted this elsewhere about a month ago…but I have a lot of ranting to do here and this is a good one to start with.

What the heck happened in this country? When did we start caring about the stock market, or the fvcking price of oil, more than we cared about the faults in our education system, or loss of blue-collar jobs, or the fact that only 27% of American children live with both biological parents?

Where is the mass angst againt more meaningful things? The type of angst that generates action–ohhh, like we’re seeing from DC because of Wall Street. When do those things become issues we’re ALL talking about? Why are we “okay” that it keeps getting harder and harder and harder to live well in this country? A LOT of people used to have a house and a family and peace of mind on one income.

If you don’t realize it is greed on the part of a very few, very wealthy groups of people…then you’re still hypnotized by the pretty packaging all around us. It should insult us! Instead it makes us drooling, glossy-eyed pawns lusting for better or newer or cheaper or more. And we take it, never demanding things like good honest quality, or “just enough,” or being treated like a human being. How did this monster get so out of control? It’s all about cutting costs, selling more product this quarter than last quarter, and reducing us down to nothing but an account number and some attribute-labeled “customer” when it is time to do marketing.

You know what set me off this afternoon? Cracker Jack. I bought a little snack bag of it today, and STILL held out hope that the prize wouldn’t su-HUUUUCKK. But it did, and that really pissed me off. You think they replaced the “good” sucky prize cuz they give a ratsass about the customer? Hell no. They are doing that to cut costs, with the knowledge that our hope of a good prize will keep us coming back for more. (Trust me, there’d be NO prize if the advertising didn’t outperform the expense!) Seriously, when was the last time you found a good prize in there???

So that’s my rant of the day. I demand back my country that gives you a good freaking prize in your box of Cracker Jack…is that too much to ask?


As I thought more about the suggestion that meaning is not equivalent to purpose, and requires some innate value, it donned on me that this is a pretty big leap. And what exactly would value look like if it was inherent in a being (versus ascribed by an “other”)?


I’m big on analogies, like a cop on donuts, but had difficulty conjuring one for human beings. Gold was the obvious example of what I don’t mean—it has a lot of value, but entirely placed by us. Then I tried to find something more akin to life, but I was stumped. I knew what I wanted to convey yet couldn’t sensibly explain it.


Water perhaps. It has a value to all of life, not just by human estimation. This value, while not assigned, is still not as much a part of water as I’d like (for the analogy). Would the universe be worse off if water didn’t exist? You might say yes, because life as we know it would cease as well. However, that is a measure of life’s value, not that of H2O.


I thought of living things. This is difficult because whatever intrinsic value I’m looking for in the universe is likely very much a part of life itself. To say we have value because my cat has value doesn’t make the comparison I seek.


On this topic however, we do value the best of things. As if they are nature’s art and, therefore, deserve our admiration. We value the diamond, precious metals, largest mountain, fastest animal…the list goes on. Is it okay to acknowledge WE are (as far as we know) the pinnacle of life to this point? I wonder if we sense our own value simply because of the achievement humanity represents. Interesting, but that seems like inbred, circular logic to me.😉


So I turned to the dictionary for more ideas. As I read through the eighteen definitions for the word value, most were in line with my analogy to this point. Then I came to some mathematical definitions, and finally found it! What I was looking for at first was based on my own human construct where value is a material reflection of worth. What rings true in my soul is more like the value of a number. It is constant and unchangeable.


Where a formula may read x = 4.13 / y2, the digits 1-4 have intrinsic value. The variables ‘x’ and ‘y’ do not, just as the equal sign, decimal, and division sign are static members simply setting the stage. If this analogy is taken further, I’d say nature is the symbols, we are the numbers, and god is the variables (I’d like to think we’re the variables, but something tells me that isn’t the case).


How interesting that the cerebral philosophical basis I wanted to narrow my view of the world to winds up best explained in math?! This universe continues to blow my mind.


So? What now…


I believe I have value. I believe you have value. I believe all life has value. I believe the universe would be a different place without us. Yes, that is phenomenally egotistical…but that seems true to me nonetheless. Is that the product of a ‘religious’ upbringing, or a genuine arrival at the basis of my core and the foundation of my world view? I don’t know, and can only challenge this truth over and over to see if it stands all tests.


Does that, combined with a purpose, explain my view of meaning? It seems as close as I’m going to get for now, but the argument really hinges on whether agreement exists on the individual value we each hold…as humans. In the end, it seems we are the only ones capable of considering these questions. So my next question is whether awareness of meaning is an additional (unexpected) requirement. Dang. Wish I could have started with that as Part 3.

(Realized a couple things with this post. 1. I’m not as succinct as I would like, but what the heck…if I waited until it was perfect my blog would gather dust in a hurry; and 2. there is need for an additional ‘reason exercise’ preceeding these thoughts…but won’t hurt to post this first.)


Does life have meaning? I don’t know. I think it does, actually I’m pretty sure it does. However, that’s still just my view of the world. And I’m not sure this is a topic that can be debated, for there is a point in the human psyche where faith and belief cross into the unexplainable realm of personal truth.


We can communicate around our truth, but we cannot give anyone else firsthand understanding of how we view the world. It helps me to have completely open conversation with almost a “20 questions” feel about it. When talking world view with people, I usually find myself curiously excited with questions for them.


Why do you accept that?

Do you believe with certainty?

What is the source of meaning?


Yet in my culture these questions aren’t always welcome. This is a bummer to me, since there’s not any other subject I enjoy more. But for now, this post is about the basic question of meaning vs. non-meaning.


Most people I’ve talked to *want* to believe there is meaning in life. I’d even say most people live their everyday life assuming it to be the case. But is it just a façade? If not, where does the meaning come from?


Let me pause and clarify what I mean with this word. Meaning, to me, is the combination of purpose and intrinsic value. Does the 20-minute life of a bacteria have meaning? I don’t think so. It definitely has purpose, but lacks intrinsic value. A sunset is just the opposite. For some reason, there seems to be intrinsic value based on its unique beauty, yet I can’t imagine a purpose.


For humans, I think we can cross off purpose. We are a product of evolution and play a role in the modern day circle of life–just like the bacteria in my gut. Next is the question of intrinsic value.


The logical conclusions indicated by evolution-only (i.e. no “wizard” behind the curtain) can be unsettling. When posing the question “what is the value in a human life,” or “what is a human life worth,” a purely evolution-based view has to argue about such things as “common good” or “best for the species.” Often times this is in direct contrast to a survival of the fittest approach—just look at caring for the sick and elderly. Yet, for some reason we tend to assign actual worth to the individual life…as if it has intrinsic value.


Why do we care about human suffering? Particularly outside our sheltered sphere of influence? Is this “concern” just a byproduct of human evolution? I suppose that is possible. However, it strikes me as a relatively weak argument when compared to my inner truth regarding life and meaning.


Taken to the extreme, we came from nothing (at least, our knowledge stops at a certain point in history) and we will return to nothing (be it the sun exploding or universe collapsing or entropy doing its thing). This evolutionary blip on the dimension of time-space is as meaningful as the rise, and erosion, of a mountain. Have we conjured this thing called consciousness only to find that we are destined to burn out? What a sick façade to create in a cold, impersonal universe.


Or, is there more? Is there some force intertwined with the fabric of time and space and nature that instills an instinctual understanding that life is something special? Beyond that, is this an aspect of the universe only humans can contemplate and therefore makes us see each other so different from everything else that intrinsic value is found? That makes more sense to me, although I can’t explain exactly why.


So before I even ask *what* is the meaning of life, I’m asking *if* there is meaning in life. Right now, I’d say yes. This is one of my truths that could use challenged.

Just a quick post on my blog name. (Not that it is valuable, but I’m trying to get into the habit of posting and this is an easy one to knock out.)

For about five years now I’ve sponsored a couple girls overseas. Been amazing to see them grow up into young women. Anyhow, they were initially assigned at random and one of the girls (from Tanzania) is named Happy James Lucas. I’ve always loved that name, thus the inspiration for my blog.

Truth. We can get closer or further from it, but we cannot create, destroy, or pervert it. Logically there *is* ultimate Truth…getting to it from this tiny rock, in this hybrid animal-spirit carcass is another story.

So I want to get closer to it, and that means challenging what I hold to be true. But so much of my ‘truth’ is beyond normal–or at least, it isn’t normal in the people I know. Recently found a pretty interesting, intelligent group of people blogging around here on the exact type of conversation I’m looking for.

This is me, throwing my hat into the ring. I hope to get to know some folks, be inspired, and perhaps stimulate some novel conversation.


October 2016
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