Those are the facts and that is the mystery that surrounds us. Courageous, thinking people deal with it every day---living lives of self-generated meaning. They are enlivened by the joys of CREATIVELY RESPONDING to our situation---somewhat like a unicycle rider who must forever adjust his balance, but loves and appreciates the challenge.
The unthinking and the cowardly live sheep-like lives. Four billion of them have swallowed their childhood indoctrination and doomed themselves to assorted miseries. They believe life is about OBEDIENCE to ancient laws--that ethics is REVEALED--not created by humans. We must deal with or dodge their doings.
HOW TO GENERATE PERSONAL MEANING: (the mental state of energized focus, full involvement and success in the process of the activity) Here is a better explanation than I can give. Click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology))
IS THERE ANY COSMIC MEANING?? Any grand plan?? What is the overall point of the whole process?? No one knows---but millions guess. I'll share a few with you:
1. Christians generally suppose that God created the cosmos and us to express his love.
2. Islam says God creates as an act of mercy. sustains, guides and will someday judge us.
3. Jews don't know but are sure they play a special role in whatever God is up to.
4. Mormons think there may be millions of Gods and that we may become one too; creating planets and people like the God that created us. (i.e. creating worlds is a fun thing to do) I remind you that two presidential candidates actually believe this story. (God help us!)
5. Buddha boldly said he didn't know. (God bless him--the only honest religious founder) His disciples are not nearly so modest however---they speculate a desire for adventure was the reason.
EXISTENTIALISM: Life has only the meaning you give it. You are free to create your own personality and happiness---or misery. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existentialism
ATHEISM: Life has no grand meaning. There is no convincing evidence of Cosmic intent. Meaning is personally generated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism
MYSTICISM: It is possible to experience direct contact with the ground of being itself------- exhilerating beyond description and to receive subtle guidance for a wonderous life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysticism
My friend Wayne Wirs is the best spokesman and embodiment of this position that I know:
Teilard de Chardin: the cosmos is a grand process where spirit condenses into matter and then evolves itself into spirit again. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega_Point Click here and be inspired with his vision.
Ray Kurtzweil: Inventor--futurist--hailed as the successor to Thomas Edison---sees an accellerating spiral of technology that is headed very quickly toward a wonderful "singularity". Let him tell you about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PWXrnsSrf0
F M Esfandiary: Futurist---Author of Upwingers---along with Chardin, one of my early mentors http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FM-2030
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I like these three visions and I urge my readers to give radical optimism a look. I think it is useful and inspiring to carry around in your head the very finest theory/vision of the future that thinkers have promulgated. I'd be interested in hearing about visionaries that inspire you.
And P.S. this wraps up my philosophical jag for awhile--I've been adventuring on the ground and will do a catch up report next.