The Meaning of Life

Minimize suffering.

Examples:

  • We like to help others, minimizing their suffering (main goal of helping others) and our own (we feel shame when we see someone who needs help or sometimes even feel their pain as if it was our own)
  • Laws are designed to minimize suffering. Revenge might be our first instinct but it never minimizes anything. Like the old says: Eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. That might minimize insight but not the pain.
  • Even the most simple animals avoid pain. Plants try to grow out of shade. Excited electrons quickly return to their normal state – a phenomenon which allows us to see.
  • Moral and ethical guidelines help to minimize suffering. Apart from the obvious effects, they help members of the group to behave well without suffering through the long and tedious process of discovering those truths themselves.
  • Religions try to minimize suffering by giving explanations for the inexplicable. Buddhism boiled everything down to this phrase: “Life means suffering” (from The Four Noble Truths[*]).

Merry Christmas and a Painless New Year.

[*]: And their solution isn’t death, it’s ascension – Nirvana: “Nirvana means freedom from all worries, troubles, complexes, fabrications and ideas. Nirvana is not comprehensible for those who have not attained it.”

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