it would be an exercise in futility, which is like mental bulimia, an utterly meaningless act to read this article unless one questions one's own sense of the meaningfulness or lack of it in one's own experiential state of being,
1. what is intended to be, or actually is, expressed or indicated, signification, import.
2. the end purpose or significance of something: what is the meaning of life? what is the meaning of all this?
3. a. nonlinguistic cultural correlate, or denotation of linguistic form: expression
b. linguistic content ( opposed to expression
intentioned (usually used in combination): she is a well meaning person.
5. full of significance, expressive: a meaning look.
mean (v.i.) "intend, have in mind," old english maenan "to mean, intend, signify; tell, say; complain, lament, from west german mainijian (cognates: old frician mena "to signify," old saxon menian "to intend, signify, make known enjoyment"), perhaps from root men- "think" conversational question: 'you know what i mean?' attested by 1834," dutch menen, german meinen "think, suppose, be of the opinion"), form pie meino "opinion, intent (cognates: old church slavonic meniti "to think, have an opinion," old irish mian "wish, desire welsh mwyn".
there are two kinds of meaningfulness, verbal and nonverbal. in the latter, which being physically experiential is felt physically in terms of the satisfaction or the absence of it, like the quench after a drink of water, or lack, after finding the waterhole dried up. the verbal meaninglessness may begin in the next moment in which, one being ignorant of the situation then begins to find fault in the event save one's own misperceived knowledge of it in terms of the verbal description of the expected outcome. the bigger the expectation the bigger the feeling of disappointment, and when all one's actions turn out to be futile, one finds the living to be meaningless. the verbal meaningfulness is the very essence of an intellectualization of seeing what is; the religious commandments, the state dictates and moral and ethical stance of a given locality are all well known, but only verbally. the only meaningful signs that are followed are the traffic signs, especially in busy streets, if not knowingly, then out of the fear of accident or being caught and fined for the traffic violation.
physically there is nothing one can do to undo the mistakes physically made. as president nixon's acknowledgement that mistakes were made regarding the war in vietnam, it was a meaningless statement as such admittance did not bring back the lives lost and undo the pains and suffering caused. "little drops of water, little grains of sand; make a mighty ocean and a beauteous land." this much quoted stanza from a poem of a woman named julia carney, also has another stanza: "so our little errors, lead the soul away, from the path of virtue into sin to stray."
poetry, like art and philosophy, or for that matter, any other highly individual profession becomes possible only when one is detached from one's surrounding. thus piccasso -- photographed above -- painted "guernica" far away from the horrors of the war in spain, in a very comfortable studio in france. art is said to be universal. but in actuality, not everything that one paints becomes universally understood; and certainly not, when one fashions images giving it a make believe personal meaning, which being very personal gives no meaning unless described so in words. thus all paintings and sculptures devoid of their titles and lofty meanings in words ascribed to them lose meaning.
next time you go to a museum or to anywhere, go alone, or better yet, go with a child, without a tour guide and pamphlets and headful of descriptions picked up from the books. just look, and most pictures and images won't hold your attention any longer than a passing moment, very much like the child who walks past a well guarded work without giving it a second fleeting glance. then the indian sculptures with many arms and heads would seem to be appalling deformed humans; the christian image of crucifixion would be seen as just a man killed being nailed to cross, and frightening. the sound of the oriental musical instruments in the ears of the western classical music fan would sound like strings untuned. and the orientals would struggle to find some semblance of rhythm in the western classical music. or the both would find it hard to hear the musical notes and the words of song in the loud pop concert.
it is this different sets of descriptions of things and nature of things that create conflicts. this is why whatever formed of unsubstantiated words, like theories of economics, science, politics, social or religions are refuted and denied. and yet, no two warring parties have rejected things of practical nature invented by their opponents. the fundamentalist christians and moslems have their homes equipped with the modern appliances. even the amish people, who do not use engine powered machines use instead horse powered machines., but not use their own energies to do the work.
as the dictionary shows, the meaning of the word: meaning changes according to a given cultural norm regarding a thing, being, thought or action. it also changes in different context. and one can expect, or even loathe only the known. this meaninglessness in common usage of the word is something one is unable to relate to, whether in action or thought, as expressed in: "it is all greek to me." it is all greek to the greek speaking people, too, when something is abstracted, taken out of context. for anything to be understandable first of all it has to be within the range of the perceptive senses. meaning may be found and understood only when the question is understood, for the question itself contains the quest.
from the moment one is born, one is constantly orienting oneself with things in ever so expanding range of perception. early on, in the life of the human primate the sense of the contradiction between what one experiences and what others around one insist it to be not so or not there. there is no difference between the function of the sense organs of babies of humans or other creatures. even an earthworm responds to a touch, acceptingly or rejecting. the worm, whose entire body is rubbed against the earth wiggles when touched by a human finger. so, too, the human infant, who is held close to its mother, does not experience the same comfort in being held by another person. the human bodies of strangers pressed together in crowded places may even enjoy the human warmth of togetherness in familiar circumstances like joining a rally; and yet shudder when touched by a stranger in other instances. but that fine sense of distinction, which is a given biologically experiential emotion is neglected almost from the start by the culturing process in the lives of modern human beings. this process of conditioning begins with the potty training that is necessitated by the made to order living arrangement. once accepted that as given, it cannot be ignored. all civilians and soldiers alike thus march with their given different drumbeats. enwrapped in his "half naked fakir" image gandhi could not ward off the frosty chill of english winter while attending a round table conference; nor would a president of a most powerful nation dare to stop sweating and shed the three piece suit in a state visit to some tropical hot sunny land.
according to the united nations' report, 2.5 billion people, that is, one in three people do not have a toilet access to a sustainable sanitation. in the poor neighbourhoods in countries like india, where people have to relieve themselves wherever they can do it without being noticed, its collective effect is a stench that lingers low in the air. similar stench of the cattle and pigs farms is felt in surrounding miles. in contrast, the wilder beasts numbering in hundreds of thousands also relieve themselves in the african terrain, but without fouling the air while enriching the soil. the difference is not in the biological urge to relieve oneself, but it is in the artificial concentration. being herded, humans and cattle or pigs have the same place to do it time and again. over used, even an expensive commode will clog up and stink. the urbanization spreads at the expense of the green earth. the cattle farms and cities are barren of trees and vegetation. and there is no ecologically efficient solution to what is artificially created environment this urbanization is. in the human culture, what is naturally relieved becomes a refuse. in the ecological constance there is nothing useless, everything is transformed into nourishing the new.
when a beehive gets overpopulated, a part of the bees migrates to another location where there is nectar in flowers. in humans, this migration lure of nectar is servitude in an urban center, the bigger the better. so people throng to other countries and in them in places where there are jobs for the migrant workers, legal or illegal. this in turn forms the overcrowded urban centre in close proximity of work places. there, people work for pittance, and are seeking to work for a pay that is not enough to offer them the basic necessities of life.
unlike the animals in the wild, these poorly paid and unpaid people have no abilities to sustain their living in this crowded new environment. the parents of some of these people had that ability and means, but they were led to believe that a simple living which is equated with the ignorance is meaningless without the urban way of life. and they are told that the key to the urbanization is kept in the school. what is not told to the parents is that the education is a process of replacement of the natural sense perception with the cultivated and conditioned response in the interests of the commerce.
such conditioned people are also led on to an excursion to places in the wild where the animals and the primitives and the poor of the 3rd world live. the purpose is not to feel the sense of freedom these people and creatures have, but to perceive how deprived they are without the ever so expanding number of products that have made the modern living the envy of the young of the 3rd world poor. it is this cultivated sense that makes the middle class white collar workers to pay the gyms to exercise with the machine made forms instead of exercising their limbs and organs in a natural way.
now here are but a few instances in which the people who are reading this may be earning a living by working for another person in manufacturing things that make his and the urbanized people's biological limbs and organs meaningless. see this in context with the motions of life of the aborigines. much of that involves their limbs and organs making it meaningless for them to have gyms and spas. not just that, there is also similarity between them and other creatures of the wild. the running around and playing is for the little ones only. this playfulness is to make their bodies limber and synchronize their senses and actions. the adult creatures and humans retain this ability in their day to day motions of life, whether working in the field, gathering food or hunting. and none of their actions are repeatable like a staged performance. like that saying: one can never dip one's foot in the same river twice.
all 'uncivilized' creatures experience no such conflicts of the meaninglessness in the motions of life. and within each species, all their actions and responses are universal. among the humans, that universal quality is found in only those motions of life that are beyond the forces of cultures and customs. it is obvious that whenever one feels the life to be meaningless, all one means is that one does not need to be in that situation, whether in thought or in motion. now that is not really a problem. what hinders one from stepping out of that sensation is one's own conditioning frightening one with the "what if?" and yet, motivated by the elementary impulse to move on one desires the new, the next breath of life. now breathing is an unconditioned aspect of life, so no matter how hard one tries to hold on, longer one tries to hold on, the longer one suffocates. so, too, the meaningless motions of life cease when one steps out of the conditioned reflexes shaping one's very motions of life that one sees to be meaningless. and, one cognizes that the meaningfulness is not a static thing. that is why the newness can never be repeated. had the new inhabitants of the new world come leaving their old habits behind things would have found a new, ever evolving meaningful way to live.