Life? don’t talk to me about life.

Two of my friends in the last week have talked about seeking an answer to life. One told me that I was not seeking; the other was just very upset about how hard it is to find an answer.

If I am not “seeking” it is because I do not believe there is any answer. The question, to me, reflects a fundamental misunderstanding.

As Douglas Adams said, “The answer to life, the universe and everything — is 42.” Before that he said: “You’re not going to like it.”

We don’t like it, but that’s as good an answer as any.

Why should we expect there to be meaning in the our lives? Not “why do we want meaning?”, but just why do we expect it?

Does a rock have a meaning? Does the sun? These things simply are. What hubris in me wants my life to have some “meaning”?

The French tell me that life is absurd. I think there is some truth in that, but it is not consoling.

Shakespeare once said “That that is is”. A rather witty description.

My yoga class wants me to “live in the moment”. I find this both silly and profound. Someone who truly “lived in the moment” (as I understand the concept) would be unable to survive in the modern world. You have to plan beyond the moment to eat. Perhaps a hunter-gatherer society could live in the moment, but I have my doubts. Even chimpanzees have to plan.

Live for some moments — perhaps.

Swift the gull's flight in the empty air

Swift the gull's flight in the empty air


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