Comments on “The puzzle of meaningness”


Finding meaning through internal conflict consequent to choices

Lawrence Page's picture

This is written by a 75 year old who suffered the consequences of his wife’s secret affair in his 30’s. The unfolding of the meaning of that experience revealed to me the very nature of consciousness and how self identity determines my perceived reality. The scientific hypothesis of how the complex of emotions, feelings and the awareness of feelings affects our conscious and unconscious identity I later found in Antonio Damasio’s “The Feeling of What Happens” and “Descartes’ Error.”

Originally my cognitive dissonance and depression coming from the unanticipated emotions, forced upon me in reaction to the loss of who I thought I was, forever changed my concepts of meaning. Throughout a long period of accepting the validity and necessity of being conscious of the relationship between feelings and concepts in order to just be, I dissolved the Cartesian illusion that had left me meaningless. I can now say after a meaningful life that my self identity is created in each conscious moment by the “co-naissance” of a feeling with an idea. I think and feel therefor I am meaningfully me. I well understand if you do not find this meaningful as I have been there too.

I’d think it’s pretty clearly

C.H.'s picture

I’d think it’s pretty clearly wrong from the start, because the assumptions are based on faulty logic. You cannot assume you know your spouse so well as to make decisions on their behalf regarding your shared marriage contract. Denying your spouse the right of first refusal and failing to notify them of your lacking needs is a clear violation, regardless of how the issue is handled, eg: having an affair or not. The ethics/meaning of the affair itself is rather irrelevant, because it’s the meaning and ethics of the preceding events and choices that tell the fuller story. The desire to have an affair has well-documented meanings/causes. Perhaps speaking to others who have had affairs and those who have successfully avoided one would be more enlightening.

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