Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What makes greatness is starting something that lives after you. Michael Schaefer: Blog Pioneer

Cold River is among the sea of mixed emotions and gory specifics
Tribe of Hot Readers - I am humbled ;-)

The Curly Question
A version of this paper appears in Uniya Occasional Paper no.11, December 2006
One looks into the abyss in order to see beyond it.
Robert Jay Lifton
There is a scene in City Slickers in which the gnarly old cowboy Curly (Jack Palance) turns to the jaded city slicker Mitch (Billy Crystal) as they ride along the trail.
“Do you know what the secret of life is?”
“No, what?”
Curly holds up his gloved index finger.
“Your finger?”
“One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean shit!”
“That’s great, but what’s the one thing?”
“That’s what you’ve gotta figure out.”
According to Google, the Curly Question has been invoked by smokers to help them quit and by sales people to improve their figures. But it is essentially the “meaning of life” question. Why am I here? Does my existence have any value, my life any purpose?
Human beings have an innate need to find meaning in their lives. The trouble is, the things that people used to rely on to give their lives meaning — for the most part family, work and religion — are losing their grip for many in the modern West. Where does that leave those of us wracked by doubt, ambivalence and insecurity asks Mark Byrne? Are we forced to choose between existentialist despair, materialist denial or fundamentalist certainty?