I’m not happy at all with how Monday’s post turned out. An interesting phenomenon is that the reduced pace of posting has led to a decrease in quality, at least as perceived by me. Extra time to prepare is not bearing fruit, something perhaps to consider going forward.
I’d like, therefore, to clarify what I was attempting to get at on Monday.
First, the idea of the universe being “objectively meaningful” is a nonsensical , insofar as the objective is understood in opposition to the subjective. Meaning is only available to subjects and can only be grasped in terms of subjects. Removing subjects from the picture, definitionally denudes the picture of any meaning.
This is not to deny that there is such a thing as truth/meaning independent of “my” truth/meaning. Rather, it points to the insufficiency and artificiality of the distinction between objective and subjective, which is itself grounded on a similarly artificial distinction between matter and mind.
This distinction is only considered possible due to an withdraw from our primary encounter with the world, an act of abstraction followed by the reification of that abstraction. In other words, we generate a conceptual schema in order to make sense of the world, then act as if the categories of that schema are primary and read the world through them in a Procrustean fashion. In doing this, we treat the world in which we live as something distinct from the fact of our living in it, but this leaves us homeless.
Instead, we must recognize that experience is primary, that, to retain the terms of the rejected distinction, there is a subjective character to all objects, that mind and matter interpenetrate in things. We cannot classify away the subjective character of things, because it is precisely this character which makes them things.
Meaning is therefore present in all things. Indeed, meaning is the ground of all things, and discloses itself to us through them.
Our encounter with this meaning is also the fundament of our own being. We are constituted by our participation in the world’s disclosure of meaning to us. This is what shapes us, what makes us us. Finally, the encounter with meaning carries with it the awareness that this meaning surpasses ourselves (for we cannot be our own grounds). And here we encounter the mystery at the center of the world.