After too many years, I’m finally building myself a NAS: network-attached storage, a device for backing up files, photos, and all the data that is otherwise in the cloud. Say goodbye, FANGs, I’m going self-hosted.
I was given a copy of R. Buckminster Fuller’s “Critical Path” for my birthday recently (thanks!) and I’ve been reading it again and thinking about the concept of “purpose” as it relates to a human life in an “… eternally regenerative Universe …” which “… does not depend on us, [as we] are not the only experiment.” I absolutely agree with the idea that “… What humans have spontaneously identified as good and bad — or as positive and negative — are evolutionary complementations in need of more accurate identifications. [There] are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ people, no matter how offensive or eccentric to society they may seem.”
So the question is: are you a directly positive influence on the evolution of the wholly-regenerative Universe, or is the positive effect you have on the Universe just a side-effect of your unknowingly correct, inevitably positive actions? A violent criminal can be a positive influence if he (or she!) causes someone else to invent ways to lessen violence; the age old “reason” for evil – that we may rise above it. Does your life just serve as a bad example?
Actually, the “reason for evil” argument is flawed, because there is no proof that “evil” (things happening to individuals and groups that hurt and/or upset the people) is the only way to promote “good” (people lessening, stopping or providing comfort against hurtful things). It is altogether possible that a loving community would spontaneously arise in the midst of a happy existence, and be “stronger” than the community that bonds together against a common enemy/evil. Depending on your definition of “stronger”, of course.
Anyway, the point is you can either be a positive influence in spite of your actions, or because of them – and “because of them” is both more efficient for the “system” (an eternally regenerative Universe) and likely to lead to greater personal happiness, as you have truly found your “purpose”. And when you do that, or move towards it, things seem to just gel (it may be a purely mental state, with your pattern-recognition engine noticing anything and everything that moves you closer to your stated purpose).
I’m trying to move towards my own chosen purpose now, and finding exactly as stated above: things just work when I actively pursue it (even if it’s just trying to discover what to pursue), and I notice things every day which can help me. To quote Bucky one last time:
“The Things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done — that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual.”