I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Is Life Devoid of Meaning?

I've said before that I'm essentially a nihilist on the question of whether life has any greater meaning. I reject that there is any non-human power judging us, deciding if we are living correctly or not. From a universal perspective, it makes no difference how you live your life. You can be a nun, a ninja, or a nutcase, but hundred years from now all you'll be is dust.

But is the absence of greater meaning reason for despair?

Only if you think a blank sheet of paper is worthless. Which, as a writer, I definitely do not. A blank sheet of paper may be inherently devoid of meaning, but in the hands of men it can become the medium for a story or a drawing or a blueprint; it can be folded into an airplane or a hat. Love letters may be composed, yard sales and lost dogs may be advertised.

Men aren't lucky enough to be born as blank sheets. We're always going to wind up with culture and genetics scribbled all over our lives and actions. But, once you come to the realization that there is no higher outline for your life, that you are basically free to fill the pages of your existance anyway you wish, you can choose to treat your life as a medium to hold a work of art. Your body and mind can be used to love, to create, to share... or to rage and destroy.

And while there is no higher power to judge you, the same is true for literature, or music, or dance. We don't need a god to approve of these things; our fellow men are all the audience we need when we create art. In fact, sometimes we need no one's judgment but our own to feel happy with our creations. So it can be with our lives.

1 comment:

Darkond said...

I haven't read your post, only the title. I must say this. The meaning of life is movement. Sentience is when a moving thing recognizes itself its moving self on a psychological level. Movement. I myself consider stars to be a form of life. They are born, and they die. And the term is occasionally used "the life of a star". So, life is applicable to many things. The meaning of death is for something that was once moving to stop moving.

Now that I have said this, I will read your blog post.