Meaning is a Jumper That You Have to Knit Yourself
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Meaning is a Jumper That You Have to Knit Yourself

August 16, 2019


This is Viktor Frankl He was a neurologist and a psychiatrist he lived through the concentration camps of the Second World War He survived starvation slave labor watched countless people die You know what the concentration camps were we went all on it. Anyway, during that time he had a revelation which was, this: Humans are an animal driven by purpose, above all we strive for a sense of meaning in our lives And if we don’t get it we get extremely extremely sad and by the time I finished ranting at you today I hope you will agree with this, too For the longest time a good day for a human consisted of finding food, finding water, and not getting fucking eaten and even though Hunter-gatherers probably have more free time than we do chances are the focus of their lives was to stay alive Next, we developed a civilization and along came organized religion I’m not shitting on religion here believe whatever you like, but whether the notorious G.O.D does exist or not it arguably gave humans a purpose in the universe; we were special, we were loved (sometimes) and we actually meant something in the grand scheme of things Lately though things are getting a bit complicated If you’re listening to this there’s a very strong chance you will never live through a war directly, you will never experience prolonged starvation or have to worry about getting access to clean drinking water I say this not to guilt you But just to point out how much has changed for lots of us however, whereas before the purpose of one’s life was focused around not getting dead or Remembering to worship the God of your choice today lots of us have more time to think about life And we still don’t have an agreed sense of what we’re doing here There is a shadow in the background of modern life. It is best described as having enough food, Hopefully having enough money to live on, Not needing to worry about lions, And still being sure that some vital thing is missing And that missing thing Viktor Frankl argued is meaning. Frankl noticed that lots of his patients had the sensation of total meaninglessness in their lives He called this the existential vacuum When I got my cap I asked the vet: “What do cats need please?” And she said: “food, water and fuzz.” I give her these things and she seems as far as I can tell pretty cool with the whole arrangement At no point has she demanded to know the purpose of her existence or the correct interpretation of quantum mechanics It doesn’t seem that easy to satisfy humans though, because we are very very clever animals (with some exceptions) And oh look! It’s half-past-pop-psychology o’clock Maybe you know about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs it’s not accepted by everyone, but it’s a pretty good rough guide So we’re fairly sure humans need basic stuff first; food, water, sleep Then security and safety and no getting numbed by lions, yes Then belonging and love as in family intimate relations, Then self-esteem to be respected to be appreciated and then finally Self-actualization or becoming that thing one actually wants to be. Lots of humans it seems, are somewhere between here and here Hopefully lots of us are living in relative safety, and that’s grand But the general message of 21st century life for being self actualized at least in some parts of the world is Make-de-moneyz or buy lots of property or something and then you’ll miraculously be happy and fulfilled Well, nothing wrong with money or houses, But it seems pretty evidential that is not enough for purpose and happiness in itself A few recent studies hinted that having money does actually make you happier Unless you win the lottery, interestingly Then you’re probably fucked, link below. But there does seem to be a limit A Princeton study a while ago suggested that above about $75,000 dollars happiness and well-being doesn’t increase that much above a certain threshold of being able to support yourself and your family Most humans don’t get too much happier above that with money alone, So something else is required for happiness.. Happiness is one of the few things humans try to achieve for its own sake But there’s a problem with happiness Which is the most of us seem to behave thinking well when I bought, finished, driven, built, completed X I’ll just be happy forever and nothing will ever hurt again If you’ve ever tried being human you may have noticed that this is not how happiness works, ever Usually over a long enough period of time humans revert back to their baseline hedonic setpoint their default happiness position This is called the hedonic treadmill, and it’s a fundamental shit part of the human condition But what’s interesting is that there doesn’t seem to be a meaning treadmill in the same way For example: one of the most significant life events for lots of humans will be having more humans, eventually And parenting itself seems to start off feeling pretty cool But gets a bit fucking stressful for about 20 years and in those 20 years even though the euphoria dies off And many parents at times wish to eat their young the feeling of purpose does not die off This also appears to apply to long-term relationships that work, and professions people genuinely, actually, enjoy there may be difficult weeks or months But overall if it’s in line with what an individual actually wants, inherently Then the thing continues to be meaningful for a long time Possibly even for life. Meaning seems like a far more sustainable goal than happiness And according to what we know so far, if you have the first, the second often follows Even in hard times Years ago I had a shit temp job in an office And I spent the entire time being incompetent and fantasizing about getting out and my boss who was a nice lady Seemed genuinely happy filling in spreadsheets and playing solitaire when the big boss wasn’t looking and she was very clever So one day I asked her why she liked working there, And she said that when she was little she used the dream about working in an office and having a desk and going to the Coffee machine blah blah and now she was living the dream And I realized at that moment just how different humans’ motivations can be. If working there was in line with what she wanted to do, and she was happy doing it, Which she was, then who the hell was I to tell her otherwise? Unfortunately, humans are not cats and food and water and fuss just ain’t gonna Cut it most of us seem to want to be trying at something we enjoy But the spectrum of human enjoyment is so vast It’s ridiculous, so there’s not going to be some magical human science that says “Alright you fucks, everyone eat five creme eggs a day, learn the accordion, get a job as a telephone sanitizer and then you’ll find purpose in life” It’s something a lot more complicated than that And Victor Frankl’s position was that finding an individual sense of meaning is a journey the individual has to undertake alone Sometimes you come across people who are much older than you, but a still self-centered or compulsive liars or whatever? And it’s worrying because you assumed if you just live long enough your work shed out and stuff will be fine And here’s someone who lived a long time and somehow is still an awful person One day I was talking to a Buddhist nun about this, And she said “well obviously, you have to try it, being wise, or you’ll spend your whole life never growing, Meaning is a jumper that you have to knit, yourself.” that seemed quite clever and quite true. Oh ey uh.. Jumper is a sweater to those of you living in certain breakaway British territories. What what? Where we are now might be part of a huge experiment in human history Which is give some people miraculous technology give them education And mars bars and VR and see if that provides them with a purpose in life for some of them, lots of them, It doesn’t seem to The question then is “Yeah yeah, thanks for the technology and the education and everything, But life still feels empty on some level for some of us, and what the hell do we do now, please?” Every age has its trials; the existential vacuum might be ours, If you take away the constant threat of death, Purpose is given back to the individual and that’s bad and that’s good. if one actually pursues some individual sense of meaning whether it be in love or work or whatever That’s grant if not an entire lifetime can be spent and many have been spent doing nothing about it The game of life begins with you appearing on the outskirts of this huge dark forest You ask a few people what we’re all doing here, but no one, including your parents or teachers really has a clue Now you’re told that inside the forest is real life And if you go in you’ll have to do battle with all sorts of monsters like: loneliness, Everything feeling futile, shit jobs, people being vindictive, your own limitations, Not knowing what you inherently want, worrying about income, Worrying about disease, The death of people close to you, Universal human stuff, right? But facing up to it actually saying fuck you I’m gonna learn or make or become whatever it is We’ll just refuse to die on the inside despite living in a universe that is clearly not kind and where suffering is inevitable That might be the only way of achieving some sense of individual meaning What’s that Ray Bradbury line? Ask no guarantees, ask for no security that never was such an animal and if there were, it would be related to the great sloth Which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day sleeping its life away Just being alive in the first place is fucking ridiculous, And it’s amazing that most of us are even keeping it together, at all It’s one thing to get called into creation without being asked first, It’s an insult to injury to then be expected on top of that to work out what the hell you’re doing here in the first (second) place And I think there’s a pretty good chance that Viktor Frankl and a bunch of others have already shown us how to beat that problem Purpose seems to be personal, it comes from the inside from a sense of enjoying one’s work from living around people one actually loves from Striving to know even if only in a small human way for a short human time what we’re even doing here in the first place Individually, if not that then what the hell was the point in being here? And if that feels like a challenge, well that’s to be expected because everyone else is playing the same game Whether they admit it or not however much older however much more powerful they might be. What is it with these pricks one meets at parties sometimes who claims they’ve got it all worked out, Are you serious !? Have you even noticed where you are!? You’re finally just being called into creation are you? You’re all right with just popping down the shop for an ice-cream and pretending anything makes sense. Are you fucking kidding me!? Oh, yeah, welcome to existence; everything is confusing, the universe is actively hostile, And you don’t even know what the conditions for your own happiness are, Oh, by the way, you’re sentient meat standing on a living spaceship (!) Best of luck coming to terms with that one, Yeah Like getting very confused about all this isn’t entirely natural for literally everyone Like we have anything more here than just each other, No one knows what they’re doing Everybody shits and really, No one knows what they’re doing And that’s alright. That’s to be expected Knit your own meaning jumper if you can, lots of other humans did And it seemed to work out for them Cool, Rant over… Good luck with your fucking lives then oh What’s that? it’s the Prince of milf, that book I wrote ages go out as a paperback finally You can get it on Amazon if you want It’s a story about what happens when the gods misbehave Basically, it has a new cover a new introduction and you can actually hold it in your hands and shit Baiiiiiii

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  1. My new dream is to eat five cream eggs a day, learn the accordian, and get a job as a telephone sanitizer.

  2. Its like when you pretty much do everything you can do in a game and you then have nothing to do and get bored

  3. he he… i'm a nihilist. i see no meaning nor purpose for myself, nor morals. but i've got dreams and objectives to fulfill. i work on self improvement. i'm creative as fuck and i never, i mean never get bored, however time passes quite quickly. i just wanna live a happy life and fulfill my curiosity forever. and have no regrets. so far so good. i can give you lectures about cell, i enjoy exploring personalities of others and i like to befriend the ones that seem worthy. some people kind of unique, some more, some less, but there are also some truely special. the ones i like the most. the ones i don't wanna lose, as even though human speciment personalities are often very repetitive, it's not always the truth. everyone has something they can share with you, but rarely they're the only one who can. desclaimer: i'm not evil or anything in my opinion and i'm not considered such.
    i'm a prospering human being. i'm happy.

  4. There are so many NPCs in this world. (I dont mean it literally), but its so weird that people dont even question their own existence and meaning. They just go on in their life, not even thinking about why and how we have been put in this systematic cycle.

  5. this is basically the same thing I wrote once, personally, good to know some shares my opinion quite exactly actually.

  6. I don't know about that…. The accordion is pretty fun to play… I'm sure it would end world depression.

    Great video though, I love your channel and what you do.

  7. what if we dont have to find a meaning but only find happiness, you will ask now '' how can i find happiness without a meaning?'' well, the answer is within yourself.

  8. Hmm. Ive liked plenty of videos by you so far and this one has a good intention but is incredibly off about a few points.

    The first point I want to address is this whole idea that other aninals dont have the kind of complicated thoughts on life that humans do. To be fair, youre probably right, but not in the way the video expresses. You have to remember that we were, and still are, just like every other animal. You can see in newborn babies as they are very indistinguishable from other animals, intellectually. What happens to make that person develop complex ideas is their personal experiences throughout life mixed with whatever teachings they received from others. Just like the story of the nun saying people have to learn to grow up, people also have to learn to question things on an existential level. A caveman saw lightning set fire to a tree, gasped, and ever since then the question of, "what is all this," was passed down from generation to generation. The reason your cat doesnt ask you why we exist isnt because the cat is dumb from being a cat, its because cats have not had the deep ancestral ties to such questions that we have, largely due to the fact that our pursuit of the answers have led to us conditioning other animals to be just dumb workers. Look at research into teaching apes how to do sign language, or horsez how to count, or elephants how to paint. The other animals show a great capacity to learn. Of course there is always the question of the limit of such capacity, but any study is going to be marred by, as I said, our dominance over them for generations.

  9. I always tell my GF that money doesn't bring automated happiness … and then the SHOUTING starts (on her behalf)
    … sigh!

  10. If you really wanna' find out what you should do in life (i.e. your personal destiny) then ask yourself these questions:
    1) what do I LOVE doing ?
    2) what do I HATE doing ?
    3) –> go for the first option, and ask yourself "How do I start doing it?"

  11. I think I dont want any meaning. I like living my life without thinking that I have to do something. This means that when I do things it makes me happy just because. Or maybe the meaning of my life is to live without meaning so that I dont waste my time worrying about what it is or if I have done it wrong.

  12. Your videos are existential bliss. PLEASE continue to rip apart the human condition and sew it back together with rationality and compassion.

  13. I am continuously blown away how well you word complex ideas that I have had in my head forever. This channel, your videos, make me feel so much less alone sometimes. Thank you for that.

  14. Can I suck It now? Maybe you are stressed? I've never done it but home court advantage should do the trick ….no don't sCrEAm! Just just just shhhhhhhh ( puts finger on to lips to silence you) just let it happen

  15. Look for meaning, find some joy and purpose but don織t get an aneurysm over it – you can come back if you want.

  16. I'm writing a book about the life, universe, and everything and it's comforting how much of this aligns with my outline. I also think there's more insights Maslow's Hierarchy teaches us that we can explore. And while "what is the meaning of life" is nonsensical, "what is the meaning of MY life" is entirely answerable. I love your content.

  17. It's bit weird when people say stuff like – you have helped me through some tough times – or stuff like – I'm gonna be honest you showed me the right way and I'm back on my feet bla bla bla- why are you saying that? if anything your not really paying attention, to comment that are you? Don't say thanks for uncommon common sense because no one should say sorry for being dumb even if someone demands an apology you don't actually have to give one, and you don't have to say thanks when someone passes the milk. People do nice things normally because they want something this is true but also goes entirely against the idea of being nice for the sake of being nice. Being kind for the sake of it.
    Realise the contradiction?

  18. Jokes on you
    I am watching this and i have been through war, lack of clean water and suicide bombers
    Ye well, i live in Syria

  19. Life is a rpg game without main quest,you make the main quest or you enjoy the side quests or you quit the game.

  20. when i read the title i was really confused on why you have to knit a suicidal guy on a building. Now I realize you're just using the word wrong.

  21. The meaning of life is that everyone must choose the answer to that question for themselves. Success is having a bespoke life.

  22. My cat has the exact same brown fleck on underneath her whiskers.. Just.. The same cute face.. Now she's big, fat and heavy..

  23. My jumper isnt suitable to be worn outside around others (i love to cook sew do crafts and a billion other things… but i feel no happiness doing it for people i dont care about so it just becomes something i hate to do then… and i feel no desire to do shiz for other people because i already know theres endless people out there already doing those jobs and realistically me adding myself to that long list will just be me competing in a endless cycle then dieing… and i end up not wanting to be caught in that cycle of hateing my job of a craft i used to love for people i dislike on a fairly basis till i die…. so im stuck doing a job i hate ironically for people i still hate on a daily basis … so i cant knit a sweater of meaning if i wish to stay alive .. if im ok with slowly dieing homeless and starving i can still not do what i love due to not haveing cash for it …. so im stuck in a cycle of self hate loathing and depression of never being able to knit my own sweater or not afford the thread to knit it … go figure)

  24. All jokes aside, last few years have been hard for me. It feels like I have been screaming into a dark void "Where do i go?!" While running in a circle on the same spot. Then this video comes in wacks me in the back of the head saying "Nobody cares, just pick a direction and go forward."
    Thnx for the vid

  25. to find your meaning in here, simply follow your emotions. what makes you curious, what are you interested in, whom you'd like to spend some time with and so on. feel the emotions on your body and be constantly present it in the moment to feel fullest what you can feel and sense. because that's the general thing we all came here for: to experience this world. everything that's important is in this world, so being present in the body and emotion will always eventually lead u where u are meant to be.

    so yes, our emotions are our path which we are supposed to follow. and they are our teacher which we are supposed to listen to learn from.

    the language of emotions are love, and all our emotions are just different aspects of the same love. feel and understand the love behind the emotions to understand the message. that love is what we came here for.

  26. I clicked on this video only because me being dyslexic dumb-ass and reading "Jupiter" instead of "Jumper" several times, and wondering what this video is about.

  27. "the universe is hostile"
    "there is no universal meaning"
    "everyone has to choose his individual meaning"
    "hurr durr…."
    Is the hedonic treadmill (3:45) even prooven? How do you safely measure Happiness?

    I highly doubt that medival age people are as happy as we are…

  28. +exurb1a makes me feel fucking amazing for simply being. tho, I am still filled with an astronomical amount of fucking dread.

    Do I need a hug? Fucking right I do. Line up.

  29. "You will never live through a war directly"
    Me, a syrian who lived there two years during the (still ongoing) war: *nervous laughter

  30. The fact that we experience reality via our (constantly changing and evolving) senses gives me exponentially increasing paranoia.

  31. I began knitting my own jumper on the 10th of October 2005 at 10:31 pm CDT. I now have the body of completed and am working on the sleeves.

  32. Thanks for bundling up all that chaotic happenings and thought in something understandable. It really helps following a chosen direction.
    Kinda off topic and not interesting for anyone: The Lake shown at 7:37 is called "Blaibacher See" and is located in Bavaria, Germany.
    Ironicly I just thought about the meaning of life while swimming across it a few days ago before watching this video. Funny how things can sometimes be put together

  33. Im on holidays on a beach and I just cant help but think that everyone has had the same thoughts, and it would be funny to rant the same rant on the beach

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