Jendi Says:
August 11th, 2008 at 1:58 am

I have a question for you…. what is the meaning of life, now before you roll your eyes let me finish. No matter where in the world you are, what your values/culture/beliefs/religion it is a question we have all I am sure asked ourselves or someone close to us

perhaps that is the answer, that the meaning of life is to ask these questions of our selves, to challenge ourselves to find our own meaning and direction…..

or then theres the concept of freewill????

A note to Allison; don’t take this the wrong way but I am a fan of your thought provoking blogs, have seen your show in glims but enjoy more your challenges and concepts and what I see lies ahead for your career…perhaps some strong historical figure???

I fuckin’ dig you and your fantastically challenging questions, Jendi! I also must say that it warms my heart to know you come to this site for the discussions and ideas.

Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I absolutely adore the show that I work on, but I do feel as though there is a lot more to me than the character I play. It has been my intention and my goal to utilize this site as a way to reach out beyond my “Chloe” profile and share a more “depthy” experience with people on the web.

I think I mentioned before that the one thing that moves me most in the world is being a part of a community of people who seek to inspire and create.

I immediately thought that this site could be a meeting ground for people to do just that. The Internet is such an incredible place because it is so intensely far reaching. The amount of people that can be involved in this friendship circle I have developed online can be millions and that is so exciting! So the fact that you have not seen the show, is totally cool, because to me that means that I am able to connect with people in a way that is more real and human, not just based in the fictional character I portray, but more focused on the community I am trying to build! So, thank you for that encouraging remark!

I appreciate it! I am actually looking for ways to reach even more diverse groups of people, so if you do in fact have other ideas of ways to get this site out there, or make it more exciting and interesting, do share share!!

Ok and now to speak to the 2 more philosophical quandaries. I do believe that the meaning of life, the purpose for our existence is to evolve and push our our limits. I love that you posed that the meaning of life is the search for the meaning of life. I think this is a wonderful point and something very significant and true. I also believe the way we effect each other while we are struggling to answer this question is a huge part of our purpose. We are these separate beings who are unable to recognize the direct effects we have on the entire world because of our incapacity to see outside of what is right in front of us.

So we live with very nihilistic viewpoints, because we are human and we can only know what we directly experience, in a world that is inarguably existential.

It’s a very exciting and interesting struggle. We are basically a bunch of self-centered creatures seeking to know and understanding so that we can feel “safe” and “comfortable” forgetting that every pillow I put under my ass is one less for my neighbor to lay his head on. Excuse the crass analogy, but I thought it was a good way to explain what I was getting at.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love human beings. I think we are the most fascinating and incredible creature out there! But at times, I frustrate myself with my own lack of perspective. And then I focus so much on what I can do to fix whatever immediate problem that stems up in front of me that I forget to recognize that is the day to day interactions I have with my neighbor, my partner, the guy at the gas station, and the homeless man on the corner that really effect the world.

The Dalai Lama says that if you want to change the world you must first change yourself, then the way you relate to your family, your community, your state, your country, and finally the world. If I put as much attention into treating myself and the people I relate to on a daily basis the way I would treat a starving child in a developing nation, I think I would be so much more consistent in my kindness and compassion.

I imagine I would participate in much less violence.

And then if everyone in the world did this? And then on top of that we continue to produce these beautiful, charitable efforts to help people in crisis! Can you imagine the world we would live in? I mean, hypothesize THAT for a minute!

AWESOME!

It almost seems like in a matter of years we wouldn’t have people in crisis anymore, and all that time and energy we spent on putting out fires made by people and their violent behavior would be put towards inspiring and creating!!!!!!

Then the struggle would not be about, how do I save myself from my own species, but it would be about the over abundance of all the ideas and concepts we would have created! Oh to dream about utopia…

Free will can be the topic for tomorrow… hehehe…

xoxo
Allison

Add yours Comments – 73

  • arash

    on August 13, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    For those who think life has no meaning, I have a question;
    Are you ready to die tonight?
    If your answer is NOOOOO,
    then I guess it means something.

  • taylor nikole

    on August 13, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    hmm i was just thinking…
    (there i go again)

    have you ever found yourself…
    thinking or watching people and wondering if you are the only person with complex thoughts in the world…
    i mean… like good god the world doesn’t revolve around you… sure… but does everyone else think? or are you alone there?
    its like trying to ‘put youself in someone else’s shoes’ mentally… and not being able too.
    haha
    weird random thought

    kinda switching it around here… not just the meaning of a persons life… but every person has meaning to their life…
    i’ll admit, i’ve found myself wishing in desperate times that i could be at my fathers funeral just having a feeling or relief…
    but then i feel guilty
    thinking about whether his life has meaning…
    or any less meaning than i think mine does…
    cause despite everything hes done, he still is human… he still has thoughts…
    and his life has meaning…

    hahah now whats the meaning of his life i find myself wondering?
    usually my mind veers to ‘ruining mine’
    but im still not sure..
    bahh

    oww my head hurts now :-/

  • Confucius

    on August 13, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    He who goes to bed with itchy bum…

    Wake up with smelly finger.

  • Jackie

    on August 13, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    I so agree with you Allison!!!
    I mean just think about it. We can be so self-centered sometimes and i mean humans do that but think about what the world could be like if we just do whats right!! If we help out just a little bit more and not just shrug it off as if it were nothing. People need our help and I’m slowly realizing the significant importance of service. If we just sit and think about it. Think about what’s right and the things God wants us to do, we can change everything. There could be no more violence, no more wars, no more hurt feelings, no more anger…the list goes on and on.
    So to me, the meaning of life is….
    To help others, find who you are inside, and figure out your purpose. : )

  • Kris

    on August 13, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    rash Says:
    August 13th, 2008 at 4:35 pm
    For those who think life has no meaning, I have a question;
    Are you ready to die tonight?
    If your answer is NOOOOO,
    then I guess it means something.

    Perfectly stated, Arash. Thank you.

    PS–I think that he meaning of life is to gracefully transition from a state of youth where we think we know everything to a state of maturity where we figure out we didn’t know a damn thing after all. Some people succeed;some don’t. Some people get there faster than others.

  • Vegas911

    on August 13, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Arash,
    We are not saying that life has no meaning, just that instead of wasting time trying to lable something that means so many different things (depending on who you talk to) is impossible. Just enjoy and soak up all the wonderful things around you while you have the time. Of course I am not ready to die tonight, noone is…but if it does happen I want to have expierienced as much as I could before it happens, instead of sitting on the sidelines of my life contemplating on the why of it instead of experiencing it .

  • AnnK

    on August 13, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    I don’t think we think alike, but that is ok, because it’s great to have diversity otherwise this world would be boring. And I still love reading your thoughts because although I don’t always agree I AM interested. Thanks for your diversity!

  • me Rachel

    on August 13, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    It’s perty AWESOME. Really easy too.

  • Kyle

    on August 13, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Wow, what a topic. This has been debated for centuries so I don’t think we will all agree what really is the meaning of life. I wanted to try something different and list some things the meaning of life is not (or is depending on who you are) and hopefully what is left leads to the answer.

    It is not about selfish pursuits
    It is not about money
    It is not about war
    It is not about pleasing everyone
    It is not about food (darn!)
    It is about…

  • Bouroux

    on August 13, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Allison.
    It is a superb summary of the objectives of the site. I think we like to be reassured.
    ” I love what I do and I absolutely adore the show that I work on.” This comment is a source of joy.
    What is the meaning of life?
    I think we should live and not just survive. We must appreciate all the aspects of our lives.
    Plus our ability to adapt is great, the less there are episode of survival (cruise control) and our life is more rewarding.
    Life can seem terribly unfair that you think well. Health is a gift not given to everyone. The children’s hospitals are full of examples.
    Even if everyone was nice, perfect world will never exist. Crises are great sources of creativity. Nobody would be interested to watch a movie where everything goes well.
    your blogs are forcing us to think about different things. You encourages us to change our habit to think that us.
    To increase your audience on the blog. Quite simply be known. The tool. You’re one of the best actresses.
    Thanks to share with us your inspirations.
    Bye

    Claude.

  • Lori Bennett

    on August 13, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    hey allison, love that u think by everyone doing good that the world would cease to be evil. i’m one who tries to c good in everyone-in return i get taken advantage of, and often disappointed. everyone comes into this world a sinner (due to the fall of Adam and Eve) they don’t call it sinful nature 4 nothing. people that don’t even go to church or believe in God or higher power still refer to the moral fiber of sin or sinful nature. the world is corrupt and though there r many good people like you, me, jendi, & countless others the fact that there are 2.3-2.6 billion people in the world the evil that exists over flows into everything. i refer to myself as a lifehouse (tiny glimmer of light in a dark world) that someone trying to find their way through may see the way by the light i have through Christ. i’m not perfect by no means, but w/ Him i have faith that keeps me on the right track. the meaning of life is complicated & most brush it off cause they don’t understand or want to get into it. it’s no more than living each day to tell others of Christ. that is what God had created us for (in His image) that we could live and experience life. thus-free will, that Eve demonstrated & Adam followed that we all live w/ the consequences. free will is not man made-God gave us free will so we could choose ourselves what we wanted to believe or not to believe. He wants us to love Him b/c we choose to not b/c He forces us too. to those who are nonbelievers or have no say either way i leave you w/ this: each life question you have or dialemia u have going wrong in your life if u take the time to read it(Bible) it literally tells u how to get passed it, or shows u. My challenge to you is if u’d actually take a bet and try to prove me wrong.

  • Tom

    on August 13, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Interesting that the free will and the meaning of life are pooled into the same question, because I believe they are eternally linked together. I know that one of the purposes of life is to see how we use our free will. Life is a quasi-probationary test to see what we do with our free will…hopefully, as you mentioned, we use that free will to lift up others. My favorite definition of success if by my main man R.W. Emerson. He said if we can make one person’s day better…just one of their very breaths easier, we will have succeeded!

  • TARALYN

    on August 13, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    OK FIRST GRAMMAR WAS NOT MY SUBJECT IN SCHOOL AT ALL!!!! HUM VERY GOOD QUESTION!!!!!! I BELIEVE THE MEANING OF LIFE IS LEARNING WHAT QUALITY OF LIFE WE WISH TO HAVE. LEARNING AND GROWING WITH THE CHOICES WE HAVE MADE OR WILL MAKE. LEARING HOW TO RESPECT OTHER’S AND OUR PLANET PLAYS A BIG PART ALSO. LEARING TO BE ABLE TO LOOK AT OURSELVES AND SEE WHAT NEEDS TO BE FIXED AND THEN TRYING TO FIX IT. I LIKE CHALLENGING MY MIND ON THESE ISSUES. I MAY NOT BE ABLE TO EXPRESS WITH WORDS HOW I MAY FEEL BUT I HAVE A VOICE!!!!!!!!!

  • Aqgalaxy

    on August 13, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Allison,

    I love you girl, but I just don’t see it happening that way. You described a Utopia, a world of peace and prosperity, a world of similarities and very few differences. Honestly one could say you just described a socialist society. Well seems like it to me. Not saying you are, it’s just I disagree. You reflect off people, you change who you are, and what if someone disagrees with you because you changed who you are? They’re beliefs spread to others and then you gain factions, meaning conflicts and crisis. So regardless of how we change the world, a Utopia cannot happen when free-will is in play. It just cannot.

    The meaning of life, to me isn’t general. There is no general meaning to it. It’s yours to define alone. You are finding a meaning in your own life. Yes I agree we are self centered but who is to judge your life then yourself? Who’ll be able to judge your experience fairly and understand the experience, if not yourself? Allison, and others reading this. No one can judge your life then yourself. You find the meaning. Some say the meaning comes when you are on your death bed, and you see your family around you. And it’s that final Epiphany that makes your life so clear, and that’s the meaning of it. The meaning of life, at least to me, is what does your life mean to you? Did you enjoy your life, are you happy with yourself? Did you aspire to be more then you are? All of these are aspects to that meaning. Was your life fulfilling? When you look back, would you change anything? That’s the meaning of life. What did it mean to you, are you happy, content with it? Do you think you are dying too soon?

    Now there are countless of interpretations, for all we know there is no meaning but a purpose. What is the purpose of life? Life and free-will is connected, so what? Did you feel you served a purpose? Why are we here? Life, what is it good for? Stuff like that.

    “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” answers the question. What is the answer to the Ultimate Question about life, the universe, everything?

    42.

    I like that answer, short and sweet.

  • skahahoo

    on August 13, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Hey…this is a very cool site! I stumbled upon here via an internet trail that started from the Girls by Design blog, which is itself very cool, but you already know that since you have a link to it on your home page. 🙂

    As for the mega-deep question…lol…I equate “meaning” to “purpose” and “purpose” to “motivation.” So in trying to answer “What is the meaning of life?” I ask myself, “What is the motivation behind my behavior?” Obviously, I can only answer for myself, but my life experience thus far has led me to believe that life is ultimately a selfish quest for significance. And I don’t mean “selfish” in a negative sense. I only mean it in the sense of serving one’s own ego, not in the sense of greed to the point of neglecting others. In the end, I suspect that most people want to leave this world feeling as though their lives mattered…to leave their mark in some way. I realize that this might seem to be a cynical view, but I don’t think of it that way because, for me at least, I am working to leave my mark by effecting positive change – as many have noted here…to leave the world a better place. Others feel significant when they are able to realize other things – whether that be fame, power, spiritual enlightenment, children they can be proud of, etc. But if I am to be honest with myself, I know that ultimately, I do good because by doing good, not only do I feel good, but I also feel like I’m living a life that is worthwhile. Similarly, I do my best not to behave in a way that hurts others because I feel really crappy afterwards, and that’s not how I want to be remembered. Whatever the case may be, it boils down to how I want myself and others to regard me, which in my opinion, is a selfish pursuit.

    I’d also like to say that I really enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts. It’s terrific to see all the different viewpoints, and at the same time, the commonality among us. 🙂

    If I may put in a request for a future topic…since a number of responses here brought up this idea and it’s something that has often occupied my brain space…what do you think of good and evil? Do you think such entities exist? This topic reminds me of a quote I read a long time ago: “Nobody ever does anything deliberately in the interests of evil, for the sake of evil. Everybody acts in the interests of good, as he understands it. But everybody understands it in a different way.” Gurdjieff (1873-1949)

  • Drew Sulc

    on August 13, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    I think the meaning of life is in the simple fact of participation in it. Many cultures talk about being parts of One. Or God expressing itself into a physical reallity. God being all that there is has no room for growth so the Logos or spirit mind fractilzes in to smaller aspects of its self and in a sence a hologram where all the small parts are sums and have information of the whole, experiencing and bringing that to the One. Hence the issue of Monotheistic and Polytheistic systems. Mother Earth Father Sky ect… well in a sence they both apply. Like trees and how they branch from stump all the way to the leaves. In a way, like the leaves as we die we bring life back to the whole system. Great movies on this like ” What the bleep” and the new one “Leap” and of coures the “Secret” which for me is a bit like a infomercial but I gives a day by day understanding of the effects you place on the outside world. Take care
    Drew

  • Josh

    on August 14, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Ahh, the meaning of life, definetely an old and interesting. But what it seems some people don’t realize is that if we are by evolutionary causes, then we don’t have a purpose or meaning to our existence. Evolution is without consciousness, intelligence or set structure of any kind. To ask for meaning you have to acknowledge that either a god or gods exist. Since you cannot get a purpose or comissioning without an actual person, then at the very least to have meaning you must look to someone. That thought outrages many people, but why would you want a world without meaning? We might as well kill ourselves right now, it would make no real difference, in the end we all die anyways, right? I have found meaning in Jesus Christ, my question is will you do so too, or choose to ignore him? It’s all up to you.

  • Philip Jay

    on August 14, 2008 at 8:51 am

    The meaning of life is
    to live, to love, to know truth.

  • John Roe

    on August 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    You raised my eyebrow with this:
    “I imagine I would participate in much less violence.”

    So I thought, is Allison in fight club?

    That’s ok, you don’t have to talk about fight club.

    (never read the book or seen the movie)

  • ningauble3020

    on August 17, 2008 at 10:03 am

    One definition that I find instructive for purpose in life is this:

    Activities & thoughts which after you engage in them bring a positive emotion and a sense of meaning.

    I think purpose is a bi-product of experience. I also believe that purpose reveals itself more than we actively create it. A meaningful life is recollected in hindsight. Goals help develop purpose, but I think only in retrospect do we apply a judgment to experience and derive a sense of meaning.

  • Diana

    on August 20, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Allison, and online team! Greeting! 😀 I have decided to post comments to Aly’s blogs, she’s so amazing isn’t she? What is the meaning of life? Why do people live, why do they die, and what possibly could be for them to be reborn? Why are people around me active during the daytime but a death-like silence envelopes them when darkness falls?’

    This was what a goal-less fellow, a traveler without a destination, had once asked Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Buddha had replied lovingly, ‘Young friend! As you have been so curious as to ponder on this seemingly unanswerable question and have given me the kind opportunity to answer it, hear my answer patiently: there is no meaning of all this. Man, always in need and want of something or the other performs deeds, good or bad. Due to these deeds, he is reborn again and again. If man is able to destroy his desires, he will surely come out of the cycle of birth and death and be a free bird having attained ‘moksha’ or freedom from the cycle of birth and death.’

    The above speech of Buddha summarizes his teachings. What his teachings meant can be known from this simple conversation. That was the time when people used to ponder on such things as life and death, need and ‘moksha’, but do we hear of it today? Can we think of a man today, without desires and needs?

    It is need that has propelled man to great inventions in science. Without needs where would be science today? If all people followed what Buddha preached, life would have come to a standstill with no development, progress or advancement. And what would have happened if all people succeeded in destroying their needs? It would have led to the extinction of mankind: all having attained freedom from need, birth, death and the earth?

    Yet if one meditates on the meaning of life now, one feels as mystified as the goal-less fellow mentioned in the beginning. Besotted with the myriad problems of life today even a normal person may feel demoralized. He can not escape from the urges to commit suicide after reflecting on the meaninglessness of his life.

    Suicide? No, no… It is not the freedom from life and death. Suicide is a path adopted by an utter coward who is unable to cope with the highs and lows of life. If people are looking up to suicide as the best way of freedom from frustration, need, life, death and the problems of life, it is the greatest mistake of one’s life.

    If one takes up the way of ending one’s worries and get freedom from the earth, one will return again and again to suffer on the earth.

    According to me, the best way to be free from suffering is the afore-mentioned ‘moksha’, just take the good path, do good deeds, don’t hurt others physically or mentally and most importantly meditate everyday for some time and you will not feel the need of anything else in the world. Try repeating this as many times as you want for a few minute to relax ” Nam Myoho Renge Kio ” You will enjoy life and will leave no space in your heart for suffering. 🙂 It works for me….. ………. …………….

    ……………….

  • Diana

    on August 20, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    One of my friends is Buddhist… I just thought you should know.. I’m very into it because I feel completely different in a good way, just a little bit closer to my destination in life. …. That’s another story…

  • Javid

    on August 22, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    i was pondering upon the meaning of life and this is what came to my mind..

    The meaning of life IS LIFE….For Life has many meanings.