“Meaning” is about causes and effects, attributes and relationships. Meaning gives rise to all ideas of good and bad, help and harm, right and wrong, beautiful and ugly, smart and dumb, and context and relevance.
All meaning comes from a web of relationships.
Relationships exist in nature: expressed in the “laws of nature” and in and between all non-living substances and objects, and in and between all living beings, including relationships in and between our bodies, our ideas and minds, our societies and cultures and sub-cultures.
The combination of all webs, known and unknown, is called the World, the Universe.
An identity is defined by a particular combination of webs of relationship, which gives rise to a particular perspective. “I” am one such perspective. “You” are another. The intersection of my perspective and yours is our perspective. Everything else is theirs, or unknown.
Words with essentially the same meaning as these have been expressed over and over, beginning no later than three thousand years ago. More recently, similar ideas have been expressed by at least a few million people.
The ideas have been expressed in abstractions like these, and in rich, moving detail in myth, stories and reflections, in philosophies, religious texts, poems, novels, blog posts. To some, abstractions are dry; to others they are juicy. Having many expressions is vital.
What are the implications of this understanding? What can we do and achieve with it?
An answer: The more we understand this, individually and collectively, the more likely we will be to honor other perspectives, and to want to work together to come up with better perspectives, giving rise to better solutions. Our future depends on this happening.
Is this true?
If so, what actions and transformations are necessary to bring this about?