Rain smells of thoughts adrift.

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 UTC

Monsieur Sartre used to say, “existence precedes essence;” the usual “cogito, ergo sum” is interestingly twisted into “sum, ergo cogito.” In the logic that things can indeed exist, but their meaning is not defined by their mere existence; existence itself is meaningless. Meaning, the essence, is devised from cognition. Wherefrom comes cognition? From existence. Thought is then, the basis of meaning. What meaning can anybody, or anything have if its very essence is not yet defined by cognition? It is in this logic that it is impossible for the average bloke to live a truly meaningful life without thinking upon what surrounds him.

“Elaborate?” Yes, yes, at the risk of falling into a pit of reification fallacy, I shall commence:

For the sake of the argument, let us assume the following premise as true: “meaning is devised uniquely from cognition.” This premise is logical, considering that cognition is required to understand any meaning, and hence, even if existence itself carried a meaning, it would be purposeless as it could not be understood without cognition. Now, if meaning is uniquely devised from cognition, it is fundamental for any individual to be aware of their environment in order for their lives to attain a certain meaning; as there would be no cognition without being aware of existence and no meaning without cognition.

“Sweet beans!” you snap, as you do not yet see a connection between all this blabber and rain. Taking into consideration the fact of rain existing within the environment, any individual aware of their environment would be aware of rain; and any individual unaware of rain, would be unaware of their environment. For the purpose of practicality, being unaware is of as little use as not being concerned about what happens in the environment. People who are oblivious of rain are then not devising meaning from cognition, as cognition requires awareness. And without meaning, there is no transcendence.

Individuals naïve and light-minded enough to leave rain unattended are just as likely to leave out several other details outside their scope of reality. Reducing and nullifying the awareness wherefrom cognition derives meaning. It is then sensitive to conclude that a person careful enough to attend such a quotidian detail as rain is far more likely to derive meaning and reach transcendence than an everyman who refuses to do so.

The light-minded blokes, oblivious to their surroundings, are then e’er more gullible and likely to live their lives up to the meaning devised by somebody else —and living a transcendence that is not theirs.

Rhetoric set aside, I will go watch the rain.


2 Responses to “Rain smells of thoughts adrift.”

  1. mittens Says:

    This is tasty logic. I love the suggestion of the meaning of existence lying in an individual’s surroundings rather than within the individual himself.

    But repercussions can be felt even if one is not conscious of the cause of these. If such repercussions are meaningful, is the antecedent indirectly meaningful, then, even if it was not observed accordingly?

    Considering the good old “If an apple falls from a tree, and no living being is there to hear it falling, does it make a sound?”
    Scientifically speaking, in theory it does. But it might as well not, if there is no meaning (no transcendence) at all– in practical terms, it does not make a sound.

    But the difference between that unheard thud and the unnoticed rain is that the noise in itself simply dies and leaves no trace of itself, no repercussions, because it did not come into contact with anything else. But the rain inevitably bumps into things, and by doing so it influences them, like does everything that comes into contact with something else.

    It’s impossible for everything to be observed as of itself, it is too much to ask for. Therefore, is it not a little harsh of a notion to demand meaning of all individual things? Or rather, to expect to find a clear meaning in any given thing in particular, without finding this meaning delightfully muddled with the meanings of countless other things.

    Hmm… I’m sorry, that was all rather vague and stream-of-consciousness-y. (o*。_。)o

  2. Mr. Queasy Says:

    Yes yes, when riding on this train of logic, where meaning comes from cognition rather than from existence itself, there can indeed be an indirect meaningfulness —the source being the indirect effect of an object or situation upon the environment. It is in this manner that something which is not appreciated can gain a certain meaning because of what it left behind.

    This works much in the same way ideas do; you have never met Euclid, or Monsieur Sartre for that matter, nonetheless their ideas you can appreciate because of the effect they left on humanity —Sartre then gains meaning to some extent within the realms of your cognition.

    What then of the falling apple? Does is make a sound? The sound is irrelevant in a purely existential world; even the marks the apple may leave on the floor after falling are insignificant —there is no indirect meaning; unless there is an observer capable of cognition, meaning can not exist.

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