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Living Without Purpose

February 23, 2012

There are many different paths to success, and no path is right for everyone; to begin with, even “success” is by definition highly subjective, the measurement of which accurate only within the scope of the one for whom the measurements were taken. This presents a paradox of merits: How do we how what “exemplary” is, when the measure of merit is only reliable within the scope of subjective utility?

The other issue that I’m more personally concerned with, deals with the potential/actual divide. I’ve found that as a matter of cosmic law, more potential translates to less actualized, and more actualized can only result from less potential. The conclusion I’ve come to in the resolution of this problem, is to work towards the achievement of a perfect balance between the potential and the actual. But even then, there are limits to how much potential can be actualized, and one would have to limit their potential significantly in order to ensure that the maximum amount of potential can be actualized.

A few weeks ago, it occurred to me that the resolution of this problem could very well be, as strange as it might seem, Living Without Purpose! This might sound counterintuitive from the surface, as it implies that one of the primary building blocks of translating potential into utility, “purpose”, is wrong. In a way that’s exactly what I’m saying, and we’ll get into that in a little bit. But first let us address the potential/actual divide:

If a person lives a life with purpose, they are limiting their potential to that purpose, and are thus able to self-actualize themselves through that purpose. To use the analogy of metal casting, people are able to make themselves useful (self-actualize) by taking all of their raw potential, and injecting it all into mold (purpose) so that they might be appreciated (useful) to the governing body that is measuring that usefulnesss; most of the time, that governing body is Society”, although often people will independently measure their own usefulness as well.

There are plenty of obvious merits to casting yourself into a role, as doing so makes yourself “useful”, with the philosophy of Utilitarianism being dedicated to the maximizing of one’s usefulness (or “utility). But it’s equally important that the role you are being cast into is one that is optimized for you as an individual, as supposed to the inefficient archetyping of Society. While living with purpose has prove to be essential to maximizing the utility of Society, maximizing your individual utility requires a level of optimization that transcends any identifiable purpose, as such transcendence is prerequisite to the epitome of self-utility, self-actualization.

The key to maximizing self-utility without being confined to an archetypical purpose, is to live without an identifiable purpose. That is, to have purpose, but to not identify with any given purpose. By having purpose (as an ideal) but not identifying with it, you are completely free to explorer and actualize all of your potential, as the molds to which you sculpt yourself become mere forms through which you express yourself, instead of the foundation upon which you build your life. This difference of self-architecture turns the previously finite you into an evolving you, with each form of representation being just one of any forms through which you represent yourself. I’m in the process of developing a scientific field dedicated the the development of a system for fostering such a self-optimized and self-evolving character, which I call “Ego Engineering”.

You are likely a bit confused by these things, so let me elaborate: Normally when a person lives according to the archetypes assigned to them by society, they go to school, get a job, go to college (if they’re smart enough), get into a few relationships, find a girl they love enough to settle down with, have kids, rear their kids to adulthood, and grow old with their loved one. At least, that’s ideally how it works. But even with that ideal life, doesn’t that sound a bit limited? The same person could have had affairs with other people, chased far-fetched dreams, started their own business, explore their creativity, write a book, learn to paint, tap dance, get a black belt in karate— so many things that they could have done but didn’t because it didn’t fit into the mold.

So to maximize your self-actualization, you need to develop a mold (self) that will evolve to assimilate possibilities, instead of only integrating everything that is compatible with “the plan”. By living without a defining purpose, and thinking of a purpose as a means to one of many potential ends, instead of a self-defining ultimatum, you are about unlimiting yourself, becoming free to explore and actualize all of your hidden potential, and learn much about yourself in the process!

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