In Search of a Value System

How should the world be interpreted? Who has the ultimate answer to the question of life? Man has been searching for the One True Answer, but he only found structures within which the world can be viewed; he could never find the ultimate answer, for it does not exist – he is merely a seeker of answers, and never a creator of them.

Pessimism and his joyful brother, Optimism, are two of the most acknowledged systems; they are the yin and yang in one’s perspective. Which of these negating brothers is superior than the other?

Which notion between romanticism and rationalism can be a builder of robust everlasting human relationships?

Detachment from reality is a remedy, a means of escape from the horror of life; romanticism was proposed, for “what one feels is of a greater importance,” and in that light a pure form of self-interest was seen, under that light many artistic productions are born. The romantic is devoted to attend to his feelings day by day; the romantic has his reins in the hands of distorted feelings. Can feelings be a reliable guide where reason does not prevail? Should reason even attempt to prevail?

Which answers are better than the others?

Nihilism and Meaning, such as the other negating systems, are in a constant war. Meaning aims at engaging responsibly in “what matters,” which could involve practicality and service. It is unclear to whom it should matter; however, it is believed that “it should be good for oneself and others.” A critique with any sense would argue, does a monk live a meaningless life if he does nothing but meditate from dawn to dusk? Or does he – whose physique matters to him – waste his life indulging in nurturing his body? At first sight, they may appear to be meaningless indulgences; however, practitioners can become masters; meaning can be found in meaninglessness. Pursuing “what is meaningful” is nevertheless a remedy, for man cannot bear any pain, he is thus in the pursuit of repairing and improving, or more precisely, relief.

Man’s sickness lies in his devotion to feelings and all that “matters.” Pain guides him to seek solace; boredom is his second worst pain. There can be no genuine respect for he who shows intolerance.

I often see agents rather than man.

Is amor fati a form of nihilism? Does Tao preach the temptations of living carelessly and irresponsibly? Is the romantic merely naïve? Can the realist ever dream? Does the surrealist live in a delusion? Is God the devil himself with a long, white beard?

Religions, spirituality, artistic movements, and all that teaches a means of interpretation are tools for the composition of actions; all tools serve different purposes. Violin bows are useless in battle; chefs don’t cook with guns; powder is not a musical instrument; a chef's knife is vulgar for conducting an orchestra. Yin and Yang lurk beneath the skin of all things. Blind is he who can see only through the lenses of systems of interpretation. Unrefined is he who is not self-restricted.

The great Tao, however, does not teach anything; what is not taught is not a doctrine, although man’s longing for relief is capable of making doctrines from all things: he uses the labels of the doctrines to belong to certain groups, for the sensation of not belonging is his third most agonising pain.

That which evaluates is a doctrine. But the great Tao does not indoctrinate; the great Tao does nothing, and thus teaches nothing. In that nothingness one can perhaps find the Tao.

But which answers are better than the others?