Why are we living? LO30789

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 11/19/03

Replying to LO30767 --

Dear Organlearners,

Don Dwiggins <d.l.dwiggins@computer.org>

>It's hard to express how good it is to "hear your voice" again.

Thank you. The physician warned me that it will take two months before
i will have recovered fully from this viral pneumonia.

I have to "let blood" (500 ml) every two weeks. It is the only way to
get the excess iron (hemochromatosis) out of my body. The iron content
at the first three "blood lettings" were 1890%, 1720% and 14300%. It
makes me very excited because it might be lower than 1000% before

>To add my bit to the dialog on the question you asked in
>LO30754; I'll hang it on the following thought:
>In Buddhist practice, there are meditations to draw one out of
>one's narrow "spiritual skin" and connect with all life, worldwide,
>past, and future. Such connections offer one answer to the
>question, in that they give the self a larger context to see it in.

Dwig, thanks to the participation of many fellow learners in the
dialogue on this topic, i have become aware that the answer to the
question "why are we living" depends completely on the context in
which it is answered. I have only tacitly been aware to it before. But
my respect for all "why" questions have now increased considerably
because of their contextual determination.

Leo's input, namely that "why" questions draw upon reason, brought me
also deeply under the impression that reason and context cannot ever be

>Thus, they also provide an umlomo, relating human life to
>all life. On a more familiar scale, we see such mediators
>all around us; for a simple example, a parent with dependent
>children has no need to ask the question about his/her own life.

Is it the connections (i.e. wholeness) which provide the umlomo, or is
it not perhaps life itself? The connections are per definition an
umlomo. But to see life as an umlomo requires much more

>And yet, we cannot live without inflicting death on our
>fellow creatures (as you've described so well in your
>articles about The Digestor). Also, our continuation
>and growth as a species depends on the death of
>individuals; we each have a life to give, then a death to

It seems as predators are merely bring death. But they give life through
it like removing the weak and preventing overpopulation. However, long
before they have succeeded in exterminating their prey as a species, their
own numbers also dwindle. But when i think of some of humankind in this
manner, it does not act as a natural predator. It rather acts as an

>Perhaps the question at hand should be seen in conjunction
>with another: "why do we die?" (This line of thinking should
>not be taken to justify all killing; wanton, cruel, or senseless
>destruction have a negative effect on the wholeness of life.)

Dwig, i think you are right by including death into the context. As
for myself, thinking of the hundreds of species of plants an animals
which i have kept, it was always a challenge for me to breed more of
them than what always died in my care, to let life surpass death.
Should i use this context for the question "why are we living?", the
answer may be "to let life win over death".

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@postino.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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