Fortunate or Unfortunate?
Subtitle: the meaning of life
Once upon a time (now), there were (are) two girls. The girls are sisters. We shall call them Girl 1 and Girl A, G1 and GA respectively. Looking through the Generation scope, it is apparent that both G1 and GA must be somebody's daughters. Regressing backward one generation, it is apparent that G1 and GA are somebody's granddaughters. Etc.
Why G1 and not G2? Because by so labelling G2 becomes inferior and secondary by definition. Why GA? Because GA, as related as she is to G1, is her own self, unique and independent; just as is G1.
G1, as the name may suggest, is more left-brained than right-brained, but both sides of her cerebrum are functioning quite well.
GA, as the name may suggest, is more right-brained than left-brained, although both sides of GA's cerebrum are functioning well.
With that brief introduction, let us now proceed to the subject of this essay:
Fortunate or Unfortunate?
This game was invented by G1 and has provided hours of fun commingled with consternation with other members of the family.
The game, set up somewhat like Monopoly and other like board games, has a number of squares leading to "Home", which is the desired end-point. Just like monopoly, landing certain spaces earns you a card--even if you don't want one. The card of course gives the player a command, which must be followed. One card may say "go forward 6 spaces" and the next card might command "go back 7 spaces". No discernible purpose can be grasped in the sequence or aims of the cards. So with each move, the question arises: was the command fortunate or unfortunate. Remember the object is to "get Home".
So an apparently regressive move may yield a far better advancement the next time. But will that advance lead to true progress, when progress is defined as getting Home? The outcome is unpredictable. G1's game, while frustrating, is brilliant. Delving in philosophy, we come across the conjunction of epistemology (the study of knowledge) with ethics/morality (the study of ultimate truth or purpose).
One can put any title on any square but it doesn't change the outcome. You still have to draw a card and you still have to go Home. But how much, if any control has the player on the Commands issued by the cards? Therefore how much direction or intentionality can any player exert on the game, rather than being totally responsive involuntarily to senseless commands?
Skipping the above concept of control, we come to the question of home. What is Home? Is it something imprinted in us at birth or conception? Is Home defined in terms of current situations? Such a conditional home is therefore largely unchosen, yet somewhat affected by self-generated choices. Is Home an idealized future state of being? Do the desired endpoints change with time or are they immutable, based upon a prior condition?
If desired endpoints change with time, why does it happen and how does it happen? If desired endpoints for "Home" become immutable, what fixes the conception at which the choice of desire freezes, i.e., becomes immutable?
Fortunate or Unfortunate does not answer these questions but raises them, perhaps for the first time in a person's life. Life solutions, whether desired or achieved, are unique to each living, sentient being, even alligators. But what lessons do we learn as we proceed down the pre-ordained path? I think the lessons of life are both thrust upon us explicitly chosen by us, in an unpredictable fashion. This is why life-paths are unique.
Where is the truth? Define Truth. Is the definition of truth universal, personal, unknowable? Using the Existential philosopher's definition of authenticity as being "true to oneself", does that involve self-delusion? Yes! Most certainly it does.
Remember the adage: "Be careful what you wish for, You might just get it".
Is life a crap shoot or a game of bridge? It is both and it is neither.
With grateful acknowledgement to G1 and GA and their HOME