What is value...?
The question seems at the very heart of our existence. Value filters what we see of the world, it prescribes everything we do and is a fundamental component of our perspectives, decisions, hopes, dreams.
We all have a sense of it, but what is it?
From person to person the sense of value differs radically. And it is this very sense that allows us to state that a certain value system is right (in an absolute sense) or even just more right relative to another. Yet, is it fair to judge a value system on the basis of its affinity to one's own? is it even possible to make any such evaluation truly objectively?
The answer is, of course, no. We hence arrive at the conclusion that there is no absolute right and wrong - anyone's notion of this distinction is therefore strictly personal and contextual. Change the environment, change the culture, change the person and what was once right becomes wrong.
If we step back we realise that by following this line of reasoning we have negated the very meaning of value. Why? because we can no longer say that one's sense of right is really right! ...and therefore it is nothing. In essence, we have destroyed value - and life becomes a zero-sum game where nothing matters. All that we do, all the experiences we are blessed to receive during our brief visit with Gaia, ultimately amount to nothing.
If you're not convinced by this argument, perhaps a simpler way to arrive at this same conclusion is to recursively ask: "So what?"
But, is it possible to live without value? to live with the knowledge that any evaluation we make is ultimately unfounded and meaningless? Yes! We do, the fiction of value notwithstanding.
In fact, freeing oneself from the illusion of value carries the added benefit of disallowing such nagging questions as: "Why am I here?" and "Is there a purpose in life?". We cannot answer these questions because we may not ask them. It is not meaningful to ask such things in the absence of value.
All we have then, is the possibility for joy. Joy for its own sake. A quiet evening with Rachmaninoff, a walk on the beach, a mother's loving embrace. The things that touch us.
And today, I want to know. All those things my fellow voyagers are touched by.
Suppose that coming to life's end you met the Almighty and he asked what the one thing was you got from life, the one lasting memory, the one prominent impression worth telling about your life experience.
There is no God... But if you had to sum it all up, what would it be?