The Virtue of Purpose

(Ghost Hunter) #1

Imagine a gear–any simple gear made of iron, if you will. Four, six, eight teeth; it does not matter how many, it serves a purpose to be with other gears. To convert kinetic energy by taking it into itself, then passing to another. In and out, all in a very simple, purposed manner. If many such gears are brought together, they can leverage more of the same energy in different ways.

Yet, a useful machine is not only made of gears. There are other parts to it, and each part performs to a purpose specifically made for it. Individually pointless, however shaped, but given meaning in the whole. The whole itself embodies a different purpose, built from the lesser purposes of the parts that comprise it. One cannot exist without the other.

Nature itself strives to create purpose where possible. Through mutation of genes, new purposes are tested. The insufficient ones are simply out lasted by the ones who are sufficient. And so, the natural machine churns with its thoughtless self-direction. But, what of us? We who can even postulate to know of this process. We who can stare at it and study the creation of purpose.

What is the purpose of we human animals when we stop to think of it?

It’s a frightening question.

It is a question whose very mask of terror disguises its own phantasmal nature.

To say a human is a cog, or a cog a human, is to be disingenuous to each other. The human shapes the cog to its purpose, but not the cog to the human. Yet, we strive to have the wholesome completion that encompasses the cog. A place in our lives where we are certain of what is beneath our feet and over our heads. Or, perhaps, even just something in our hands, someone we hold onto to keep us here, and the one we hold onto to keep them with us. Do we truly need to know more than the ones we support, and the ones who they support?

We can be envious of the cogs, but the cogs are never envious of us. They are complete, we are not; oh, do we dream of being so complete.

Perhaps from this very dream our different struggles arise. We each try to envision a purpose for us all, but stumble in doing so, hurting one another without understanding. Children, fumbling with dangerous things we are not so ready for. You and I have undoubtedly seen this in our lives already, and we have not even spoken of the truly powerful ones whose missteps could end entire worlds.

Imagine such people struggling to understand their own completion. Imagine the pain you feel, not knowing your own true purpose. Yours and theirs is one and the same, ultimately. We all share this together, no matter if we hug breast-to-breast or stand opposed at the ends of each others’ gun barrels.

This simple, infallible truth is one amongst many in our own enduring work. Even now, more than a century later, endless atrocities committed against us, the scorn of many more for no reason other than they’re told to, the ravenous hordes set upon us with false riches given by unjust kings and their gods … still, the dream endures.

The living, true utopia of all of us humans. His promised land to us returning undaunted no matter the ills cast upon it. His dream that is all our dream made real with our own flesh, blood, and steel through our own two hands. We endure with heads held high the worst that any history book will never record, for we have our purpose.

He has given it to us, shown us the way. We have given ourselves to Him, and found that which always would have alluded us. The falsity of choice evaporates in the face of an architect’s brilliant design. The uncertainty of wandering, wishing to know where we should go, what we should do, how we should live–all of it laid to rest.

Our purpose endures, each of us with our purpose in a grand construction by one who can be trusted. The one we can all look toward and touch with our own hands, knowing He is the one to guide us forward. Him, our Master, Sansha Kuvakei, our human who strides across the stars, gods and spirits themselves bowing to be fitted into His dream. The struggles of our lives face their final days, undone by the one who could not let us meet our untimely end. Countless millenniums of unspeakable suffering find the last sputtering, dying coughs of their terrible grip upon us.

But, we are not stricken by greed in this. Our purpose can be your purpose, too. The door is always there, His gift to you. No coinage, no tribute, no veil through which you are rung out and left waiting for your due. In Sansha’s Nation, the purpose you will have always wanted will be made yours, and all will be well and certain to your hearts content.

Your mind undoubtedly begs, ‘this is but a lie’.

You scoff in disbelief that such enormous words carry promise in your lifetime.

I say to you that I understand this.

It can be hard letting go of what has kept you down. What would you even do without all that familiar struggling?

It can be painful even thinking about all that you have suffered was, until now, leading you nowhere. But, be at ease in that it didn’t. Your desires lead you here, to this, and the road He created for us.

The journey you’ve been upon has burdened you with terrible lies you can’t imagine living without. Find it within my words to know that you can do so, that you can shed these things away.

Thus, the virtue of purpose.

(Aos Rollard) #2

Wow. That’s pretty good.

(Utari Onzo) #3


(Julianni Avala) #4

“In the beginning all things were as one.
God parted them and breathed life into his creation
Divided the parts and gave each its place
And unto each, bestowed purpose”

  • The Scriptures, Book I 1:4

We are all already born with our purpose. We need only wait for it to be revealed. Do not lose yourself in a search that will only end in a masked prison, when the answer has been with you all along.

(Arrendis) #5

Purpose is a human invention. Nature does not experiment with ‘new purposes’, nature simply finds new expressions and ways for chemical reactions to self-perpetuate. Life is a long-running compilation of chemical reaction, nothing more.

While many may see that simple truth as nihilistic, or depressing, I disagree. The very fact that we are, in effect, nothing more than complex chemical cascades with enough recursion and iteration as to be able to contemplate the nature of our existence is liberating. Life is what you make of it. The meaning of life is what you make it mean.

Turning to anyone else, be they a modern master like Kuvakei, or one long-dead, like those who wrote the Amarr scriptures, is the lie. They cannot tell you who you are. They cannot tell you what you should do. Only you can.

(Mizhara Del'thul) #6

Another offering of ‘purpose’, piss poor philosophy and oh yes, “simple, infallible truth” cast out to ensnare the weak and pitiful who can not cope with a universe where they’re not important or meaningful enough. Those that succumb to dread and despair when they realize their impermanence and that the universe wouldn’t care at all if they never even existed.

I frankly expected a bit better than this from his sycophants, but this is even worse than the Rite or its various off-shoots.

Nature has never created purpose. It simply is. Extinguish any part of ‘nature’ and the universe goes on entirely unperturbed. End an entire planet and the solar system it is in and the cluster moves on, unperturbed. End every single bit of life from the cluster down to the most minute strand of protein or even their component molecules and the galaxy is entirely indifferent.

Extinguish a thousand galaxies and it wouldn’t even register on the scales of the universe, our reality.

It is of course understandable that this would instill a sense of existential dread in people when the sheer scales of how inconsequential and worthless we are to the universe we live in start looming on the horizon. It is understandable when we’re hard-wired to feel terror at the notion of death, that understanding our impermanence is so difficult since we desperately try to reject this idea out of sheer survival instinct.

It is understandable then, that so many powermongers and amoral sociopaths then use these things against us for their own purposes through promises of purpose or permanence, exploiting these weaknesses inherent to the animal teetering on the edge of understanding how insignificant it is.

This is why humanity remains so shackled and blind. The animal survival instinct, serving us so very well as the selfish gene perpetuates itself, now holding us back from rising above this pathetic species wide weakness and vulnerability to slavers and tyrants who would bring you to your knees with simplistic and transparent promises - lies - of purpose and permanence.

And so, even the capsuleers, those among us who have climbed furthest away from that base instinct, shedding our lives on a regular basis only to be reborn again and again as if death has lost its grip upon us still grasp desperately at these lies and blatantly obvious slave collars or we break and grow insane, abandoning morality and the strengths of humanity as they try to shed that weakness.

Post/trans-human? Hell, we haven’t even figured out ‘human’ yet. The animal needs to become a tad more conscious before it can become the point where the falling angels meet the rising ape, it seems.

(Aria Jenneth) #7

So … I see this rosy description of cogs, and the knowing of one’s place and purpose, and it sounds a little nice. It’s like an idealized vision of Caldari society, everyone ticking along according to their appropriate role.

Only, if the cogs were, in fact, hapless, miserable victims, in this beautiful bank of clockwork, would we know? Would they be able to tell us? Or are their voices silent, because a proper cog doesn’t need to speak for herself? Her feelings are irrelevant. She’s just a cog.

I imagine a place where some god or demon collects the spirits of the dead as materials for a great machine. He melts them down, still sapient, still aware, and casts gears out of them, and machines away the unevennesses and bits he doesn’t need, and slots them into place amid his great work of artifice. And maybe some onlooker or minion of this being comes along, and marvels at the beauty of it all-- and maybe a few of those cogs really have found peace in their purpose. The rest, though, are trapped, trying desperately to scream, to beg for help, for rescue, even for a final peace.

But they can’t breathe a word of their suffering, even if they were eloquent, even if they were sane. They’re just cogs, refined and cast for purpose and machined to fit. They can’t do anything but tick along according to their assigned places.

And I think, that is a hell.

I’ve worked alongside Sansha’s minions before. I don’t hate them, though they do make me kind of sad. But, if I’m ever about to be taken by such people, I’d take it as a great kindness if anyone present and able to act could please shoot me in the head.

(Jev North) #8

Why do you think the nightmare is more believable than the dream scenario?

If your free will – to the extent that it exists – had been subverted by external influence, do you think you’d notice?

(I feel I should point out I’m genuinely curious. You may have good answers!)

(Morgana Tsukiyo) #9

Get manufactured. Be put in a system that will use you until you perish. Perish. Get replaced.

Get manufactured. Be put in a system that will use you until you perish. Get out of said system. Get replaced.

Get manufactured. Be put in a system that will use you until you perish. Disrupt the system. Watch as it adapts. Get replaced.

Get manufactured. Be put in a system that will use you until you perish. Disrupt the system. Watch as it completely fails. Watch as something new is made with the gears.

Get Manufactured. Know that all this is an illusion. Do with that as you will.

(Xuixien) #10

It’s important not to fall down the trap of nihilism. Nihilists believe that they believe nothing has meaning. But really what they believe is that only negativity has meaning: burn a nihilists hand in a flame and he will behave as if the pain has meaning. Starve a nihilist and you will see how meaningful eating becomes. Nihilists say life has no meaning because it is impermanent. I say precisely because life is impermanent it has meaning.

You want purpose in your life? Reflect on this: Suffering is at once utterly intimate and utterly shared. We all suffer. One could say that life is suffering. Purpose? Meaning? Start putting yourself together. Clean your room. Pick a system in New Eden and keep it clear of garbage and debris. Fix one thing that is causing you to suffer, and then another. After some practice at this, try to fix one thing that is causing other people to suffer. Help a newbie. Cure a disease. After some time at this, questions of “purpose” and “meaning” will have vanished as such things will have long since revealed themselves to you in this practice itself.

(Morgana Tsukiyo) #11

Nope. Prior meaning. Aprioristic conceptions.

(Aria Jenneth) #12

Well … to begin with, Jev, “Master” Kuvakei is a human being, not a god. Humans get into trouble when they start messing with stuff that’s both crazily complex and deeply fundamental (witness the Jove), and Sansha Kuvakei in particular has a history of doing stuff like forgetting to give his minions adequate initiative to get enough food to feed themselves, leading to hidden Nation enclaves very quietly starving to death when they could have gone out foraging with minimal risk of detection. He’s unlikely to be able to make your mind comfortable given the radical alterations he’s making to it, and he really hasn’t demonstrated that he cares enough to bother anyway.

It’s so much easier to limit what you can do or express than what you can think or feel, so why bother? In the end, you’re just a bunch of materials for building a useful tool.

So you’ve got your free will-- or your mind, let’s leave free will out of it-- being messed with by an almost inevitably incompetent tinkerer with such an “ends justify the means” mentality that he’s willing to haul people in involuntarily to undergo this procedure by the city-full.

Does that really sound like it ends well?

(Jason Galente) #13

I love how floaty Sansha ■■■■■■■■ disguised as philosophy always has this predictable little dance to it.

(Maria Daphiti) #14

No good news ever comes from Sansha! Just another kind of heresy in a different guise. I hope no one is fooled by their clever sounding words.

(Che Biko) #16

As a nihilist (sort of) I really think you fail to speak for us.

I sort of believe this…

[quote]Start putting yourself together. Clean your room. Pick a system in New Eden and keep it clear of garbage and debris. Fix one thing that is causing you to suffer, and then another. After some practice at this, try to fix one thing that is causing other people to suffer. Help a newbie.
…and I do this. Has not made me any less of a nihilist, nor has it made questions of purpose and meaning vanish, even if the answer is always the same.

(Jaqel Aubaris) #17

"Negative. I am a meat popsicle."

This is my purpose. Nothing higher, nothing lower. What actions I take still make me a meat popsicle.

(Xuixien) #18

I’m not speaking for you. I’m speaking about you.

(Jason Galente) #19

If you have questions of purpose and meaning, even crises of purpose and meaning, that doesn’t make you a nihilist.

In fact, I’d say it makes you very definitively not a nihilist.

You can’t ‘sort of’ be a nihilist. Either you’ve taken the black pill that nothing has meaning, or you believe that something, anything, has meaning. Nihilist literally means a believer of/in nothing. It’s in the word. In that sense, I think Xuixien wasn’t speaking ‘on behalf of’ nihilists as a group, but rather examining the result of nihilism as a path.

(Morgana Tsukiyo) #20

What would you say about “meaning” to a Sleeper in Anoikis that you just woke up from a millennia dream?

(Diana Kim) #21

It’s just because cogs are dead. They aren’t envious. They do not strive for perfection. They don’t want to become better cog, they don’t want to improve the mechanism, nor they improving themselves.

They just… rotate. And they rotate, only because other makes them do so. They have no own will to even try to rotate themselves. So is Sansha Nation. It is only army of zombies, of reanimated flesh, that executes command of their so-called “Master” without doubt, without even understanding how to do something better…

That’s why we see sansha swarms dying under guns of our significantly smaller fleets. Sansha does not improve. Sansha has no WILL to improve. They just come and die.

They are at the bottom of the food chain, and their future is dim. We, ones who have the WILL to fight, who have the WILL to live and WILL to improve, we will be their undoing.

Glory to the State!