The Sociologist Simmel shares my view: As George Simmel (1918) put it: “We are our boundaries.”

Psychological problems sometimes arise when we refuse to recognize that our “essential being” is a continual process of “differentiation.” Again, according to Simmel, the individual is a sociological category, in so far as she/he is a stranger to the category, and, the individual is a stranger, in so far as she/he is a sociological category. In this respect, the individual is neither social nor individual, she/he is the boundary that simultaneously separates the individual from society and joins the individual to society.

Meaning of life—What is it?

Thinking our way back to where we came from (a homecoming of sorts)  is “the boundary problem of the meaning of life.” Most of us know our birthplace, but that’s not good enough—a more universal homecoming is what’s called for, — which is one reason why we have so many religions! But, I’m not talking about the use of scripture to justify this or that religion. Language cannot describe what I mean by “homecoming.” The homecoming path that I am talking about runs through language,– language at its source. In Cartesian Linguistics (1966, p. 29), Noam Chomsky says:  “The limitless possibilities of language expression are constrained only by rules of concept formation and sentence formation, these being in part particular and idiosyncratic but in part universal, a common human endowment.” Our “homecoming” must not only take us back to “the individual as stranger,” but also to the human endowment which entails “concept formation at its source” (double bonus here, language and number arise from the same source). This ultimate goal is what life’s meaning is all about, but it is probably not for everyone. For “those who seek,” though, the journey, I am told, is no less rewarding than the actual destination!

74 Responses to About

  1. J Roycroft says:

    I enjoyed reading your posts and will be sure to return.

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      I’m delighted you found something worth reading here. Every morning after I post, I skim down ten or twelve pages and click the like button on photos, and, occasionally, comment on someone’s blog if I am moved to do so. You probably dislike Micheal Moore as much as I like him; that probably means we do not have a much in common. However, if I am wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Very nice blog and a beautiful perspective on meaning of life! ^_^

  3. bwinwnbwi says:

    In the beginning, the development of the above meaning of life was, for me, a mere philosophy. In my old age, however, it has became a religion–a religion that equates Divinity with Love and Freedom. Thanks so much for the comment!

  4. Robert says:

    Always enjoy visiting here. Seeing my times through a very different, yet not, experience.

  5. bwinwnbwi says:

    Thank you Robert. I look forward to visiting your blog more often.

  6. Rossi says:

    I enjoy your sharing of thoughts, perspectives and images – George Simmel’s view? So so true – many thanks.

  7. bwinwnbwi says:

    Thanks so much for the comment. Simmel’s view, when applied to Sartre’s awkward philosophy, started me down the road to my own homecoming–so to speak. I tried to reach your blog but upon my arrival found the disclaimer “author deleted.” I’ll try again. I’m a bit computer challenged, so maybe I did something wrong. Take care.

  8. dhaami says:

    I have been reading through your posts from the beginning and I am fascinated. To read about a life that I only imagined through movies and books… I am so glad you decided to keep journals and then share them with us here!

  9. bwinwnbwi says:

    You are very kind. I didn’t have a camera in the beginning (I didn’t want one either), so maybe that’s why I decided to keep journals, but that’s only a guess. I can’t remember why. I am glad I kept track of events, though. Sharing this history is, in a very small way, like reliving it, and, for an old man, that’s fun. Take care.

  10. realanonymousgirl2011 says:

    All the pictures of Hawaii are beautiful. Do you go there often? We went last year for my babymoon.

  11. bwinwnbwi says:

    Towards the end of my stay on Oahu I bought a camera. A lot of these pictures were taken by others and given to me, but the majority of them I took off the internet when I blogged the beach or city mentioned in my blog. I have not returned to Hawaii, but I’m not dead yet, so maybe some day. Thanks for the comment. Oh, by the way, while getting my Keaau beach pictures I discovered that in 2010 they closed the park down, but I don’t really know what that means–I’m sure the ocean, sun, sand, etc. are still there!

  12. Stef says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog, and for liking my post – I really appreciate you taking the time to read, and making the effort to connect. 🙂

  13. Amy says:

    Greetings! Beautiful blog. Glad you found mine (thanks for the like!) because it led me to yours…. great reads here. 🙂

  14. Christa says:

    What a beautiful quote! I’ll be using that as inspiration for a future post and make sure to direct people to you as the person who introduced it to me!

  15. kiwidutch says:

    Hi bwinwnbwi,
    Thanks for the “Like” on my blog. I’ve been reading thought quite a few of your posts, very interesting reading I must say.
    You post many thoughts about the meaning of life from a viewpoint I haven’t always taken a lot of time to ponder upon, and I find some of your writings have so much to tell me that it takes me more than one reading to “get it” and it’s a pleasure to be challenged this way. I’ll be back for more, Thanks!

  16. jgavinallan says:

    I think your posts are very moving. Today, I must retreat from my own writing. Your words will dominate my day.
    Seeking may be rewarding, but the pitfalls of sorrow that you encounter will alawys stay with you, even on completion.

    byebye, Jaye

  17. jgavinallan says:

    Hi again: Excuse my spelling of always. Pretend I meant it for deep symbolic reasons. lol

  18. Greetings from Perth, Down Under. Thanks for dropping by, thus prompting me to visit your intriguing and well-written blog. I think I’ll be checking back.

  19. Josh Layson says:

    We share a similar blogging taste! It would be astounding for me (and to anyone) to start reading your posts.

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Thanks for the support! I guess you could describe my posts as autobiographical with a twist. In a November post entitled Rocky Mountain Red Wine, I described Seattle Dave’s stories: “He had a peculiar way of
      beginning. He told me he conceptualized the story’s ending first,
      and then worked backwards until he arrived at the story’s beginning. His last story was about a snake biting its own tail. He also was a bit of a comic…” Well, you might want to think of the “snake biting its own tail” as how I have conceptualized the message I am trying to communicate in these blog posts. Thanks again and take care!

  20. dogear6 says:

    Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. I enjoyed reading yours as well.


  21. Mizz says:

    Deep n meaningful, i have to Re-read it to understand it better. Not bcus u write anything wrong, but its me who dont speak proper english. Am still learning though…ill be back!!

  22. aawwa says:

    thanks for visiting my blog once again 🙂 I hope the world is treating you kindly – have a good week!


  23. Jessica says:

    Thanks for the “like” today! I’ll be back to browse your blog more. You’ve got great pictures!

  24. frizztext says:

    I read Chomsky too – The homecoming path that I am talking about runs through language – and Ludwig Wittgenstein: http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/languages-ludwig-wittgenstein/

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      I read Wittgenstein’s Tractatus just because it was there–most of it went over my head, but, I remember that it ended with words that went something like this: “Where there are no words, one cannot speak,” and, for me, that hit home. There are no tidy scientific/philosophical tools that, once mastered, will allow us to solve all problems—of that I am sure. The reason for this is that it’s never about “truth,” rather, its about how one comes to know truth. A fully known thing has two components, both are equally real and primary, and hence good, the one being the complement of the other. We know truth first by inspection– it must be an immediately experienced, aesthetically and emotionally felt thing, and second we know truth to be whatever hypothetically conceived and experimentally verified theory says it is. Calling anything else true is merely a language game, filled with tautologies. The homecoming path that I am talking about, in addition to running through language at its source–is an extremely emotional, emotional experience! Thanks for the comment—all of the comments very much appreciated!

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      I agree, photos sometimes speak where words cannot. As a child, as a young child, I had a habit of looking at my parents photographs and emotions I could not understand followed. Looking at my mother’s dog once, in an old photo, resulted in an overwhelming need to cry–which I did uncontrollably until my mother discovered me. She never understood why I was crying (I didn’t tell her) but after she held me I felt much better. Thanks for the comment.

  25. Dmediaarts says:

    Thank you for leading me here! And thank you for “like”-ing my post. I hope you find what you are looking for; you seem to enjoy the journey. Sometimes what we look for is so simple that it escapes us in our quest for the truth. It sure sounds like you’re living your homecoming; thank you for sharing. Safe journeys!

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Yes, I was/am living this homecoming journey, but I didn’t know it in 1977. It was another four or five years before I found out. After the revelation, though, the journey continued. Unfortunately, the events that will become the content of my postaday postings (after the revelation) will be much less interesting–an academic accounting of why I believe what I believe. I appreciate the comment, though,–Thanks!

  26. karen8095 says:

    Thank you very much for the ‘like’. I am new to blogging. I’m loving all the blogs and the wonderful variety of pictures people post, I look forward to reading more of yours too

  27. Mickey Mills says:

    Thanks for dropping by my blog occasionally. I’m going to add you to my Blogroll, if you don’t mind. 🙂

  28. bwinwnbwi says:

    No problemo! Thanks for dropping by my blog also. I just read your post on the national debt and liked it. I don’t have the answers, but I do know part of the problem occurred with the financial crisis that began with bank bailouts–(bailing out the banks that were profiting by wagering against the likelihood of people paying back the loans that those same banks were giving out–go figure!) The bailouts were (allegedly) the cost of keeping America out of the next Great Depression. I know the problem (the problem described in your blog) goes back before the banking crisis, but hey, look at the average Joe on the street–mortgaged to the hilt, barely making ends meet, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul–just seems like the American way! I wish there was a better way, but what’s that old saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”–I hope we can pull ourselves out of this hole, I really do, but I’m still a bit pessimistic.

  29. suitablefish says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a ‘like’ so I find you here. I enjoyed reading your thoughts in this post. We certainly are creatures of our own boundaries. No matter who says it, or what words are used to describe the same – the philosophers, the prophets. . . my zen teacher, who says it this way: meet whatever comes with an open heart. Language can’t describe it because it’s beyond language, before we name it and give it form. Do you think it’s in the silence where there is no language, no mouth or mind speak, where you reach the home of this homecoming? I was just reading the first pages of Proust’s Swann’s Way when he describes waking from a dream, meeting himself a stranger. . .

    Look forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing the journey.

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Your teacher is very wise. One should always try to meet the future with an open heart. Silence, for some, perhaps, takes you to the door of the homecoming that I’m talking about, but that’s not the way it happened for me. I wasn’t good at math, but in High School algebra and geometry, my math teacher warned me that it was never enough to solve a problem. The problem wasn’t solved until you “see the truth of the solution.” My math aptitude didn’t improve after that, but I did get better at “seeing necessary connections.” Eventually, I got to a place where I could “see the necessary connection between here and now and the truth of the original here and now.” In my blog—https://bwinwnbwi2.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/escape-from-the-perceptproduct-box/ I explain a little bit more about how I came to this experience. Thanks for the comment.

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Hi there to you also. For suitablefish (above) I left a comment under the url above (a bit awkward, I know–sorry). I’m also sorry to hear there is no future in your teacher’s teaching.

      • suitablefish says:

        I didn’t express that so well — sorry. What I mean to say is that it’s only in the present moment one can meet with an open heart because that’s all there is, the present moment. No news to you! Thanks for your replies. I appreciate your thoughts on the journey.

  30. Alicia Rodriguez, MA says:

    Hey there, glad to see you stopped by my blog Bold Conversations. I read through your blog and enjoyed reading of your journeys and ideas. I thought you would enjoy this quote by Ludwig Wittgenstein, the 20th century philosopher. It begs the question, “How do I express beyond my own limits or boundaries?”
    Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote, “The limits of my language are the limits of my world. All I know is what I have words for.”
    What are the words we don’t know then?

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      I like Wittgenstein, but I haven’t read much of his work on language. However, probably the words that we do not know are words that will not adequately explain life as we live it, i.e., future experiences that cannot adequately describe/explain future experiences. In that sense, the words we need will have to be created, out of utility or necessity, in order to explain/describe future events. Thanks for the comment and kind words!

  31. zentango says:

    provocative and interesting…Wittgenstein was certainly one of the most fascinating figure of the last century…it is interesting that his last words were “tell them, I have had a wonderful life”….and yet his life had been anything but……they indominable human spirit !!!

  32. Rococoa Reader says:

    Thanks for “liking” my post! Very encouraging. And I look forward to reading more of your blog!

  33. bulldozer00 says:

    Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog.

  34. boozilla says:

    thank you so very much, for your comment on *my* blog, and for writing yours. a total breath of fresh air which is much needed and appreciated. bless you and take care!

  35. bwinwnbwi says:

    Here’s a big thank you for all the comments I have not commented on. Thanks for the kind words.

  36. Pingback: 11-14-11 Yonkers, The Power Station, Graffiti And Mud « The Quotidian Hudson

  37. mycaddisfly says:

    Your correct in your statement …the journey is what “it” is all about …the destination is, for the most part, a fantasy, given that we have little or no control over what happens next.
    Good stuff ..Thanks

  38. Pingback: Tag is Fun – My Blog Award | Working Tech Mom

  39. I like to address all my blogger friends by their first names in my comments/replies, but I don’t think that “bwinwnbwimusic” contains a hint of yours and I’ve scoured your site for it. Do you mind sharing it?

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      I don’t mind sharing. It’s Dave. You’re probably right, though, since bwinwnbwi is, for me, the name that universally applies to my blog content, I rarely use my given name. Take care John.

      • Thanks, Dave! Now dare I ask what the “bwinwnbwi” in “bwinwnbwimusic” stands for? (Promise: I won’t keep digging until I have ALL your secrets.)

  40. bwinwnbwi says:

    No problem John. The music part was added to bwinwnbwi in order to distinguish this blog from my old blog which goes by the name bwinwnbwi. I first came across bwinwnbwi when, back in ’73 while living on a Hawaiian beach, I bought Sartre’s book: Being And Nothingness. It took me a long time to read and think about the contents of that book, but, sometime latter, being what is not while not being what is became the bridge that I had to cross in order to find God (did I just hear Sartre roll over in his grave?). Here’s a bit from https://bwinwnbwi2.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/jean-paul-sartre/ where I describe some of the significance bwinwnbwi has for me:

    In the representation of Sartre’s thought as “consciousness is what it is not, and it is not what it is,” we find reciprocal movement, the same reciprocal movement encountered, in one form or another, in all the structuralists I have discussed hitherto in this paper. Specifically, Sartre defines the consciousness of the transcending For-itself (our self-space) as: “Consciousness is a being such that in its being, its being is in question in so far as this being implies a being other than itself.” [Ibid. p. 801] In an extrapolation from Sartre’s definition of consciousness, Benoist describes that relationship as: “it is what it is not, and it is not what it is,” while I describe it as: being-what-is-not-while-not-being-what-is. In both cases, however, we end up with a definition for reciprocal movement.

    I hope that helps John. You might be surprised to find my secrets (if indeed they are secretes) are in this blog for all to read. I will continue to talk about them for a while yet. Take care my friend.

    • Thanks for the explanation, David. I just visited http://bwinwnbwi.wordpress.com/ and realized that I have been there before, so I didn’t learn any NEW secrets. 🙂

      • bwinwnbwi says:

        Hi John. I think you’re the last person I’ve clicked the follow button on. WordPress use to make it easy to follow people (without clicking the follow box) if you had the time to browse down the pages of recent postings, but it seems (for me at least) they’ve changed to only posting select (one or two posts a day) postings for people to read or not read. I believe it goes without saying that I prefer the old way. WordPress took away our freedom to pick and choose. It may be only a matter of time before my blog disappears into the oblivion of a Google search. I’ve been there before and its better than nothing, but it is disappointing. If you have anything to add please do. I’m curious to know what WordPress is doing, that is, if I haven’t already figured it out. Thanks for your support. Take care.

  41. Dave, you don’t have the “Follow” box showing to logged out (or non-Wordpress) users on either of your blogs. Go to your WP Dashboard, and then scroll down to “Settings.” Click on “Reading” and scroll down to “Follower Settings.” Click on the box that says, “Show follow button to logged out users.”

    Be sure to click on the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page,

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Thanks John. The green check was already there, but I clicked the save changes anyway. It’s okay, whatever happens, happens. I’ll just go with the flow. Take care.

      • Dave, just came across this in my settings (required for “Follow” box to show up):
        Go to Dashboard/Appearance/Widgets and drag the “Follow Blog” widget into the sidebar in the position where you want it to appear on your home page.

  42. very nice blog, beautiful pics, thank you for liking my blog and stopping by. smiles

  43. bwinwnbwi says:

    Thanks John. It worked. I’m undecided about putting the “follow” on my other blog. I don’t post there anymore and my music blog, I believe, it more readable (shorter posts and more rewriting). Thank you Tami also for the kind comment. Take care all.

    • Great, Dave! Just trying to get you the notice you deserve! You now have the dark gray “Follow” box at the bottom of your blog window. Might I suggest sliding the “Follow” widget (e-mail sign-up) up between your “Recent Posts” and “Archive” widgets (where it would be more noticeable)? Having 52 followers is an impressive achievement!

      BTW, feel free to delete all my “how to” comments if you would prefer not to have them on your “About” page.

  44. mariecandice says:

    Thanks for the likes on my recent posts. Really encouraging!

    Your blog is fab. Lots of dense, thought-provoking stuff here that takes me back to philosophy classes of yore 🙂 These days when we spend so much time skimming information rather than really taking it in, it’s nice to see someone taking the time to be thoughtful. Kudos

  45. Dave, remember how we get a different view of http://en.wordpress.com/tag/postaday2011/ depending on whether or not we’re logged into WordPress? MOST of my photos show up if I’m NOT logged in (as do most of yours), and NONE of ours do if I’m logged in. It occurred to me that maybe WP filters out MY own posts from my view when I’m logged in, but that wouldn’t explain why I wouldn’t see yours. The logged-in view has a very small sampling of posts compared to the non-logged in view.

    Do you experience the same anomaly?

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      I haven’t looked into it. A couple times (logged out) I clicked to see if my posts were in the big sample when they didn’t show in the small sample. They were, but now its a moot point anyway. If or when I continue posting, I believe my blog will be less interesting anyhow. What’s left is mostly a description of my search (theory and statistical research) for the implicative affirmative of the not-me-self (the ~bb component of the synchronic structure of b~b~bb), and a bit of a rehash of what I’ve already posted. Once again, thanks for all your help and support. Take care.

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