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Posted: 5/25/2003 7:56:37 PM EDT
Reflecting on those who are gone this Memorial Day weekend and discovered the meaning of life. First a couple realizations. One I miss my Grandfather. Probably the best person in the last 5 generations of my family and given the examples he had as parents (as I was to learn later) that is simply amazing. Next, life is something of a cruel joke. We spend our life aquiring objects of meaning and attempting to understand it all only to die and leave our possessions behind and may or may not continue in any form of self awareness. And often times our lifetime of discovery and learning die with us without being able to benefit another single individual. Many of the things we own or asign value were once the posssessions of others. Those of us with WWI or WWII vintage firearms simply own the possessions of others who came before and someone will own them later along with our other valued arms. And there is no guarantee they will be appreciated or properly taken care of even if still owned by your relatives. You may indeed be very disappointed in your own decendents 5 generations later just as our value systems would probably greatly dissapoint our ancestors of 5 generations previous. And not just your possessions but your ideals and beliefs. It is very possible 5 generations from now the things we own might no be legally owned by our relatives, assuming that the 4th generation did not sell them off for their own financial benefit as they didn't value them or what they represent. If I ever have children, I can only tell them how great my grandfather was. And that does little, for they would really have to have known him to truly understand or appreciate him. So everything my grandfatehr was, for all intents and purposes will die with my. Nobody after me will truly benefit from his example. If someone is lucky, they can be so great as to be remembered for their actions or deeds. Such is the case of our Founding Fathers. But even that is no guarantee for people ahve a way of revising history and distorting it to suit their needs and values. Just as many today distort what great men actually once stood for. And it is entirely possible that ones legacy can one day be used to further a cause that they would have completely objected to. And greatness is no guarantee of fame or rememberence. How many men did incredible things at the cost of their own lives at Normandy, Verdun, Iwo Jima, etc. only to die in their achievement with no witnesses of their deeds and are only remembered in a collective sense? How many men have discovered life's greater truths only to die despite their personal enlightenment? No matter what you own, no matter what you learn and no matter what you do for others, you will one day die. And most everything you value will end with you. And we may or may not move on to some other plane of existence. We might just die and that is it end of story. Or we could continue to exist in some other form and may or may not retain memory of our former life. Most subscribe to some form of religion to counter that above very bleak probablility but the notions of most religions and what happens after death border on the absurd when thought about rationally. But even that absurdity remains more palatable then the alternative modern understanding suggests. And the notion of living this life for the benefit of the "next" which should be better is possibly a waste of the only life you may get. So what is the meaning of life? Is it just a cosmic joke on man? Are you aware you are alive and free to learn, achieve and discover only to die and not exists ever again? Well here it is. If you are lucky you can have a "meaningful existence" for however long you live. You can live your life and enjoy what time you get. You can have children and raise them to be better than you ever were. You can do things that give you "meaning" such as collect and shoot firearms. If this is all we get, and you make it to your deathbed with few regrets then you will have discovered the "meaning." Remember that when you remember others this weekend.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 7:59:23 PM EDT
Read some Nietzsche sometime.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 8:01:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Merril_B: Read some Nietzsche sometime.
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Already did. Nietzsche is the first realization of most novice philosophers.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 8:03:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:
Originally Posted By Merril_B: Read some Nietzsche sometime.
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Already did. Nietzsche is the first realization of most novice philosophers.
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Yeah. That Nietzsche sure was a hack [rolleyes] What Nietzsche have you read?
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 8:31:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Merril_B:
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:
Originally Posted By Merril_B: Read some Nietzsche sometime.
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Already did. Nietzsche is the first realization of most novice philosophers.
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Yeah. That Nietzsche sure was a hack [rolleyes] What Nietzsche have you read?
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Who said he was a hack? I pretty much said he was first on the list. Long ago I read Beyond Good and Evil and The Antichrist.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 8:39:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/25/2003 8:44:10 PM EDT by raven]
Screw Nietzsche. Read Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Steyr, do you think you're the first man to ever have these thoughts? King Solomon made this post 3000 years ago. There is nothing new under the sun. All is vanity. 1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3 What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun? 4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. 5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. 6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. 7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full: unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. 8 All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. 11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 8:46:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raven: Screw Nietzsche. Read Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Steyr, do you think you're the first man to ever have these thoughts? There is nothing new under the sun. All is vanity.
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No I realize you achieved satori some time ago. And really that was one of my points of the post, all if this has been learned and lost and learned again without benefit to to others. And that is why I posted it for those who are too busy with the mundane details of their lived to have the luxury to contmplate these things. Fortunately the gun buiness leaves on lots of free time to ponder life. [:D]
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 8:47:05 PM EDT
Your sigline cracks me up. I agree. Last Phish concert I went to confirmed why that sigline should be written into formal law. Usta be a bunch of kids smoking pot and listening to Phish. Now they're shooting heroin and smoking crack- listening to Phish and whining about the multi-national corporations. I hate those little bastards.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 8:50:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/25/2003 8:52:22 PM EDT by SteyrAUG]
Originally Posted By raven: King Solomon made this post 3000 years ago.
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Solomon was a hack and only said "some" of what I said and not nearly as well. In addition he was wrong because people DO remember him and his words as evidenced by your post. How's that for vanity?
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 9:07:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG: Those of us with WWI or WWII vintage firearms simply own the possessions of others who came before and someone will own them later along with our other valued arms. .
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The REASON they area valuable is becuase of how they lived their lives, and what they accomplished while in possession of them. Live your life such that your common everyday items will become valuable to those that follow you ( a rule to apply to myself as well)
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 9:10:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG: Solomon was a hack ...
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Don't believe I've ever heard King Solomon referred to as a "hack." [:D] LOL...dude, you have some pretty tough standards. [:D]
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 9:12:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman:
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG: Solomon was a hack ...
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Don't believe I've ever heard King Solomon referred to as a "hack." [:D] LOL...dude, you have some pretty tough standards. [:D]
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It was "demonstrated vanity."
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 10:05:34 PM EDT
For the record what is a hack? [url]http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=hack[/url] [url]http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hack[/url] Beyond good and evil was boring. Bible is fairly interesting. Sex, violence, good and evil, a linear story line... whatelse do you need?
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 10:15:15 PM EDT
Back on topic. I never knew either of my grandfathers. Never met them. They both died before I was born. My Dad's father, Leo, was a great man by my standards. He came to America by himself at 17. He arrived here on July 12, 1909 on the ship [i]Luisiana[/i] from Palermo Italy. A young kid by himself leaving his family, his home and country to come here - alone. His brother followed a year later. They came with NOTHING in their pocket and even his surname was changed by immigration who couldn't read his writing and didn't speak Italian. He died a year before I was born. I only have two pictures of him and a stories. But the family tree he planted here in America has now grown to several hundred. Not a bad apple in the entire bunch either. Four of his sons fought in WWII, two in Korea. Three of his grandsons fought in Viet Nam. More served without combat. His descendants include doctors, teachers, cops, autoworkers, city councilmen, firefighters, business-owners and many more hard-working Americans. And me too. So I've come to the realization (which was no surprise) that I, myself, won't be a "great" person in history; I'll never scale Everest, I won't discover a cure for cancer, I'll never go fight wars for my country, I'm not gonna be a millionaire, I won't become President or Governor and I may never even invent a better mousetrap. But I do have a son. And I can only hope he (and I) are as successful at planting a family tree as my Grandfather was when he stepped off the [i]Luisiana[/i] by himself at Ellis Island 94 years ago. I think of things like this when I see "Saving Private Ryan" - how one good person, though apparently insignificant, can have such profound significance in the grand scheme of things.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 10:32:26 PM EDT
The meaning of life is whatever you make of it, whatever ethos you subscribe to, whatever values you hold dear. There are many teachers in history from Plato on down to present day Styer. [:)] Those of us who follow the teachings of the judeo/christian tradition really have nothing more than faith, but our writings tell us that that is all we need. Good enough for me. BTW, I'm pretty well read in philosophical teachings from around the world. Still haven't found anything better.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 11:28:09 PM EDT
This is depressing...You guys make yourselves out to be losers and, from what I am hearing, your life isn't as good as your grandfathers.. Bull Snot! You know who your hero's are? They are your grandfathers, your grandmothers, uncles (other than the one we never talk about but is always at family functions)[:|]..You know who your childrens hero's are going to be? You and their mother! You are a better person than your grandfather because you helped make that child into what they are or will be... Jesus, another Great Philosopher once said, and I am paraphrasing because my Bible isn't in front of me: "Train up a child in the way they should go and they will never stray"... You may not have invented anything or been a great soldier, but be a person of true and honest morals and values to where your kids can say "My dad didn't invent anything, but let me tell you what a kind and loving father he was"...That means more to me than me leaving them material possessions like my guns.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 11:48:08 PM EDT
My Dad's Mom stepped off the Lusitania 12/07 onto Ellis Island. Grandma was a challenge, but her son, my Dad, was a great guy. He died when I was 15; he was only 53. Tom Kelley, vet of WWII, Korea, VN. He died Christmas Day, at home with his family 12/25/70. I was showing my son the passengers' manifest from the Ellis Island website just this week. I told him, that the families that came together to make him came to America because freedom is good. Regards, Mark
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 12:11:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Az_Redneck: You may not have invented anything or been a great soldier, but be a person of true and honest morals and values to where your kids can say "My dad didn't invent anything, but let me tell you what a kind and loving father he was"...That means more to me than me leaving them material possessions like my guns.
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That was exactly my point.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 12:11:05 AM EDT
Good post Steyr. My Grandfather(only know of one) diddnt fight in World War 2 for whatever reason. He was 31 when the war started. He was a welder in the Long Beach shipyards. Not as glamourous a job as actually seeing military action and telling your grandkids about it. But he was still a good man and pretty much my father figure in my early life. 2 possessions that might not mean anything to anyone else that I hold dearly... a arc welders mask from when he worked for Kaiser Steel and an orange picking bag from when he was a kid. The things your Grandfather taught you will hopefully become part of who you are so when you teach your kids things, part of that will be from your Grandfather. That is the greatness that gets passed on.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 10:24:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By jtw2: The meaning of life is whatever you make of it, whatever ethos you subscribe to, whatever values you hold dear. [:)]
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That was kinda my point. And I miss your old avatar.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 12:23:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:
Originally Posted By jtw2: The meaning of life is whatever you make of it, whatever ethos you subscribe to, whatever values you hold dear. [:)]
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That was kinda my point. And I miss your old avatar.
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So do I. But, you can't have the twins anymore so you get Nixon, a cow and a flying saucer.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 12:50:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG: .....If I ever have children....
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Please let this line die out! All we need is a hoard of little AUG's that cant figure out the intricacies of life. [;)]
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 1:01:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2003 1:29:58 PM EDT by Am-O-Tramp]
If there is an after life I hope I can live it as an otter, my very favorite form of life. I've had it with people motherfxxkers, they're always smiling, praying, scheming, lying, planning how to fuck someone in the ass for a dollar, why would any smart peoples want to waste their eternity in heaven as a lowdown fuckin peoples and go through it all over again?
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 1:36:10 PM EDT
One Grandfather was UDT during WWII; he was never sent to the Pacific. Instead, he was stateside; training the rest of the frogmen, many of whom went off to the Pacific, and later, to the Atlantic. He never got over that. He thought he got cheated out of things. Unfortunatly...I learned this 2nd hand about him (and many other things as well); he died when I was 3, of a heart attack. I never got to know him. I really wish I had. My Mother had to fill me in about him. My other Grandfather was Infantry; Company I, 120th Infantry, 30th Division. (for more information, click [url=http://oldhickoryonline.com]here[/url]). I never had a chance to talk to him about his experiences; I was too young and stupid. He died when I was around 22 or 23 I think..I just didn't know any better at the time. I thought he'd always be around. Now, I know better. Turns out he had a rough time..especially the Battle Of The Bulge. I had never known any of this until afterwards. My Father still has his Radom 9mm sidearm that he carried throughout his time there. (We're Polish, so thbbt.) I currently have his Zippo that he carried through the war. One day, I hope to oil and clean that Radom as something that belongs to me, not as something of my Father's. I only wish I could have gotten to know him/them better, to learn from them.. Today, my Brother is currently serving on the USS Miami. My Father is National Guard, Reserves. Me?..I'm the dork of the family; I do computer crap instead. Oddly, I'm a better shot than both of them combined. [;)] They all have my respect and gratitude. That's all that I can really give them that they cannot purchase or aquire elsewhere.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 1:42:59 PM EDT
Oh forgot to mention: On my Mother's side of the family, I qualify (and need to submit the paperwork to become) a SAR; Sons of the Revolution. My Mother is a member of the DAR. For every conflict up until Vietnam, we had directly related family there. From Vietnam until this current conflict, we did not. (Figured we gave enough, let someone else do our job for a change, I guess.) It is for all my ancestors, who died or who survived, that I salute today. By extention, I salute their brothers on the fields; if it were not for them I would not be here today either. Thank you, America, and the men and women who protected you. It is for that and that alone that today I now live.
Link Posted: 5/26/2003 7:25:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG: So everything my [grandfather] was, for all intents and purposes will die with [me]. Nobody after me will truly benefit from his example.
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While I do not know you, I will vehemently disagree with this statement. While your children may not know who your grandfather was, they will know him. He obviously made a large impression in your life, probably imparting more into your character than you realize. I also lost my grandfather a number of years ago. He was a large influence on me as I was growing up. When he passed away, I had a hard time dealing with it, especially because I knew my children would never get to know him, learn from him as I did. In recent years however, I've realized that the person I am today is in a large part due to him and the knowledge, ethics and ideals he passed on to me. I strongly suspect that your children will learn from you many of the things you learned from your grandfather. They may not realize, you may not realize it, but someday your children will make you proud when you realize that they are following in your (and his) footsteps. Then again, I could be wrong. I usually am.
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