Better than Promised – The Meaning of Life

“So what do you think?”

“I think it’s incredible. It’s an immense house with mysterious rooms behind shining doors. How did you come up with it?”

“Just happened. Kind of a cool idea, no?”

“Definitely. Was it difficult to build?”

“Well, you know, I’m He-Who-Is-Not-Named. It took a week.”

“Amazing. So what do I do here?”

“Stuff will happen. You’ll meet other people and interact with them. Sometimes it will be difficult and sometimes easy. There is a lot to see. You’ll travel around, look at things and learn from them.”

“Better than Disneyland, yeah?”

“Well, there is Disneyland, too, you know. This is fairly inclusive.”

“Thanks! How awesome!”

“There is one thing, though. As time passes you’ll start breaking down and then…”


“Yeah, that’s a bit hard to explain. You’re not permanent.”


“You’ll die. Cease to exist. End of story. That’s all she wrote. Kick the bucket. Finito.”


“Uh, that’s for me to know and you to find out.”

“Ah. Well, OK. Knowing that isn’t very helpful anyway, is it?”

“I don’t think so, that’s why it’s not part of the design.”

“Design? What’s the point of being here?”

“You get to see it, participate in it, learn from it, BE in it. Have a good time.”

“Is anything permanent?”

“No, I mean even those big things there, those rocky bits with snow on them? That’s not even the first range of them to be here. There were others before and there will be others when those are gone.”

“Wow this time thing is pretty major isn’t it?”

“There really is no time, Lamont. It’s actually just duration, how long things last. In reality, there is no time. It’s all a grand simultaneity.”

“What’s a ‘Lamont’?”

“You’re Lamont. Augusta Lamont. You’re named after those things there. You’re going to love them, I can tell you that much about yourself.”

“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?”

“I’m fond of them, but…”

“Well, OK, so I’m Augusta Lamont and I’m here for this thing called ‘duration’ and I get to look at stuff and do stuff, have a good time and then I die?”

“That’s pretty much it. You might contribute to it somehow, but basically, you’re here for the ride. Anything else depends on you. You’ll discover that from the ground, it’s kind of a labyrinth.”

“Cool. I’ll do it. Looks like fun, however long it lasts.”

21 thoughts on “Better than Promised – The Meaning of Life

  1. I should not have read this before writing anytthing. I think you just did what I was thinking, but so well, I’m no longer thinking. Well said. You get a life, you get some time. After that, it’s all about … whatever you make it about. I love it.

  2. I enjoyed that write very much, we are the passengers getting on and off and discovering until the time runs out. Yes, it’s a fun thing really, just don’t think about the end of the roundabout.

    • Garry and I just had a real conversation about enjoying the moment. There’s a lot of negative stuff going on, but we have each other and that is a good thing. Rather a rare thing at our age. A lot of people go into this part of their lives without a partner, or without a partner they like being around. Those few of us who have somehow gotten this far and still enjoy the company of our mate should remember it and do something with it. It’s so easy to slip into bad habits.

      • I have no partner and no prospect of one and no ability to imagine that such a thing would improve my life at all, so yes. You two — and Mr and Mrs Anglo-Swiss — are extremely fortunate to have found and kept each other. Of course, I’d probably like it if someone found me, but I’m not looking (this is one of my qualifications for the hermitage near Mrs. Anglo-Swiss). I look at my situation as being the best of all possible worlds for me right now. That’s all I’m responsible for and that is strategically the most sensible attitude. I believe that, to a large extent, happiness is a choice we make. It’s a wise choice because misery sucks.

        • I totally agree with you. We all carry the seeds of happiness and misery … and life is fragile. None of us can see the future (even with Tarot cards and astrology), so it is good — smart — to enjoy the present. I’ve been in a period where I need a score card to add up the losses and impending losses. That’s WHY we had that talk. Because suddenly, I looked around and knew we needed to pay attention.

            • Probably what makes them such popular dogs. It’s good to have one creature, one friend in a life whose needs are satisfied by a can of tennis balls. Of any color. Even old, used, tired tennis balls. No complicated emotional needs to fill. You can buy the balls at any store — even Walmart — and make a creature totally happy.

    • Very cool that the guys who came up with “South Park” (which I love) put this together… My favorite Alan Watts essay is “Eating the Menu.” But after teacher something like 10,000 students I reached the conclusion that the carrot on the stick is the only incentive most of them would ever understand. We’re not all “alive” and we don’t all have interests in anything — we are still hunters and gatherers and the carrot on the stick fits right in with that mentality. Pursue a goal (chase a goat). I was an inspiring teacher. Both students and colleagues complained about that. Most people neither want or are capable of being inspired. I used to think that Thoreau was right; that people were just not awake. But now I think most people are as awake as it is in their nature to be. I think what really brought this home to me was when one of my aunts said, “Well, you know Martha Ann, you’ve done all right considering.” Considering WHAT??? And what did she know about me or my life or my aspirations or who I am? Basically nothing. She could ONLY “measure” me based on the arbitrary scale she knew (and believed in). I had to take it as a compliment. Sorry for going on and on … I love the video.

      • I thought you might – seeing as how you virtually described it. 🙂
        You’re talking subjectivism, eh ? Maybe finding out to an even greater degree how it rules the world …

        • I’m not actually talking about subjectivism. More like mediocrity but without the negative connotation. Like my aunt was congratulating me on achieving something she could understand as far as she could tell, so yeah, in that sense, subjectivism, failing to ask the important question, “What’s real here, anyway?” My family doesn’t even known I’ve published a book a few people have actually read by their own choice or that it’s been reviewed and loved in another country. They have NO idea. I find that rather funny. And I never sent them copies because there is sex in it even oral sex which just says that I don’t really WANT them to know me, I guess. 😉

          • Of the remains of my own family, my husband’s brother liked my book.
            My eldest sister took it on as a good deed in terms of buying many copies, but I don’t believe she’s read it; my youngest sister might have read it but has never uttered a word about it; and my nephew hasn’t read it.
            Families are very strange …

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