The hope of Bari???
I share your irritation, Mark, having had the "hope and meaning"
argument thrown my way as well. The presumption of somebody to claim
on your behalf, that you aren't happy, your life is meaningless,
and you are to be pitied, is the pinnacle of arrogance and ignorance.
I also believe this attitude is a manifestation of jealousy and
insecurity. Regardless of how much I might occasionally wonder why
or how anyone can view the world differently than I do, my ego is
not so fragile that I need to pronounce the world around me miserable
in order to convince myself that I am happy.
Those who claim they have a monopoly on "hope" and a
"worthwhile life" which others cannot possibly have, should
be repeatedly reminded that their entire "hope" revolves
around fear of death. What other "hope" are they referring
to, than the hope of not dying? Would "love of gawd" give
them any particular hope if immortality wasn't in the picture? I
think not! In order for you to share their idea of "hope,"
you have to first embrace their personal neurosis about death, and
then their personal coping mechanism. Where is the incredible superiority
in this, the lack of which is leaving a big gaping hole in your
life? Why should this vastly increment your happiness and life's
purpose? Why don't satisfying human relationships, beautiful sunny
days, and doing the things you personally enjoy give meaning to
life? Nothing is more childish than to dismiss these things in favor
of a belief, conflicting with all the rest of observable nature,
that you alone will not expire,and that there is a big invisible
somebody in the sky who will to your immense gratification, torture
everyone who didn't embrace your idea of "hope."
I liked your "You are running from Shiva" comment and
in the face of her response I would have been even more bulldog
about taking that line of conversation to the limit. How they cannot
see the duplicity of dismissing something as "ridiculous"
that shares all the same logic they are using to convince someone
of perfect truth, boggles the mind.