Meaning from Puzzle Pieces

January 24, 2010

It seems more common for people to increase meaning and significance in their lives incrementally than the explosive gains of a ecstatic vision for example, and such incremental gains fit a materialistic theory of where meaning arises. Within the context of something like evolutionary theory, such incremental gains of meaning make much sense; some things are more important because they help us better survive and give us a genetic advantage. Yet I have no conscious experience of my genetics or of this survival advantage; as an experientialist in my historical and evolutionary present, to say meaning is simply an epiphenomenal evolutionary byproduct holds little explanatory power for me.

On the other hand, when I think about why those incremental gains have the meaning they do, it is seemingly because, in the manner of an ‘important’ puzzle piece, it fits with other pieces of meaning on our interior, and perhaps the new piece gains its level of meaning due to the greater or lesser number of interior pieces, or greater or lesser meaningful pieces, that it fits with. And of course, it might be said the scheme of the puzzle is determined by the current authoritative framework, and the way in which we choose exterior pieces for an attempted interior fitting might be how differentiated or compact we view our world.

Perhaps those occasional experiences of meaning that are so powerful it overwhelms the ‘framework puzzle system’ are so powerful due to a much greater number of interior pieces being suddenly fit together that the larger picture they make becomes so much clearer. Moreover, the way the new piece of meaning fits old puzzle pieces together, ways the previous framework might never allowed for, might now make a far more coherent picture; and when we apply the new way to the rest of our interior, for coherency’s sake, more new insights and meaning might turn up.

Lastly while this ‘framework and meaning puzzle theory’ does have some explanatory power over where some meaning comes from, it might also have some explanatory power over where some desires and passions come from. When we have enough interior pieces, and again their varying degrees of importance may have influence, to create a clear need for a specific kind of piece, the intent manner in which we begin looking for that piece, might easily be described as desire or even a passion. Such a yearning for the perceived missing piece and for the completion of our interior puzzle picture might even be often described as having ‘a hole in our heart’.

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21 Responses to “Meaning from Puzzle Pieces”


  1. [...] our desire for something and what we think we desire there may be some wiggle room. The missing puzzle piece on the interior may be love and affection but we may think what we need is sex and sexuality; [...]


  2. [...] desire to the gratification of her desire. (I think this theory is at the border of having conscious explanatory power (and note here too)  for me so I’m not sure quite what to think of it [...]


  3. [...] evolutionary theory can explain ‘how’ we came to have (some) experiences of meaning we have, it can’t [...]


  4. [...] ‘problem’ (mostly) is that I still (mostly) view meaning as arising from the ‘fitted-ness’ of any particular experience (thought, symbol, etc.) to one’s in…. On one hand, I think this ‘meaning as fitted-ness’ theory somewhat relegates meaning [...]


  5. [...] – ’Symbol fitted-ness‘ originates as expression of the interior (area C or D), an expression adequate one’s own interior (area C or D) or to one’s exterior (area A or B) [...]


  6. [...] (I think possibly) results from a large scale ‘fitted-ness’, like (a large number of) puzzle pieces (all at once), of symbol/experience with one’s interior mental [...]


  7. [...] imprecision of language and of symbols gives us the opportunity to create a fun and entertaining puzzle to express our selves and be happy ‘playing’ at and with, perhaps not knowing some key [...]


  8. [...] based on the nature of our mental framework. (It reminds me also of how we can get ‘meaning from the puzzle fit‘, like hormones and enzymes and the specificity of their receptors in molecular biology.) And [...]


  9. [...] (and communication) is either lacking or overwhelming. Just as we guess at what the next fitting puzzle piece might look like, so too we guess at how much (and what manner of) resource to spend on guessing in [...]


  10. [...] led impulse and the female led ‘love-symbol’. Even in passion from puzzle pieces (or meaning from puzzle pieces), the idea is to find exterior expression of an interior emotional [...]


  11. [...] I don’t really regret never dating my old high school friend is that she and I never had the fitted-ness of the numinous relationship experience that my wife and I had from very early on in our [...]


  12. [...] 25, 2010 Perhaps I should not have said I have no conscious experience of my genetics, after all I certainly have some experiences because of my genetics, for example medical [...]


  13. [...] Scientific specimens to be dissected and studied“. It’s the very essence of the idea of meaning from puzzle pieces and passion from puzzle pieces – and my writings here might aptly be labeled some sort of [...]


  14. [...] on the whole of lesser importance than how well an individual manages to assimilate the new ‘puzzle piece’ of meaningful experience with other meaning derived from their various interior constructs – i.e. the nature of [...]


  15. [...] imprecision of language and of symbols gives us the opportunity to create a fun and entertaining puzzle to express our selves and be happy ‘playing’ at and with, perhaps not knowing some key [...]


  16. [...] coherent subjective views, is only the current most rigorously arrived at, though yet incomplete, puzzle pieced guess about objective reality. And as guesses, scientific ‘facts’ and theories are [...]


  17. [...] forms and spectra, are both (all) systematic ways of predicting the fitted-ness of the experienced puzzle pieces to individual interior constructs. And the debate between them seems less about having a more [...]


  18. [...] think also suggests a far more interesting, interactive, ’both-and’ sort of ‘puzzle-pieced evaluation’ answer to the retrospective meaning versus immediate experiential meaning [...]


  19. [...] The truly fascinating thing about adequacy and accuracy is how we use them; in conjunction with our mental framework they form an interior symbol compass, by which we can sense when a symbol ‘feels right’, when it is ‘good enough’ for the expression we want. (For an example see the poem-symbol The Endless Battle.)  I believe this ‘feels right’ interior compass sensation is caused by the new symbol’s fitted-ness, functionality and coherence with the general structure and other symbols of our interior mental framework, rather like puzzle pieces of symbol and meaning. [...]


  20. [...] is important to me, but her understanding of my essential truth, her fitting of the last important puzzle piece of me, that I have no other skeletons in my closet, all the above, has meant that she really [...]


  21. [...] – partially because I believe in passion as way of finding meaning in life (here, here and here), but also partially because I’m just romantically inclined – a reason also [...]


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