Personal Credo - Claude

‘Claude’ ponders on the passing of the generations and sees a need for us to think about our place in the world.

A transcript follows of the videos below.

The question: You’re asking about what fundamental issues in what I do is important, either about my attitude to life or about the world. It’s two parts – (one) how in what pattern do I transmute my daily experiences so that they make sense of the whole, and – (two) my thoughts about my place in the cosmos or general.


I do think about life. i do think about philosophy, and contact in connection with life. I think about the sciences; I think about biology; I think about physics. I’m not a physicist or a biologist but I’m very intrigued by the writings in physics by physicists and the way they see the universe. I’m similarly very interested in the world of biology, especially the concept of evolution and the fact that life goes on and on and on. It’s like a process that we’re all involved in. There is this sort of cycle of life that is continuous, one generation comes and does its thing, then the next generation comes along, and eventually we come into the … We eventually emerge on this planet and then however many years later we then just disappear and we’re forgotten and new people come along, etc, etc. That fascinates me. It’s both, it’s kind of history and biology and everything in a way, this process of life. The whole process fascinates me.

i suppose I’ve been in a sense getting away from philosophers that were either too rationalistic or too mechanical or too materialistic and thinking about life as a as a living thing. So I’m kind of thinking about life more in terms of something like what Bergson talks about – creative evolution or the alarm (sic) futile and that process.

We try and think about our place in the cosmos or how you relate this to one’s own situation. Obviously I’m aware very much of the philosophies of the existentialists who thought there could be no kind of rationality and that we’re just thrown into this world. It’s observed that there is no meaning to our lives except for the meanings that we create ourselves but I think it’s more complicated than that.

I think we have to look into ourselves and we have to look into the world. We have to try and understand the world and our place in it and what and what we can contribute to the process. We all know that there will be an end to it at some level, in other words of our form as we come into this world and that we’re living for a period of time and then we disappear off this earth. I don’t know whether there’s such a thing as an afterlife. I don’t know whether I’ve been reincarnated before and this is my one of my many reincarnations or whether we just have this one life. We do what we do and then we disappear.

I suppose within that context I try and I try and understand as much as I can of the world. I try and understand my relationship to other people in the world. I try and understand my relationship to ideas and ideologies and various other things. I try and understand what it is that I can contribute to this world because I would like to leave this world if I could – in some terms – in a better place, having made a contribution of some nature however small to the world in terms of either creating something of beauty such as a lovely song or beautiful poetry or something which adds something to the world; and having reached a level of understanding and comprehension of the world which enables me to reach (a certain) level I suppose of wisdom. I have a very strong feeling, I suppose, that my existence has been worthwhile.

Obviously, there are lots of things that happen in one’s lifetime and one has to deal sometimes with strategies, one has to deal sometimes with very good things as well as to try and understand the meaning of those (other) things that happen to you and how to take those things. So I think a large part of life is learning how to actually adjust to life, how to take life, how to deal with it, how not to be defeated by life but to appreciate its joy and the optimism of life and accept it all.

I think Nietzsche was a sort of (indistinct) rather than a denier of life in the way that maybe Schopenhauer was (not?)