It's odd to think that pearls of wisdom can be found next to pornography. But yes, it can happen. Admittedly it is less likely to happen now that the internet has become the go-to place for stills and videos of people getting together but when magazines used to be king for thrills they sometimes had more than just ladies to interest the men, they had thoughtful pieces too.
Playboy magazine, 1968 contains an extract from a very interesting interview with Stanley Kubrick, the director. I really liked his perspective, he's clearly an existentialist and talks lucidly about how it is each of us that creates our own meaning through the choices we make.
Playboy: “If life is so purposeless, do you feel it’s worth living?”
Kubrick: “Yes, for those who manage somehow to cope with our mortality. The very meaninglessness of life forces a man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre (a keen enjoyment of living), their idealism - and their assumption of immortality.
The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent;
As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But if he’s reasonably strong - and lucky - he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s élan (enthusiastic and assured vigour and liveliness).
Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining.
The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death - however mutable man may be able to make them - our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfilment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”
The full article is quite staggering, considering when it was written. It's definitely worth checking out, if nothing else to ponder the scale of what we don't know and to realise that what we do know is so infinitesimally small that to draw conclusions is futile. It's best just to wonder and smile and admire the vastness of possibilities and be glad that, in universal terms, everything is as it should be.
Full article can be found here.