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Meaningness is both critically important, and frustrating. Important, because it offers a framework that establishes what meaning and purpose are, where they comes from, and how they're made. It confronts many ways meaning isn't made, including "confused" stances that most everyone holds, though few realize: eternalism, nihilism, existentialism, mission, materialism, monism, and dualism. We hold these by adopting systems (religions, philosophies, etc) that require them. After dismantling these, what's left behind is hard to specifically point to, but can be described. It's nebulous, yet has distinct and real patterns. Meaning is real (and cannot be denied), but is fluid (so it cannot be fixed). It is neither objective (given absolutely) nor subjective (chosen by individuals).

The spoiler here is that this is a clever packaging of some Buddhist ideas that haven't previously had clear Western-friendly mappings. It's good, and was particularly meaningful in my own personal path.

It's frustrating to read because it's a web book (though, has a free audio podcast version, which I recommend) that's written for the web. It's been written over many years, with the form making it difficult for me to read linearly, since links jump ahead, behind, and towards glossaries. It also meanders a good bit — because the point is indeed nebulous, for a long while, it feels like he dances around what he wants to say instead of just saying it. It's also incomplete with some placeholders, with placeholders and needs for an overdue edit job

I'm incredibly grateful for David Chapman for his writing, and it's been transformative in my life. Overall, I recommend it, but bring some patience for the unusual format.


These are entirely subjective, and roughly try to capture my personal enjoyment and usefulness, and how likely I'd recommend it to others. Don't read too much into this unless you love my judgement. Rough guidelines:

A: Top quartile. Changed the way I think about something.

B: Worthwhile. I took away something useful.

C: Didn't hit, wouldn't directly recommend. Likely won't revisit.

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