Two Brutal Epiphanies

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    Jun 01, 2012 1:23 PM GMT
    Today, I woke up to clear blue skies, a magnificent ocean just a 2-minute walk away, a hearty breakfast and a happy, healthy family. I also happen to be dating the best-looking guy I've ever seen. 3 years now.

    And I couldn't keep two realizations at bay anymore.

    1.) Damn. I'm so blessed.

    2.) Damn. There is nothing to live for.

    There's no purpose to life. Nada. Zilch. There is no objective reason why humanity "should" enjoy life. There is no objective, rock-bottom reason that happiness should be better than unhappiness. The persons around me are just as transient and as human as I am; none of us will exist in a million years. And though we understand ourselves to be "here", we might as well be nowhere because "here" is an infinitesimal speck of dust floating in the empty house that is the cosmos. But there is no one home.

    It's not that I'm ungrateful. It's just that there is no one to be grateful to. Up until 5 minutes ago I had a settled belief in God. But I see through it now: faith is an orientation that may or may not be congruent with reality. Unless you're happy to wait to find out whether it is, you can't help "seeing through" your own worldview. But once you see through your worldview, you also see through your world. Seeing through the world, in effect, means that you see nothing because everything you could have seen, you are now seeing through. A perfectly translucent world is a perfectly invisible one. So I now see "nothing", for I have seen through everything.

    Truth be told, I'm in despair. No one can tell. It's easy to pretend that everything is normal. But I long for a morning on which I would just not wake up. It's exhausting doing something as time-consuming as life when there is no real reason to do it. Sleep is the most natural state of being because it obeys a simple rule of logic: when you don't have any reason to do anything, don't do anything. So who's this song-and-dance for? I really don't get it. Two days ago I rose, took care of myself and tried to live a good life with a view on someday seeing God. I could not settle for a lesser dream, my heart could not be contented with a smaller Good.

    But someday is a dream, and the absence of God leaves a void much too small for even the whole world to fill. The world - with its possible one-night-stands and acts of kindness towards others - would just be a distraction from the fact that I'm settling for far less than I logically could settle for. Eternal love and meaning, I can work towards; goodness or pleasure that one day is, and the next day is gone, I cannot settle for. Platitudes about how "this moment is all that matters" are a clever way to ignore that nothing good lasts forever. How can people realize THAT truth and not feel very sad?
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    Jun 01, 2012 1:32 PM GMT
    You need only look underneath the beauty of your own world into the gruesome reality of another's to find meaning. Cause life's greatest joys usually come from helping others, as we in turn learn to help ourselves. The opposite, but no less true version of this is those who usually turn mutual hatred against somebody as a means of bonding. It's cruel and destructive, but cause the same the same "unity by division" all to easily taken by people nowadays. Find something that concerns you; like a charity or cause in your neighborhood or city or state, lend a hand and share your Joy and Happiness. Then you'll find purpose. Volunteering is a noble cause, and Great Way to meet worthwhile people.
    Best of Luck to you, and Hope you enjoy "the fruits of your labor".
    icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_cool.gificon_wink.gificon_idea.gif
  • a303guy

    Posts: 829

    Jun 01, 2012 1:38 PM GMT
    That you recognize there is no God is an important first step, and I understand your feelings of emptiness - I went through the same process.

    The second step you must take is to transfer that faith, belief and devotion you once placed fully in God, and turn it into faith, belief and devotion in yourself.

    It has nothing to do with being egotistical, it has everything to do with recognizing your place in the world is just as valid as the one everyone else has.

    You can do it, and when you do, every day will be better, both for you, and your partner. Hang in there.
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    Jun 01, 2012 1:53 PM GMT
    I think I know what you mean,

    I have asked myself the same questions you do.
    What exactly does the time and space that we are in right now represent ? If it's all that there is, what are we, just animals who mindlessly follow the rules of this particular universe.

    If the universe is infinite, how did it form, where did matter, life come from. If it's not, trying to picture the limits of the universe is very unsettling. What would you find by crossing the limits, just skies of nothing ? And by nothing, I mean something that we can't even perceive.

    I have personally found peace in faith but I see how it can be limiting. If God uses life to put us through a test, so we can spend the rest of eternity somewhere else , what purpose would it have. The world as we know it would basically just serve as , I don't know, entertainment, and would only represent a small fraction of our time as beings.

    I'd love to discuss this further, there are so many questions with no answers icon_biggrin.gificon_neutral.gif
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    Jun 01, 2012 1:55 PM GMT
    JoyfullyRandom saidYou need only look underneath the beauty of your own world into the gruesome reality of another's to find meaning. Cause life's greatest joys usually come from helping others, as we in turn learn to help ourselves. The opposite, but no less true version of this is those who usually turn mutual hatred against somebody as a means of bonding. It's cruel and destructive, but cause the same the same "unity by division" all to easily taken by people nowadays. Find something that concerns you; like a charity or cause in your neighborhood or city or state, lend a hand and share your Joy and Happiness. Then you'll find purpose. Volunteering is a noble cause, and Great Way to meet worthwhile people.
    Best of Luck to you, and Hope you enjoy "the fruits of your labor".
    icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_cool.gificon_wink.gificon_idea.gif


    *Hugging*

    While I don't grasp this response in its totality, I feel very nourished by the energy behind it. Thank you.
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    Jun 01, 2012 1:57 PM GMT
    There is no reason that having no belief in a god leads to a life without meaning or purpose. You just don't believe a "superior being" guides you anymore, that can be a scary and powerful awakening. Scary and powerful for the same reason: You get to decide your path in life!

    Once I accepted there is no god, finding meaning wasn't too hard, Life is full of suffering, so help others deal with the pain that has always been part of life. Compassion is powerful and helps you as much as the person you are helping.

    And enjoy the beauty and mysteries of this randomly created Universe. Right now, our civilization is the only one (that we know of) that is experiencing the chaotic wonders of the Universe, and we can share that experience with others. In a sense, we are the eyes of the Universe, we are the voice of the Universe, we are the Universe trying to understand itself. Just because there is no god, does not mean we cannot be part of something that is greater than ourselves.

    Peace
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    Jun 01, 2012 2:06 PM GMT
    a303guy saidThat you recognize there is no God is an important first step, and I understand your feelings of emptiness - I went through the same process.

    The second step you must take is to transfer that faith, belief and devotion you once placed fully in God, and turn it into faith, belief and devotion in yourself.

    It has nothing to do with being egotistical, it has everything to do with recognizing your place in the world is just as valid as the one everyone else has.

    You can do it, and when you do, every day will be better, both for you, and your partner. Hang in there.


    This one is rather tricky. I don't "recognize that there is no God", I simply recognize that "faith is an orientation that may or may not be congruent with reality". But I don't have the inside scoop on ultimate reality. I don't have the "insider knowledge" to exhaustively explain so much as an atom, let alone all of reality sufficiently enough to conclude, "There is no God." The only being that could properly reach such a conclusion would be an omniscient being. I don't have to point out the absurdity there.

    What kills me is that while I have seen what can only be called eerie proof that there may be a God, I have never had a sustained "feeling" that God was even remotely interested in my existence. God probably exists - I'm sure he does - but it doesn't matter. The universe feels cold anyway. On the basis of immediate sense-data, I would say that an omnipotent, omniscient God exists and is infinitely apathetic towards humanity's existence. He set the show up, and then disappeared to let it run itself. We're orphans - nay: bastards - of an unfeeling father. But I don't know for sure. While I can't comment on the objective existence of God, I can tell you about the subjective experience - the eclipse of meaning.

    I agree with your point that I should love myself more, though.
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    Jun 01, 2012 2:10 PM GMT
    If hypothetically Heaven did exist and everything was perfect, wouldn't you be in the same state you think you are in now? Your existence would be without purpose or a goals, because you no longer have anything to strive for.

    I don't know your situation, but it sounds like you are going through a state of shock. You where so invested in the idea that happiness is derived from a 'greater purpose' that once that is taken away you are left questioning everything.

    This is similar to someone defining their existence by how successful they are at work, only to lose their job during the GFC. Or by their romantic connection only to be dumped. When it gets taken away it is going to hurt.

    There might not be a greater purpose to work towards, but that doesn't mean there is no purpose to your existence at all, you are enriching the lives of your friends and family aren't you?

    We only get one go round on this great blue ball... so why not just enjoy it?

    Maybe this song will cheer you up.



    One of the youtube commentators wrote
    "There is more wisdom in this song than in any Chinese cookie I've ever had"
    and I think there is much truth in that.
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    Jun 01, 2012 2:19 PM GMT
    medfordguy saidThere is no reason that having no belief in a god leads to a life without meaning or purpose. You just don't believe a "superior being" guides you anymore, that can be a scary and powerful awakening. Scary and powerful for the same reason: You get to decide your path in life!

    Once I accepted there is no god, finding meaning wasn't too hard, Life is full of suffering, so help others deal with the pain that has always been part of life. Compassion is powerful and helps you as much as the person you are helping.

    And enjoy the beauty and mysteries of this randomly created Universe. Right now, our civilization is the only one (that we know of) that is experiencing the chaotic wonders of the Universe, and we can share that experience with others. In a sense, we are the eyes of the Universe, we are the voice of the Universe, we are the Universe trying to understand itself. Just because there is no god, does not mean we cannot be part of something that is greater than ourselves.

    Peace


    This is a beautiful answer. But I question whether it is sound. It seems to underscore our finitude and transience without offering permanent, satisfying relief from those realities.

    You may be comfortable with creating meaning for yourself, but I couldn't. I can't help "seeing through" self-created meaning as well, which renders it, in the long run, meaningless.

    I look at the most beautiful male models on the internet and realize that past all the lighting, the make-up and all of these other effects that sort of reflect a plane ruled by beauty and divinity and permanence, there is only a human being. The same thing happens when I consider a meaning-to-life value statement provided by a human being. It has all the trimmings of meaning, but in the end, none of its substance.
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Jun 01, 2012 2:22 PM GMT
    Pretty deep stuff and wonderful to explore. We have a choice everyday to have despair for our reality or embrace it for everything it's worth. Regardless of our beliefs about God or the universe, we are living now. What choice is going to ultimately provide happiness to you and others? How do you want to live your life? And does the existence of something greater or more really matter when you make your daily choices?

    I know you can make the argument that it's all pointless, we're still going to die. And in the big cosmos, does anything we do really matter? Things don't have to matter in the grand scheme to matter in life. Hugging a child...does that matter? It certainly won't change the ultimate fate of the planet, but it may provide hope and love to someone who needs it. Does that provide meaning and purpose?

    Do the things we do every day make a difference? We can choose to believe that they do. Or we can choose to believe they don't. That choice will dictate how you see, interact and exist in this world.

    Is there more beyond? Lots of arguments can be made without any way to substantiate or prove. If you want to explore deeper, I suggest some of Eckhart Tolle's work, The Power of Now and A New Earth. His work will take you to a deeper level as you shed your "thinking" ego that has brought you to your current turmoil and lead you to a place of more peace with your reality.

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    Jun 01, 2012 2:28 PM GMT
    As a trained physicist, I have always been fascinated by the discordance between time and space in human psychology. In physics, time is really just a fourth dimension, tied to the other ones by simple conversion factors. Yes, while we don't say things like, "this street is useless because it ends in two miles," we say things like, "happiness is useless because it is fleeting."

    I guess the problem is that, while we can usually see ahead in space, we can't see ahead in time. That generates a time-anxiety we don't routinely feel in space - maybe we could compare it to walking around in the dark, which causes anxieties, too.

    If you look at it from an absolute perspective, though, the fact that happiness ends doesn't make it worse at all. Ask yourself: would a beautiful thought be more beautiful if you spent 5 years thinking about it instead of 5 minutes? Would a painting be more beautiful if it were painted on a canvas the size of a football field? Would a sunset be more beautiful if it lasted 12 days instead of 12 minutes?

    The same type of happiness gets boring after a while, like all things that last forever. I am happy to be happy, I am happy things will change, and I look forward to the next time I am going to be happy again.
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    Jun 01, 2012 2:33 PM GMT
    Saad22 said
    I have personally found peace in faith but I see how it can be limiting. If God uses life to put us through a test, so we can spend the rest of eternity somewhere else , what purpose would it have. The world as we know it would basically just serve as , I don't know, entertainment, and would only represent a small fraction of our time as beings. icon_biggrin.gificon_neutral.gif


    This sent a cold shock through me - I'm in exactly the same place. I sit in church listening to the pastor. I have more proof for the pastor's belief than he does himself. I can argue for his beliefs better than he can. I am the consummate Christian apologist.

    But this ^^^. I sometimes just wanna scream, "He was bored! God was bored!" I look at the amount of work that would have gone into creating one human body, and I am stumped at the level of sheer boredom God would have had to have been suffering from in order to invest so much time and effort into creation. Creation thus fails its purpose as soon as it is done: it is not a revelation of divine joy but of divine boredom. The boredom of God is directly proportional with the amount of detail He put into the world. The beauty of the world is thus God's confession about the vacuity of existence: not even God has the answers.

    If He did, He wouldn't have created anything.
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    Jun 01, 2012 2:38 PM GMT
    themachine saidAs a trained physicist, I have always been fascinated by the discordance between time and space in human psychology. In physics, time is really just a fourth dimension, tied to the other ones by simple conversion factors. Yes, while we don't say things like, "this street is useless because it ends in two miles," we say things like, "happiness is useless because it is fleeting."

    I guess the problem is that, while we can usually see ahead in space, we can't see ahead in time. That generates a time-anxiety we don't routinely feel in space - maybe we could compare it to walking around in the dark, which causes anxieties, too.

    If you look at it from an absolute perspective, though, the fact that happiness ends doesn't make it worse at all. Ask yourself: would a beautiful thought be more beautiful if you spent 5 years thinking about it instead of 5 minutes? Would a painting be more beautiful if it were painted on a canvas the size of a football field? Would a sunset be more beautiful if it lasted 12 days instead of 12 minutes?

    The same type of happiness gets boring after a while, like all things that last forever. I am happy to be happy, I am happy things will change, and I look forward to the next time I am going to be happy again.


    I'm stealing this here whole paragraph^^^
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    Jun 01, 2012 2:40 PM GMT
    My gosh.
    *brings out christian self*

    Some of the atheists here may want to look away or suspend disbelief for a few moments.

    TW, you don't need a creed, dogma, or organized religion to believe god exists.

    Life is full of joys, just as it's full of tragedies. Sometimes it seems pointless, just meaningless gray scribbling on a gray sky in a high wind. icon_wink.gif
    Other times it's rich and full of joys and amazing, like going from a black and white picture to technicolour. I think it's part of the journey, and that we should have patience with ourselves.

    So while we're waiting, there's this:

    G Eliot: "What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”

    a warm hug,

    -Doug



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    Jun 01, 2012 2:42 PM GMT
    Yes, life is transient, it always has been, always will be. But everything we think of as permanent has always changed and comes to an end. This world, our Sun, will end one day. And that is the way of the Universe, with or without religion or god.

    I enjoy a beautiful summer day because I know that winter will be cold and brutal. I enjoy the beauty of a flower even the color will fade from the bud and it will wilt and die. There is beauty in transience.

    And truly, what more meaning to life has religion given. Judeo/Christian/Islamic tradition says be good in this life to get rewarded in the next life, when there is no proof of a next life. Isn't it better to seek reward in this life? And I am not looking for material reward, but something simpler. I just want peace within myself, to find compassion when I need, and provide compassion to others when they need it.

    A year ago (almost to the day), I was diagnosed with HIV. I would say that was the lowest point in my life. I could have dwelt in the darkness and the despair that was ever so close to me. But my friends and family have shown an amazing amount of support and compassion that kept me from that darkness. There is no way I could call that meaningless. They touched my life, made me stronger, gave me a strength I didn't know was in me. That is not meaningless. Never think that easing another's suffering is meaningless. It means more than you know.

    I know I carry death within me, but that will not stop me from enjoying this life and helping other, even if that help is simply being a shoulder to cry on, or just a friend who will listen to you.
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    Jun 01, 2012 2:47 PM GMT
    JPtheBITCH saidHere's the brutal truth, sweet thing:

    There is no plan. There is no divine purpose, nor indeed any divine. Almost everything that we are, everything that happens to us, is a form of accident.

    That doesn't mean life is meaningless. Far from it. It just means that you have to learn to invest the meaning into it yourself.


    How does a contingent, accidental being "invest meaning" into anything? How do you randomly snatch the word "meaning" out of the vocabulary that would properly belong only to a purposeful reality (yet eschew belief in that reality's existence) and then bring that word here, where you yourself admit exists no meaning, and then plant it like a flag on foreign territory?

    You say that life has no plan or purpose. Then you tell me, an accidental, purposeless and unintentional contingency, to create the meaning out of thin air. I might as well create a new primary color or solar system while I'm at it. The three tasks sound equally impossible to me.

    I love you, JP, and I still wish you'd accept my marriage proposal. But I lose my sanity trying to make sense of your worldview. (I suppose you experience the same with mine)
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    Jun 01, 2012 2:55 PM GMT
    medfordguy saidYes, life is transient, it always has been, always will be. But everything we think of as permanent has always changed and comes to an end. This world, our Sun, will end one day. And that is the way of the Universe, with or without religion or god.

    I enjoy a beautiful summer day because I know that winter will be cold and brutal. I enjoy the beauty of a flower even the color will fade from the bud and it will wilt and die. There is beauty in transience.

    And truly, what more meaning to life has religion given. Judeo/Christian/Islamic tradition says be good in this life to get rewarded in the next life, when there is no proof of a next life. Isn't it better to seek reward in this life? And I am not looking for material reward, but something simpler. I just want peace within myself, to find compassion when I need, and provide compassion to others when they need it.

    A year ago (almost to the day), I was diagnosed with HIV. I would say that was the lowest point in my life. I could have dwelt in the darkness and the despair that was ever so close to me. But my friends and family have shown an amazing amount of support and compassion that kept me from that darkness. There is no way I could call that meaningless. They touched my life, made me stronger, gave me a strength I didn't know was in me. That is not meaningless. Never think that easing another's suffering is meaningless. It means more than you know.

    I know I carry death within me, but that will not stop me from enjoying this life and helping other, even if that help is simply being a shoulder to cry on, or just a friend who will listen to you.


    If proof of life after death is what you're looking for, then you'll be impressed by evidence for the resurrection of one Jesus. The only condition for appreciating this evidence is objectivity. So don't read any interpretation of evidence that has an a-priori commitment to naturalistic explanations.

    I don't think you carry death within you. The words you're speaking could be the words of life. And the "simple" things you wish for may be doorways into some of the loftiest states of being possible for human beings - I've been there. I just wasn't able to stay there.
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    Jun 01, 2012 3:02 PM GMT
    If you are a significant part of someone else life, such as a friend, or care giver, lover, etc, then your life has meaning.
    I hope that you can draw happiness from that.
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    Jun 01, 2012 3:02 PM GMT
    JP said,

    "The only meaning a life can have on this little blue ball whirling through infinity is the effect we have on one another. If you want to leave a lasting impression on the planet, then love someone . Love him or her so much that your absence later becomes a noticeable ripple in the fabric of being. Love groups of people; help them improve their lives. Love an idea so much that you pursue the knowledge of it to wherever it leads----but then don't bury that knowledge or it will have been meaningless. Share it---teach, write, publish, disseminate.

    Those are meanings and you make them happen. And at the root of all is love. Of someone or some thing or idea."

    *gets uncontrollable surge of happiness reading this*
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    Jun 01, 2012 3:04 PM GMT
    JPtheBITCH said
    The_Watchers saidI love you, JP, and I still wish you'd accept my marriage proposal. But I lose my sanity trying to make sense of your worldview. (I suppose you experience the same with mine)

    The only meaning a life can have on this little blue ball whirling through infinity is the effect we have on one another. If you want to leave a lasting impression on the planet, then love someone . Love him or her so much that your absence later becomes a noticeable ripple in the fabric of being. Love groups of people; help them improve their lives. Love an idea so much that you pursue the knowledge of it to wherever it leads----but then don;t bury that knowledge or it will have been meaningless. Share it---teach, write, publish, disseminate.

    Those are meanings and you make them happen. And at the root of all is love. Of someone or some thing or idea.


    I like it. It's a very nice response, JP. Love as the ultimate goal. Let's try to get the world on board - to get wars to cease and poverty to disappear :-D I'm sure we could do it if we tried..

    But first we'd have to start with the flame wars on some of these threads. Anyone notice how they're less of them compared to 2 weeks ago?
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    Jun 01, 2012 3:07 PM GMT
    meninlove said JP said,

    "The only meaning a life can have on this little blue ball whirling through infinity is the effect we have on one another. If you want to leave a lasting impression on the planet, then love someone . Love him or her so much that your absence later becomes a noticeable ripple in the fabric of being. Love groups of people; help them improve their lives. Love an idea so much that you pursue the knowledge of it to wherever it leads----but then don't bury that knowledge or it will have been meaningless. Share it---teach, write, publish, disseminate.

    Those are meanings and you make them happen. And at the root of all is love. Of someone or some thing or idea."

    *gets uncontrollable surge of happiness reading this*


    I know, hey? Beautiful. Very beautiful.
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Jun 01, 2012 3:16 PM GMT
    It is often said - mostly by the religious - that a universe without a deity to dictate your purpose or a universe without a plan and purpose written into it is somehow a meaningless one.

    I have never understood this way of thinking. I do not need the entire universe to have me in mind for my life to have meaning or purpose, nor do you. And a purpose that is given to you or dictated or preordained in some way turns you into a puppet, doesnt it? Self generated purpose is the only kind worth anything, not purpose given to you by gods or fates or any other mythological fiction.

    If you keep looking for purpose in gods and heavens and other non-existent places you will keep turning up empty. As soon as you generate purpose in your life from your own values and desires and goals you will be much better off.
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    Jun 01, 2012 3:16 PM GMT
    The_Watchers saidToday, I woke up to clear blue skies, a magnificent ocean just a 2-minute walk away, a hearty breakfast and a happy, healthy family. I also happen to be dating the best-looking guy I've ever seen. 3 years now.

    And I couldn't keep two realizations at bay anymore.

    1.) Damn. I'm so blessed.

    2.) Damn. There is nothing to live for.

    There's no purpose to life. Nada. Zilch. There is no objective reason why humanity "should" enjoy life. There is no objective, rock-bottom reason that happiness should be better than unhappiness. The persons around me are just as transient and as human as I am; none of us will exist in a million years. And though we understand ourselves to be "here", we might as well be nowhere because "here" is an infinitesimal speck of dust floating in the empty house that is the cosmos. But there is no one home.

    It's not that I'm ungrateful. It's just that there is no one to be grateful to. Up until 5 minutes ago I had a settled belief in God. But I see through it now: faith is an orientation that may or may not be congruent with reality. Unless you're happy to wait to find out whether it is, you can't help "seeing through" your own worldview. But once you see through your worldview, you also see through your world. Seeing through the world, in effect, means that you see nothing because everything you could have seen, you are now seeing through. A perfectly translucent world is a perfectly invisible one. So I now see "nothing", for I have seen through everything.

    Truth be told, I'm in despair. No one can tell. It's easy to pretend that everything is normal. But I long for a morning on which I would just not wake up. It's exhausting doing something as time-consuming as life when there is no real reason to do it. Sleep is the most natural state of being because it obeys a simple rule of logic: when you don't have any reason to do anything, don't do anything. So who's this song-and-dance for? I really don't get it. Two days ago I rose, took care of myself and tried to live a good life with a view on someday seeing God. I could not settle for a lesser dream, my heart could not be contented with a smaller Good.

    But someday is a dream, and the absence of God leaves a void much too small for even the whole world to fill. The world - with its possible one-night-stands and acts of kindness towards others - would just be a distraction from the fact that I'm settling for far less than I logically could settle for. Eternal love and meaning, I can work towards; goodness or pleasure that one day is, and the next day is gone, I cannot settle for. Platitudes about how "this moment is all that matters" are a clever way to ignore that nothing good lasts forever. How can people realize THAT truth and not feel very sad?


    Congratulations! You're having what is called an "Existential Crisis"! I had my first one at age 19, then another at age 35. The one at age 35 is more like the one you are having now. I had "everything", and yet at the same time I felt like, "Is this all there is?" My whole life felt like a mirror shattering, and I was left standing to pick up the pieces. "What mattered? What should I pick up? Why bother?"

    BTW, it was only at about age 40-something-ish that I even learned that "Existential Crisis" had a name.

    Although you can work through this on your own. You and your partner may want to take best advantage of this opportunity to work through this together. By doing this together, you may help him to avoid an existential crisis AND as you "find your bearings" have the best chance of the both of you coming through this as a couple.

    I suggest employing a "Life Coach" if you can afford it. The investment will be worth your time and effort. Again, you can "go it solo". In hindsight, I wish I had employed a life coach at my Age 35 existential crisis.

    In short, you've got to be able ponder your life to date and acknowledge all of your actions...both good and bad. At some point, you've got to clean out any underlying issues which may have you thinking either "I'm the shit!" or "I am shit". You've got to have a real view of what you've done, both good and bad.
    You've also got to take an inventory of all your strengths and weaknesses. Again, get to the root of any superiority or inferiority thinking. You've got to touch this base. It may take a short time, or more time. But you've got to get this in order first.

    Then, you've then got to be able to answer the following questions IN ORDER:
    1. "Who am I?" (Ideally, in one succinct sentence. I must be something you are not afraid to say to somebody's face with conviction.)
    2. "What are my values?" (More of a list.)
    3. "What is my purpose?" (This one is a little harder. It should be a broad encompassing statement which can cover the long-run, and daily living.)
    4. "What is the next right thing to do with my life? (This can be a daily and moment-by-moment question you ask yourself.)

    With those questions answered (and you will refine them over time), you have a set of "lenses" through which you can view everything in your life. You will find that much of what you have learned and done is still valuable. Pick up and keep those pieces. You may find that some of what you have learned or acquired no longer has value. Let go of, and discard those pieces.

    If you do this, you may grow. This is why I suggest doing this with your partner. If you grow to a new level and he doesn't, you two may grow apart. Doing these things first in isolation, then bringing your results to the table to share can give you both insight into each other which builds trust, shares vulnerabilities, deepens mutual understanding, and can then help you two to align what comes next...Traditional "goal setting" and "personal action planning".

    Keep in mind, he may not want to do this. Unfortunately, you can't force others to be introspective. You will have a choice. Go forward, or stay back.

    Your lives may dramatically change from working through this period.

    I hope this is of some help. It will not be easy. It may be painful. However, when you come through the other side you will be poised to enjoy the next leg of your journey with an amazing and fresh outlook on life.

    Aloha and Be Well!
    Alan
  • swimmer8671

    Posts: 429

    Jun 01, 2012 3:44 PM GMT
    Looks like you were finally introduced to philosophy. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 01, 2012 3:52 PM GMT
    To me, JP and Joyfully have both shared some real nuggets of wisdom here. The only meaning of life is the meaning we create for ourselves.

    Look inside and get to know yourself. That's where "God" truly exists.