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Topic: Is life pointless? Isn't everything just meaningless?

Anonymous A started this discussion 6.7 years ago #709

It all seems so pointless, to me. Everything I ever do, my life, my dreams, my hopes & fears, my emotions, and every thought I ever have has no meaning whatsoever. It will all come to an end eventually, and I'll most likely be forgotten within years (if I'm lucky).

If I have children, I might be remembered for a while, but eventually I'll be forgotten and everything I've ever done or hoped to do, every dream I've dreamt, and every thought I've ever had will have been completely meaningless and pointless.

Some people believe in God, and the afterlife, but not me. I don't understand how anyone can even bear to go through all the crap they do their entire lives, and still have the will to live.

Why doesn't everyone just kill themselves now? What's the point in continuing?

Anonymous B joined in and replied with this 6.7 years ago, 7 minutes later[^] [v] #0

If you're extremely lucky, you'll get good grades, get a job, get married and have children, and then you'll die. After a while your genes will become less prominent, until there's no trace of "you" left whatsoever. Your memories will be forgotten, and so will you, eventually.

I struggle to accept that, let alone find any peace in it. I dunno.

Anonymous C joined in and replied with this 6.7 years ago, 3 minutes later, 10 minutes after the original post[^] [v] #0

I don't think Dr Robert has ever touched on life and its apparent pointlessness...

Would be interesting to hear Dr Robert's views on life. He always has interesting and insightful replies.

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 6.7 years ago, 22 seconds later, 11 minutes after the original post[^] [v] #0

You will become one of the many forgotten faces returned to ash. It's almost romantic.

Anonymous C replied with this 6.7 years ago, 4 minutes later, 15 minutes after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Yes, but doesn't that thought scare you? Why even bother carrying on living if ultimately everything you do is pointless?

Jennifer replied with this 6.7 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 hour after the original post[^] [v] #0

death, in general, scares the shit outta me...

but how about this... you die many times while you are "alive". You don't know what comes after each death until it happens and you are just as afraid of those. Each death, once experienced, has its rewards though. So, who's to say that one death is any different? Just a thought...

(Edited 4 minutes later.)

Anonymous B replied with this 6.7 years ago, 3 minutes later, 1 hour after the original post[^] [v] #0

It's more the leaving everyone behind, and never seeing what the future will hold for our planet, that scares me. Also how I die concerns me. I wouldn't want to drown or die a slow and pain-filled death from lung cancer like my grandad.

And I'm probably more concerned with losing those around me, than dying myself.

Jennifer replied with this 6.7 years ago, 52 seconds later, 1 hour after the original post[^] [v] #0

I edited

Hexi joined in and replied with this 6.7 years ago, 55 minutes later, 2 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Life has as much meaning as you give it. Does death scare me? No, but i don't want to die either, i like living. Is it all pointless? Yeah but so what? Does it NEED to have some meaning? Are you that important to the universe that there must be some deeper meaning? No. The reason you are here, complaining about the pointlessness of it all is because everyone of your bloodline before you lived. Maybe you don't make any difference to anything but if you have children, they or their children might one day down the line accomplish something meaningful, a cure for something for example and then, you and everyone before you had meaning. If you take one person out of the link, that person would never exist.

The only meaningless thing about life is hoarding stuff and amassing fortune, wasting your life acquiring things you don't need. Spend your life doing the things YOU enjoy and then die content.

Cassandra joined in and replied with this 6.7 years ago, 56 minutes later, 3 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

I think love is the reason people continue living. We're wired for it.

Hexi replied with this 6.7 years ago, 8 minutes later, 3 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I've never felt love yet i live quite happily.

Anonymous B replied with this 6.7 years ago, 5 hours later, 8 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> Maybe you don't make any difference to anything but if you have children, they or their children might one day down the line accomplish something meaningful, a cure for something for example and then, you and everyone before you had meaning. If you take one person out of the link, that person would never exist.
That's actually quite a reassuring thought. I like that. :)

Egoist joined in and replied with this 6.7 years ago, 6 hours later, 14 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

I was originally going to answer the question with some pat-on-the-back reply, but then I realized I'm struggling with the same thing myself. Personally, I have to live to figure out whether or not it is pointless. I don't think anyone can answer that question for me, since what I figure out, my ultimate truth, may seem absolutely pointless to someone else. Or to everyone else for all I know. To me, however, it may mean everything. I wouldn't give two cents about whether or not some race called humans would remember me or not. I would regard my life as pointless even if every living being worshipped me eternally. I do take pleasure in small things, though. Every time I've helped someone voluntarily my life seems less pointless. I also take pleasure in large things.
Although space is vast, my ego is even bigger. To store it I need at least eleven dimensions. I personally would be satisfied if I was able to discover every dimension, every space, all time and all life. Then I would consider my life meaningful.
Just reflecting my thoughts here.

dr-robert joined in and replied with this 6.7 years ago, 1 hour later, 16 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

OK, Anonymous C, you got it:

The idea that "life is pointless" arises due to the false idea that human beings are the center of life, and that human desires, fears, beliefs, and motivations have some special significance. That idea is a massive contraction and dumbing down of what life really isa complete and total mysterious vastness of unspeakable complexity. What we call "life," or "nature" will never be understood by any human being. Humans are part of lifea very, very small part, actually--and the part can never comprehend the whole. The idea that the part must have a "meaning," and ought to understand that meaning, is both terribly arrogant and terribly foolish. Life, "nature," that is, obviously does not see human beings as the center of anything. The grass comes up every spring regardless of what you think about it.

When you believe in things which are not truein this case that "you" are the center of something, or that "you" (the imagined or fantasized you, I mean) must "be here" for some particular purpose or destinyyou suffer. In this case the suffering is called "the feeling of meaninglessness." When you know that you not the center of anythingwhen you awaken, in other words, to the vastness of realityyou will no longer ask what the "point" is. Such a question would never even arise.

Jennifer replied with this 6.7 years ago, 1 hour later, 17 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

I don't know if this is off topic so please don't get upset with me if it is. I'll start a new thread if it is just let me know.
Ok, while I agree with most of what you said in the first paragraph the part about human desires, fears, beliefs, and motivations having special significance being a false idea I can't say that I do. Are you saying that in relation to the outside "life" the internal "life" is meaningless? I guess I see it as I am not the center of the world but I am the center of me and I am here in the world so there must be a reason. Not that I would ever know what the reason is but if there is no reason I should not be here and would not be here.

dr-robert replied with this 6.7 years ago, 58 minutes later, 18 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

No, Jen. I am saying that asking to know the "point of life" is a meaningless exercise. Life is everything that is alive, not just one little human body. When your body dies, life will go on just as it always has--neither more or less meaningful for the fact of your life and death.

You don't ask what the point of a tree is, or the meaning of a tree. You don't ask what the point is of being a tiger, or a dolphin. They are simply alive, and you accept that for what it is (I assume). When it comes to oneself, however, then "I am here just like a tree or a dolphin, and I will be here, just like them, until I die" somehow is not good enough. This is outrageous arrogance, and stunning self-centeredness. That arrogance and self-centeredness are the problem--the source of the entire question "what is the point?" or "how do I find meaning?" Our situation as humans is not any kind of problem unless, by arrogance and self-centeredness, we make it one.

When your parents had sex, they did so in pursuit of their own pleasure, and in response to innate genetic programming, not to create something "meaningful." Their sex was no more or less "meaningful" than the sexual mating of any other species. Your body is the automatic result of that genetically driven, pleasure-seeking activity. In other words, sexuality evolved so that humans are tricked into fertilizing eggs in exchange for a good fuck. Suddenly, consciousness is present due to a brain. Your parents did not create that brain, and either did you. In other words, that consciousness does not belong to you at all. What you are accustomed to calling "me" or "myself" is one small feature arising in that field of consciousness along with everything else that you call "the world." Immediately upon birthactually some weeks prior to birthconsciousness begins to be modified by experiencesmany of them imposed culturallywhich lead it to imagine all kinds of things which, upon careful examination, are simply false. This is the process I tried to point out in the Awakening Never Ends thread.

So now, by an automatic processsexual activity, fertilization, birth, and cultural programminga new "myself" arises, and someone wants to ask the "point" of that? Give me a break.

Jennifer replied with this 6.7 years ago, 59 minutes later, 19 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> You don't ask what the point of a tree is, or the meaning of a tree. You don't ask what the point is of being a tiger, or a dolphin. They are simply alive, and you accept that for what it is (I assume). When it comes to oneself, however, then "I am here just like a tree or a dolphin, and I will be here, just like them, until I die" somehow is not good enough. This is outrageous arrogance, and stunning self-centeredness. That arrogance and self-centeredness are the problem--the source of the entire question "what is the point?" or "how do I find meaning?" Our situation as humans is not any kind of problem unless, by arrogance and self-centeredness, we make it one.

But isn't this arrogance and self centeredness the foundation for why we do everything we do as individuals? And, no, I'm kinda silly like that. I often wonder if trees and animals and such are happy with their lot in life. You know, does a tree ever get bored just standing around like that or are they happy to give what they do. What's life like for a tree? Do they think and feel the way we do? Nobody really knows to say they don't. Yeah, silly, I know. But it's only because of science that we even say a plant is alive. Maybe in the future they will say that a rock is too. And, maybe in a way, they already have. When you get down to individual cells and atoms and such everything is made of the same stuff. So everything is alive, isn't it? I know, I'm weird.

And I say the consciousness is mine because it is not shared with anyone else. This reminds me of the "letting go" thread.

(Edited 19 minutes later.)

Egoist joined in and replied with this 6.7 years ago, 40 minutes later, 19 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

I find myself a tad angry. Heck, let's be honest, I find myself infuriated. To claim to have the answer to the meaning of life is arrogant, and trying to grasp it is arrogant. But when coming up with the answer that life has no meaning it's not arrogant at all? There is no other non-arrogant solution? When you have a religion it's a defense mechanism, when you believe in God it's a result of psychosis, but when you come up with awakening it's real because you can feel it? Just like someone could claim to feel the presense of God - a result of psychosis, plain lying or something else. This whole post is probably a result of my defense mechanism and huge ego, I wouldn't know, but I can't help it. Besides is it not a paradox? If you act based on how your ego is acting and you don't really know when you're applying defenses, then how do you know you're not?

Edit: It took me the usual 60 seconds to cool down. You needn't answer any of this, I don't know if it's offensive or not, I can't tell. I tried not to sound offensive. I'd still appreciate it if you answered, though.

replied with this 6.7 years ago, 2 hours later, 22 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> That idea is a massive contraction and dumbing down of what life really is—a complete and total mysterious vastness of unspeakable complexity.
But that's exactly what leads people to ask whether life has any "purpose" — life is so mysterious and complex. The idea that it all has no purpose or meaning (not just "meaning" for humans, but in general) is rather depressing. If life has no meaning, and everything you do doesn't matter & will eventually be forgotten, why continue living?

dr-robert replied with this 6.7 years ago, 3 hours later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Egoist and anon B--

Not every question which can be asked has an answer which can be conveyed as a verbal reply.

I am not saying that your particular experience has meaning or does not have meaning. How would I know that? Meaning is only something that can be felt from the inside, not something bestowed via outside approval or whatever.

And I certainly never said that life is meaningless. Quite the opposite actually. I am saying that it is so big, so complex, so interwoven and interdependent, so all encompassing, so all and everything, that it is quite beyond assignment of either meaning or no-meaning, so that the question in and of itself lacks meaning. Since the question keeps being asked, and since it has no adequate answer, the "meaninglessness" applies not to "life"which is much bigger and vaster than "meaning" or any other thought or judgmentbut to the very process of asking and expecting an adequate reply to such a futile question. When we see what is prior to judgment, in that very seeing, questions cease.

Life is what it is, just as I am what I am and cannot be explained or defined. What is the meaning of Dr. Robert? It seems to me that the question has no answer which could possibly be expressed in words. The same is true of you I assume. I think this is something you either get or you don't. There isn't any way to debate it or to convince anyone. I would never try to do either. Here I just reply or respond from the presence I am. If that makes you feel irate, wow! So be it, I guess.

Obviously claiming to have the answer to "what is the meaning of life" is arrogant. No doubt about that, is there?

I am not claiming any answers at all, egoist. I think your quick anger may have beclouded my actual words. I am simply saying that expecting the mind of a still evolving life form to somehow "understand" the so-called "meaning" of all of this seems backwards. How could anyone possibly imagine that a human being as oneself could ever understand and know the meaning of All This?

dr-robert double-posted this 6.7 years ago, 3 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> But isn't this arrogance and self centeredness the foundation for why we do everything we do as individuals?

What you mean we, Kimosabe?

Jennifer replied with this 6.7 years ago, 17 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

people.. but I wouldn't call it arrogance and self centered exactly. That sounds so negative.

(Edited 9 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.7 years ago, 2 hours later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Not all people see things as you see them, Jennifer. I am a person too. That kind of self-absorption looks painful from my perspective, if that is what you mean by "negative."

What I mean by arrogance is the drop imagining itself the ocean. Or the kind of intellect which evolved for mating and survival imagining that it has the power to understand "life" and whether it has "meaning" or not.

Or to repeat: So now, by an automatic process—sexual activity, fertilization, birth, and cultural programming—a new "myself" arises, and someone wants to ask the "point" of that? Give me a break.

When I call self-absorption "painful," I do not mean the ordinary pain of a toothache or such, but a kind of constant nagging dissatisfaction with life as it arisesthoughts, feelings, experiences, other people, etc.broken up occasionally by some kind of diversion, pleasure, or other temporary relief.

I am saying that the false view, the mis-identification, of "myself" is the pain-generator, and also the generator of the question of "meaning." When I see things more as they really are, the pain, since it was entirely self-inflicted, disappears, and the question of meaning never even comes up.

This asking about the "meaning" of life or the "point" to it is coming from a painful, wounded place. When one is truly living, idle questions are not there. Your habit, Jennifer, of asking question after question reminds me of the words of the Buddha about needing answers. When someone who is in emotional pain keeps asking theoretical questions, he said, it is like a man who has a arrow in his leg, but instead of just removing the arrow, or asking for help in removing it, he begins to inquire as to what kind of arrow it is, who shot it, where the shooter was standing when it was shot, at what time of day it was shot, etc., etc., etc. Questions about the "meaning" of life are that kind of question. Let's call them "avoidance questions." No matter what is said, instead of assuming that it might be worth really looking into, you are always ready to come up with the next question. In this case your last question was," Isn't it "negative" to call self-absorption "arrogant" or "self-centered?" No, actually, I don't.

So how does that answer help you?

(Edited 18 minutes later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6.7 years ago, 24 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

So, in a kinda roundabout way you're saying its better to get out of yourself.. right?

Edit: Also.. I didn't ask about any meaning of life. I was just asking what you meant by a certain thing you said. And I thought myself that saying arrogance and self centered was negative and little harsh for something I would call more desire or something..

(Edited 4 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.7 years ago, 12 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, that is part of what I said.

Jennifer replied with this 6.7 years ago, 18 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

I guess the other part would be how painful it is to be stuck inside yourself? Ok, yeah, it may be off topic but what I was saying by arrogance and self centered being the foundation for why we do what we do is because we all want to feel important or feel right or good or whatever it is we want. We want our life to have meaning. I don't really know about anyone else but its not me the raindrop thinking I am the ocean but wanting to know that "one raindrop raises the sea". Yes, that is self centered but is that really that bad? If it is I don't know how to be less self absorbed.

(Edited 45 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.7 years ago, 7 hours later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Self-centered is not bad or good. It's just the human ego. I am saying that although ego is part of the human experience, confining oneself to being defined by it, reallyas if ego and "myself" are the same thing is the root of emotional suffering.

There is no "how" to be less absorbed, Jennifer. When you understand what I just said about ego, you will be less absorbed automatically and without effort.

Jennifer replied with this 6.7 years ago, 3 hours later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Are you saying that what I wrote comes from my ego? Why do you think that is the ego? Because it wants or recognizes want?
(Just so you know my tone is not defensive but curious.)

(Edited 36 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.7 years ago, 51 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Well really I am not saying that what you wrote comes from your ego, but that it is ego. That's what ego is, the wanting. There is another condtion entirely in which there is no wanting, no craving, no fear, but just choiceless awareness of reality. That is what I constantly point to.

I don't say ego is bad. I simply say that its demands, whether satisfied or unsatisfied, are the root of pain. If someone wants to live from that supposed center and make ego's demands "my" demands, then the emotional pain simply goes along with that.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Egoist joined in and replied with this 6.7 years ago, 27 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thanks for clearing the misunderstanding and sorry if I was offensive.

Jennifer replied with this 6.7 years ago, 8 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

choiceless awareness of reality... that sounds a lot like back home...

dr-robert replied with this 6.7 years ago, 56 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

You are welcome, Egoist. I do not find any of this conversation to be offensive.

Yes, Jennifer. I have been practicing psychotherapy for years, as you know, so I am quite well-versed in the varieties of pain and suffering which the human mind can create for itself. A person can spend a lifetime walking around in that space, the pain-space. I do not say that time spent in the pain-space is wasted or useless, just painful.

Here on the forum I do not practice psychotherapy. I could not even if I wanted to. All I can do in writing is to reply as honestly as possible to whatever I am asked. The original poster here was saying that life felt pointless to him, and then others began to discuss what could possibly add meaning to life, etc. My contribution was simply to point out that the question of meaning comes from a very limited view of what "myself" is, and that if the viewpoint became less limited, the question would not be there anymore--not because the question had been answered, but because in the field of choiceless awareness that question has no meaning, or does not even arise.

Now, you and everyone else already has access to the field of choiceless awarenessor the greater self, if I can call it thatwhich is always present, whether noticed or unnoticed, but the idea of choicelessness frightens you in some way or another, so you try always to deny it. But that denial requires assuming an identity, the ego, which is a misunderstanding or mis-identification of what you really are.

I am saying only that clinging to that mis-identification, not outside events or conditions, is the continuing source of emotional pain. Simple as that.

Jennifer replied with this 6.7 years ago, 34 minutes later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

Sorry, my brain is temporarily out of order.

(Edited 1 hour later.)

Cassandra replied with this 6.7 years ago, 3 hours later, 1 day after the original post[^] [v] #0

But without that identity...I need a container. If I got into that, I would start merging with the molecules around me and have a psychotic breakdown. I definitely wouldn't be able to order my latte.
Okay, I'd read about two sentences when I wrote this.

(Edited 7 hours later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6.7 years ago, 12 minutes later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Cassandra, you are tooo funny.

(Edited 28 minutes later.)

Cassandra replied with this 6.7 years ago, 7 hours later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Choiceless awareness makes me think of the state of a baby that's just a couple of months old.
Not wanting...I don't understand how a person cannot want. Want friends, fun, intimacy, to afford food, a home. Ego is what I want, and myself is the consciousness that registers everything...sortof, kindof. That sounds so passive, like when you smoke pot and you're just perceiving. You don't do anything when you're stoned, except look and hear and watch your mind.
Becoming more aware of the dichotomy frees a person from pain, somehow? Maybe it's wanting things that can't be had that causes pain? Like no one ever dies on you, you don't get old...Some things a person wants are good, like piece of mind.
Choiceless awareness. It gives me a calm to think those words. How I interpret everything is a choice. My brain registers stuff and then I decide things about what I've registered. You see yourself as separate from your ego. You observe and you think, "Oh, Ego, you want to stay young forever and that will cause you pain." And you feel sympathy for your ego. Maybe your ego wants to be more empathic to your child, and then you say, "Good Ego!" And it wags its tail.
It's interesting. It's kind of calming.

Jennifer replied with this 6.7 years ago, 20 minutes later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

That's not how I see it. I see it as being aware of people doing horrible things and not being able to stop it. Not even being able to think about being able to stop it. Just pure experience. That's what choiceless awareness sounds like to me. My "ego" is my comfort.

(Edited 1 hour later.)

Cassandra replied with this 6.7 years ago, 39 minutes later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Well, I was trying to grasp it, I haven't. You have to have some motivation (a want?) to study it. I do like the calm feeling.
Horrible people can be stopped. I don't think it means that a person can't act to stop abuse.

Jennifer replied with this 6.7 years ago, 37 minutes later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yeah, sorry. My brain is malfunctioning on this topic. I do like the way you think about it though. Keeping it simple, uncomplicated like you trust yourself and life.

dr-robert replied with this 6.7 years ago, 7 hours later, 2 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I think you have gotten a taste of this Cassandra. And it has nothing to do with acting or not acting. All of that will continue as it always has. it all has to do with only one thing: what "I" or "myself" really is. Here is what I say:

“I” am not my ego, not my past, not my experiences, not my name, not my profession, not my sexuality, not my desires, and not my fears—none of that stuff. All of that stuff exists, in a certain sense, as impressions in my mind, but what “I” am is that which is aware of all of that and aware of everything else: the sky, the earth, sounds, flavors, textures, other people, etc. In other words, the next step is to begin moving the identification of “myself” away from autobiography and into bare awareness.

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

Phil O. Sophy joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 5 months later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

It's much easier to comprehend if you think of emotions, experiences, and everything about what you think f as "you" as evolutionary triggers implanted into our genetic code based on the survival needs of our early ancestors. Anger to help us fight danger to survive. Sadness to acknowledge experiences that have negative impacts on our chances of survival to either avoid or prepare for them, happiness to encourage us to engage in pro-survival activities. It is the same as a dog, or a lion, or a wildebeest. Our only goal in life is to survive long enough to reproduce, and then raise our children to do the same. There is no meaning -- in fact, "meanings" to things are human create ideals. Does a rock require the world have meaning? No. And not simply because it lacks the capacity to do so, but because a "meaning" can simply be seen as the effect something has on our survival. Love has meaning because it our genetic purpose, but Saturn has no meaning to us, since it does not impact our survival (assuming of course that you are not in a career that deals with it, in which case your knowledge of it helps you put food on your plate, which keeps you alive.) it is as simple as that, although I stated it poorly. An iPhone is rather limited in its typing and scrolling abilities, so I apologize for mistakes and redundancies.

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 41 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

What a waste then.

Cassandra replied with this 6.3 years ago, 5 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

That's interesting. It actually makes more sense than believing in or looking for meaning. It's angst relieving, too.

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

You could think of it as a waste, Jennifer, or you could think of it as a wonderful opportunity. As in everything, outlook creates perception.

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I don't see such a bland existence as any kind of opportunity, lack of is more like it. I think the human species has more potential then to be just animals with survival instincts. They can create meaning.
Why do we have an instict to survive and to ensure our species survives?

(Edited 11 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

> Why do we have an instict to survive and to ensure our species survives?

Basic evolutionary psychology: our ancestors were the ones who had the most survival skills--strength, cunning, aggression, etc. The ones with less of those traits did not live long enough to reproduce, so those genes did not make it into subsequent generations. We are all the progeny of champions. But that is entirely an automatic filtering process. There is no "meaning" involved in it. And there is no instinct to ensure that the species survives. That just happens because individuals fight for survival and sexual reproduction.

If your existence seems bland, look for other avenues. You are here for a short time only. Instead of remaining either bored or pissed off, why not find out what really interests you?

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 54 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

My existence is far from bland. At least I think so. Someone else might think it is... I was referring to the perspective that everything involved with life was a matter of instinct and that there is no meaning except for what we falsely imagine there to be. I think there is or can be because of what we are. I think the above is a perspective that shuts down possibilities (we are only animals running on instinct) instead of opening them (our instincts are assembled in such a way that we can do much more then just be animals if we choose to.)

Also, we may be descended from champions or from the ones who threw the old people to the lions so they could get away. :)

(Edited 30 minutes later.)

David joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 36 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

At a place where I worked, I used to meet a delivery guy in the elevator almost every day, and each time he was smiling like sunshine and I could feel his joy. I was wondering if he won the lottery or if he was crazy, and one day I couldn't resist and asked him what was his secret. He said that at the age of 60, after two failed marriages and two heart attacks, he saw clearly that every day he wouldn't smile and enjoy to the fullest would be a LOST DAY! The simplicity of that struck me and had an impact on my outlook on life--being grateful for every moment because it is a gift!

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 34 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Jennifer-- The less automatic you believe yourself to be, the more automatic your actions really are. It is not just a matter of instinct, but also a matter of acting out the social programming which was poured into your mind from birth, and which is even embedded in the very language we speak. Doings just happen. No one is "doing" anything. There is no "do-er" apart from doing. For example you say, "I am walking." That's conventional English, and there is nothing wrong with it except that it has what is called "a ghost in the machine." By that I mean that walking is happening. No one is doing it. There is not a little man or woman in your head doing any walking or making any decisions. All of that is a fantasy. I know you hate this idea. We have discussed it before. But instead of hating it and writing it off without even looking deeply into it, I suggest you try to find the "myself" which exists apart from thoughts, memories, and behaviors. I bet you can't.

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 55 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

You're right, I don't like this stuff. I don't get this stuff. I'm to stupid to understand this stuff and I accept that. :)

Betsy - Wetsy joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 18 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Btw, Dr. Robert, there is a body walking or a person if you like. I, a person, am a combination of my body, thoughts, emotions, dirt, minerals, brain matter, whatever spiritual energies you choose to believe in, etc. So, "I am walking" is right enough. For instance, I know there are not many people in my body. That is physically impossible. But there are many sections of my thoughts/emotions/something that interact with the world independent of the rest so they seem like different people to me because of the disconnect. (However, knowing this does not connect what is disconnected.) There is no "ghost in the machine" because I am one person. So I can walk. :) There is no "I" separate from the person I am.
CRAP! I still haven't changed my name.

(Edited 4 hours later.)

Jennifer double-posted this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Maybe it will stick this time? Helen/Sarah, you have been a bad influence on me.

(Edited 30 seconds later.)

Jennifer triple-posted this 6.3 years ago, 50 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

> Procreation being a by-product of sexual activity that is undertaken for pleasure? Nope, disagree. Plenty of people have more sex than just for pleasure because >they want to make a baby. People adopt - for all sorts of reasons. Lots of reasons why people want babies too - to continue their genes, give their life faux->meaning, have someone to look after them when they're old, have someone to love and be loved by, have someone to abuse... whatever.

Helen, you are talking about babies. They were talking about sex. Some people have sex specifically to make a baby. Some people have sex for pleasure. Some people have sex for whatever other reason. Babies happen.
And, no, you can call me Jennifer. Or else.. do you remember Chucky? Yeah.

(Edited 3 minutes later.)

Jennifer quadruple-posted this 6.3 years ago, 3 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

It had to do with instinct really. We have an instinct or something that reproduction is a consequence of. Well, some people have that instinct.

(Edited 1 hour later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 18 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Human beings are animals.

Hexi replied with this 6.3 years ago, 7 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Human beings are animals.

Blasphemy! :D

dr-robert replied with this 6.3 years ago, 5 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Helen-- You are confusing the meaning of the word "instinct." Learned behaviors can never "become" instinctual. An instinct is by definition inborn. Humans have only a few.

Also, you wrongly discount the intelligence and self awareness of the other animals of this world. We know nothing really about the minds of dolphins and whales, but they clearly learn and are self aware. So are elephants. So are bonobos, chimps, and gorillas. These animals have complex family structures, language, and they learn from experience. The primates other than humans use tools just like humans.

Humans have dominated the planet by means of aggression and technology, but that is only one measure. By setting up this radical separation between humans and "animals"again, I say, humans are animalsyou close your awareness to the actual automatic nature of human behavior which is really not very different from the behaviors of other animals. A lot of this radical differentiation is religiously based--the "soul" fallacy.

Humans tell themselves lots of stories about their behavior to be sure, but basically humans are driven by desirefood, sex, domination, companionship, etc., just like all the other higher animals. A story you tell yourself may seem meaningful, but is it really? What does is mean? How much is it just a form of self-justification of chasing desire and the satisfaction of desire? And what is so "intelligent" about that? My donkeys like to eat fruit, and so they spend time trying to find it. Humans like to eat certain foods, and so they spend time trying to acquire those foods. What is the difference really? Humans desire sex, and go looking for it, just like donkeyswhat is the difference? Try to explore this with an open mind.

(Edited 3 minutes later.)

dr-robert double-posted this 6.3 years ago, 17 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi, Helen—

I was not judging you in the least. If I made you feel that way, my words must have lacked skill.

Regarding our discussion: Belief in doctrine is not a matter of opinion. One can have opinions about many things, and in many of those things one opinion might be as good as another (in my opinion strawberry tastes better than vanilla), but that is not the case here at all.

The question of whether human beings are different from all other animals because humans have "souls," whereas the other animals do not, could never be a matter of opinion. Clearly, it is a question of fact, not opinion at all. Speaking factually, there are three possibilities. First, the "soul," in the religious sense does not exist. Second, souls do exist, but only humans have them. Third, souls exist, and many, if not all, sentient beings possess them. If you say, "Well, this cannot be determined, so I will go along with religious doctrine," that is not opinion, but credulity, which means believing something on no evidence but because some imagined authority has claimed it. How could you possibly have an "opinion" about something when you have no direct knowledge of anything to do with it? That is why this is credulity, not opinion. And you see, Helen, calling it "opinion" entirely obscures the matter because people "have a right" to their opinions, and may even say that "one opinion is as good as another." But you do not have an opinion, you have an entirely unsubstantiated belief. You may have a "right" to it, but unsubstantiated belief is the end of intelligent investigation. People used to believe that the Earth was the center of the universe because the Church taught that nonsense too, and that erroneous teaching came from the same impetus as the only humans have souls idea: "Man, being the special creation of 'God,'is the measure of all things, and so his home, Earth, must be the center of all things." ["God gave Man dominion over the animals"].

If you want to believe that souls exist but only humans have them, fine by me, but then you have foreclosed any real investigation into the matter I have presented. You said, "Maybe the only reason I believe we are different is that I have been taught it is so. Maybe. But even that does not make that belief right or wrong, either." Yes, it does make it wrong. If you believe something only because you have been taught it, and thereby, as I just said, foreclosed any development and deepening of your understanding, that is totally wrong, as I see it. And, when someone advances childhood conditioning or unprovable religious doctrine in a conversation as a reply to some actual facts put forth (for example, elephants have complex familial relations, they have funeral rites and mourn for their dead, etc.), for me, the conversation is over.

This is not a lack of respect for your intelligence or your value as a human being. It is my complete lack of respect for "that's just the way I was raised," or "the Bible says so."

(Edited 8 minutes later.)

dr-robert triple-posted this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi, again-

I am not sure which questions you mean, Helen. If you list them briefly, I will comment. I am glad that you see the difference between opinion and belief. Many people cannot see any difference at all. I say reject all belief immediately. Then you will have a clean field for investigation. What you conclude may differ from what I conclude, but that's fine. The important thing is to actually use that good mind you have.

RS

David replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> OK, but I still feel that there is something about humans that sets us apart from other animal species.
Yes, humans think they are 'very important people', and have the right to behave in an arrogant and utilitarian way toward the rest of life on the planet. This whole idea of being special in some way is what created this 'empire of mankind' that is destined to fall in one way or another. It cannot be otherwise.

> But: humans have subdued the world for thier own ends.
Yes.

> This suggests greater intellect, greater reasoning ability, a greater capacity to learn.
No. It only demonstrates the limitation of our intellect and capacity to learn. Why otherwise would we keep repeating what can be classified as historical mistakes?

> Maybe the only reason I believe we are different is that I have been taught it is so. Maybe. But even that does not make that belief right or wrong, either.
If I would have maintained a belief in some of the bullshit I have been exposed to, I'd be stuck in a psychiatric ward. Belief is just a thought, and if one remains identified with thoughts, the illusory world with all the judgements of right and wrong and so on remains intact.

> I still wonder, though, why humans are the species that kill for pleasure, that torture for gain, that abuse, that ignore their instincts when they want, that kill themselves... all that stuff. Are these the behaviours that make us different? Or is it the ability to think more than one step ahead - to plan, to seek more than there currently is, to discuss for the sake of discussion, to ... to do all the things that makes us the human species, a very different type of animal to all the others?
Do people really 'plan' to kill themselves, and I mean in a rational, sit-down-let's-think-this-through kind of way? Of course not. The mind is susceptible to aberrations and has a pain threshold, and at a certain stress level, which varies among individuals, comes to a breaking point and 'blows up'. Having a large brain is an evolutionary advantage only as far as it provides the capacity for the intellect to develop, but the extent to which that happens is hardly guaranteed. In other words, the potential is there, but sadly enough is not realized sufficiently.

(Edited 6 minutes later.)

Cassandra replied with this 6.3 years ago, 5 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Impressive.

Anonymous P joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 5 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

special.. responsible.. same thing

Pabaisa Bevardo joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Rob said it's a "pretty good rant" and I should "try posting it this on the forum". How the hell does one try on posting and does not succeed?

Life has no meaning. Typical logic says, that modern consumerism, escapism of entertainment and suicidal overflow confirms this. Nietzche’s syphilis ridden mind talks about the Zaratustrian overman. Sagan talks about the cosmic infinity and human insignificance in it. Your Mom talks about no causality, no need to waste the effort. Nevertheless, everyone is trying to find a reason, despite its vacancy. Human, all too human. We know “how”, but we don’t know “why”. Wiil to meaning. Bored to search? Religion is the answer. Comforting lies. Somebody doesn’t agree with your lies? You take a gun out in public. From anti-art Dada to hardcore animalistic fascism machinery, where both said, that there is no meaning, but searched for it in its absence, the result – imbecility and the stench of primates. Religious people have no objective position, no scepsis and critical thinking. They are suicide victims, who believe in God. Meaning is the absence of meaning, without trying to search the meaning in its absence. And if you do, you become a rebel (Camus), a terrorist (Nechaev), a serial killer (Ten Bundy). Eventually, meaning is important for sanity. Belief in the future, in some form, goes along. Maybe even the need to embody your name and make it immortal. It can be a genetic progeny or through altruism, popularity and glory. Money and mating partners? Why not. In the end, life in its most brutal form, in a physical sense is meaningless, and everything, that was, is and will be, will end some day. The question: Why doesn't everyone just kill themselves now? The answer: Life and time will do that for you.

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 13 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Ok, so your perspective is not gonna bring any peace or joy to anyones life.

Hexi replied with this 6.3 years ago, 15 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Jenni-bear, you will never have neither as long as you keep looking. I'm 26 and completely at peace with the absence of meaning in our reality, how about you? :)

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 2 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Jenni-bear, you will never have neither as long as you keep looking.

Says who? If I am lacking it isn't the best course of action to try and find it? Or do you just have a problem with where you think I am looking?

(Edited 28 seconds later.)

Hexi replied with this 6.3 years ago, 13 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Says the universe. The reason you are looking is you demand an answer to a question that has no basis to be asked in the first place. The drive to *know* is what demands an answer, not the question itself. The question "what is the meaning of it all?" is a rhetorical one.

Jennifer replied with this 6.3 years ago, 5 minutes later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yeah, I got a little sidetracked on that, sorry. I'm not looking for the meaning of it all. I think the meaning of it all is to live, love, and learn. I can't do that very well. So I'm looking for the why of that. Paba's post kinda made things look depressing. Not where I wanna go so maybe I shouldn't have said, "anyone" up there.

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 6.3 years ago, 1 hour later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Fuck the bullshit. Paba's right, suicide saves time getting to the inevitable. There's nothing of any use from here to there.

David replied with this 6.3 years ago, 18 hours later, 5 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Eventually, meaning is important for sanity. Belief in the future, in some form, goes along. Maybe even the need to embody your name and make it immortal. It can be a genetic progeny or through altruism, popularity and glory. Money and mating partners? Why not. In the end, life in its most brutal form, in a physical sense is meaningless, and everything, that was, is and will be, will end some day. The question: Why doesn't everyone just kill themselves now? The answer: Life and time will do that for you.

Why so cynical? The "physical sense is meaningless" is valid as far as the appearance and disappearance of all forms, but other than that, meaninglessness is just a label the mind attaches to the futility of ever grasping the ungraspable, or any apparent endeavors in this seemingly temporary existence, the pursuit of happiness and the inevitability of death, the absurdity of human existence expressed by the existentialists. As with everything in dualism, there's a polar opposite to this and a paradox. The meaning, on the flip side, is sought in the ordinary day-to-day being, that is often judged as unbearable, ephemeral and pointless, yet we fight like mad to stay alive in the face of impending death, which the mind cannot possibly rationalize. It is this 'fighting spirit' that keeps us going, even when facing the inevitable, and binds people together to find a meaning amidst all that suffering. From a non-dual perspective, the original question itself is obviously pointless because it contains a judgment and presupposes separate existence.

Just atoms joined in and replied with this 6.2 years ago, 4 weeks later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Life is pointless and achieves nothing. Yeah, maybe one day your great-great-great-great-great-great grandchild will do something amazing like cure some serious illness. But so what? Even that is pointless to the cosmos. Even our entire species is pointless. Earth could blow up right now and the entire universe (and i assume billions of civilizations) wouldn't know or care. We live some pointless existence and then we die, and forget our existence anyway. It all seems so cruel and meaningless.

You love your kids? That's nice - doesn't matter. When you die you wont even remember them or anything about your life. Sometimes I wonder why i even bother with life - it's all pointless anyway. How can you enjoy life when you know everything you see and do has zero meaning and everything you ever experience will be forgotten when you die.

BDM joined in and replied with this 6.2 years ago, 2 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Why, OP, the point of life is to live. To gather "knowledge" and experience. That's all.

(Edited 14 seconds later.)

David replied with this 6.2 years ago, 11 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

This is a pretty heavy metaphysical topic. BDM and Helen make very good points.

What you are saying is pointing to a nihilistic perspective that is self-defeating and pointless in itself. If that's where you want to go, then why even bother posting here at all other that to vent your frustration with something. Why would anything exist if it was for nothing? Existence is de facto and cannot be denied. The existentialists described it in terms of the 'absurd'--a conflict between our inherent tendency to seek meaning and the impossibility of finding it. From that point of view, existence creates essence and becomes sentient. Life IS and that's all that can be said about it.

Life exists, experiences itself in the mirriad of forms--billions of different perspectives. If from 'your very limited perspective' you wish to make the claim that it's all useless, that's fine and it makes no difference, except for 'your very limited perspective'. If you reach the tipping point and decide to end it all, that will only be the end of 'your very limited perspective'. Nothing else changes.

As one of my favorite writers, Albert Camus, put it: "There is only one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide."

Anonymous U joined in and replied with this 6.2 years ago, 1 hour later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Find your own meaning. My meaning is searching for God and serving under Him and understanding His messages.

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

Nat joined in and replied with this 6.2 years ago, 1 week later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Wow. There's always someone who will mention God. I came to this site because I'm looking for some comfort after the death of my beautiful son, comfort that incorporates my belief that life is random and meaningless, and that we create our own meaning. I am finding it hard to go on now, knowing what I know, having explored many philosophies, and ultimately settling on existentialism - we are our actions, nothing else - and enjoying the moment, the next thing, the good coffee, the good conversation...but I'm looking for someone who shares my point of view.

My son's death has made my feelings of meaningless so much stronger, some days I don't know how I go on with the horror - and I had experienced various horrors before that. But your child being murdered is it. How the hell do I go on after that? Nobody acknowledges that life is shit. Life is lies. Playing the game. Death is the only truth. My name is Natalie. Hello.

David joined in and replied with this 6.2 years ago, 11 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

Natalie, first of all, very sorry to hear about your loss! Losing someone so close is one of the hardest things to deal with; another one is dealing with oneself and the pain that arises. Statements like "life is shit" are just thoughts that come up in a mind that's hurting. If we succumb to believing such thoughts, suffering is intensified, like adding a second arrow to a wound caused by the first arrow (loss of a child). So that is certainly not helpful and neither is probably existential philosophy because the mind is already off balance so any outcome of such contemplation can only be negative and self-defeating. Counseling or talking to friends may be the most helpful in such situations.

Life doesn't care what we think about it or how we label it, but if it really was as we see it in our darkest moments, then what is love all about...

Anonymous Z-1 joined in and replied with this 6.2 years ago, 16 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

http://xkcd.com/167/

This is the sum of it.

Life is a blank. You get to fill it in with what you like.

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Natalie, I'm deeply sorry about your loss. I implore you to fill your blank in with something worthy of what came before it.

(Edited 6 hours later.)

LIVE4HIM joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 5 days later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

READ ECCLESIASTES (in the bible).. its a book written of your life.. trust me..
Scripture = the truth

Everything Is Meaningless
2 “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”

3 What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? 4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. 5 The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. 6 The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. 7 Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. 8 Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.

9 History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. 10 Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. 11 We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.

Ecclesiastes 1:2-9

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 6 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

This is a good post, LIVE4HIM, but I would make one very important correction: some scripture contains beautiful pointers towards truth (words can never BE truth)what you have shared here is a good examplebut some scripture is nonsense. Belief that everything written in the present day Bible is just foolish. What appears in those books is only one of hundreds of versions of the original words, and even the original words were all over the map. Credulity leads nowhere worthwhile. Swallow nothing whole.

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

Anonymous Z-1 replied with this 6.1 years ago, 19 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Hey Doc, have you ever seen the movie 50 First Dates? Is that what awakening is like... without the brain damage? Every day is a new day and there is no past. I think that would be the greatest thing ever but we do have pasts and memories.... fucked up as they may be. It seems like a person has to be cleared of the past stuff before they can be happy in the moment. How does a person do that? Especially if they don't remember it all? I wish I knew how to get a grip on everything.

I'm not the doctor, but I did recently 'get' what he's been talking about; I will answer from my perspective in the hopes that it will help.

Experientially, there is no 'day' in the sense that most people experience it; of course, I can still tell time and meet people when I say I will, and obviously can watch the sun rise and fall, but I do each of these things in the exact moment that I do them. Honestly, even the idea of a moment is discarded experientially in favor of the recognition of an endless progression.Believe me, you don't lose your logical mind (in fact, I've, generally, experienced mine as clearer), nor your emotions, nor your memories, nor your ego; you just come to see them for what they are: motions within the endless unfolding of the eternal moment.

As for the how, let me link you to the pages here and elsewhere that helped me:

http://www.dr-robert.com/Awakening%20Never%20Ends.html

http://www.nondualitymagazine.org/nonduality_magazine.4.robertsaltzman.interview.htm

http://www.askdrrobert.dr-robert.com/aboutawakening.html

http://www.nisargadatta.net/

This is a bit of a read, but there are a few gems in here that helped me understand:

http://www.askdrrobert.dr-robert.com/deliverance.html

From what I've read, it seems like some folks find the truths with the guidance of a spiritual teacher, others recognize it spontaneously from a passing experience of reality. I have yet to read of an internet-awakened person (I stumbled on this site a few months back), but I guess that even in this I get to be somewhat of an exception!

Believe me, the whole of the process, all of the many words I linked to above notwithstanding, boils down to this:

Observe your thoughts. Observe your feelings. What's really happening? Is it what you think it is, or is what you think it is just happening along with every other thing that's happening? Is there really a distinct 'now', or does everything just happen in an endless motion, even your thoughts and emotions?

I'll leave you with an aphorism I derived from my journey, I hope it helps you make peace with what is:

It's not that everything is OK; it's that everything just is, and that that's OK.

All the best to you, stranger.

(Edited 8 minutes later.)

Anonymous Z-3 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 4 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Is there any way to know if your reaction to something (thoughts and feelings) are in response to the moment or to the past if you don't have a clear picture of the past?

Any response you have to what you think is the past happens right now, and can be questioned right now.

> The way I see it from where I am right now you would have to observe everything from a "just the facts, ma'am" perspective to make sure you are not being influenced but then that cuts off all the positive emotional experiences as well as the negative.

Depends on what facts you bring attention to. You're right: you do need a set of basic axiomatic understandings to sort through the bullshit.

Here are a few to get you going:

Your mind, as an emergent property of a neural network, is capable of changing in response to internal and external stimuli.

Since your external stimuli are interpreted through a network of meaning, your experience of the world is really your experience of your mind.

Your experience of your mind is mediated by deep-seated ideas, which we call beliefs, that are ingrained and accumulated over the course of a lifetime of conditioning.

As something that is pre-cognitive, subconscious some call it, your beliefs are a powerful part of how you perceive, interact with, and react to the world around you. But you don't perceive the world as an experience mediated by belief; you experience the world as a matter of fact, even if it's mediated through incorrect or maladaptive (adaptive loosely being defined as something that moves you towards happiness and ability to effect wanted changes within the world) beliefs.

As the possessor of a human brain, you are capable of conceiving of anything human brains are capable of conceiving, which for your frame of reference means anything.

Since you're capable of conceiving of anything, you're able to conceive of any way to do a thing within your means, or to take a thing you want to do and conceive of, though critical scrutiny, reach the place at which your nearest action towards the end you seek is a sequence of actions or decisions within your means away.

Whether or not you can see the correct sequence of actions in your situation is contingent on your belief structure. Your belief structure is shaped by your actions, which are shaped by your beliefs, which are shaped by your actions. This is one of many examples of the intrinsically interconnected and multicausal nature of reality.

However, if you believe, correctly, that you can do anything you can conceive of with the right set of actions, you will be motivated to take effective action towards effecting the ends you seek.

So, if you, as a human, can do almost anything you can conceive of you being able to pull off within your understanding of causative reality, why ever doubt yourself? You're like a diamond, only you can hurt yourself. Nothing else has that power.

Now, as I was saying; your beliefs shape your actions, but not directly: they do so through your emotions and thus your thoughts. The relationship your thoughts have with your emotions is a fundamental one: when you're sad, you will feel like the whole world is shit, and your thoughts will flow accordingly. If you're happy, everything will be just be -great-. Thus, how your beliefs most powerfully mediate your decisions is through your emotions, and the thoughts that arise from them.

Now, as someone sitting in front of your screen, right now, you can take any of your thoughts or emotions and do something very simple to start dealing with them on your own terms: rather than fight them, or ignore them, or drown them out with other thoughts, simply question them. Eventually, you'll see they're often just the outcome of a terrified, insecure ego that's always worrying if it's OK or not. And once you see this, pretty awesome things can start happening in your life.

All of the things I have just talked about happen within something called awareness. The mental space within which everything happens; it's the part of you that hears and sees your thoughts and experiences your emotions, and with practice can recognize them as separate from who or what 'you' really are (don't worry about understanding this totally just yet, you'll get there). This is what meditation is about. I strongly recommend you look into basic meditative practices; they are a very useful tool to get you started.

This is all very simple, but must sound at least a little complex, so I will give you a real world example:

Let's say there is a very beautiful girl I know. I get very nervous around her. I get nervous because some part of me believes that there is something hurtful or dangerous about approaching and talking to the girl, and because I am nervous, when I go up and try to talk to her, it will not go well, since she'll detect how nervous I am (about the interaction potentially going badly) and be put off immediately.

Now, I can force myself to try to believe that I'm OK. That the girl isn't that scary. That a whole number of things my instincts do when I'm around her are as maladaptive as I know they are. But talking myself out of it is almost useless; even if I act, I'll act without poise or purpose. I'll worry about my hair. My breath. What I say. All of these are important things, but since I'm so afraid, the brainpower I would need to actually attend to those things is instead spent freaking out. It's a lose-lose situation, and self-reinforcing cycle.

But.

If I take a second to honestly ask myself: is this girl something to be afraid of? Can I talk to her, really? The answer, of course, is yes, since as I discussed above, your brain is capable of doing anything you can conceive of. Maybe not immediately, but eventually. Your beliefs affect your emotions, and thus your actions. As you learn to look past each of the doubts that arise in the mind, one by one, eventually you'll feel a lot better. And when you feel better, you will, purely instinctively, be more social and more genuine, and thus dramatically more attractive, even without trying to attract the girl. You'll work harder and enjoy it more, you'll interact with people more naturally. You'll appreciate the thousand, thousand little moments of poetry in the universe around you, and one day, should you stay true to looking honestly at your own mind, you may even realize the nature of reality.

But this shouldn't be your immediate goal. You don't step up to the peak of a mountain at the base.

> I personally would go through quite a few negative for the one positive but I really have no control over that.

You're right, you don't have any control over the thoughts, but you always have a chance to question them.

> Does that make sense? Do you understand what I'm asking? It's a bit hard to put into words.

Lol, believe me, I understand exactly what you mean. All of my words have fallen quite far from the mark the point I'm getting at as well, but I have come to appreciate words for what they truly are: not an expression of truth, but rather a means by which two truth-sensing entities may point one another in the right direction.

Let me share with you a metaphor I derived just now:

Your thoughts, the past, the doubts, are like hooks. You can't dislodge a hook by pulling; it's a hook! Yanking on it and trying to force your way free only generates more suffering. It's painful, and dangerous.

When you've got a hook in you, force alone only makes things worse. What you have to do is stop a moment, think about it, and then act intelligently. You have to stop to think about what you're doing, about what's really happening, rather than default to instinct. It's exactly like this with painful thoughts. Stop to question what's really happening.

(Hint: it's probably a belief that you're not OK, and a thought or emotion that arises from that belief.)

Once you accept that no matter what you do wrong, or shitily, that if you just stop feeling like shit and thinking about possibilities of catastrophe, your mind will be free to actually think about solutions. Or still enough to see that you're freaking out about nothing.

Mistakes are the fee the universe takes from you when it teaches you a lesson. View them as this rather than indictments of your worth, and you'll be a long way better for it.

(Edited 8 minutes later.)

Cassandra replied with this 6.1 years ago, 19 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

true true true true true true
that's what my brain thinks anyway

Cassandra double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 16 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I think it's important to work at not judging the hooks, too. Just be like "there it is, I see that thought (belief)." Believing I'm bad, wrong, fucked-up, etc. to have that belief becomes another hook.

Anonymous Z-3 replied with this 6.1 years ago, 23 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Just so you know.. I have several different parts of me that can see thoughts and feel emotions that are separate from itself. Am I multi-aware?

As long as they're part of you, then no, I think that's just awareness. You can't have more than one; awareness is the space in which things happen. No matter what personality or thoughts you experience, they'll happen within awareness.

The closest I can offer from my own experience is that I have known a schizophrenic who came to recognize his awareness as what it is (he didn't put it like that, but that's pretty much what he did), and his thoughts and delusions as what they were, and deal with his condition and function effectively. I can't speak to your experience, perhaps the doctor may.

> While you are all trying to rip yourselves apart to see what's going on I am trying to put myself back together so I can see what's going on.

No one's trying to rip anything apart; everything I just said was talking about the opposite of that. Watching what happens as it happens and asking if it has to be true is all I'm saying. The reasons that that works are outlined above.

Keep in mind, you'll invent some pretty crazy scenarios as part of your egoic drama. I don't know what's happening inside your head; only you can know that. But know that whatever it is, it's all happening in this moment, and that if you don't like how it feels or what you think, that by questioning whether the things you think and feel have to be true, you can come to a better place.

(Edited 6 minutes later.)

Anonymous Z-3 double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 7 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> I think it's important to work at not judging the hooks, too. Just be like "there it is, I see that thought (belief)." Believing I'm bad, wrong, fucked-up, etc. to have that belief becomes another hook.

Indeed. A real asshole of a hook.

Anonymous Z-3 triple-posted this 6.1 years ago, 2 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Also, on the running in circles, that's 100% a characteristic of self-reinforcing thought systems. It was the story of my life for most of my life; so while I can't guarantee we had similar experiences, it sure as hell sounds like we did, in which case the monster post I wrote should be able to proffer some perspective, if you choose to explore what I stated in it.

(Edited 41 seconds later.)

Cassandra replied with this 6.1 years ago, 18 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

"Indeed. A real asshole of a hook."
Ow.
Did you have to put it that way?
Anyway, fantastical post.

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 14 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

> Hey Doc, have you ever seen the movie 50 First Dates? Is that what awakening is like... without the brain damage? Every day is a new day and there is no past. I think that would be the greatest thing ever but we do have pasts and memories.... fucked up as they may be. It seems like a person has to be cleared of the past stuff before they can be happy in the moment. How does a person do that? Especially if they don't remember it all? I wish I knew how to get a grip on everything.
____

Hi--
Awakening to True Nature does not mean forgetting anything. It simply means noticing that "future" is only a fantasy, and that the "past" no longer exists, except as thought. You can't change it. You can't influence it in any way. And you can't experience it apart from memory. Memories are thoughts, and thought can never evoke any actual "suchness" or "NOWness." That vastness and incomprehensibility is only NOW. Thoughts of the past cannot bring any actual NOW or suchness into being.

Thoughts arise and are known in the present. So what you are calling "pasts and memories," is really only memories which arise and are known NOW. That knowing is without effort. Knowing and NOW are one and the same. Knowing IS now, and now IS knowing. The two words are identical in import.

I am not saying that you cannot have memories which are disturbing and require somehow being understood and digested in order for you to move forward with your life. You may have memories like that, and if you do, the best thing is to do that work, using help, if necessary, like the kind which is available in psychotherapy, or in conversation with a good friend if you are lucky enough to have one like that.

We have been speaking in this thread about the topic of whether life is pointless which was the original question, not about memories and forgetting. But since you have raised the issue, to begin with, no one can FORGET anything intentionally. Remembering and forgetting are spontaneous, unchosen occurrances. Memories just arise on their own. No one has to TRY to do any "remembering." Remembering just happens. That "just happening" is what we call "knowing." What's known is known, and no one is responsible for what is known. Knowing is not chosen. You just KNOW, and that knowing IS you. If, in this moment, awareness is filled thoughts of some remembered past, that does not mean that the images in those thoughts exist in reality. They do not exist except in memory, and in memory all that arises is known only NOW. And that knowing is timeless and non-material. No one can can get a grip on it by any means whatsoever. Knowing simply flows. Past is over and gone. Only now ever exists. This must be seen in order to understand any of this.

The idea that "life is pointless" arises due to the persistent thoughtthe cultural meme, reallythat human beings are the center of life, and that human desires, fears, beliefs, and motivations have some special significance apart from their being occurrances or happenings in a vast, endless sea of happenings of all kinds. This is anthropocentricism, an ego-based, self-centered idea which manifests as a contraction and almost total dumbing down of what life really is—a complete and total mysterious vastness of unspeakable complexity and apparent intelligence. How could what we call "life," or "nature" ever be understood by any human intellect, which refects that total apparent intelligence, and is contained in it?

Humans are PART of life, and the part can never comprehend the whole. Once that is seen, the idea that the part must have a "meaning," and ought to understand that meaning and be able to put anything about it into words, is both arrogant and foolish. Reality, which is life itself, contains human beings, and everything else. The grass comes up every spring regardless of what you think about it.

When you tell yourself stories which are not true—in this case that "you" are the CENTER of something, or that "you" must have come to "be here" for some particular purpose or pre-existing destiny—you suffer. In this case the suffering is called "the feeling of meaninglessness," or, perhaps more precisely, the fear that one may NOTICE meaninglessness. When you see that you not the center of anything apart from your own dreams and fantasies—when you awaken, in other words, to the vastness of reality, and particularly when you fully grasp that only NOW exists—you will no longer ask what the "point" is. Such a question would never even arise.

(Edited 2 hours later.)

dr-robert double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 6 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

You did not wander too far off topic at all. All of this is connected.

Now you wrote this:

> Also, all memories can't just be thoughts. There's no way.

Please explain what you mean.

dr-robert triple-posted this 6.1 years ago, 4 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

What problem do you have then?

dr-robert quadruple-posted this 6.1 years ago, 22 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes? Then please explain what the past is if not just thoughts. It is not sufficient simply to keep repeating "they're not just thoughts." If that is what you believe, fine. Please tell us what you think the past is then.

Cassandra replied with this 6.1 years ago, 18 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Maybe she means memories are not thinking about what happened, they are actual recollections-you can see it, hear it, feel it again. You can remember something in a sensory way without your brain expressing regrets, narrating, commenting, etc.

She might not mean that.

Then there are flashbacks. They feel like the past incident is actually recurring and you are your self from that time.

(Edited 36 seconds later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 30 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

But a flashback IS thought. An "actual recollection" also IS thought. Whatever seemed to have happened "in the past" is not here now. Only memories, which are thoughts in someone's mind, are left. You CANNOT feel it again. That is simply not true. As you read this, try to recall a toothache or a headache and feel it. You can't. Saying that you can is just words. No one can change the past--not even something that seems to have happened one second ago. The toothpaste cannot be put back into the tube. The broken teacup cannot be made intact. The idea that the "past" still somehow exists somewhere outside of memory is a delusion.

(Edited 8 minutes later.)

dr-robert double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 33 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

No, that is not true. Yes, you can feel fear, but not the SAME fear again. Thinking of a situation is not the same as being in the situation. This is a crucial distinction. Before someone sees this for what it is, he or she can live in imagination, and be victimized by imagination. Once it is seen, whatever thought arises can be seen to be only a movement in the mind which does not have be be dealt with in the way that an actual situation might.

dr-robert triple-posted this 6.1 years ago, 6 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

In this moment, apart from thought, what do you have to fear?

dr-robert quadruple-posted this 6.1 years ago, 3 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Of course it is a thought. Is it happening now? No, so the only "place" it IS happening is in your mind. Do you not see this?

dr-robert quintuple-posted this 6.1 years ago, 25 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, anon W. You are welcome. The key move is to say "I am THINKING such and such (either past or future), but it is not happening now, and it may never happen." (or, if it is something which happened in the past: "Well, I did not like that, but it is over now, and all that remains is memories in my mind.")

(Edited 40 seconds later.)

Sifter joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 32 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Doc, how does this work if the memories are happening at a pre-conscious level? For example, I have a colleague who jumps in fear any time someone approaches him from behind on his left side. A moment later he collects himself, obviously recognising (consciously) that there is nothing to fear. I think maybe Anon W has a similar experience? That it will take a while before conscious thought is able to distinguish the memory as a memory, and before that happens, it feels real and her body/nervous system/behaviour are all based on it BEING real. Does this move of "I am THINKING" offer relief here?

Anonymous Z-5 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 24 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

If you are carrying strong feelings about something that happened in your past, they may hinder your ability to live in the present.
[Les Brown]

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 12 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

That's a good point, Helen, what happened very long ago, especially in childhood, has less 'power' over us than what happened just recently, however, what happened in childhood was more 'powerful' in the sense that it contributed to the conditioning of the mind.

As the saying goes: "time is a great healer". We may remember something from way back but it is just a faint recollection of an event or a feeling that has no hold on the present.

"Fear of what could happen" in the future has to be investigated thoroughly because it is a total illusion based on some experience or something someone said that triggered worry or feat, but it can never happen... the future never comes!! This is important to realize and say to yourself that what is happening right now is all there is and any fears going to past/present must be questioned and seen to be false and unnecessary, and holding us back.

David double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 1 hour later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Not sure what you mean by Delphi or what Ross says. Please clarify. No, I would not say a child in an abusive household should understand what we are discussing here, but then again, is there a child involved in this discussion? As adults we have to be able to face the pain (and its consequences) that was inflicted in the past. You don't need to use a 'spiritual' label to point out what should be clear in your 'direct experience', including the fact that past/present are just thoughts you have to deal with.

David triple-posted this 6.1 years ago, 3 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

The recognition that they are just thoughts may be simple, but dealing with the 'baggage', so to speak, and mind conditioning is anything but easy (from my own experience it is hard work), depending on the circumstances. That is why therapy can be extremely helpful. Yes, there is a child in all of us... but perhaps this is also something that should be discussed in therapy. (Can't say anything beyond that b/c I'm not a trained therapist.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 12 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes. Various "knots" or "blockages" may impede seeing things as they really arethat only NOW ever really exists. Psychotherapy and/or conversations with compassionate friends helps to untie the knots and open the blockages. Those of you who are in therapy currently may sometimes experience the untying of a knot or the dissolving of a blockage as a sudden change in the rooma presence (meaning suddenly actually being in the room instead of in your head or lost in emotional memory).

dr-robert double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 42 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes. I like to see it as "Oh, well, that's just a story you tell yourself."

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> I wonder how many knots and blockages I have.

Why not have a look?

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 1 hour later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

OK, Anon W-- Give this a gander: http://youtu.be/pIJHJzDQcRM

dr-robert double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 16 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Good post, Jennifer. It is not a question of wrong or right. There are many ways to look at "reality," and none of them will be "right," since reality is beyond words and beyond thought. This is clear. Even if you have a moment when you do not think of yourself, you are still here. So being must be PRIOR to thought.

That saidthat the menu is not the meal, nor the map the territorywhatever you see and think IS you. One main point in the film is that all of THIS is really made of one and the same stuff: strings of "intelligence." So you, and the tree at the foot of the garden are really made of the same stuff. Naturally, having a human nervous system, you don't see it that way. And that's normal and expected. The next step is to understand that what you see is not actually "out there" the way you see it, but the seeing takes place in the brain. Whatever the world "out there" really is, no one can actually see it. Whatever you see IS you. The part "inside" your body, you call "myself," and the part "outside" your body, you call "the world," but they are all connected, one and the same happening called "NOW" or "life" or "this."

Be well.

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 5 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

That's a good point, Jen. We are expressions of life and cannot be separate in any way from it, other than on the physical level as perceived by the body-mind.

Here's an interesting article on the role of brain hemispheres wrt the perception of Self:

Self versus Unity

Michael Persinger from Laurentian University has been studying geophysics of brain function. He writes:

"Understanding the neurobehavioral correlates of the sense of self is one of the last challenges for neuroscience. In general the sense of self is involved with language processes traditionally associated with the left hemisphere of the human brain. However we were interested in the source of discovery: the neuro-cognitive processes of creativity. We had been impressed by the many historical and cross-cultural examples of ordinary people who accessed sophisticated knowledge well beyond their level of education or intellect when the right hemisphere was likely to have been stimulated. To test this association we experimentally simulated the condition. We applied specific complex magnetic fields of less than 1 micro Tesla over the right hemisphere. The most frequent result was the experience of the sense of a presence or of another Sentient Being. We have hypothesized that this sense of a presence is the transient awareness of the right hemispheric equivalent to the left hemispheric sense of self. We suspect that the general properties of this "other" reflect right hemispheric functions that include a feeling of extended space (beyond the self, infinity), widened time (eternity) and marked emotion. (Persinger, n.d.)

"Persinger explains the other Sentient Being as the perception of an individual beyond the self, the feeling of a presence and the unification with the whole of existence. He attributes this feeling to the right hemisphere."

http://www.quantumperception.net/html/self_vs_unity.htm

David double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 26 seconds later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

RIGHT BRAIN UNCONSCIOUS AWARENESS

"Although non-linguistic and non-conscious, we are capable of becoming fully aware of what is occurring in the right hemisphere. We are aware of birds singing, we can hear a quiver or the emotion in the voice of a friend or lover, we can judge distance when throwing or catching a ball, and we are aware of where our legs and arms are in space when we walk, skip, dance or run; and we can do all these things without thinking about then. If we choose to we can also become consciously-aware of all them as they occurs.

"It is just very difficult to put what the right hemisphere experiences into words. However, it is also not always necessary or useful. Instead of thinking, sometimes we need to just feel, experience, and observe without talking about it. If we only talk and think, all this beautiful, intriguing and informative stimuli fades from conscious consideration as we instead focus on single features of the environment or mistake words and labels for reality. If we stop talking for but a few moments and stop our thoughts, then the singing of the birds, the chirping of squirrels, the distant laughter of children will suddenly come to the fore. If we consciously reflect on them, however, we will also know that we were aware of them the whole time."

http://brainmind.com/RightBrainAwareness.html

(Edited 48 seconds later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yes, Jennifer. I totally agree. A lot of art, both popular mass market art as well as sacred art speaks about this subject. Wizard of Oz uses a lot of this symbolism. My friend, John Troy pointed that out to me. Finally the curtain is pulled aside by little Toto, the dog, to reveal that the "great wizard" was really just a little old guy sitting at the controls.

dr-robert double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 17 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Me too. Being does exist prior to and apart from thought, but being cannot ever be seen. Why can't being ever be seen? Because being is what does the seeing. Your eyes, being the organ of seeing, can see everything but themselves. Being, for the same reason (metaphorically) cannot ever see itself, for the very seeing IS being.

Anonymous Z-6 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

If I didn't believe in God I would probably kill myself.
Can't get over that feeling of pointlessness.

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 22 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Belief in God is a thought created by a mind looking for an escape from reality. There can be no substitutes to life as it is right now. Any improvement is only illusory. Feeling of pointlessness arises as a mental phenomenon in a suffering mind. When you pay attention to it, you notice that it is so.

Stop believing your thoughts! They are not really 'yours' anyway...

(Edited 19 minutes later.)

David double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 25 minutes later, 6 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

'God' is a word or concept that has a huge historical baggage. But if you use it to represent love or now or life, then that's fine. It only depends on your subjective understanding of that word; what it means to you. If for some reason I wish to call life/love/now 'Bob', then that's fine for me but nobody else will probably understand that unless I explain to them what Bob means to me... it's all just a words game.

(Edited 7 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 6 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I would not agree that being is a thing. What "thing" is it? Being is what you ARE--a human BEING. This is not so much a noun as a verb. Being is what is happening right now, and you call that "me."

Simon joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 8 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I fear this topic is diverging from the OP.
I read most of this thread last night and have had a day (only a day) to cogitate over it.
I think one of the aspects discussed is central to the debate. Life.
What is life? Or perhaps, what is 'life' in the context of the OP. Life in one sense could be all of existince as one could argue that the universe is alive.
I think perhaps if we agree that for this discussion 'life' means the life of humans (certainly a subset of 'life') our discourse may prove more fruitful.

With that in mind. Is human life pointless?
Even with the limited scope, the question itself is still irrelevant as we cannot know the answer.
In an infinite universe, there are infinite questions and therefore infinite answers.

Perhaps we can ask ourselves 'Is my life pointless?'. Again the answer is all about the context in which we question ourselves.
Is my life pointless to the universe? Probably, but it's not a certainty.
Is my life pointless to me? Yes, I think so.
Is my life pointless to my family? Probably not.
Is my life pointless to the mouse killed by the trap that I set? I'm not sure. But I suspect if we could ask the mouse he/she may have an opinion.

Thoughts? I might just be rambling.

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 10 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> If you use it here as a verb it is what you are doing. Not what you are. I cannot make them the same in my mind but I do see your point.

Being IS a verb. Human being is a verb. Understanding it as a noun, meaning that there is something apart from eating, digesting, sleeping, eliminating, thinking, feeling moving, etc. is a misunderstanding. This misunderstanding imagines a subject of all of that, but that does not really exist. Yes, it is a commonly held, wide-spread misundertanding, but that does not make it correct, only wide-spread. Nothing exists as "you" besides the body and its biology, which is automatic and not subject to control by an imagined "myself," feeling, again not subject to control, and thoughts, ditto. You may say "'I' am thinking such and such," but that is only an artifact of language. Thoughts simply arise by themselves. No one is "doing" thinking. "Myself" is only a thought--a repetitive thought which actually refers to something more imagined than real. "Myself" is actually only what is thought, what is felt, and what is done. All verbs, no nouns.

If you say, "I see a tree," who is the "I?" It makes just as much or more sense to say "A tree was seen," or "Seeing happened." The "myself" is redundant and causes tremendous emotional suffering, all of which is misplaced.

Ask yourself: "Am I digesting my food or making my fingernails grow? Do I really decide what to think? (If I do, why am I not just thinking happy thoughts then?) Do I decide what to feel? (If I do, why am I not just feeling happy feelings then?) All of what you call "myself" arises as fate or destiny. You cannot even decide whether to agree or disagree with any of these words. There is agreement or not. All of that just happens.

(Edited 8 minutes later.)

dr-robert double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 3 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

> I see what you're saying. For you there is no "why" it just is.

Yes, that's it exactly. Beautiful! But Life goes on just fine without having to believe that any little "myself" in the brain could be in control of this astounding unfolding, a part split off from the totality of all of this, actually deciding what to do next. I understand the appeal of that idea, but I simply cannot buy it. Everything "I" see, feel, think, and appear to "do" IS "me." I find out what "I" am as each and every moment arises. There is no do-er separate and apart from that seeing, feeling, thinking and knowing. In conventional language, every verb has its subject, but the subject is really the ghost in the machine. It's really all just verbing. There is no "you" apart from everything which is arising and passing away again in this very moment. All the rest is just stories we tell ourselves. You do not "have a life." You ARE life. An autobiography made up by taking all the separate moments and stringing them together as if making a pearl necklace called "my life," is not autobiography, but fiction, existing only in memory, while reality is this ever-present, timeless NOW. If this way of looking at life is I not your way, I've said before and repeat it here, no problem. Different strokes for different folks. I have nothing to sell, and no intention of convincing anyone of anything.

I do not believe in executing anyone, but societies and groups of all kinds do seem to need norms in order to function. In a mass population, punishments such as fines or imprisonment are part of the enforcement of those norms, along with public pressure, shaming, religious beliefs, codes of ethics, etc. Yes, someone may be deterred from committing a crime, for example, by the threat of prison (or threat of eternal damnation and loss of paradise, for those who believe in that stuff), but that does not mean that anyone CHOSE not to commit the crime due to that threat. It is more automatic than that, as I see it. Faced with certain threats, certain personalities would simply not risk committing a crime. This is not CHOICE, but actually automaticthe complete opposite of choice. Given a certain level of theat applied to a particular kind of body/mind, out comes a certain kind of behaviorautomatic, actually. I wonder if that idea makes any sense to you.

From my point of view, no one is to blame for anything. People do what they do. This has nothing to do with right and wrong, legal or illegal, nice or nasty. Naturally, if someone thinks he or she is a chooser and has choices to make, then that person will have choices to make, and decisions to decide.

(Edited 18 hours later.)

dr-robert triple-posted this 6.1 years ago, 9 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Another good question. You're on a roll.

No, it does not mean that we can decide what to think, but that we can be influenced by things we hear. You cannot actually discipline your thoughts. Thoughts just arise. Trying to discipline them would be like herding cats.

But if you read or hear somewhere that thoughts have no materiality, and only your involvement with them gives them the energy and emotion they seem to have, then the next time an upsetting thought arises, you may find yourself also thinking, "Hey, this is just a thought. The thought is not the thing. No big deal." Yes, we are influenced by everything we see, hear, etc., but that does not mean anyone DECIDES to be influenced. It just happens.

But, as I said, as long as you think or believe that there is a "you" which decides things and makes choices, then you will have to make decisions and choices. I wish you good ones.

(Edited 20 minutes later.)

Anonymous Z-8 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Another good question. You're on a roll.

Guess you don't like my "good questions".

Anonymous Z-9 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 1 hour later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

How about a "sentient being"? It certainly seems that it is both a noun and a verb. The subject is aware of itself as the activity that is happening. Otherwise, can there be any activity without this subject, conceived by the mind? How do we know or can say if there is self-awareness unless there are subjects or minds that conceive of what self-awareness even is? In the long run, what does it matter what we call ourselves as long as we know that we exist and are aware?

Anonymous Z-10 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Belief in God is a thought created by a mind looking for an escape from reality. There can be no substitutes to life as it is right now. Any improvement is only illusory. Feeling of pointlessness arises as a mental phenomenon in a suffering mind. When you pay attention to it, you notice that it is so.
>
> Stop believing your thoughts! They are not really 'yours' anyway...
That's pointless, friend. Do you always do that when you meet a religious person? I wonder how many you've managed to convert into your religion. My guess would be that the number is very close to zero.
And actually my thoughts *are* mine. You'll find it as hard to convince me there is no God as it is to convince yourself that awakening is only a result of delusion and sick mind.

e: Meh this whole moral high-ground is starting to stink. If someone says a word about Christianity or any religion for that matter they get a barrage of crap thrown at them for being stupid and mind you I don't judge that but when someone says something about awakening there's a whole audience trolling the topic and discussing the fine pros of awakening and self-annihilation. And if someone dares disagree they better do it in a damn ass-licking manner or face consequences.

(Edited 23 minutes later.)

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 1 hour later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Z-8-- I do like them. A good question deserves a good answer. This kind of respectful dialog is helpful to most if not all humans.

Z-9-- Sentience is neither a noun or a verb. Sentience is the actual condition of reality. Reality IS sentience. Ego, which is what many people mean when they say "myself," is automatic and insentient. This understanding is a doorway.

Yes, it does not matter WHAT you call yourself. The entire question is not about names or ideas, but what is MEANT by all those words. "I" may "use" wordshear myself speaking them, and imagining that a fixed "someone" is really "doing" that, but that is just one way of defining "I," and that way is insentient. The SENTIENCE is the NOTICING or KNOWING of the words and everything else which is arisingfrom where, who knows?

In truth, I have no idea what I am about to write. "I" find out as the words arise in awareness. The writing IS the knowing. No "person" is DOING writing. That's just a conventional idea--not entirely useless, but quite limited. The person and the writing are one and the same. This is timeless. "Personing" IS writing when WRITING is happening. Then, if writing is not happening, but sexuality is happening, then "personing" will be sexuality. The imagined "person" is not some fixed entity at all, but a moment to moment arising. This is NOT esoteric, Anyone who tries sincerely can see this is a day. Just watch "myself" changing from minute to minute. (I don't mean the name on your drivers license).

In other words, if it moves, it's the movie (good words, John Troy). "You," the real you is not a body plus its fabricated autobiography. Youthe real youare the ever-present, effortless, unchosen, non-judgmental, all-embracing KNOWING.

"You," the real you, is nothing more or less than the "knowing without trying," which is ALWAYS there, whether "ego-you" notices that or not.

No one has to TRY to know. You just KNOW. If I hand you a cup of tea, and you take a sip, you do not have to TRY to know whether the tea is hot, warm, or cool. You just KNOW. You do not have to ASK yourself if the tea is hot, warm, or cool. You just KNOW. Instantly.

Now, I am saying that the "just knowing without TRYING to know IS you. That "knowing without trying" exists in silence and emptiness. All the rest of "myself," is just a story I tell myself, but that story is constructed of nothing more than repetitive thoughts (beliefs, images). A repetitive thought is about as INsentient as things get.

The real yousentienceis not a thought or a million thoughts, but that which is AWARE of thoughts, perceptions, feelings, and everything else. "Sentient" means "KNOWING," not thinking. The real you exists only NOW, once-upon-a-once. We all really already know this, but mass culture denies it, and provides countless ways to repress it. None of this is esoteric. Quite the opposite, really. It is wide-open like a perfect highway--level, easy to traverse, undemanding, and has the distinct advantage of already being there. Noticing that "already-thereness" is a doorway.

Z-10 I am not denying that some vast intelligence permeates reality. Not at all. If that is what you mean by "God," you and I are on the same page. But all of that depends totally upon what someone means by "God." Usually, as I said, "God" will be an imagea thought or a picture. But a thought or a picture is not some vast intelligence, but something that requires be defended, debated, bogged down with theology, etc. Worshipping an image is idolatry. When I said that "Belief in God is a thought created by a mind looking for an escape from reality, that was not a comment on "God," but upon BELIEF, which is a all too popular kind of escapism.

If I KNOW something, I do not profess belief or faith in it. I KNOW it. Clinging to and defending beliefs is a bald confession of DOUBT. Professing faith, arguing for beliefs, gathering a group of like-minded believers to discuss theologyall of thatis a naked confession of doubt.

(Edited 32 minutes later.)

Anonymous Z-10 replied with this 6.1 years ago, 9 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

I also KNOW what I believe in is real. This forum is a gathering of a group of like-minded believers to discuss awakening. Precisely why nobody fucking disagrees with anyone. Also I don't want to be rude but I actually meant to reply to David.

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 52 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

HI, Anon Z. No prob. You know what you know. That's precisely what I was saying. I told you that we are on the same page, but you did not believe me.

This forum has two functions:
1. Since I no longer am able to reply to questions on facebook or by email, It is a place where people can post questions to me personally.
2. There is a community of "regulars" who are developing a kind of culture and idiom which is being used both to discuss their own interests among one another, and also to reply to serious questions from visitors. It is improvisational having no scriptural authority, nor suggested practices other than noticing what NOW is. A number of voices are working on this.

Disagreement arises often here, so your comment seems less than factual. That said, contention for the very sake of contention, or arguing with intentions of convincing, apparently an increasingly popular form of entertainment on internet, is highly discouraged in this work. In aid of that, we have been learning how to address one another with due respect. We all have our views and opinions. That is what I referred to as INsentient. Views and opinions are impediments to what we are working on here. Prior to judgment, something exists. You ARE that.

Anonymous Z-11 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 8 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Z-8-- I do like them. A good question deserves a good answer. This kind of respectful dialog is helpful to most if not all humans.

Like them so much you banned me and erased them all...

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 5 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I have no interest in seeing scatology or other inappropriate subjects here. I don't know who you are. I have gone out of my way to provide an anonymous forum. But doing that required giving up control of who could post here. I ban and delete if someone posts inappropriate items. I have posted the rules. Everyone is totally anonymous, so if I ban or delete, it has nothing to do with "you"I don't know WHO you arebut with the post.

Beyond that, ask yourself what you are looking for here. There are millions of websites. Why this one? If you respect it, and refrain from the entertainment motive, you might like it.

Anonymous Z-11 replied with this 6.1 years ago, 1 minute later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I have posted NOTHING inapproptiate! Unless just writing here at all is innapropriate. And you do know who I am. Jennifer. Why you acting like you don't know that? You SAID my name when you responded to me. If you just want me to shut up then fine but don't say its because I said something disrespectful or "scatology" when I didn't. And don't say it's fine to post when it's not.

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

Anonymous Z-11 double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 13 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

The last thing I posted was something along the lines of "We need that troll.. And how does that make you feel?" In response to "anxious person"'s scat threat. Mimicking another troll that you let ask that same question half a million times. The post I made before that was HERE. The one you said was a good question. So where in all of that did I say something direspectful, innaproptiate, or scatology? Like I said, don't want me to talk fine. But don't say I did something that I KNOW I didn't do. That's not why you banned ME.

(Edited 4 minutes later.)

Anonymous Z-12 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 39 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

What's so funny about it is that you're trolling this topic even now. Go back to that other topic to shake your fist and threaten to leave.

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 4 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Well. First, I did not know it was you, Jennifer. I thought 9 was you, and 10 and 11 were someone else--two different people, in fact. I see now that that was foolish or a bit blind, but also some of you have been messing around with musical chairs identities games, but I am kind of lost on that level. Anyway, I was not playing around. I honestly believed I was speaking with three different people, and all of my posts were sincere.

Well, this is really cool. I like your recent writings a lot, Jennifer.

Anonymous Z-13 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 15 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

w, 8, and 11 were me... you knew that was me. You said my name when I was writing it. So why did you ban me? Just because it's me, right?

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 22 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Let's not do this one again, Jennifer. I do the best I can. I don't lie. If I fuck up (from your point of view), forgive me. I am just doing what I do. From my point of view, I am not fucking up, and THERE IS NO FUCKING UP. If you do not see things that way, fine. I can respect that completely.

Anonymous Z-14 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 3 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

So, I was right. You had no reason to ban me and delete all my stuff after you said I was ok to write here and it wasn't a mistake. You just did it and it's gonna stay that way. I get it. Whatever, that's fine.
And in my book that does make you a liar.

(Edited 10 minutes later.)

Anonymous Z-14 double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 11 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

He just said he didn't make a mistake. And continue with what? All my shit was deleted. There is nothing to continue. Look up. It's all gone. Just Dr. Robert talking to himself. My thread on the social board is gone to so what should I continue with there? Every post I have made recently is gone. And I'm not gonna keep wasting my time hacking into a place (because I am BANNED) that tells me over and over they don't want me here so fuck off.

(Edited 13 minutes later.)

Anonymous Z-14 triple-posted this 6.1 years ago, 18 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

WHAT UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR? THERE WAS NO UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR. I SEE REJECTION BECAUSE I WAS BANNED AND MY SHIT IS DELETED. I HAVE TO DO ILLEGAL SHIT JUST TO WRITE HERE.

> If I fuck up (from your point of view), forgive me. I am just doing what I do. From my point of view, I am not fucking up

THAT IS NOT AN APOLOGY. WHY WOULD HE APOLOGIZE FOR GETTING RID OF ME WHEN HE WANTED TO GET RID OF ME? WHY DON'T YOU STOP SEEING ME AS THE BAD GUY WHEN I'M NOT?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?

(Edited 38 seconds later.)

Anonymous Z-15 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 27 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

He basically said "I'm not wrong, but if your delusional mind thinks I am, sorry." Not an apology. Why would he apologize anyway? And I don't give a fuck anymore about any rejection. Now I'm ranting because you are not listening and saying I'm the one who is wrong. So fuck you. And fuck this forum.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Anonymous Z-16 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 13 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

He made me look like a damn fool thinking shit might be ok.

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 43 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Look, Jennifer, if I ask you to forgive me, I really mean it. I mean forgive me for just being an ordinary human being who does not always see everything as it is, can become confused, all of that.

If you can do that, our conversation, which I thought was very worthwhile, can continue.

Robert

Anonymous Z-17 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 16 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Yeah? How does it continue when I'm banned and refuse to hack your site? What is there to continue when what I write isn't acceptable enough to keep? It doesn't. Congratulations. You win. I'm gone.

Anonymous Z-18 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 14 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

One last thing, I never accused him of not being perfect. Nobody's perfect. I accused him of letting me back in, telling me it was ok to write, that he cared, etc, letting me get comfortable, and then banning me again and deleting all my stuff. (Like I said he was going to back on the Question thread.) If it was just an accident why hasn't he once tried to fix it? Why am I still banned and my stuff still gone? I know he can because I've seen him do it. It has to be because he really just doesn't want me here.
I can forgive him for getting confused about who was who here, that is completely understandable, but that has absolutely nothing to do with my being banned. All this was written yesterday afternoon and there is nothing inappropriate in any of it and I was banned early yesterday morning. Unless I am to believe that he randomly picks people every now and then and bans them then there was a reason. He refuses to tell me why so I have to go with what I believe.
Now, he says we can continue with our conversation knowing full well that I am doing something illegal to work around the ban to be able to write here. He is either ok with that, with me taking that risk, or he really doesn't want me to talk at all. He wants to look like the good guy giving me a chance when he's really not. Yeah, you all can believe this is all a big misunderstanding, but all of it? Really? I find it hard to believe.

(Edited 10 minutes later.)

Anonymous Z-19 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I know that besides all our difference we are all people. We are all the same, made of the same things, feel the same things, think the same things. Pain hurts you just as much as it hurts me. You like happiness just as much as I do. But people don't always treat me like I am the same. They treat me as if I like pain. Even if I act like I do sometimes I am still human and would rather someone understand instead of "give me what I ask for." How often does that happen though? With me not very often. So maybe I am different fundamentally. If I am that different then I really must be a monster. Maybe I really am all that they treat me like. Maybe I really do like pain and evil. I can find ways to like it and really be myself.

But I'm not a monster.

FrenchFries joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Life is pointless and everything is meaningless. I feel like I have no direction whatsoever.

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 3 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Jennifer--Try to hear this: I do not have the perfect powers that you imagine. I said this, but you do not seem to believe it. I am a bright older man who has practiced psychotherapy and thought deeply about consciousness, free-will, awareness, etc. for a long time. But I am just an ordinary person. We all are. So, speaking as an ordinary person, not a symbol:

1. I did not know it was you I was banning. I said that before, and I was telling you the truth.
2. I am not playing any kind of games at all. I am looking death right in the face. I have neither time nor inclination to fuck with anybody. Believe it or not, that's the deal.

I am telling you the truth. I was fifty years old when I got my first computer. I am not as tech-savvy as you imagine. I did not set this forum up, and I barely know how to operated it. If you could hear this and accept it, we could move off this same old round-about. I am just an ordinary human being. If you look at anyone close up, you are going to see not perfection, but humanity. I do understand that you have been hurt, and so now you are hyper-vigilant regarding power-plays. I get it. Now you have to either believe that I am not involved in power-plays, and so trust that there is an honesty to my replies to you, and no aggressive intentions, or you don't. Convincing you that there are decent, respectful, mutually beneficial relations on this planet is not my job. Everyone has to take care of her or himself in that regard. OK?

(Edited 22 minutes later.)

Anonymous Z-21 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 18 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

How are you looking death in the face?

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 7 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

As far as I know, my health at this time is fine. I am looking death in the face because:

1. I am a 66 year old man who is realistic about life on Earth.
2. I "awakened" to the emptiness and insubstantiality of all of THIS long ago. To be a knower of that silence, means that every moment is like the last.

dr-robert double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 22 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

All I know to do is for Jen to choose a new permanent name, and just go with it. I won't ban you, OK? If I do, it will be a mistake. I will not intentionally ban you, Jen.

OK. Let's go for it.

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 5 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

There. I unbanned myself. Is this a problem for anyone?

Cassandra replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Thank god

Jennifer replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

God had nothing to do with it.

Cassandra replied with this 6.1 years ago, 7 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

How do you feel?
I feel like you were trapped in some otherworld and performed a Houdini-like escape and now you're all free and triumphant

Jennifer replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I don't.

Cassandra replied with this 6.1 years ago, 10 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Had a feeling you might respond that way.
Okay, now I see you as major pissed.

(Edited 23 seconds later.)

Jennifer replied with this 6.1 years ago, 9 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I'm nowhere near being in the right frame of mind to be able to continue that conversation even if I did have an interest.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Anonymous Z-23 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Life has absolutely no meaning. You live and then you die. The in-between is filled with pondering over how happy you were 2 weeks, a month or 3 years ago.

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 49 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> That's pointless, friend. Do you always do that when you meet a religious person? I wonder how many you've managed to convert into your religion. My guess would be that the number is very close to zero.
> And actually my thoughts *are* mine. You'll find it as hard to convince me there is no God as it is to convince yourself that awakening is only a result of delusion and sick mind.
>
> e: Meh this whole moral high-ground is starting to stink. If someone says a word about Christianity or any religion for that matter they get a barrage of crap thrown at them for being stupid and mind you I don't judge that but when someone says something about awakening there's a whole audience trolling the topic and discussing the fine pros of awakening and self-annihilation. And if someone dares disagree they better do it in a damn ass-licking manner or face consequences.


No, I have not 'converted' a single religious person to anything (at least not to my knowledge), that's true, simply because it would not even occur to me to try! When I say "don't believe your thoughts" it applies not only to religious people, but anyone in general. I am even not interested in convincing anyone that there is no God (what do I know?) or anything else for that matter, nor am I interested in a discussion on theology, although some philosophical aspects are still interesting. You can believe in whatever you want, but frankly I wonder why you even come to this forum unless you seek psychological help or are interested in a discussion on 'awakening'. Personally, I really like much of what Jesus, or whoever actually wrote the scriptures, apparently said, and have even quoted him here and elsewhere, but I'm far from buying into the doctrinal packaging that comes with it. As someone once said: "religion is the opium for the masses", and I find that still relevant today.

Believing in 'awakening' or 'God' or anything is the same thing--a belief in an idea that has no substance other than what the 'believer' attributes to it. Not only can there be no empirical evidence, but it is the act of believing itself that is a product of a delusional mind, susceptible to manipulation through indoctrination. You are welcome to disagree with what I or others say about religion, but then again you have to question whether it is wise or useful to come to this forum espousing beliefs that are not commonly shared here.

Here's a perspective on religions that I find interesting and worth contemplation (A. Camus, The Fall):

"...religions are on the wrong track the moment they moralize and fulminate commandments.
God is not needed to create guilt or to punish. Our fellow men suffice, aided by
ourselves. You were speaking of the Last Judgment. Allow me to laugh respectfully. I shall wait for it
resolutely, for I have known what is worse, the judgment of men. For them, no extenuating
circumstances; even the good intention is ascribed to crime. Have you at least heard of the spitting-cell,
which a nation recently thought up to prove itself the greatest on earth? A walled-up box in
which the prisoner can stand without moving. The solid door that locks him in his cement
shell stops at chin level. Hence only his face is visible, and every passing jailer spits copiously on it.
The prisoner, wedged into his cell, cannot wipe his face, though he is allowed, it is true, to close his
eyes. Well, that, mon cher, is a human invention. They didn’t need God for that little masterpiece.
What of it? Well, God’s sole usefulness would be to guarantee innocence, and I am inclined to
see religion rather as a huge laundering venture—-as it was once but briefly, for exactly three years,
and it wasn’t called religion. Since then, soap has been lacking, our faces are dirty, and we wipe one
another’s noses. All dunces, all punished, let’s all spit on one another and hurry to the little-ease!
Each tries to spit first, that’s all. I’ll tell you a big secret, mon cher. Don’t wait for the Last Judgment.
It takes place every day."

David double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 11 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Life has absolutely no meaning. You live and then you die. The in-between is filled with pondering over how happy you were 2 weeks, a month or 3 years ago.

If your mind ponders the question of meaning, it will likely come up with pointlessness because it just cannot grasp reality as is. Life continues despite your thoughts about it. To proclaim: "Life has absolutely no meaning" is anthropocentric arrogance epitomized!

Differential joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Incorrect. You assume that simply because we are not it's central meaning, that it must have some other meaning. It is possible for no meaning to exist, and as such, the central human existence means nothing *as well.*

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 12 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi, Diff. Long time no see. How have you been?

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 1 hour later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Incorrect. You assume that simply because we are not it's central meaning, that it must have some other meaning. It is possible for no meaning to exist, and as such, the central human existence means nothing *as well.*

Nope, I don't assume anything at all; simply saying that life doesn't care what we think about it--meaning or no-meaning. The arrogance is in imposing a conceptual constraint on life.

Differential replied with this 6.1 years ago, 3 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> To proclaim: "Life has absolutely no meaning" is anthropocentric arrogance epitomized!

I can only reply to what is stated, not what is meant. To more clearly state your case, then, shall we say "Life doesn't care what you think about it's meaning?"

For the record, this also means that saying life has meaning is also arrogant. An interesting take on things.

Edit: In fact, it makes stating that life doesn't care about our opinions arrogant, as well. Having *any* opinion on the subject is. Well played, the meaning of life has been rendered a silly question. What a cop-out.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 13 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

Yes, you have a point, Diff. In fact, as soon as a word is uttered, it is already false because it negates what IS. The arrogance is inherent in the discourse. However, since we have to use words to communicate in some predefined manner, the question of 'meaning' is really a subjective one. To objectify meaning or truth is to keep falling into the same egoic mind game trap.

For me, the question of meaning doesn't even come up because life (and there is no 'my life') is inherently meaningful, regardless of any opinions.

David double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 1 hour later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

"Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon."
~Woody Allen

Lyrian joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 22 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Wow. There's always someone who will mention God. I came to this site because I'm looking for some comfort after the death of my beautiful son, comfort that incorporates my belief that life is random and meaningless, and that we create our own meaning. I am finding it hard to go on now, knowing what I know, having explored many philosophies, and ultimately settling on existentialism - we are our actions, nothing else - and enjoying the moment, the next thing, the good coffee, the good conversation...but I'm looking for someone who shares my point of view.
>
> My son's death has made my feelings of meaningless so much stronger, some days I don't know how I go on with the horror - and I had experienced various horrors before that. But your child being murdered is it. How the hell do I go on after that? Nobody acknowledges that life is shit. Life is lies. Playing the game. Death is the only truth. My name is Natalie. Hello.

Dear Natalie, I don't know your pain, but please allow me to say this:

"and ultimately settling on existentialism - we are our actions, nothing else - and enjoying the moment" -- we are our PRESENT action, and nothing else.

Also, this may be naive of me, but: Horror and suffering are beautiful in that they exist and existence is, well, really something. "I hate you": Isn't that amazing?! Awesome! We hate each other! That's so cool!

Life seems random because humans are limited and hence incapable of comprehending the infinity, or would it be more correct to say "infinitum" there, that is reality.

Much love to you.

Differential replied with this 6.1 years ago, 13 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> Yes, you have a point, Diff. In fact, as soon as a word is uttered, it is already false because it negates what IS. The arrogance is inherent in the discourse. However, since we have to use words to communicate in some predefined manner, the question of 'meaning' is really a subjective one. To objectify meaning or truth is to keep falling into the same egoic mind game trap.

I was not agreeing with your logic. I was pointing out how ridiculous it was. To not seek, and thus objectify, truth, is to willingly be ignorant. You blame the ego and arrogance, implying without explanation as to why that they are undesirable. You provide yourself with an excuse, ignoring your own cowardice (note, Cowardice is something I can relate to, and even admire - but your dishonesty with yourself disgusts me) in favor of avoiding the entire discussion quite cleanly and neatly.

> For me, the question of meaning doesn't even come up because life (and there is no 'my life') is inherently meaningful, regardless of any opinions.

The question of meaning is something you -ignore- because you simply can't answer it. You've given up and just decided on something without reason to satisfy your own fear of the unknown, and then you claim for your ego's sake that you've figured out how meaningless it is to seek the meaning of life. Now -that- is arrogance and ego, if you ask me.

Does life have 'meaning'? No idea. I simply don't know. I would let myself hope it does, or dispair that it might not, if I wasn't so afraid I'd be let down and be wrong. But I haven't given up searching for an answer. Otherwise I might end up like you.

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 12 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

This is not about logic but different perspective with which you can disagree and that's fine. I didn't mention anything about seeking or blaming ego or arrogance so I have no idea where you are taking this. Objectifying truth means making it into a thing and then trying to find that, which is clearly ridiculous. Excuses, cowardice? Again, no idea what's that about. You can state your preference or disgust for whatever you want, but that's your beef.

I've made several posts here on the subject and find those suffiently clear. If you are interested in this discussion, there are also other good recent threads.

> Does life have 'meaning'? No idea. I simply don't know. I would let myself hope it does, or dispair that it might not, if I wasn't so afraid I'd be let down and be wrong. But I haven't given up searching for an answer. Otherwise I might end up like you.

Meaning is subjective. If you feel the urge to find an answer, then go for it because you clearly don't want to end up like me (and I clearly wouldn't want to end up like you).

Anonymous Z-22 replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

To your corners

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 3 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi, again, Diff--

Suppose "life"—being all and everything—does not have a meaning beyond existing or unfolding, or call it what you will. Suppose, in other words, that "life" does not have a "meaning" which can be understood by a conditioned human mind, and certainly could never have a meaning that could be put into words of any variety. Suppose that.

If that were the situation, then "meaning" would not apply to life itself (all and everything, including meaning, lack of meaning, and everything else we know and don't know), but "meaning" would be a part of The Story I Tell Myself—that repetitive story in which I am always the central character trying to make a go of living with myself.

In other words, the "meaning" is part and parcel of the story I tell myself, which is, most often, "I am a body and its autobiography." If, in the story I tell mself there is no idea of meaning, then I will find no meaning. If the story contains the idea of meaning, then meaning will be there. If I find something—anything—about which I genuinely care, then that will function as "meaning," but only as long as I genuinely care about it (and there is no faking it).

That story you tell yourself is, in many ways, a dream, and so the "meanings" in "life" are dream meanings.

(Edited 48 minutes later.)

Differential replied with this 6.1 years ago, 7 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
To be much less Yoda and a whole lot more direct, "Life is relative to your experience and belief of it, therefore, life means what you personally find it to mean."

Enter the Tao. You must experience your own.

Suppose life's meaning is that which you genuinely care about - a "self-appointed" mission and purpose (though to be accurate it is less self-appointed and more a formulaic result of your acquired knowledge bringing your motivations and desires to be laid out in such a fashion as to result in the purpose defined by said causual relationship). In this, life has meaning. Clearly, it will not be the same meaning for each given individual. However, this denies the possibility of life having a meaning that the human mind cannot understand.

I don't take issue with the idea that life is meaningless - in fact, it very well might be - It would be one thing if an individual stops looking and simply says, "I couldn't find an answer and I don't want to continue looking," but the individual in question has said "It is arrogant to continue looking, therefore I have stopped." In doing so, he has decided that there is an undesirable quality associated with doing so. He has placed himself above it, and in turn those of us who engage in it. He has no evidence or basis with which to pass that judgement beyond justifications born of his own mind.

Yes, whether or not that bothers me is my own ego's domain. Yes, it is my choice to see 'arrogance' as a negative trait (insomuch as it is also my choice to associate the definition of the word Sphere with a ball, at least) and yes, it doesn't practically matter whether or not he rubs my ego the wrong way. But I've found lately that I have merely accepted that the ego is bad, to be avoided, and left be. At this point in time, I am questioning that.

And finally, yes, I have born this all of my *own* mind. Read layers and layers into it. Drawn implications from what was said. Just because the meaning was not there for you to see, does not mean it was not there at all. If it was not his intention to imply said things, then he should have been more direct in his communications.

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 7 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

What is arrogant is to assign a meaning, or any attribute for that matter, to something as ineffable as life itself that a limited mind can never even begin to comprehend, even if you can conceive of the finest argument out there. The egoic mind is never satisfied and will keep searching for that which it cannot have, making up new stories and rejecting what it does not like. Hence, it is not about stopping searching, but rather about recognizing the futility of it in the face of ignorance.

'You' cannot accept, avoid or do anything to your ego because the ego is YOU, as you take yourself to be. The ego also has a tendency to misinterpret what others say because it is too focused on winning an argument, which inevitably leads to pointless discussions. Perhaps something to ponder.

Differential replied with this 6.1 years ago, 14 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I'm certain you believe that with all your heart. I do not. I don't think you'll lose any sleep if I continue about my business, rejecting truth simply because my ego disdains it?

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 1 hour later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

"You can't handle the truth." ~ Colonel Nathan Jessup (A Few Good Men)

Anonymous Z-26 joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 19 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> What is arrogant is to assign a meaning, or any attribute for that matter, to something as ineffable as life itself that a limited mind can never even begin to comprehend, even if you can conceive of the finest argument out there. The egoic mind is never satisfied and will keep searching for that which it cannot have, making up new stories and rejecting what it does not like. Hence, it is not about stopping searching, but rather about recognizing the futility of it in the face of ignorance.
>
> 'You' cannot accept, avoid or do anything to your ego because the ego is YOU, as you take yourself to be. The ego also has a tendency to misinterpret what others say because it is too focused on winning an argument, which inevitably leads to pointless discussions. Perhaps something to ponder.
Your answer is ignorance? I think you've already given yourself a little bit of meaning. You're fooling yourself.

(Edited 42 seconds later.)

Differential replied with this 6.1 years ago, 4 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
This is precisely the behavior, Doc, that makes me cringe every time I hear this line of spirituality being discussed. Reminds me of a pin I once saw a friend of mine wear: "Dear god, please save me from your followers."

Perhaps, one day, I will come around to your way of thinking. Perhaps not. But for the time being, the example set by those who prescribe to it is hardly impressive. I would rather go back to church than engage in this discourse any further. I wish you well, David.

Anonymous Z-26 replied with this 6.1 years ago, 12 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I didn't read, sorry.

(Edited 26 minutes later.)

Anonymous Z-22 replied with this 6.1 years ago, 1 minute later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

life is meaningless because there is no lasting good in it. maybe death is better.

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 29 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

The ego makes a lot of noise... like a barking chihuahua.

Anonymous Z-26 replied with this 6.1 years ago, 4 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> The ego makes a lot of noise... like a barking chihuahua.
Why are you so afraid of egos? I don't understand.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 25 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

The ego doesn't actually exist other than as a mind-made entity that craves silly drama. So what is there to be afraid of? There's only egoic fear.

David double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 28 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> All humans have ego. You included. It's not healthy to just deny it.

...says the self-justifying ego. C'mon, give me a break. Have a closer look at that.

A 'healthy ego' has no need to argue, seek approval, fear the unknown, etc.

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

David triple-posted this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

Where is it written that my ego is 'healthy' (whatever that means)? The conditioned mind simply reacts as it does, like a programmed algorithm. Thoughts come up, words are written or said, and at the same time nothing is happening, except for an energy pattern appearing as this non-conversation.

deadsoul joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 4 days later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Is life pointless?
I dont mean life as in vast life itself. I mean an individuals time being alive.
If there is nothing after death as dr robert seems to believe, every achievement, relationship, person youve helped, person youve loved, will be rendered pointless.
So, what, its just for the experience? ha, to what end!? none? ok, how does it not depress you that everything youve ever done is for nothing and your loved ones will cease to exist? how can you be happy with that knowledge?

Cassandra replied with this 6.1 years ago, 3 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Unless we all die at once, the people you love will be passing on that love...
If my bitchy great-grandmother had chosen to be loving towards her child, her descendents would have suffered less.
But fine to be all doom and gloom we all die what's the point. Have fun with it.

Daniel Birdick joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 6 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Is life pointless?
> I dont mean life as in vast life itself. I mean an individuals time being alive.
> If there is nothing after death as dr robert seems to believe, every achievement, relationship, person youve helped, person youve loved, will be rendered pointless.
> So, what, its just for the experience? ha, to what end!? none? ok, how does it not depress you that everything youve ever done is for nothing and your loved ones will cease to exist? how can you be happy with that knowledge?

Does a delicious meal stop tasting delicious just because it has to end?

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

@daniel. youre comparing the bond of loved ones to yummy food? the complex emotions and effort we put into our aspirations and achievements?
its not the same. we, or at least intellectuals, philosophers, scientists, any admirable person who the rest aspire to be like, put a lot of time into thinking about the right way to behave and live. why do this if it all doesnt Matter!?
@cassandra. why be all doom and gloom? to me, thats how the reality is. its how i naturally feel. have fun? ive already decided to try. but this is still a debate in my head/search for truth.
and your 'have fun' doesnt work for those not born into privilege. try say that to the billions born in poverty/oppression, or the children forced into sex slavery, or the people in sweatshops, or perhaps the more relatable struggling parent desperately trying to provide for his/her family. i cant see how without hope for something greater than 'this is all just purely biological and they have dominated me' that they shouldnt just kill themselves. surely thats justifiable.

btw incase it sounds like it, i am not religious, i have no belief, i am searching. i could be nihilistic except that it takes out all meaning/enjoyment of life for me.

(Edited 10 minutes later.)

Sifter joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 25 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Sounds like you're a bit all-or-nothing there, deadsoul. If you get out there and talk to a few of those billions born into poverty and oppression you'll quickly discover it doesn't stop them finding hope, or making meaning in their life greater than 'this is all just purely biological and they have dominated me'. Subjugation makes things harder for sure, but that's not the end of the story. Go hang out in a slum - you can still find kids playing, couples making love, parents and grandparents enjoying their kids. That's where the pleasure is. Food, hugs, games, sex, jokes, a job well done, a long conversation, a new thought, sun, rain, sleep. Life is often a pile of crap, but it's a bit patronising to suggest people would be better off dead than making the most of their own pile of crap. Everyone has that choice, and the vast majority don't take it.

If you're hurt about the plight of others, find ways to help them, and take pleasure in the work that you do.

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 34 seconds later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> I guess I see it as I am not the center of the world but I am the center of me and I am here in the world so there must be a reason. Not that I would ever know what the reason is but if there is no reason I should not be here and would not be here.

i agree.

deadsoul double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 1 minute later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

@sifter. i am from the slums.
you dont need to tell me what they do. they get high and drunk every day, to escape. children on glue if they cant afford weed. shabu, or crystal meth, if they can afford. basically, if they allow themselves to, they would feel how i feel- i have asked my relatives. but yes, either they face that and commit suicide, or they keep trying to be happy. sure, its 'outlook'. but that doesnt mean the negative outlook isnt just as true as the positive.

"thats where their pleasure is". ok, for all those who answer that 'life is pointless but so what, just enjoy it';
that is what people who cause suffering of others for their own greed are doing.

(Edited 7 minutes later.)

Sifter replied with this 6.1 years ago, 4 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
all of them, every day? every slum, the world over?
and then why don't they kill themselves?

Sifter double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 3 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
A purely negative outlook can be challenged, yes, just as a purely positive one can be challenged. And there are always many more than two ways to interpret anything. So one has options.

Sifter triple-posted this 6.1 years ago, 49 seconds later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
can we please have one of those sequential conversations, rather than you editing over the same post?

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

@previous
pretty much every day. and i dont know if its in every single slum but i know they do it in the ghettos in america, favelas in brazil, mexico, colombia etc, and slums where im from in the philippines. so, seems like every slum.
why dont they kill themselves? i told you. they keep trying to be happy.

Sifter replied with this 6.1 years ago, 51 seconds later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> "thats where their pleasure is". ok, for all those who answer that 'life is pointless but so what, just enjoy it';
> that is what people who cause suffering of others for their own greed are doing.

Yes, people who cause suffering for greed experience pleasure.
People who enjoy life's offerings also experience pleasure.

And so...?

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 33 seconds later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

sorry, i'll be sequential from now :)

deadsoul double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 1 minute later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> > "thats where their pleasure is". ok, for all those who answer that 'life is pointless but so what, just enjoy it';
> > that is what people who cause suffering of others for their own greed are doing.
>
> Yes, people who cause suffering for greed experience pleasure.
> People who enjoy life's offerings also experience pleasure.
>
> And so...?

so those who cause suffering are totally in their right? because theyre just enjoying their life?

Sifter replied with this 6.1 years ago, 38 seconds later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> why dont they kill themselves? i told you. they keep trying to be happy.

yes, you told me in an edit after I had posted. hence my preference for sequential conversation.

so you saw people with hope?

Sifter double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 1 minute later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> so those who cause suffering are totally in their right? because theyre just enjoying their life?

What makes you think that? It is not what I said.

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 35 seconds later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

hope, or denial, or the only bearable option other than suicide. it is the same as what i am doing. except they arent having these discussions :)

deadsoul double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 1 minute later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> > so those who cause suffering are totally in their right? because theyre just enjoying their life?
>
> What makes you think that? It is not what I said.

well what are you saying about that? if life has no meaning other than to experience and enjoy it, those people are doing just that, arent they? like rapists.

Sifter replied with this 6.1 years ago, 14 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Maybe you feel some hope and pleasure too, and that's why you are having these discussions.
(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Not seeing the connection between me eating my banana toast just now and the rapist, other than that we're both experiencing some form of pleasure. Yes, pleasures of various kinds can be a place to find meaning in life. This does not make all pleasures equivalent.

I guess you are searching for the structure that allows someone to discern between one form of pleasure and another, which might be particularly difficult if you were brought up to believe that meaning was doled out after death. I don't know if that's you or not.

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 7 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

no im saying, if thats all there is to life. if pleasure/enjoyment is all there is, then that justifies what rapists etc do.
no i wasnt brought up to believe meaning was doled out after death but i wasnt brought up to believe life is meaningless either.

deadsoul double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 1 minute later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

yes i have hope, only because i choose to, and because i cannot believe life is meaningless. otherwise, i dont have hope.

Sifter replied with this 6.1 years ago, 3 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
What do you understand pleasure and enjoyment to be? What do you understand meaning to be?

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

.. their definitions.. ? .. taking pleasure in something.. enjoying something..
meaning as opposed to meaninglessness, if lifes meaningless nothing matters, including morality and how we treat each other.

David joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

"What is the meaning of life?" is not a question asked BY you, but asked OF you. Life itself poses the question to you and you must answer to life by answering for life, by being responsible. Your response is a "response-in-action", as Viktor Frankl puts it.

Our life experience is all there is from our perspective, whether we enjoy it or not, and regardless how we label it. We are assigning a meaning through our actions to what we see as 'this life'.

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 18 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

> Our life experience is all there is from our perspective, whether we enjoy it or not, and regardless how we label it.

well, thats obvious. that doesnt say whether there is meaning or not.

> We are assigning a meaning through our actions to what we see as 'this life'.

what do you mean? i dont understand the way you articulate.

deadsoul double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 5 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> So now, by an automatic processsexual activity, fertilization, birth, and cultural programminga new "myself" arises, and someone wants to ask the "point" of that? Give
me a break.

dr. robert said that. why so harsh? it is not unreasonable for a creature with self awareness to ask why it is alive.

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 30 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi, deadsoul-- That reply was in response to this:

> I am here in the world so there must be a reason. Not that I would ever know what the reason is but if there is no reason I should not be here and would not be here.

Do you ask why a tree is alive or a housefly? The entire question is simply an egotistical exercise which focuses on "me."

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 33 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi it is a privilege to talk to you :)

i dont ask that, but the tree and fly can ask that if it wants.
i think there are degrees of how egotistical people are, and i am aware of the ego and things that i dont let bother me because i know they dont really matter.
but i dont see why it is wrong or bad for a person to ask why he/she is here. yes, it focuses on "me", but so what? as someone else has said, i know i am not the centre of the universe or this world, but i am the centre of Me. i am the one living My life. i think we naturally wonder that. some then pursue it deeper.

Daniel Birdick replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> @daniel. youre comparing the bond of loved ones to yummy food? the complex emotions and effort we put into our aspirations and achievements?
> its not the same. we, or at least intellectuals, philosophers, scientists, any admirable person who the rest aspire to be like, put a lot of time into thinking about the right way to behave and live. why do this if it all doesnt Matter!?

You missed the point. Let me spell it out for you. Life is neither meaningful nor meaningless. Life simply is. When you place your attention on where you are now and what you are doing now, questions about meaning disappear like the insubstantial puffs of smoke they are. That's why I bought up the dinner analogy. Enjoy the meal while you're eating it, in the present. No sense in letting the meal's inevitable end sour the experience. And since this thread is well past 200 comments, I imagine that I am repeating what's already been said, so I won't belabor the point.

There is nothing wrong with asking why. Past a certain point, it gets you nowhere, that's all.

(Edited 42 seconds later.)

Lega joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 5 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Hi it is a privilege to talk to you :)
>
> i dont ask that, but the tree and fly can ask that if it wants.
> i think there are degrees of how egotistical people are, and i am aware of the ego and things that i dont let bother me because i know they dont really matter.
> but i dont see why it is wrong or bad for a person to ask why he/she is here. yes, it focuses on "me", but so what? as someone else has said, i know i am not the centre of the universe or this world, but i am the centre of Me. i am the one living My life. i think we naturally wonder that. some then pursue it deeper.
A very good point.

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 4 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
OK, I get that, dealsoul. I mean to say that asking "why" "I" am here is to create a question which supposes that the part can understand the whole. It cannot. Even if there is a "reason," a "why," how could the intellect, which is only a fragmentary part of reality, ever conceive of it? Can an ant understand Yankee Stadium? Think for a moment of the vastnessthe incomprehensible immensityof even the known universe. "Why do I exist?" Vain question, if you ask me. Come up with an answer if you like. You do have that privilege--to create thought forms, I mean. If some answer you devise satisfies you, you are easily satisfied, I say.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Lega joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 5 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> OK, I get that, dealsoul. I mean to say that asking "why" "I" am here is to create a question which supposes that the part can understand the whole. It cannot. Even if there is a "reason," a "why," how could the intellect, which is only a fragmentary part of reality, ever conceive of it? Can an ant understand Yankee Stadium? Think for a moment of the vastnessthe incomprehensible immensityof even the known universe. "Why do I exist?" Vain question, if you ask me. Come up with an answer if you like. You do have that privilege--to create thought forms, I mean. If some answer you devise satisfies you, you are easily satisfied, I say.
Comparing our understanding of the universe to an ant's understanding of Yankee Stadium is ridiculous. In just the few hundreds of years we've come to understand a whole lot about the universe. We've found out that the space is expanding, we've discovered black holes, we've discovered other galaxies and we've been to other planets. Just because we don't understand the whole universe right now at this moment is no reason to say that all research is in vain and that the universe is completely incomprehensible. Obviously you'll get nowhere if you give up before you even start.

Shelly joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 13 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

To me this doesn't sound like giving up getting 'anywhere'. To me it sounds like humility and an insatiable wonder for the mystery that is yet unknown. It is to say that no matter how much we "know", that which we still do not know is an incomprehensibly large amount. (and,in my opinion; while I adore learning, and books, and knowledge... these things, too, are a trap because they remain confined to the physical... which is finite. It has an end.) To me, what he is saying sounds like an understanding of the way we are trapped by the limited extension of our brains and bodies. It doesn't mean do nothing. It means do not be trapped by insisting on placing too much meaning on things that, in reality, and in the big picture, have little to no meaning. Whether this is truly what the person above you meant, or not... this is kind of how I see things, anyway...

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Shelly double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 3 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Refusing to let go of that which we believe to hold great meaning, but does not, causes a whole lot of suffering. I still struggle with this... nearly all day, every day, probably... but I believe it to be true, anyway...

(Edited 1 minute later.)

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
yes i know that, but i am not the universe (you know what i mean). i am one human, and this human wants to know why it exists. you think its vain? i think its reasonable.
i know i cant comprehend the universe and the purpose of ALL things. but the way i see it and how i feel is; if i have no reason for being, i shouldnt be.
(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> If some answer you devise satisfies you, you are easily satisfied, I say.

well, life being meaningless does not satisfy me.

and btw i have actually wondered why animals are alive and if they have souls.

deadsoul double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 12 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
youve answered before though that life is not meaningless, it is beyond meaning, or somethin like that. then we dont need to debate that any further, even if i cant understand why or what the reason is, i can live as long as (i think) i know life is not meaningless.
however, if you say awareness or enjoyment is the only reason to living, what happens to morality? doesnt "life is to be enjoyed" validate people who cause suffering of others for their own enjoyment?

(Edited 1 minute later.)

deadsoul triple-posted this 6.1 years ago, 12 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Enjoy the meal while you're eating it, in the present. No sense in letting the meal's inevitable end sour the experience.
theres also sense in not bothering if theres no point.
as for in the present, thats what junkies are doing. or people that do absolutely nothing with their lives, other than drugs.
i agree to realize and remember how important "now" is, but to an extent.
"an unexamined life is not worth living" -socrates.

(Edited 26 minutes later.)

Sifter replied with this 6.1 years ago, 1 hour later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> however, if you say awareness or enjoyment is the only reason to living, what happens to morality? doesnt "life is to be enjoyed" validate people who cause suffering of others for their own enjoyment?

Enjoying life doesn't preclude an ethical framework. To me having an ethical framework is inseparable from pleasure. That's because I understand myself not as an isolated person living in isolated moments, but as a person living symbiotically in community with others, and with the ability to predict and remember over time. As a person in community with others, others ARE part of my identity. I would not feel pleasure in raping someone because my awareness of their pain would be inseparable from the sensations I was experiencing. Because I live in time with the ability to predict and remember, my relation to my past and future worlds affects my pleasure. So shitty food is less pleasurable to eat than good food. Usually.

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 40 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

Good answer. but obviously there are people who can enjoy whilst causing others suffering. so how can ethics be determined in a pointless life? a life where we die, thats it, our minds perceptions are not true, reality just "is" and we're just meant to have "awareness" of it and enjoy what we can. doesnt morality not matter, in that idea of life? because nothing matters.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Sifter replied with this 6.1 years ago, 32 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I think you are really asking how ethics can be PREdetermined, and I don't believe it can. You are wondering about the universe's meaning for you, but I think we only have access to the meaning we make for ourselves - which is usually informed by the systems of meaning in our communities, our shared ethics, seeing as we have to live in those communities. Yes, there are people who can enjoy the suffering of others. That has no bearing on how I want to treat others or find meaning. Death doesn't nullify that meaning. Why should it?

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 14 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Yes, there are people who can enjoy the suffering of others. That has no bearing on how I want to treat others or find meaning. Death doesn't nullify that meaning. Why should it?

it doesnt have a bearing on us but just because you prefer to be caring, and someone prefers to be uncaring- does that mean its ok for that person to be uncaring.

"why should it?" because if we cease to exist, nothing we do matters. whats stopping anyone from choosing to be totally selfish and harmful to others, as some do.

Sifter replied with this 6.1 years ago, 54 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Okay for who? It's okay for them, it's not okay for me, I don't believe it is okay for the majority of any community including their victims. Do I believe there is some universal objective standard for okay or not okay? No, but I don't believe one is either necessary or possible. I will still act where I can to neutralise those who wish to harm others for pleasure.

Do you think if we didn't die, that what we do would matter more? I don't think so, so I don't see the relevance of death. We make the meanings we make of our lives for our lifetimes, and that's it. Or do you imagine that the existence of a god or heaven or hell would bestow absolute meaning on our actions? Absolute meaning is a fantasy, I think, but an unnecessary one. What stops people from doing harm is empathy, love, social contract, fear, inertia, fulfillment, circumstances, among other things. The reality that we have is that people do harm to others, and we have no absolute way to stop it.

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 8 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
but then how do you know if you are right in stoping a 'harmer'?

i know those things stop us. but if thats all, then what makes it right for us to say rape is wrong? if there is no moral obligation, they can do whatever the hell they want.

but yeah, there is no meaning even if we exist eternally. only temporary meaning. in other words, ultimately no meaning. i dont get why i should be alive in the first place then. i know, perhaps warped logic, depression etc etc, but it really seems a possible truth to me.
and its easier for those with nice lives to say this life is all we got, and its good enough. unlike all the people born in poverty/oppression, suffering their entire life till death, for nothing.
that is a very bleak, depressing outlook.

but yes, i just have to try enjoy this. but it feels so empty, and indeed, pointless.

(Edited 1 hour later.)

Anonymous Z-22 replied with this 6.1 years ago, 1 minute later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Go read The Purpose Driven Life. It'll make you feel better. :D haha They pass 'em out for free in jail so I got my copy!

(Edited 5 minutes later.)

Sifter replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
Again, right for who? If I prevent harm I am right for myself, that's all I can know - but right for myself is informed by my connections with community and my sense of future and past, as I said.

People can and will do whatever the hell they want regardless. We have very very limited control over others. If there was a transcendent 'moral obligation' where would it come from? Who would determine it? Where would it reside, if beyond love, empathy, social contract, fear etc? In a rule book?

And what kind of answer do you imagine would satisfy your question, 'why am I alive?' What kind of reward do you think would make suffering worthwhile?

I think it is good to recognise that the feelings of emptiness and pointlessness may be internal, to do with your actual emotional circumstances and depression, rather than seeing them as the condition of the world. Most of us can't do a lot about the condition of the world, but we can perhaps tend to our own wounds, which then allows us to give more.

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 1 hour later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Again, right for who? If I prevent harm I am right for myself, that's all I can know

but then the problem is; nobody should condemn anybody elses behaviour, because nothing says your opinion is correct, and nothing says the harmers opinion is incorrect.
its merely a difference of opinion to which hypothetically you should say 'we'll agree to disagree, continue causing harm' as opposed to interfering.
thats my point, it doesnt need to be argued. its just that we were taught as children that there is definite, obvious, right and wrongs. and now as my whole belief system collapsed, it is very very complicated trying to re-figure that out. especially in the life supposed in this thread. then there should be anarchy, shouldnt there? everyone for themselves? because no one is more right than anyone else.
> People can and will do whatever the hell they want regardless. We have very very limited control over others. If there was a transcendent 'moral obligation' where would it come from? Who would determine it? Where would it reside, if beyond love, empathy, social contract, fear etc? In a rule book?
i dont know. its what im trying to figure out. on a side note, i dont consider social contract to be morality. its self interest. this is another complication as most people arent 'good' they are just obeying social contract.
> And what kind of answer do you imagine would satisfy your question, 'why am I alive?' What kind of reward do you think would make suffering worthwhile?
i dont want a reward, but a purpose. a point to it. and im not focused on the particular reason im alive, as long as there IS some.
> I think it is good to recognise that the feelings of emptiness and pointlessness may be internal, to do with your actual emotional circumstances and depression, rather than seeing them as the condition of the world. Most of us can't do a lot about the condition of the world, but we can perhaps tend to our own wounds, which then allows us to give more.
see, why should we "give"?? this is the dilemma, i have always been a very empathetic person who lived according to being 'honourable' (righteous), but with what youve said, there is no reason i or anyone shouldnt do what the Fuck we want with callous disregard for others.

(Edited 18 minutes later.)

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 3 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Those who tend to ask questions like "what's the meaning of life" are often at a loss or transition of some kind, seeking to fill a void in the center of what they characterize as their life. They contemplate the question and hope something will pop-up, clearing the path, so to speak. What they fail to realize is that the answer is not in thought but in doing, as in just getting on with life, etc. 'Spontaneity' of action would be a good way to put it. Living provides the answer. When one is content, balanced and 'just moving along', typically this type of inquiry does not arise.

People do all kinds of stuff that can be questionable from a moral standpoint, but ultimately one is responsible for all of it. If some adopt a relativistic position that killing is ok, then they must also accept the possibility of them being killed.

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> If some adopt a relativistic position that killing is ok, then they must also accept the possibility of them being killed.

what do you mean? of course i accept that i could be killed, or that i could do something to deserve it.

deadsoul double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 30 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> Those who tend to ask questions like "what's the meaning of life" are often at a loss or transition of some kind, seeking to fill a void in the center of what they characterize as their life. They contemplate the question and hope something will pop-up, clearing the path, so to speak. What they fail to realize is that the answer is not in thought but in doing, as in just getting on with life, etc. 'Spontaneity' of action would be a good way to put it. Living provides the answer. When one is content, balanced and 'just moving along', typically this type of inquiry does not arise.

sure im trynna fill a void, the emptiness of pointlessness..
and i understand that i need to live, to experience life, not just sit and philosophise.
but thats what junkies are doing isnt it? theyre just living, in the 'now' haha.. not caring about the future. not caring about purpose.
so youre not providing a model/guideline to follow.
a junkie is doing just what you said.

and what youre saying could be interpreted as denial. like youre saying, "yeah lifes pointless, just dont think about it. keep distracting yourself till you die, then you wont realise its all pointless."

(i dont mean any disrespect, to you or dr roberts teaching. thats how i see it, some things in it dont make sense to me. i want to understand)

(Edited 12 minutes later.)

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 33 minutes later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

You're interpretation is incorrect. Let me put it bluntly, stop asking the freaking questions and get on with 'your' life. You will never find an answer in the mind, but may in fact go insane trying to do so. Forget about any teachings or distractions. Be grateful to be alive and enjoy every moment to the fullest. Hope this helps.

Daniel Birdick replied with this 6.1 years ago, 8 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

> i want to understand

No you don't. You understand all too well and you don't like it. What you want is a fantasy story, something you think will calm your self generated fears.

> but thats what junkies are doing isnt it? theyre just living, in the 'now' haha

And you are not just living, in the now? Where else do you think you are?

> theres also sense in not bothering if theres no point.

Then stop eating. Go on. Since it's all pointless, skip all meals until you die.

As for morality, you don't need to concern yourself with the absence of an objective moral standard. You are programmed for it. Most humans are preprogrammed for prosociality.

But you can't just drop the "concern", can you? You need it. You need the questions like the proverbial junkie you keep bringing up needs his narcotics. Asking the questions gives you a kind of pseudo-meaning. It makes you feel like you are doing something important, something worthwhile. I hate you break it you, but the questions you are asking don't make you deep or sincere. They mask your weakness and distract you from your fear.

dr-robert replied with this 6.1 years ago, 22 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi, Daniel. Very good post. Thanks for that.

deadsoul replied with this 6.1 years ago, 2 days later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
although you dont give anything to prove im incorrect, thankyou for the other stuff.

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
> > theres also sense in not bothering if theres no point.
>
> Then stop eating. Go on. Since it's all pointless, skip all meals until you die.
>
Firstly, you are inconsiderate to taunt a suicidal person.

ok, so i am in the now, but so is the junkie. that is my point, this offers no right way to live. all you guys are saying is we dont exist, past and future dont exist, all is now. ok, so what? nothing.
no, im not asking coz it makes me feel good, obviously it doesnt. it is Indeed driving me insane. i am indeed unhappy. yet i persist, coz happiness isnt my priority, FIRST i need to know if there is any RIGHT and WRONG BEFORE i "just freaking live". obviously i dont want a fantasy.

and btw, i would be supporting and encouraging, not condescending and criticising someone trying to re-learn how to be a good human, if good exists. at least i havent retreated to narcotics or blind faith. then again, if nothing matters, why should you be critical of people deluding themselves? if it makes it easier for em, why not.
i am emotionally dead from my depression, thats why i have to intellectualise all this. i know intellectualising this probably wont work. but i still try. it is genuine. you shouldnt make condescending assumptions as if you know me. i do not feel anything, but i dont want to be a bad person, impulses of which i do have.

"Im weeping for myself, unable to find solace in any of this, crying out... cursing the earth and everything i have been taught: principles, distinctions, choices, morals... all of it was wrong, without any final purpose. all it came down to was: die or adapt" -Bret Easton Ellis

i dont expect a reply. the questions are rhetorical.

David replied with this 6.1 years ago, 5 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

deadsoul -- noone is trying to put you down or brush you off. Several people have suggested, albeit in an increasingly adamant way, that you are barking up the wrong tree with your mode of inquiry, and have suggested that you look at it from a broader, non-egotistical perspective, while recognizing that you may be suffering psychologically, as many who come to this forum are. Your ideas of right/wrong ("ok, so i am in the now, but so is the junkie. that is my point, this offers no right way to live"), good/bad ("re-learn how to be a good human, if good exists"), or even nihilistic inclinations ("just freaking live") are, in fact, your main problem. The mind has been conditioned in childhood to assume a certain way of looking at the world, which later on inevitably crashes against the wall of reality, causing suffering. The 'world' is not causing your suffering, you are. This kind of inquiry is just ego beating itself up so it can stir up the emotional furnace, suffer some more and talk about it. See it for yourself.

There is no 'living in the now', there is only the NOW, and that is just a concept, a crude description of the actuality of being in the moment, and that is what you are. This is no "blind faith" as you put it but a de facto statement. You cannot be anything else than what you already are and have always been. Only your mind wants to dispute it and look for something better (whatever that may be). Pain/suffering is part of the human condition and to "re-learn how to be a good human" as you say is to live in a way that takes that into account and continue to work through misunderstandings and question your own beliefs.

It should be noted that there may be other factors contributing to your psychological distress and those are best addressed by a qualified psychotherapist or health practitioner.

Moratoria joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 9 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

You live and you die. How difficult can it be to understand? You are alive. The things you live through, at the moment they may seem bad or I don't know, but after ten years most of them will become fond memories. They are evidence. Evidence you existed at some point. And what point is there to let the whole world know you existed? If that is so, then be the next Martin Luther King. Or Gandhi. Buddha? Go ahead. Share your pain, your rage at the power-mad despot sitting upon his throne. Go ahead, blow up the parliament like Guy Fawkes. Start a revolution. Preach about the 'goodness in all of us' and defend yourself against the horde of people-- a similar one to the horde that burned down Tesla's laboratory.

The price of life is death. However, the original question seemed more like a 'how can I be remembered?' type of thing, rather than 'why not kill myself'. Your life in the end means nothing. Your name will prevail through time if you do any of the mentioned above, and it will be tarnished and dragged through the gutters, and after a hundred years, people will begin to simply whisper it. And then mention it like a footnote, or a conclusion to a joke like Napoleon BLOWNaparte.

I'm a nihilist, so I understand my position in this universe very well. But 'there is no future and no past only the now'? The only identity you have is based on the past and on the future, not now. The now is a consequence of YOU. And you is a consequence of the past, and the future.

Re-learn to be a good human if you wish, but let me ask you, reader. What point does it make? Why should you adhere to the social standard of 'good' and 'bad'? Why should you shy away from your decisions because they are not acceptable? Want to smash a window cause it pisses you off? Go right the **** ahead. Hate that guy blasting music loudly at 1 AM? Beat the crap out of him. Or have the crap beat out of you. That is how you live. Not by questioning every decision you make by applying your own morals to it, and then applying the social standards to it.

There shouldn't be one thing left untried when you are done with your coil of flesh and blood. There shouldn't be a stone left unturned. Not a book unread. Not a song unheard. And then when you die, when you feel it coming, the last breath. Just whisper 'Jane? I liked you in 6th grade, but I gotta tell you. You are a bitch.' Or maybe on the more noble side: 'I lived a good life and I regret nothing.' That is a meaningful life. That is how you will be remembered. By not satisfying the myriad desires in your heart- but the ones that matter. And those that matter are always the ones we are reluctant to do.

Memento Mori

Daniel Birdick replied with this 6.1 years ago, 1 hour later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

> although you dont give anything to prove im incorrect

Who said I was trying to prove you incorrect? Or is this addressed to someone else?

> Firstly, you are inconsiderate to taunt a suicidal person.

You’d be right if you were talking to someone who gives a damn whether you live or die. But since you aren’t…

> ok, so i am in the now, but so is the junkie. that is my point, this offers no right way to live. all you guys are saying is we dont exist, past and future dont exist, all is now. ok, so what? nothing.

What is it with you and junkies? Maybe that’s the question you should be asking yourself.

Anyway, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not in the business of offering people a “right way” to live. Past and future do exist, in the sense that they exist as constructs of the human mind. I suppose that means Narnia and Oz exist as well… But I digress.

> no, im not asking coz it makes me feel good, obviously it doesnt. it is Indeed driving me insane. i am indeed unhappy. yet i persist, coz happiness isnt my priority, FIRST i need to know if there is any RIGHT and WRONG BEFORE i "just freaking live". obviously i dont want a fantasy.

A fantasy is precisely what you want. You said there is nothing. As in, no meaning, no purpose, no ultimate wrong and right that apply to all sentient creatures in the universe. You get it. You just don’t like it. It makes you feel bad. You feel bad because some part of your mind rebels against the meaninglessness of it all. That part of your mind wants a fantasy to wholeheartedly believe in and is throwing a tantrum because it can’t find one.

> and btw, i would be supporting and encouraging, not condescending and criticising someone trying to re-learn how to be a good human, if good exists. then again, if nothing matters, why should you be critical of people deluding themselves? if it makes it easier for em, why not.

I’m not here to support you. I’m here to pass the time. I’m not even criticizing you. I’m just telling you what you already know but don’t want to fully acknowledge. And btw, if being a good human was truly your priority, you’d be out there going about the business being a good human being. Instead, you are here feeling sorry for yourself.

> at least i havent retreated to narcotics or blind faith.

Again with the narcotics. Tell me, who abused drugs in your life? Was it mom? Dad?

> you shouldnt make condescending assumptions as if you know me.

Ah, but I do know you. You are as clear as day and very, very typical.

> i do not feel anything, but i dont want to be a bad person, impulses of which i do have.

Yes you do feel things. You feel depressed and angry that the universe is entirely indifferent to your desire to believe. You’re like a child who is angry at discovering that Santa really doesn’t exist after all.

> i dont expect a reply. the questions are rhetorical.

And yet you’re getting one. Life is hard when you have nothing better to do than navel gaze, isn’t it?

Daniel Birdick double-posted this 6.1 years ago, 1 minute later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

> Hi, Daniel. Very good post. Thanks for that.

Why thanks doc!

Lega joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 13 hours later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> > ok, so i am in the now, but so is the junkie. that is my point, this offers no right way to live. all you guys are saying is we dont exist, past and future dont exist, all is now. ok, so what? nothing.
>
> What is it with you and junkies? Maybe that’s the question you should be asking yourself.
> > at least i havent retreated to narcotics or blind faith.
>
> Again with the narcotics. Tell me, who abused drugs in your life? Was it mom? Dad?
What he probably means to say is that a drug addict doesn't often plan ahead. They live in the moment, but despite that fact their life isn't one filled with joy. Rather, it's one filled with painful moments of craving for drugs.

(Edited 2 minutes later.)

inciongorx joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 1 week later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

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inciongmkc joined in and replied with this 6.1 years ago, 1 day later, 7 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

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Sesaru joined in and replied with this 5.8 years ago, 2 months later, 10 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I have some thoughts I want to share and some questions to ask. I want to make sure I understand perfectly what is being talked about in this forum.

Basically we are the same, we are one, we are made of the same stuff or things. Everyone of us. We are basically a thing or a “conscience” that “feels” or “knows” whatever is meant to be “known” or “felt” or whatever is accessible to be “known” or to be “felt” at a precise moment which is the present, the NOW, once-upon-a-now. Past and future are only thoughts and only “real” in our heads, only real to the Ego.

Therefore, being the “knowing” I am, the “conscience” that has the ability to “know”, I could’ve been giving let’s say the body of Dr. Robert and the question that arises is: would that Dr. Robert body still be the same? Would the “conscience” be the same? What determines what a body is or how a body behaves? Is it the “conscience” (the “knowing”), the body or both? I have flat feet so I get tired when I do sports, hence I don’t like sports. Would my body have reacted the same way towards sports if it had another “conscience” than mine? Or the liking of the sports is in the body and not the “conscience”? ... No, we just determined that THAT being (the “conscience”) only “knows”. Is that correct? But how can we be so sure?

Could the “conscience” exist without the body? The “conscience”’s ability is to think because it is simply that way on itself or because it is somehow programmed by the D.N.A. to be like that? What makes it that way? What dictates it to behave the way it does?

If we are aware that we just “know”, then we could stay put all day and just “know” whatever there is to be “known”. But we need for instance, food in order to keep alive the body in which we are. So, we decide to go eat. But what made the decision: the body, the Ego, or the “conscience”? I would think the Ego after it felt that the body needed food. So we keep ourselves (the “consciences”) alive only because the body and Ego tells us, if not we would just let ourselves die, because our only purpose, role, activity is to “know”, “feel”. Am I wrong?

Let us talk about a blue pen. It is hard, long, but small, made of white plastic and contains blue ink. I describe it that way because our ancestors decided arbitrarily that, in the English language, “this” color should be called “white”, and this other “blue”, and this material “plastic” and this other thing (property) which can be “known” shall be called “long”. Basically, I know that things are the way they are presented to the “conscience” I am by the means I use to “know” (or “feel”) that which can be “known” (or “felt”); the means being the 5 human senses we differentiate (touch, hearing, etc.). I (the “conscience”) could be given other ways of “knowing” (or “feeling”) and I could perceive the world another way, but, in the end, what I do is “knowing” (or “feeling”). And a question arises: can we “know” by other means than by our senses? I “know” (or “feel”) a thought of the past, let’s say. What shall that be called? Remembering? But in the end, does all this matter?
Should I not just “know” that I can “know”?
Better yet: I just “know”.
Just “know”.
“Know”.
“(the “knowing”, without saying or writing or thinking the word “knowing”)”
“…”

*(Disregard the next paragraph if that which has a limited mind is the Ego and not the “conscience”)* And why do we say that we have a limited mind? How can we be so sure about that? If our purpose, our “ability” is to “know”, can we not know everything then? Perhaps, in the future, we might discover a way to be able to know anything. Then, perhaps, we could know if there is meaning to anything or not… is that my Ego talking? I really wish to be able to know EVERYTHING there is to know and I definitely know that that is my Ego speaking. Yet I also wonder if it is possible for the “conscience” to know everything. How can we be so sure that the “conscience” is limited? How can we be so sure about what the “conscience” can and cannot understand?

*(Again, disregard the next paragraph if the Ego is the part, and not the “conscience”)* Dr. Robert said: “the part cannot understand the whole.” What does that mean? What is the part? Is it the Ego or the “conscience”? And if it is the “conscience”, how can he be sure that it is the part? What if it is the whole? What if there is neither whole nor part? How can he be so sure about his conclusions? He also asked: “Can an ant understand Yankee Stadium?” (#22,098). What we know up to date shows us that no it cannot understand it, no the part cannot understand the whole. But then again, do we truly, fully, understand ants too? How can we be so sure that ants cannot understand the Yankee Stadium? How can he be so sure that “conscience” cannot understand everything? And even if the “conscience” was the “part”, how can he be so sure that it cannot understand the whole? You know that the world is full of exceptions.

We are what we are and life simply is. Life (the existence) is as it is and it may have or may not have a meaning, for the Ego, for the “conscience” and for itself (the existence). And maybe one day we will discover if there is a meaning and if so, maybe we will discover what it is… maybe not. Maybe we will not discover any of those.

I also read what deadsoul wrote. Basically, he was talking about people suffering. Let’s say I’m one of those people. If I understand well the concept of “knowing”, if I say that I suffer, it’s my Ego talking. The “knowing” that the body feels whatever it feels is…well, just “knowing”. deadsoul also said: “no im saying, if thats all there is to life. if pleasure/enjoyment is all there is, then that justifies what rapists etc do.” (#22,005) When he (or she) talks about justification, that’s Ego talking. Basically, what he says is that if there is only pleasure in life, then the pleasure that the corrupted people feel is also good because pleasure is what there only is. When he talks about justification he says that what they do is basically good because the only thing they do is that they pleasure themselves. What I’m trying to say is that, “good”, “bad”, “corrupted”, “justification”, “moral”, all those things said, mentioned, that’s Ego talk, right?

deadsoul also said : “however, if you say awareness or enjoyment is the only reason to living, what happens to morality? doesnt "life is to be enjoyed" validate people who cause suffering of others for their own enjoyment?” “Life is to be enjoyed” means that, yes people do whatever they want to do (or must do) in order to pleasure themselves. That also means that they may make others suffer in other to make themselves feel pleasure. That is still Ego that speaks, right?

In the end, with the “conscience” perspective, human beings are what they are and they behave how they were programmed to behave that is all. There is neither good nor bad, neither moral nor immoral, neither right nor wrong. There just is existence. There just is the “knowing”.

Can you please tell me if I understand correctly the subject matter and answer my questions?

Filfy joined in and replied with this 5.8 years ago, 6 days later, 10 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

We are all pointless, merely a slave to our DNA which achieves it's immortality by using and then discarding previous and successive versions of "me". What is the point? I can "feel". And if I can feel good, happy then I seek out the things that make me feel enjoyment. Fuck the destination, enjoy the ride.

Cassandra joined in and replied with this 5.8 years ago, 25 minutes later, 10 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

The destination is death, so, yeah...

Anonymous Z-42 joined in and replied with this 5.8 years ago, 6 hours later, 10 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hah
I'm not pointless.

I have God.

kira joined in and replied with this 5.8 years ago, 2 weeks later, 11 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

physical life is different from "spiritual life" that's just what I call it anyway, Physical human life is no different to any other animal, we must eat, drink, mate, and sleep, we live then we die. From a "personal" prospective yes it is pointless, eat, drink, mate, sleep, die. BUT then we, the human animal have been blessed with extra awareness about our surroundings, you people seem to have more feeling than other animals, though other animals seem to show forms of emotion also, joy and sadness sometime. Anyway it is this higher awareness that allows us to 1 ask the "meaning of life questions" 2 experience our world in a unique way. Now you are confused I will conclude, Is life pointless? No, life has all the meaning that YOU want to give it, we give meaning to everything in our lives, with out us giving meaning to life, then Yes life would be pointless. we would do all that eating, drinking, mating and sleeping for nothing. So there life means, what you want it to mean. there is no one answer to the meaning of life, for it is different for all of us.
For me, life is interesting, not much holds value for me in this world, but yet I am content.

someone joined in and replied with this 5.8 years ago, 3 days later, 11 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

You know, there is one assumption that has gone unchallenged throughout the whole forum, which is really quite incredible, given its sheer length. It is the assumption that we KNOW for sure that death IS the end of consciousness and that nothing else is conscious. This is quite "arrogant", to use a favoured expression of posters in here (though, really, isn't that all in the eye of beholder? Same with "ego".) I mean, a century ago, people didn't know that it is possible to leave this earth, that waves and particles are the same, that quantum principles exist, that entropy exists, that the world has started with a Big Bang, etc.,etc. You see my point: in a short timespan, entirely new and unimagined concepts have been proven to exist. What makes us think that we know everything about the way this world operates? After all, only 4% of this world is the matter as we know it. 23% is unknown dark matter, 73% is dark energy (about which we also know very little). It only through Occam Razor that we assume that either dark matter or dark energy are uniformly the same. For all we know, either of them could incorporate our previous consciousnesses, or spawn the numerous deities humanity worships.

Another persistent assumption is that only the things that can display consciousness can possess consciousness. This, I would argue, stems from the same "ego" prominent posters in here are eager to denounce. Just because a rock cannot move itself, or act in any way, does it mean that this rock doesn't have any extremely primitive self-awareness. Our "advanced" consciousness (in the way that we consider it, anyway) consists of interactions of billions of neurons. Does that make it impossible for single-minded consciousness of an inanimate object, of a rock, of a paintbrush, of an atom to exist? We don't know the answer and we might know never know it... or we might find it within the next couple of centuries.

What I'm saying is this: searching for a meaning of life only makes sense when you know for sure that this life is the only thing that living creatures have. We don't and until we find out for sure, there is no point in thinking about this topic any further. We may find a "higher" being that will be able to make this question relevant for us... or we may not. So don't abandon hope, and try to solve the question of this life and this consciousness first, and only THEN search for its meaning.

Jennifer replied with this 5.8 years ago, 2 days later, 11 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Dude, check this out! I'm kinda excited. We have a Hindu.. someone.. who flew all the way in from.. somewhere far away.. to talk to our class! We will get to ask questions and all that! I probably won't ask any but still, that's cool!

Sherry joined in and replied with this 5.8 years ago, 9 hours later, 11 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hey didn't you hear "Mr. Rick Warren" (Pastor of Saddleback Church) in Texas, has figured it all out for us in his book -

"The Purpose Driven Life" and (no I am not a fan of his) I hated the book a loathe the man.

Jennifer replied with this 5.8 years ago, 44 minutes later, 11 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

I've actually read that book and I did like it. His focus is living for eternity as opposed to living for the moment. I don't necessarily agree with everything he wrote but I don't disagree either. It's just a different way to look at things.

Moi joined in and replied with this 5.7 years ago, 3 days later, 11 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

What is everyone doing in this forum? LEARNING...so it SEEMS to me the purpose of life.

BigMama joined in and replied with this 5.7 years ago, 1 day later, 11 months after the original post[^] [v] #0

"You know, there is one assumption that has gone unchallenged throughout the whole forum, which is really quite incredible, given its sheer length. It is the assumption that we KNOW for sure that death IS the end of consciousness and that nothing else is conscious." [posted by "someone"]

Yo, BigMama says that ain't so. We know for sure that people die (dust to dust), puff and all that remains is our memories. What someone says about consciousness is only someone's opinion and means little more than poopy doo. You can safely assume you will die sooner or later (if you worry or stress too much, sooner may be better for you). What happens to consciousness can be left up to consciousness since we have no clue what it is, and if it survives the death of the body, then great, and if it doesn't, too bad......but why worry about it, unless you wanna jump in and end it all right now. You can choose, y'know.

Mysterious Socialite joined in and replied with this 5.7 years ago, 2 weeks later, 1 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

I have three opinions on the meaning of life. Two as a philosopher and one as a Christian. As no doubt my Christian belief to the meaning of life is obvious i will only expound on my philosphical viewpoint. I have two differing perspectives on the meaning of life from a philosophical perspective. The first is that as limited human beings, it's impossible for us to know the meaning of life on a grand scale. As humans we can only comprehend the world as we interpret it. And for all we know our interpretation is vastly limited. How do we know tree's can't think, can't talk to each other. How do we know that every animal on this planet isn't vastly more intelligient than us humans. And the reason animals live simple lives and don't disturb nature is because they know it's bad for the planet. We don't. Theres a lot we dont know. I could go on and on with examples of things that go on around us humans dont understand and can't understand but i won't. My point should be clear. We as humans are limited and should not attempt to find a greater meaning in life. Which brings me to my second perspective.

As a limited human being, if you still want to find the meaning of life, than my suggestion is that the meaning of life is subjective. Every human experiences the world through their own eyes, and their own emotions, forming their own uniqure perspective of the world. Yes some of their experience might be similiar to other humans. But no one is exactly alike and no one looks at the world exactly the same way. (for example why can two guys look at the same girl, and one find her attractive and the other not find her attractive-because their not seeing her in exactly the same way). So if everyone is different, why should the meaning of life for every human be the same. It shouldn't, it should be entirely subjective. Which is why from my philosophical perspective the meaning of life is to thoroughly enjoy oneself in whatever way pleases you. Whether that be, helping others, destroying others, abusing others, copying others, being a complete loner, painting, sports, jerking off, sex, bla bla bla. The list could go on forever.
So to summarize my theory into one complete point. Thinking about the meaning of life is like thinking about why your favorite color is your favorite color (mine is blue). You dont know why it's your favorite it just is, and you enjoy your favorite color regardless of your lack of thought on the matter. Why do you live? who knows. (well from a religious perspective-i do- but thats a whole nother topic)just enjoy life and enjoy living the same way you enjoy looking at your favorite color.

(Edited 3 minutes later.)

Mekay joined in and replied with this 5.7 years ago, 4 minutes later, 1 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
My favorite color is Green.

Mysterious Socialite replied with this 5.7 years ago, 1 hour later, 1 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> My favorite color is Green.

lol if you were just saying that to be random

Mekay replied with this 5.7 years ago, 1 day later, 1 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I totally was. :)

LamaSamsara joined in and replied with this 5.6 years ago, 1 month later, 1.1 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi all. Life has a point.the end is the point.but can we make it and how we make it.thats the point. Im buddhist. Meaning awakinging in my case.was catholic and dated most religions.forgeting religion. Think logiclly and just observe without concept and the world becomes sereal. Follow your six sences. And observe dont think.no labels or words.try for hour a day.go long walk somewhere quit by the thames. See what happens. No desire expectation needs or wants.

Nixom joined in and replied with this 5.6 years ago, 5 hours later, 1.1 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

meaning is inherently subjective, therefore, the only meaning to life is what you give it

Thedude joined in and replied with this 5.5 years ago, 2 weeks later, 1.2 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

nevermind

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Nemoque joined in and replied with this 5.5 years ago, 1 week later, 1.2 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

The French existentialists as well as Nietzsche have dealt with the question. Once someone accepts the premise that there is no God/god, life has no meaning or purpose. It is this looking for meaning in a meaningless world that creates absurdity. The human strives for meaning which creates an constant state of depression or anxiety. Neitzsche refuses to accept this for psychological reasons. It is too depressing to accept. For him, it is all about the power to will. The oldest record of this is found in the Book of Ecclesiates. The author comes to the conclusion that all is meaninglessness. Since I believe in God, life for me has meaning and purpose.

(Edited 1 minute later.)

Random Reader joined in and replied with this 5.5 years ago, 2 days later, 1.2 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

I do believe "life" has purpose, to sustain itself and maybe even to evolve and form better heartier forms of life. The purpose of human existence is no different then that of any other life form, reproduce and keep the species going. However... I am finding that consciousness is pointless and a cruel joke. If I were purely a being of reaction and instinct, my purpose and my point would be irrelevant. Thus I would be in the most simplest of terms happy and content, in the sense that I wasn't aware, consciousness, or desired anything "better". The mere fact that I am aware is what has doomed me to depression over the lack of meaning to "my" life or more accurately my awareness and expectations to my existance outside of reproduction. However, the fact that I am depressed is only because I have a self generated expectation that life should have a purpose and because I cannot find it, I am disappointed. Good and bad are mere results of success and failure to meat one's expectations and ideas of what should be. If I expect or desire something to be like "A" and it happens to come to be, then that is good, but if it doesn't that is bad. To say one is a good person or a bad person is only to say that one meets your expectations or doesn't. It's all relative on ones perspective and personal expectations and desires, most of which has been taught to us and we have been trained to accept the previous discoveries of the ones before us. What I find most fascinating is when someone doesn't follow what they were taught. What is it in the mind that says no, this is wrong, or more accurately this doesn't meet my expectations or desires which have somehow form differently that my upbringing (training). I say that because even right and wrong is like good and bad and just another way of saying meets or deosnt meet our ideas and perspective. What in the brain or consciousness rejects what is programmed and taught and forms an "individual" thought. Or is it even worse then I thought. Instead of a more evolved brain which has given us the ideas of consciousness, spirit, soul, and meaningful existence.... What if we are all broken. Reaction and instinct could be thought of as following a predetermined pattern. A fully functional and well designed program running its course. When X and Y exist do A, rinse and repeat. Somewhere in our evolution our brains became disconnected, fragmented, or just lost data. The program became corrupt. The instinct of life that is given to every animal or plant at birth, was lost on us. Our existence then is just the results of a broken record off its track floundering during its time looking to bridge the broken connections and fill in the missing data. What if we are not the most evolved, developed, and superior of life forms, what if we are the broken ones that have lost our way, trapped by our own sense of consciousness which is really just a biological self correction program trying to fix itself. Consciousness is not a blessing, it is our curse! The happy ones are the ones that just accept the data supplied without question or verification, and haven't or choose not to discover the reality and universal truth that is we as individuals are pointless by our self generated definition of having meaning and purpose. As for the universal definition life is to exist, we have all fulfilled our purpose by just being here.

andre joined in and replied with this 5.5 years ago, 1 day later, 1.2 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

I wish we were dumb like the other species and just live without depressing existential questions. The curse of the human race is intelligence, we keep asking why, when and how but we will never have answers. The whole existence is pointless not just our lives. Die now or continue living and die later makes no difference at all it is just a choice.

WonderfulClient joined in and replied with this 5.5 years ago, 41 minutes later, 1.2 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)

> I wish we were dumb like the other species and just live without depressing existential questions. The curse of the human race is intelligence, we keep asking why, when and how but we will never have answers. The whole existence is pointless not just our lives. Die now or continue living and die later makes no difference at all it is just a choice.

Thank you for saying what I've been trying to say forever now!

Cassandra joined in and replied with this 5.5 years ago, 21 minutes later, 1.2 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

It makes a difference if you have children.

Also, "die now or later"....true, but you notice you're not choosing now, you're choosing later. Why?

Random Reader replied with this 5.5 years ago, 2 days later, 1.2 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

Does it really make a difference if you have children? Wouldn't their lives be just as pointless as our own? Why would one human existence be any more or less meaningful then another? Now that you bring up intelligence though, is it really that? I mean a monkey can learn to use tools, and I've seen dogs and cats be able to use doors in order to get at food. Although their species hasn't been able to develop a language that we can understand, but do you think they wonder why they are here and if they have a universal purpose and value?

Cassandra replied with this 5.5 years ago, 9 hours later, 1.2 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

Once you make life, I feel you have an obligation (just my opinion) to create the conditions for life, and young life needs care from old life for a certain period of time.

Nobody cares more about their life than the person whining about its meaninglessness.

Hope joined in and replied with this 5.5 years ago, 4 days later, 1.2 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

If there is no God/Creator you and every one of us will one day and fail to exist. And I do not just mean go away, I mean gone as in never there. Once we are lost in time and space like that, it is just like saying we never existed at all, as the information of us is gone, as if it was never there to begin with. When the last human dies, the entire human experience, all of our information/existence goes with us as well as the ability to translate the human experience. If that is the case and we indeed have no purpose, nothing you do or think will ever matter, ever.... There will be no difference between a librarian or a thug, this comment, will be absolutely irreverent and fail to ever exist. If no information is preserved or can be interpreted, it ceases to exist, and that means, no purpose. (And can we truly just exist if we have no purpose, because without purpose we will one day fade away) Even if our lost information is recovered and later translated and we truly once existed to them (future intelligent species) it does not imply that we ever had purpose, just existed. (The dug up dinosaurs were not here to provide us with Oil) Only if they survived and their information was saved (passing of genetic information or contributions to us or another intelligent species purpose) could one say they ever had purpose) Only if our existence is either preserved through us, or contributes to another intelligent life forms purpose, can we have purpose. This is why religion is so prevalent, it provides that purpose. But as it stands right now, empirically, there is no observable or verifiable reason to believe that we have any purpose what so ever. But with that said I would ask us to look at how energy behaves. As Einstein stated, energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change from one form to another, there is a finite amount of energy that will never fail to exist. It is truly immortal, and are we not energy? And what is energy's purpose? (YouTube dr quantum, the double split experiment) The particles did every possibility, they went in only the left split, only the right split, through both splits and none of the splits at all.(quantum physics is really amazing) They experienced any and all possibilities, just as we as a species do. And could one day our energies be combined with all of these experiences into one all knowing entity or collection? (YouTube entanglement theory "Dr quantum") Not only can we, according to entanglement theory we are. Particles are entangled together, through the universe and they can communicate to each other with no delay in time as they are connected. I don't want to be without purpose, I want to exist and look forward to our journey. I hope through science we will one day be enlightened to our true purpose in this gigantic happening.

A Muslim joined in and replied with this 5.5 years ago, 21 hours later, 1.2 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hi.I'm an 18 year old muslim from Iran. I believe in god and an afterlife. Some of you might think that I'm a dogmatic person who has been brainwashed by religion and my belief in god and an afterlife is a reaction of our mind to the question "what is the point of life?". Hell I've read some philosophy books and looked into other religions (mostly on wikipedia) and i'm not saying i'm right or anything but this is what i have managed to deduce (although i wish that some day i will have enough knowledge to be certain of what i'm going to say) from what i've seen.
Although by growing up in an Islamic country I've have learnt 4 or 5 ways to prove that a god exists (logically that is), but none of these have ever managed to convince fully about the existence of god. However what i have realized is that whenever facing problems and become desperate in life i tend to unconsciously ask for help from a god in my heart or whenever i achieve something i feel like i have to thank someone who helped me which is god and i feel that nothing human or earthly can answer my need. When I was little i could really feel the presence of god in my life and whenever i asked something from him it would always happen or if it didn't i would still feel happy.
According to Islamic teachings every human being has 3 needs that he can never achieve in his earthly life. 1- the need to live forever 2-the need to gain all that is beautiful infinitly and without limits like: knowledge, wisdom, honesty, truth 3- the need for absolute justice.These three needs can only be reached if there is an afterlife where every one is judged by god himself and rewarded or punished. and if he finds himself in heaven he can continue to pursue all that is good and and obtain absolute happiness which is the love of god=love of righteousness and all beauties.
I believe that we are forcefully all born with different capabilities some are smarter and some are more athletic.Some have better parents and some don't.Some people like you are born in sophisticated countries and lead an easier life and some like me here. But what is important according Islamic beliefs that we all do our best.Although things may seem unfair and pointless because of unfair conditions and that there is always someone better than you and that years and years have gone on with people just living on and on doing the same things every day:eating,working,sleeping.But we have to try our best to do the best we can with what we have and know that one day we will be judged in an absolute just "court" and praised and awarded assuming our position.
Whenever I help someone out (like answer a scientific question) or like buy my friend something to drink or help my mom and dad out i feel a certain meaning that I was able to do this thing and that makes me precious.According to Islam a human being is very precious as god said to Moses: "I created the world for you and you for myself". So even if we aren't appreciated I always believe there is a god who always appreciates and knows what i do and that creates a motive for my life to go on so that I can please him.
Like this even if there was no god i would have led an unselfish life with dignity, helping others out and caring and showing love for others.
I think i got a bit emotional writing this but I believe that by living by your conscience and grabbing every chance that life shows you in path of the good is what life is about.

one of no importance joined in and replied with this 5.5 years ago, 23 hours later, 1.2 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

I think deep down I always knew there was no point. There are times I can successfully distract myself, but then the reality that life/existence is just a series of distractions until the inevitable end comes always seems to return. If there is an afterlife, then yes life has a purpose, to mold and shape the soul and to accumulate experiences and test our spirit etc. Our understanding of life would be like school and every decision we make and action we take a test. Death a graduation. Premature/accidental death would be cutting out early and our soul would have to be sent back, thus a logical idea/purpose for the concept of reincarnation. However every concept of, or vision of, an afterlife always revolves around physical senses or ideologies unique to one experiences in this life. A true afterlife would be holistic and never changing regardless of who we are, what technologies exist, our backgrounds, teaching etc, because we would all go there from the first man and women to all of those that would come after us regardless. Our "modern" souls would be in the same place as those very first cavemen. Billions upon billions, upon billions of souls for all those that have existed before us would all be there. Also, since nothing physical would exist in a spiritual plane, no physical senses, perceptions, or awareness would matter. However, without that truth being real, then it really is nothing then just wasting time and going through the motions. Every religion, theory, or idea is just a product of human creation, as such I cannot ever seem to muster up enough faith to believe in any of them for any notable period of time. There is always doubt and I question everything. Ultimately always returning to this reality of pointlessness. The only way to know the truth is to face death. If there is an afterlife and thus a point, then the question will be answered and the next stage of existence can begin, if there isn't then my existence will have ended and I won't really care then will I. Ones own death is the only way to solve this never-ending debate. Quite frankly I have grown tired of the constant questioning and debating, the debate itself is just yet another distraction, its time to know the truth.

R.A joined in and replied with this 5.4 years ago, 2 weeks later, 1.3 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

Interesting reading.
This kind of subject has me in complete distress sometimes, although at other times it's kind of comforting... I cannot be sure.

Andrew joined in and replied with this 5.4 years ago, 9 hours later, 1.3 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

This is the worst part for me. Because I hold very strong nihilistic feelings as you do, but I also believe in God and a positive afterlife. Yet my belief in this heaven only makes it worse, because even though no matter what I'm gonna do I'm going to die. But either way I'll just end up going to hell or heaven, living perpetually forever; either in horrific torment, or in harmony with God. But even still that means I have to keep on existing. I just want it all to end to the point that I do not exist at all, no mental thought, no soul, to the point that it's like I never knew i existed, therefore I am not me. The old Cartesian thought "I think therefore I am". I want it to be "I don't think cause I don't exist, therefore I am not".

John joined in and replied with this 5.4 years ago, 3 weeks later, 1.4 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

It is pointless, you're absolutely right. It's so pointless that I actually find it funny. I find comfort in humour concerning this topic, that's what keeps me going.

marc joined in and replied with this 5.3 years ago, 2 weeks later, 1.4 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

i hoestly thing life is a joke so i just have fun with it push it to the limit fly, bungie jump, get into fights, maybe there is something after it all.

Anonymous Z-66 joined in and replied with this 5.3 years ago, 58 minutes later, 1.4 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

You can see life as whatever you want, but the only objective we can say about life is that is the biggest miracle it could have happened. The existence of... Well anything, is a big fucking coincidence, dimensions, matter, light... And then, one of the most complicated and almost impossible thing that could've appeared. Life.

It's not a joke, it's not pointless. Is a big miracle, and we cannot normally see that with our human mind.

Jennifer joined in and replied with this 5.3 years ago, 2 hours later, 1.4 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

I think life is pointless and meaningless, maybe a little hellish.

Anonymous Z-68 joined in and replied with this 5.3 years ago, 1 week later, 1.4 year after the original post[^] [v] #0

"Living to give life meaning.", is what I heard very often. And that the way to the goal not the goal is important.
For me that is the best example to clarify that life is essentially absolutely pointless and we can do whatever we want with it, it wouldn't make any difference.
This is sad. Unbelievably sad.
I have joy in my life, but seconds after the feeling, it feels like temporary illusions, just to make me forget that we are all an irrelevant grain of dust.
The irony: I work and work to create something that I (most of the time) feel to be lasting and significant. Others would say I should just enjoy life whenever I can, really it would make no difference to me, since enjoyment is but temporary and the thing of significance is but a illusion.

Also I think the point of children and to be succesful at your job is to have the same illusion and to keep yourself busy, so you won't have time to have this kind of thoughts.
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