Am I crazy?

Can philosophers help resolve the real problems that people have in their lives?

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Hanuman
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:44 am

Am I crazy?

Post by Hanuman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:31 am

At first I thought I might be having a mid-life crisis, as I am approaching 40, but then I remembered I had that in my late 20’s (Quit a very lucrative job, opened a small restaurant in a foreign country). I lived overseas for about 10 years, and came back a few years ago, and maybe I am having reverse culture shock that took a while to kick in.

I opened a new business quickly upon returning home, and threw my life into it, working 14 hour days (everyday) for a year, and decided to sell it. It was successful, but I couldn’t realize the return I was looking for.

Both my parents passed away within the past 3 years at young ages (in their 60’s). While I wasn’t that close to my Dad, my Mom’s passing hit me hard. I guess I had the feeling that she was the only person on this earth that truly loved me, and now she’s gone. I was somewhat close to my siblings and thought I was close to my extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.), but after returning, I realized their views of me had changed. I was that weird uncle who quit a Fortune 100 job and moved away to a foreign country. I was and still am ok with the choices I made, but at family gatherings, I tend to feel the judgment in the air, hence, I’ve distanced myself from them.

I’d really like nothing more than to leave, and go back to my “other home”. Nothing is holding me here, anymore, but I do not have enough money to retire, and the labor laws would not allow me to work there. I could open another business, but the investment there isn’t looking too good, and I fear what will happen if the next business didn’t work out. In my 20’s I could always go back to the “real world” if things didn’t work out. Not to mention, with my parents gone, I am completely on my own. So, I am currently looking for work.


So, you have the background, here is the concern. I’m a fish out of water, here. I just can’t relate to anything around me. I look around and feel people are idiots. What people hold as important in their lives seems meaningless to me.

- They seem so preoccupied with smartphones, fantasy football leagues (and other sports), facebook.
- They’d rather send 20 text messages back and forth then to have a 30 second conversation.
- Television has become the new Roman Coliseum. Nothing but reality shows.
- Commercials on TV make no sense to me.
- Why people worship celebrities seems insane.
- All news media has been reduced to infotainment.

- I am completely disillusioned with the political system, here. But, what’s even worse is how much people argue over elections. It’s like you are arguing over which person will steal money from you. Both will promise the world, and if elected, ignore the promises, enrich themselves and their buddies, and do their best to get re-elected in a few years.

- Being somewhat spiritual, but leaning towards atheism, I just don’t get how many people are just sheep, blindly following everyone around them, believing in the invisible man in the sky, and the social mores they are taught without questioning them. Most will actually defend illogical and detrimental practices, for no better reason then that's what they were taught.

- Lastly, having always loved intellectual discussion, I can’t seem to understand the whole troll mentality of conversations nowadays. Discussions have become debates, with parties choosing sides beforehand and refusing to waver from it. The most witty retort, rather than the most convincing argument seems to be the goal. And if the other side is “winning”, explaining one’s own ideas are abandoned and attacking the opponent becomes the strategy, rather then refining ones argument.


What’s weird is, I am not depressed. Maybe I should be. I’ve always been a very level-headed and happy person (and still am, for the most part). I have quite a few friends, with several close ones. I’ve trimmed down, this year, eating better and exercising regularly. I am happy with myself and my life (day-to-day). However, I am seeing less and less meaning in it. It feels like we (my country and human beings in general) are devolving. The optimism that the future will be better than the past is fading.

Am I crazy?

Impenitent
Posts: 1624
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Am I crazy?

Post by Impenitent » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:05 pm

meaning is what you make it.


crazy is as crazy does...

-Imp

chaz wyman
Posts: 5333
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: Am I crazy?

Post by chaz wyman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:06 pm

Hanuman wrote:At first I thought I might be having a mid-life crisis, as I am approaching 40, but then I remembered I had that in my late 20’s (Quit a very lucrative job, opened a small restaurant in a foreign country). I lived overseas for about 10 years, and came back a few years ago, and maybe I am having reverse culture shock that took a while to kick in.

I opened a new business quickly upon returning home, and threw my life into it, working 14 hour days (everyday) for a year, and decided to sell it. It was successful, but I couldn’t realize the return I was looking for.

Both my parents passed away within the past 3 years at young ages (in their 60’s). While I wasn’t that close to my Dad, my Mom’s passing hit me hard. I guess I had the feeling that she was the only person on this earth that truly loved me, and now she’s gone. I was somewhat close to my siblings and thought I was close to my extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.), but after returning, I realized their views of me had changed. I was that weird uncle who quit a Fortune 100 job and moved away to a foreign country. I was and still am ok with the choices I made, but at family gatherings, I tend to feel the judgment in the air, hence, I’ve distanced myself from them.

I’d really like nothing more than to leave, and go back to my “other home”. Nothing is holding me here, anymore, but I do not have enough money to retire, and the labor laws would not allow me to work there. I could open another business, but the investment there isn’t looking too good, and I fear what will happen if the next business didn’t work out. In my 20’s I could always go back to the “real world” if things didn’t work out. Not to mention, with my parents gone, I am completely on my own. So, I am currently looking for work.


So, you have the background, here is the concern. I’m a fish out of water, here. I just can’t relate to anything around me. I look around and feel people are idiots. What people hold as important in their lives seems meaningless to me.

- They seem so preoccupied with smartphones, fantasy football leagues (and other sports), facebook.
- They’d rather send 20 text messages back and forth then to have a 30 second conversation.
- Television has become the new Roman Coliseum. Nothing but reality shows.
- Commercials on TV make no sense to me.
- Why people worship celebrities seems insane.
- All news media has been reduced to infotainment.

- I am completely disillusioned with the political system, here. But, what’s even worse is how much people argue over elections. It’s like you are arguing over which person will steal money from you. Both will promise the world, and if elected, ignore the promises, enrich themselves and their buddies, and do their best to get re-elected in a few years.

- Being somewhat spiritual, but leaning towards atheism, I just don’t get how many people are just sheep, blindly following everyone around them, believing in the invisible man in the sky, and the social mores they are taught without questioning them. Most will actually defend illogical and detrimental practices, for no better reason then that's what they were taught.

- Lastly, having always loved intellectual discussion, I can’t seem to understand the whole troll mentality of conversations nowadays. Discussions have become debates, with parties choosing sides beforehand and refusing to waver from it. The most witty retort, rather than the most convincing argument seems to be the goal. And if the other side is “winning”, explaining one’s own ideas are abandoned and attacking the opponent becomes the strategy, rather then refining ones argument.


What’s weird is, I am not depressed. Maybe I should be. I’ve always been a very level-headed and happy person (and still am, for the most part). I have quite a few friends, with several close ones. I’ve trimmed down, this year, eating better and exercising regularly. I am happy with myself and my life (day-to-day). However, I am seeing less and less meaning in it. It feels like we (my country and human beings in general) are devolving. The optimism that the future will be better than the past is fading.

Am I crazy?
No, you sound just like anyone else wondering if there is any meaning in a meaningless universe.
But I think you have come to the wrong website; this is philosophy, not psychology.

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Grendel
Posts: 78
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Location: Hyperborea

Re: Am I crazy?

Post by Grendel » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:13 pm

Well what most people do is if they don't get on in one reality is escape to another. There is a world of possibilities out there, you could lose yourself in the world of Sci fi/Comic conventions, join a communist party, get obsessed with animal rights, live an alternative lifestyle, become a Buddhist, get lost in soap operas, become a foodie, join the Church of Satan, join a historical re-enactment group, become a preppie, and so on.

Point is everyone feels the way you do, hence the escape methods and hence your inability to relate to all these people who have escaped, because you haven't yet. And that's what the post-modern condition is, a world where everyone has invented a cosy little reality of their own, if you haven't your effectively disabled.

Hanuman
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:44 am

Re: Am I crazy?

Post by Hanuman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:24 pm

chaz wyman wrote:
No, you sound just like anyone else wondering if there is any meaning in a meaningless universe.
But I think you have come to the wrong website; this is philosophy, not psychology.
I see you've changed your avatar. Took me a moment to realize who had replied.

Possibly a psychology website would be better, but I don't know of any, offhand, and I appreciate the level of intellect here, as well as the diverse points of views to be found. I've enjoyed reading many of your posts, as well as "Fog-Horn's", and several others.

In truth, I don't believe I'm mad, rather, I am bit disillusioned with what I see around me. Maybe I'm just getting old. In the past, when hitting a rough patch, turning to self-reflection, philosophy, discussion, and research has always helped. So, I figured I'd try it here.

Hanuman
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:44 am

Re: Am I crazy?

Post by Hanuman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:33 pm

Grendel wrote:Well what most people do is if they don't get on in one reality is escape to another. There is a world of possibilities out there, you could lose yourself in the world of Sci fi/Comic conventions, join a communist party, get obsessed with animal rights, live an alternative lifestyle, become a Buddhist, get lost in soap operas, become a foodie, join the Church of Satan, join a historical re-enactment group, become a preppie, and so on.

Point is everyone feels the way you do, hence the escape methods and hence your inability to relate to all these people who have escaped, because you haven't yet. And that's what the post-modern condition is, a world where everyone has invented a cosy little reality of their own, if you haven't your effectively disabled.

Funny you should mention it. I wouldn't classify myself as a Buddhist (can't get past the reincarnation thing), but I follow Theravada Buddhism as a moral code.

chaz wyman
Posts: 5333
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: Am I crazy?

Post by chaz wyman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:04 pm

Hanuman wrote:
chaz wyman wrote:
No, you sound just like anyone else wondering if there is any meaning in a meaningless universe.
But I think you have come to the wrong website; this is philosophy, not psychology.
I see you've changed your avatar. Took me a moment to realize who had replied.

Possibly a psychology website would be better, but I don't know of any, offhand, and I appreciate the level of intellect here, as well as the diverse points of views to be found. I've enjoyed reading many of your posts, as well as "Fog-Horn's", and several others.

In truth, I don't believe I'm mad, rather, I am bit disillusioned with what I see around me. Maybe I'm just getting old. In the past, when hitting a rough patch, turning to self-reflection, philosophy, discussion, and research has always helped. So, I figured I'd try it here.
We all go through bad patches, and there is no solution to the underlying problem of the meaning of life. You can only make your own meaning. Just look to do stuff that makes you happy - is there anything more you can do?
Achieving what you want always tends to be a disappointment; you need to keep moving the gaol posts further away to keep you aiming at something.

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The Voice of Time
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Re: Am I crazy?

Post by The Voice of Time » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:10 am

I like Grendel's answer.

To me your basic problem seems to be an incapacity to follow the progressive stream, which is not saying "go and be obsessed with celebrities and facebook like people around you", but investigate such as that you know how to communicate with a person whose interests widely differ from yours. One looses hope when one looses abilities to affect the world around oneself. You must not think that all these waves of phenomena aren't already being fired at. There are enough of movies and books bringing up the subject of often the absurdity inherent in many of these things. However, I hardly think it is any different than the culture clashes of the 60ies, 70ies and so forth with popular cultural aggressively asserting its stances and domains with the older cultures reacting in the face of it.

If you were a lax hippi-like guy in the 70ies, then just think about how you may have been completely absurd to the people around you at that time, at least some of the people around you (as it depends upon where you went and with who). Norms are changing, it's all a chaos, in the midst of it people cling to the most powerful voices they can find and the most reliable situations they have, these are celebrities, facebook, internet forums, computer games, and so forth, but make no mistake and think this is all recent, or that the phenomena is as widespread as you might think, you may just have a family and/or other relations especially affected by this.

There is a thing called "everybody has facebook, or they are not everybody", but not everybody uses it to the obsessive extremes one often sees, it's just so clear when some people does it, and there's a lot of people who are on the borderline of obsession with it and other social media.

Hanuman
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:44 am

Re: Am I crazy?

Post by Hanuman » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:49 am

Thank you VoT, and everyone else who replied to this post. It has helped me put things in a bit of perspective. I think I was just having an unusually low moment, and all my frustrations came out in the post. I'm not saying anything I wrote was wrong, but it's not really that big of a deal from where I stand, now. Ill probably continue to swim upstream, but will try to not let it get to me when I get knocked back, a bit.

Pluto
Posts: 1856
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Location: Belgium

Re: Am I crazy?

Post by Pluto » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:15 pm

Hanuman wrote:At first I thought I might be having a mid-life crisis, as I am approaching 40, but then I remembered I had that in my late 20’s (Quit a very lucrative job, opened a small restaurant in a foreign country). I lived overseas for about 10 years, and came back a few years ago, and maybe I am having reverse culture shock that took a while to kick in.

I opened a new business quickly upon returning home, and threw my life into it, working 14 hour days (everyday) for a year, and decided to sell it. It was successful, but I couldn’t realize the return I was looking for.

Both my parents passed away within the past 3 years at young ages (in their 60’s). While I wasn’t that close to my Dad, my Mom’s passing hit me hard. I guess I had the feeling that she was the only person on this earth that truly loved me, and now she’s gone. I was somewhat close to my siblings and thought I was close to my extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.), but after returning, I realized their views of me had changed. I was that weird uncle who quit a Fortune 100 job and moved away to a foreign country. I was and still am ok with the choices I made, but at family gatherings, I tend to feel the judgment in the air, hence, I’ve distanced myself from them.

I’d really like nothing more than to leave, and go back to my “other home”. Nothing is holding me here, anymore, but I do not have enough money to retire, and the labor laws would not allow me to work there. I could open another business, but the investment there isn’t looking too good, and I fear what will happen if the next business didn’t work out. In my 20’s I could always go back to the “real world” if things didn’t work out. Not to mention, with my parents gone, I am completely on my own. So, I am currently looking for work.


So, you have the background, here is the concern. I’m a fish out of water, here. I just can’t relate to anything around me. I look around and feel people are idiots. What people hold as important in their lives seems meaningless to me.

- They seem so preoccupied with smartphones, fantasy football leagues (and other sports), facebook.
- They’d rather send 20 text messages back and forth then to have a 30 second conversation.
- Television has become the new Roman Coliseum. Nothing but reality shows.
- Commercials on TV make no sense to me.
- Why people worship celebrities seems insane.
- All news media has been reduced to infotainment.

- I am completely disillusioned with the political system, here. But, what’s even worse is how much people argue over elections. It’s like you are arguing over which person will steal money from you. Both will promise the world, and if elected, ignore the promises, enrich themselves and their buddies, and do their best to get re-elected in a few years.

- Being somewhat spiritual, but leaning towards atheism, I just don’t get how many people are just sheep, blindly following everyone around them, believing in the invisible man in the sky, and the social mores they are taught without questioning them. Most will actually defend illogical and detrimental practices, for no better reason then that's what they were taught.

- Lastly, having always loved intellectual discussion, I can’t seem to understand the whole troll mentality of conversations nowadays. Discussions have become debates, with parties choosing sides beforehand and refusing to waver from it. The most witty retort, rather than the most convincing argument seems to be the goal. And if the other side is “winning”, explaining one’s own ideas are abandoned and attacking the opponent becomes the strategy, rather then refining ones argument.


What’s weird is, I am not depressed. Maybe I should be. I’ve always been a very level-headed and happy person (and still am, for the most part). I have quite a few friends, with several close ones. I’ve trimmed down, this year, eating better and exercising regularly. I am happy with myself and my life (day-to-day). However, I am seeing less and less meaning in it. It feels like we (my country and human beings in general) are devolving. The optimism that the future will be better than the past is fading.

Am I crazy?

I think the problem you're experiencing is that you are sane. Especially when I read this:

- They seem so preoccupied with smartphones, fantasy football leagues (and other sports), facebook.
- They’d rather send 20 text messages back and forth then to have a 30 second conversation.
- Television has become the new Roman Coliseum. Nothing but reality shows.
- Commercials on TV make no sense to me.
- Why people worship celebrities seems insane.
- All news media has been reduced to infotainment.

Find people who think like yourself. Why? So your sanity might find a platform from which it can grow.

duszek
Posts: 2094
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:27 pm
Location: Thin Air

Re: Am I crazy?

Post by duszek » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:16 pm

Infotainment has a useful function to some of us: it makes us forget our solitude.

This is nothing knew, Blaise Pascale wrote about it hundreds of years ago. People look for company and amusement because if they are alone with themselves they cannot bear it.

Marriage and family do not prevent solitude. They can make it even worse.

The only solution seems to be ... the courage to face this human condition philosophically and to try different ways to solve it.

That is what we are trying to do here, I suppose, in our philosophical sand-pit.

My newest sand castle:
I celebrate my "birthday" each month, for a secret reason.
I celebrated yesterday and suffered too because of some "crazy" ideas for eating.

Did anything interesting happen to me on my "birthday" yesterday ?
A woman tried to intimidate me because she wanted to sell me something.
I looked at her like at a curious animal, observed my emotions and my calm resilience. I had the nerve to intimidate her back but I resisted the temptation.

One can compose events and thus make something happen in one´s life. And this makes a big difference.

duszek
Posts: 2094
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:27 pm
Location: Thin Air

Re: Am I crazy?

Post by duszek » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:47 pm

To be inter-ested means to "be" (esse) "inbetween" (inter).

inter - esse

And this requires slowliness and concentration. The immersion into the world needs to mature and to grow.

If we follow this then autists are the most interested people.

chaz wyman
Posts: 5333
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: Am I crazy?

Post by chaz wyman » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:51 pm

duszek wrote:To be inter-ested means to "be" (esse) "inbetween" (inter).

inter - esse

And this requires slowliness and concentration. The immersion into the world needs to mature and to grow.

If we follow this then autists are the most interested people.
The meaning of 'interested' can only be understood with reference to the context in which it is use - this is true with any word.
The literal or etymological meaning, whilst "interesting" is not directly related to the meaning.

What you are doing with "autists" is beyond my ken.

duszek
Posts: 2094
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:27 pm
Location: Thin Air

Re: Am I crazy?

Post by duszek » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:00 pm

I want to use words more consciously and thus give them more weight.

Autists overfocus, one woman on a different forum explained to me.
They can get fascinated (inter-ested) by a drop on the windscreen and forget to drive when the lights are green again.

If you are not inter-ested in my reflections then sniffle some place else. The earth is big enough ...

Fascination comes from "bonds to sth". One´s attention is bound by an object of inter-est.
Fascism has the same root.

chaz wyman
Posts: 5333
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:31 pm

Re: Am I crazy?

Post by chaz wyman » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:10 pm

duszek wrote:I want to use words more consciously and thus give them more weight.

Autists overfocus, one woman on a different forum explained to me.
They can get fascinated (inter-ested) by a drop on the windscreen and forget to drive when the lights are green again.

If you are not inter-ested in my reflections then sniffle some place else. The earth is big enough ...

Fascination comes from "bonds to sth". One´s attention is bound by an object of inter-est.
Fascism has the same root.
That does not make fascism interesting, and certainly not fascinating.
We all use words consciously, that is not what you are doing.
You are just subverting them and reducing them to their most literal meaning, which is NOT how they are used.
When one is fascinated, it is NOT the same as being bound by sticks.
And the fasces on the US dime does not mean that the US supports Fascism.
You are just seeding confusion in your own mind.

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