What is the point of life?

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Matt24
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

The Voice of Time wrote:
Matt24 wrote:but it's not like you can do it without any money at all.
I did it without money ;)

Although I also had a part-time job as a beggar x)
Hahaha seriously? That doesn't sound like much fun to be honest. How did you get out of such a situation?

Probably one of the things which hold me back from going on that kind of adventure is the possibility of things going wrong. It's so easy to be stolen, lost, homeless, etc. when you don't have a financial back-up just in case.

I'm curious to know how you solved that. I doubt anyone can pay more than a bus fare and simple dinners as a result of begging.
Matt24
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

The Voice of Time wrote:Well not really. When you walk into cities with thousands or millions of people, you sooner or later find people who will socialize with you. Loneliness is not really that much of a problem. Especially at night when everyone's drunk.
But can you really make good actual friends? I don't doubt you can meet people. The question is whether they're worth getting acquainted with or not. I wouldn't be interested in chatting up a drunk man who probably won't remember my name the next day, nor in spontaneous one-night-only relationships with people I won't see again.

The Voice of Time wrote: Well yes it sounds like you are possessive. And although it's great to have somebody to associate with, I have one such dude which I talk with on facebook and skype and associate with in the weekends playing multiplayer games. But you really have to base the life you live each day on what is available to you. If you don't have people who wants to associate with you sufficiently, then you are basing yourself on a doomed cause, and you must alter yourself to focus on other things.

Inwardly for instance, not in an obsessive way of course because that just leads to mental problems (ego-problems, or obsessive thinking)... but for instance in a Buddhist way. Focusing on yourself and just lifting the burdens of your life off your shoulders, focusing on what you have instead of what you do not have. Sounds, sights, feelings... make the most out of what is there already.

And then you can take a chance to get what you want, when the chance presents itself, but in the meantime, you must base yourself on what there is already, and if there is just you, then that's fine, you can't enforce better friendships, just don't think that you need it, and you can find peace in what's in front of you.
There are so many points to cover in this discussion lol. Let's see.

Regarding finding "better" friends (such as those you can talk to on the Internet) I don't think it's worth my time. I mean, people in real life usually come off as superficial to me; and I've tried friending unique people online but I can't honestly know if they truly like me or not. Aren't you ever worried that your Internet friend cuts you off all of a sudden? That happened to me once, and it totally let me down. So much time invested in something that didn't work out.

About inward reflection, I've also tried my hand at meditating and all that. I don't know if it was because of my skeptic nature or what, but I didn't experience any benefit at all. Maybe you need to believe it will free you for it to make an effect? Anyway, my experience was not with Buddhism, so I don't really know what that involves. The intention of accepting what you have in your life sounds nice to me, but turning that into my philosophy of life is something totally different. I'm not very fond of "letting things occur by themselves".
Matt24
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

Blaggard wrote: Another triumphant contentless one liner from the resident forum troll.

Hex has confessed he suffers from ADHD and NPD so trying to reason with his illness is like trying to make spaceships out of mars bars. Just do what everyone else does and put him on ignore.

He gets his jollies from proclaiming how fantastic he is and how stupid everyone else is without ever actually explaining anything, it's rather boring but let the baby have his bottle.
Oh, well, I'm sorry for Hex.

I don't mind when people post nonsense, but that particular post seemed like a typical forum attack to the OP so I had to answer back.

Thanks for the information!
Matt24
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

uwot wrote:Matt24, a lot of people waste their lives searching for meaning. Others waste their lives on long term goals, getting into heaven for example, which demand ridiculous sacrifices and for which there is no guarantee of success. If you want there to be a point to your life, I wouldn't listen to anyone else, make up your own and pursue that. Personally, I very much doubt there is any point to life, but what a trip!
Thanks for the suggestion! Indeed, it's exactly what I'm trying to do. But it's so hard to come up with your own purpose (and your own morals too, that's something that also troubles me!) all by yourself. You have no idea how tempted I've been to either try and forget this, or to convince myself of a higher meaning (religion, as you say). I know none of them lead me to the correct path, so I keep on working at it even though it's hard.

Right now, I'm trying to find out about those people who happened to experience the same thing I do (which is really why I posted here in the first place). So far, the closest I've come to that was actually in the fictional world in the novel "Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy. The character called Constantine Levin (who was said to be based on Tolstoy's ideas) thought basically the same things I did! This is a quote from the novel: "When Levin thought about what he was and why he lived, he could find no answer and was driven to despair; but when he left off asking himself those questions he seemed to know what he was and why he lived, for he acted and lived unfalteringly and definitely.."

While I was reading it, I thought Tolstoy's solution to his character could apply to me too. Yet sadly (and expected I guess, since Tolstoy was a Christian) Levin finds meaning in religion, being able to believe by realising that if people didn't believe in God they would have no morals at all, and so God had to exist (something I obviously don't agree with).

Blaggard wrote:I think Camus said it best:

"For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life."
That is a great quote! Unfortunately, I still have to see where that "grandeur" is to be found. In my opinion, not all ways of living are "grandesse". Yes, of course life's grandeur lies in both the good and the bad aspects of it. But I have to find the good aspects that make it worthwhile overcoming the bad ones.

Nikolai wrote:All the best people think like this...it is the beginning of wisdom and maturity. It forces the person to seek deeper more robust levels of purpose than most people are capable of. Get through it and you'll be an inspiration to others, because most people unconsciously feel the truth of what you are saying. It strikes a chord with all human beings.
Wow, that's... encouraging. Wow. Thank you. You make me feel understood.

It's nice to know I'm not a maniac depressed person - or that if I am, I'm not the only one.
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The Voice of Time
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by The Voice of Time »

Matt24 wrote:Hahaha seriously? That doesn't sound like much fun to be honest. How did you get out of such a situation?
Well travelling is not a day at the spa ^^ It has its hard sides. But I definitely has long-term fun value. But depends what kind of person you are of course, if you're able to enjoy sleeping on park benches, eating food out of trash cans and stuff like that x) To this day I see a menu in fact when I look at trash cans, it's hard to get the habit out xD
Matt24 wrote:Probably one of the things which hold me back from going on that kind of adventure is the possibility of things going wrong.
Things can go wrong everywhere, so just as long as you don't go to Baghdad or somewhere extremely dangerous, you should be fine.
Matt24 wrote:It's so easy to be stolen
I was only stolen from once, and that was while I was sound asleep in the middle of the city public park... and a time some punk adventurer thought he was gonna "salvage" what was in fact my properties, not knowing it was mine... although in his defence it did look like trash what I owned x)
Matt24 wrote:lost
Unless you're walking in the middle of a desert or some extremely undeveloped country, your degree of "lostness" should be relatively small. In France and Spain where I travelled there are maps everywhere and people are generally nice to talk with.
Matt24 wrote:homeless
Part of the job x) However, you can get back a new home when you need it, later. I stayed with my aunt in the capital the first few days, then in cooperation with the social services I got myself a bedsit shared with lots of other young people in Trondheim, where I currently live, although at a different location.
Matt24 wrote:etc. when you don't have a financial back-up just in case.
Well I may have had an aunt which paid for my flight ticket back home (wasn't that expensive). But besides that, no financial back-up, and wasn't that bad without money. France and Spain got universal free health-care, and as part of Norway I have a European health-insurance card for free which means I can just visit a doctor if I need to. Never needed to use it though. Never even threw up from bad food x) But maybe I have a superior immune system?
Matt24 wrote:I'm curious to know how you solved that. I doubt anyone can pay more than a bus fare and simple dinners as a result of begging.
Well you don't eat "dinners" as such. You eat what food you can get, although when you do have money you buy what looks nice of course x) And I never used buses. I hitch-hiked with people, and sometimes walked, which worked occasionally in France because it's such a tightly populated country. To be honest, I made more money from people just giving me money at random, than from people giving me money when I begged. In Norway I also collected bottles and returned them in the store for money, which, if I really wanted to, could give me 20 dollars a day perhaps or more in populated areas. But I was lazy and didn't effort much. Spent most of my days philosophizing and developing philosophy x)
Matt24
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

Skip wrote:Yes. An orgasm is only as long as it lasts. A beer is only as long as it lasts. Is that any reason not enjoy the hell out of them while you can? Life is as long as it lasts. The universe is as long as it lasts. Why should duration pose a problem?
I'm not saying the ephemerality of pleasure is the problem. Rather, it's the downs associated with these activities which put me off. Indeed, an orgasm can feel good, but what happens after that? Do you feel more "complete"? Have you escaped from the sufferings of life, or will you overcome them just by continuing to please yourself? I've personally seen people seeking sexual pleasure so much that they end up having sex with a person they barely know, or that they desire just for their body. What does it feel like to turn around and see a stranger on the other side of the bed? Obviously, it doesn't have to be a complete stranger, you know what I'm trying to say.

Same with alcohol. People get drunk for the simple reason they want to forget their troubles. While that's not a bad thing per se, it's nothing but hiding from reality. Because if you don't get drunk, then you will still be able to think about everything that troubles you (if you meant you enjoy a beer the way you enjoy a McDonald's burger - without abusing it). And if you do, it's only a "delayer": eventually you will be conscious again of the real life (and that without mentioning the bad health effects and the guilty, empty feelings experienced during a hangover.)
Being distracted from something you can't solve or escape seems like a good idea. Maybe enjoyable and useful activities are not so much distractors from the pointlessness of life as delayers of pointlessness of death.
It's not a good idea, in my opinion. Eventually you will have to face it, like it or not. When you're at your deathbed, you won't remember your distractions, because this one thing - death - is what concerns you as a human being. That's why many turn to religion when nearing death: after delaying it all their lives, they need to finally confront it and they're scared, for they were always trying to put it off from their minds.
So, you work toward something you can't finish. If you enjoy the effort and it gives you hope and purpose, that's more than you came in with. Join the Zeitgeist movement (advocates of Resource Based Economy); meet other dreamers who can't possibly achieve what they intend. Or not.... just teach a slum kid to read, organize a community vegetable garden or help your cousin move. Any work you do, however big or small, without financial motivation, is a step toward your ideal.
Yes, that's the key, you're absolutely right. Thing is, I know I would enjoy the theoretical discussion about the economy but I wouldn't like working for companies or for banks because that's just... meaningless. That's what I meant when I related science with capitalism. I like the natural sciences almost as much as the social ones, but I feel that fields like chemistry and biology are much more intrisically linked for their survival to capitalism than others. And I would despise to work in a lab just to come up with a profitable med so that corporations can make money off it.

I actually didn't know about the Zeitgeist movement. I'll do some research about it then :)

Doing community work is nice in theory, but from experiences, I'm not sure if it would give me meaning. Especially when I'm not answer back with gratitude. I feel well giving some money to the needy, but I admit it doesn't always happen when the receiver just grabs it without even muttering thanks.

Capitalism is a mere hiccup in history. There was no money for 100,000 years of human societies; there was money for 5,000 or so years, during which it precipitated a lot of very bad shit, including this latest manifestation. It will go away again, if we survive this bout of hiccups.
Meanwhile, learn more about human psychology. You may be surprised to discover what-all motivates people underneath the appearance. Lots of times, money is mere wallpaper on a much more interesting structure.
Just for simple curiosity, what do you think capitalism will develop into? Do you believe in the Marxian ideal of Socialism as a way to end the system, or do you think Anarchism (or other system) would be preferrable to it?
Last edited by Matt24 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The Voice of Time
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by The Voice of Time »

Matt24 wrote:But can you really make good actual friends?
Not deep friends, but you meet people who will treat you like "friends" yes, "actual friends" yes, although I seldom encountered them during my journeys, but I did a couple few times. Other were just very friendly, but not "friend", mostly because they pitied me. But there's no point in developing deep relationships when you travel, you won't likely see them again anyways. You just share a moment of your life together. But that's good as well, I think we need both deep friends and more friendly friends, and just random people as well, it all adds diversity and spice to life. Takes it from dull to rich.
Matt24 wrote:I don't doubt you can meet people. The question is whether they're worth getting acquainted with or not.
Well I have an optimistic outlook on most people so I find value in people, and if they're not worth getting acquainted with, then just don't socialize with them x) Simple as that.
Matt24 wrote:I wouldn't be interested in chatting up a drunk man who probably won't remember my name the next day, nor in spontaneous one-night-only relationships with people I won't see again.
Why not? Why should he remember you? If you remember him it's enough I'd say, unless you trying to stick unto him like some insect, which is stupid. You can enjoy yourself without being with friends all the time, not everyone needs to know your specifics all the time, or do you have a social aversion for strangers and people who don't know you? I find strangers liberating sometimes to talk with. They teach me new ways of communicating, new knowledge (although a lot of it is bogus of course), and it teaches me about the world at large, different points of view, and ways of thinking... but maybe that's just my interests.
Matt24 wrote:There are so many points to cover in this discussion lol. Let's see.

Regarding finding "better" friends (such as those you can talk to on the Internet) I don't think it's worth my time. I mean, people in real life usually come off as superficial to me
That depends upon your engagement with them. If you engage in smalltalk, you get smalltalk in return. If you engage in big talk, you get big talk in return. If you engage in fun talk, you get fun talk in return... people usually adapt towards how you treat them.
Matt24 wrote:and I've tried friending unique people online but I can't honestly know if they truly like me or not.
Seems to me again you are expecting the wrong thing... don't look for clones. Just look for something that fits. My buddy is nothing like me... He doesn't give a damn about the world, he's generally simple-minded, his world is mostly a joke to him (not in a bad sense, but in a sense he jokes a lot), his political leanings are the direct opposite of mine (I'm a staunch progressive, democratic socialist, he's more of a progressive capitalism kind of dude, though that's not really descriptive since he has never talked politics with me, it's more of an assumption), and so forth. We don't even play the same games, except some games which we play just to play together, and not really for solo... but we get along great. We party together, we joke together a lot, we share an enthusiasm for games in general, and we've built up over time a bit of shared dyadic (between us only) culture. So by most means we are nothing alike, but just those things that makes it possible to enjoy each others company, those things work... and it works great, we got a great relationship. So... moral of story: it's not clones that will give you good friendships, but whatever fits.
Matt24 wrote:Aren't you ever worried that your Internet friend cuts you off all of a sudden?
Extremely unlikely, I know him from school and we have a long history together x) Because we live in different town/city, we now mostly communicate on the internet, but we do visit occasionally. It's not that expensive to travel.
Matt24 wrote:That happened to me once, and it totally let me down. So much time invested in something that didn't work out.
I've been done that to, but not by deep friends, only friendly friends. Though I've done it to other people, when I thought the cost of maintaining relations wasn't worth it. However, you can find friends other places than the internet. The internet lacks excuses to socialize, so you depend a lot on empty trust. I wouldn't trust internet friendships unless they get sufficient time to mature, which can take years, and lots of visits in the meantime, as the intensity you get with real people is lost, and people don't really "develop towards" one another in the same way, except by the pure chance of one desperate guy meeting another desperate girl/guy.
Matt24 wrote:About inward reflection, I've also tried my hand at meditating and all that. I don't know if it was because of my skeptic nature or what, but I didn't experience any benefit at all.
Well I don't understand how scepticism should be involved unless you are thinking about spirituality, which I'm not. I can't stand spiritual garbage, but the kind of meditation I'm talking about has nothing to do with spirituality, and everything to do with controlling your own body as well as learning to relax. In a way, listening to calm instrumental music while in a bathtub is a kind of meditation, if you know how to enjoy it properly. As I indicated in a thread I created in the political forum: appetite is an art that needs to be developed. And in this sense we are talking about an appetite for relaxations and music, a development of ones consumption.
Matt24 wrote:Maybe you need to believe it will free you for it to make an effect?
Belief has nothing to do with it. Just do it.
Matt24 wrote:Anyway, my experience was not with Buddhism, so I don't really know what that involves. The intention of accepting what you have in your life sounds nice to me, but turning that into my philosophy of life is something totally different. I'm not very fond of "letting things occur by themselves".
No idea what that means. What I'm talking about is nothing like not taking control of your life, it's about a proper management where you don't give unobtainable desires the priority, but instead prioritize what you have, so as to stabilize yourself and have a bit of happiness.
Nikolai
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Nikolai »

Hi Matt
It's nice to know I'm not a maniac depressed person - or that if I am, I'm not the only one.
Of course, but I think it's important also to recognise that what you are going through is very rare - and that what is rare is special. When I went through this myself I didn't have an internet connection and it wouldn't have occurred to me to discuss it on forums. I only tried with friends and family and was left feeling that I was a very unusual person. I often think that dead writers saved me from despair, maybe suicide. Tolstoy was the most important to me, but also Thoreau, Emerson, Wordsworth and later philosophers like Spinoza, Kant and especially Schopenhauer.

I also learnt that resolving existential crisis (for me it was different to depression because I never stopped laughing, smiling, and functioning...but just felt bewildered by the meaningless of life), can need a couple of phases. It's possible to find a semblance of meaning that can sustain you for a while before the same deeper problem returns again.

What is happening to you is very unusual. You, a man, a mortal and a member of society has suddenly decided that death - you defining act as a mortal - is not at all to your taste - you despise the way it annihilates all meaning in life. Furthermore, you have become dissatisfied with your own pleasures...they don't last long enough and seem to contain the possibility for displeasure. Sure it's nice to have a friend, but its not fun, fun, fun 24/7 and anyway, if they drop you it hurts so much that it might have been better not to get too close.

Its almost as if, and I speak figuratively here, its almost as if a new part of your identity has woken up and this new man is looking rather critically at the situation that old man and his colleagues seem to find themselves in!

As I said, this is just a metaphor...but it is the metaphor that underlies the narratives that shall come to the rescue.

All your dissatisfaction and despair is due to your preoccupation with your things in time. For one example out of many, you say: "Aren't you ever worried that your Internet friend cuts you off all of a sudden? That happened to me once, and it totally let me down. So much time invested in something that didn't work out."

You have started to notice the unsatisfying nature of living in time and space, and seem to want to transcend that situation.

The solution is all about this. It is about the realisation that the world is not simply as it appears. It is the realisation that time and space are in a way, just opinions, or "illusions" as Einstein called them and allowing that realisation to ease our dissatisfaction with the old view of things.

Fortunately, you don't need to renounce your rationality. The Kantian philosophy is built on the assumption that time and space can not be said to be part of the actual world but our rather metaphorical tropes through which events can be explained. Most scientists are way too superstitious to handle this lofty realisation, so don't be worried about having to lose your rationality. rather you have to push your rationality as far as it will possibly go. It's hard but rewarding and your scepticism will force you to confront the world that actually appears in the moment to your senses.

Living in the moment is the same as living outside of time, and it is a skill the requires lots of practice. Very few people can just start meditating at will. the world always gets in the way to begin with. The philosophical life is one way of dismantling the barriers of life in time and space, but you shouldn't view this as the effort. It seems you are naturally doing it all the time. All your rumination is having the desired purpose, so don't let your friends and family persuade you that it is bad and fruitless. They don't understand the purpose because they don't understand the problem.

Living in the moment is totally unappealing at first, and a deep mortification to anyone intellectually inclined (the intellect needs time and space to function) but after time you will start to discover a deep relief and security in the present moment and it will appear to you as deep rich, beautiful and meaningful in itself...this is the meaning behind Camus's notion that sin is failing to see the deep beauty of the moment, and Levin's observation that purpose comes when thought is renounced.

I'll stop now because I've said enough...but so long as you realise that what you are going through will allow you to live in a much deeper and more satisfying way and in time you will consider yourself fortunate to have felt this.
Blaggard
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Blaggard »

Matt24 wrote:
Blaggard wrote: Another triumphant contentless one liner from the resident forum troll.

Hex has confessed he suffers from ADHD and NPD so trying to reason with his illness is like trying to make spaceships out of mars bars. Just do what everyone else does and put him on ignore.

He gets his jollies from proclaiming how fantastic he is and how stupid everyone else is without ever actually explaining anything, it's rather boring but let the baby have his bottle.
Oh, well, I'm sorry for Hex.

I don't mind when people post nonsense, but that particular post seemed like a typical forum attack to the OP so I had to answer back.

Thanks for the information!
We're all sorry for Hex, you get used to him though he's like that.

As to what you said on Camus, it's much of a muchness, some people will enjoy life some people will seek purpose. Camus spoke to me because I was looking for a reason, and Camu's Myth of Sysiphus said: life is absurd there isn't one, and that gelled with me, it wont for all people and such is life.

"there's only one way of life, and that's your own."

Another wise man.
That is a great quote! Unfortunately, I still have to see where that "grandeur" is to be found. In my opinion, not all ways of living are "grandesse". Yes, of course life's grandeur lies in both the good and the bad aspects of it. But I have to find the good aspects that make it worthwhile overcoming the bad ones.
You're clearly on the right path, it's pretty much all our paths but you of course make your own.
The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.

If one believes Homer, Sisyphus was the wisest and most prudent of mortals. According to another tradition, however, he was disposed to practice the profession of highwayman. I see no contradiction in this. Opinions differ as to the reasons why he became the futile laborer of the underworld. To begin with, he is accused of a certain levity in regard to the gods. He stole their secrets. Egina, the daughter of Esopus, was carried off by Jupiter. The father was shocked by that disappearance and complained to Sisyphus. He, who knew of the abduction, offered to tell about it on condition that Esopus would give water to the citadel of Corinth. To the celestial thunderbolts he preferred the benediction of water. He was punished for this in the underworld. Homer tells us also that Sisyphus had put Death in chains. Pluto could not endure the sight of his deserted, silent empire. He dispatched the god of war, who liberated Death from the hands of her conqueror.

It is said that Sisyphus, being near to death, rashly wanted to test his wife's love. He ordered her to cast his unburied body into the middle of the public square. Sisyphus woke up in the underworld. And there, annoyed by an obedience so contrary to human love, he obtained from Pluto permission to return to earth in order to chastise his wife. But when he had seen again the face of this world, enjoyed water and sun, warm stones and the sea, he no longer wanted to go back to the infernal darkness. Recalls, signs of anger, warnings were of no avail. Many years more he lived facing the curve of the gulf, the sparkling sea, and the smiles of earth. A decree of the gods was necessary. Mercury came and seized the impudent man by the collar and, snatching him from his joys, lead him forcibly back to the underworld, where his rock was ready for him.

You have already grasped that Sisyphus is the absurd hero. He is, as much through his passions as through his torture. His scorn of the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing. This is the price that must be paid for the passions of this earth. Nothing is told us about Sisyphus in the underworld. Myths are made for the imagination to breathe life into them. As for this myth, one sees merely the whole effort of a body straining to raise the huge stone, to roll it, and push it up a slope a hundred times over; one sees the face screwed up, the cheek tight against the stone, the shoulder bracing the clay-covered mass, the foot wedging it, the fresh start with arms outstretched, the wholly human security of two earth-clotted hands. At the very end of his long effort measured by skyless space and time without depth, the purpose is achieved. Then Sisyphus watches the stone rush down in a few moments toward that lower world whence he will have to push it up again toward the summit. He goes back down to the plain.

It is during that return, that pause, that Sisyphus interests me. A face that toils so close to stones is already stone itself! I see that man going back down with a heavy yet measured step toward the torment of which he will never know the end. That hour like a breathing-space which returns as surely as his suffering, that is the hour of consciousness. At each of those moments when he leaves the heights and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock.

If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him? The workman of today works everyday in his life at the same tasks, and his fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that can not be surmounted by scorn.

If the descent is thus sometimes performed in sorrow, it can also take place in joy. This word is not too much. Again I fancy Sisyphus returning toward his rock, and the sorrow was in the beginning. When the images of earth cling too tightly to memory, when the call of happiness becomes too insistent, it happens that melancholy arises in man's heart: this is the rock's victory, this is the rock itself. The boundless grief is too heavy to bear. These are our nights of Gethsemane. But crushing truths perish from being acknowledged. Thus, Edipus at the outset obeys fate without knowing it. But from the moment he knows, his tragedy begins. Yet at the same moment, blind and desperate, he realizes that the only bond linking him to the world is the cool hand of a girl. Then a tremendous remark rings out: "Despite so many ordeals, my advanced age and the nobility of my soul make me conclude that all is well." Sophocles' Edipus, like Dostoevsky's Kirilov, thus gives the recipe for the absurd victory. Ancient wisdom confirms modern heroism.

One does not discover the absurd without being tempted to write a manual of happiness. "What!---by such narrow ways--?" There is but one world, however. Happiness and the absurd are two sons of the same earth. They are inseparable. It would be a mistake to say that happiness necessarily springs from the absurd. discovery. It happens as well that the felling of the absurd springs from happiness. "I conclude that all is well," says Edipus, and that remark is sacred. It echoes in the wild and limited universe of man. It teaches that all is not, has not been, exhausted. It drives out of this world a god who had come into it with dissatisfaction and a preference for futile suffering. It makes of fate a human matter, which must be settled among men.

All Sisyphus' silent joy is contained therein. His fate belongs to him. His rock is a thing Likewise, the absurd man, when he contemplates his torment, silences all the idols. In the universe suddenly restored to its silence, the myriad wondering little voices of the earth rise up. Unconscious, secret calls, invitations from all the faces, they are the necessary reverse and price of victory. There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night. The absurd man says yes and his efforts will henceforth be unceasing. If there is a personal fate, there is no higher destiny, or at least there is, but one which he concludes is inevitable and despicable. For the rest, he knows himself to be the master of his days. At that subtle moment when man glances backward over his life, Sisyphus returning toward his rock, in that slight pivoting he contemplates that series of unrelated actions which become his fate, created by him, combined under his memory's eye and soon sealed by his death. Thus, convinced of the wholly human origin of all that is human, a blind man eager to see who knows that the night has no end, he is still on the go. The rock is still rolling.

I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

---Albert Camus
Anyway I read this and it resonated in a way, I did not of course take it as personal philosophy, that would be trite, but I did take it on board.

Kirilov gives a reason why suicide in the face of such things is rational, Camus tried to explain that whilst rational any act that leads in the absurd acknowledgement of life's absurdity leads to the conclusion that life is all we have and Kirilov's sacrifice like Jesus's is to show that we have a life and in all its absurdity where we have life we need not sacrifice it just because it is absurd, and just because it has not purpose, the rock is still rolling we must see Sysiphus as happy. Kirilov's choice in Dostoyevskis novels to kill himself is not a falsehood, but hence a noble truth. Life is a choice not a prison.

I liked the ideal I did like the absurdity, but don't for one minute think it was the only reason why I came hence to seek out joy in life in the face of absurdity. To each his own.
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

The Voice of Time wrote: Well travelling is not a day at the spa ^^ It has its hard sides. But I definitely has long-term fun value. But depends what kind of person you are of course, if you're able to enjoy sleeping on park benches, eating food out of trash cans and stuff like that x) To this day I see a menu in fact when I look at trash cans, it's hard to get the habit out xD
Yes, I guess it depends on each person: I'm not altogether convinced I'd like to have that experience. For me, doing that kind of thing is nothing more than purposely occupying your time searching for means of survival so as not to give a fig about your goal in life. How do you find meaning in spending your days trying to get by? I think I'd end up commiting suicide if that happened to me - I don't think I would be able to handle it.
Things can go wrong everywhere, so just as long as you don't go to Baghdad or somewhere extremely dangerous, you should be fine.
True, true. But it's somewhat more comforting to know that in the case of a misfortune I can count on financial and family support in my country. If I'm in the other half of the world, how would my relatives/friends even know when something serious happened to me?
I was only stolen from once, and that was while I was sound asleep in the middle of the city public park... and a time some punk adventurer thought he was gonna "salvage" what was in fact my properties, not knowing it was mine... although in his defence it did look like trash what I owned x)
Well, you were lucky it only happened once! I guess it also depends on the country. You're less likely to be robbed in industrialised countries than in less-developed ones.
Unless you're walking in the middle of a desert or some extremely undeveloped country, your degree of "lostness" should be relatively small. In France and Spain where I travelled there are maps everywhere and people are generally nice to talk with.
Yeah, it's difficult not to find help in populated urban countries. What I referred to was mainly in the case of finding yourself in a more vast region. What if you are left stranded in the middle of the countryside where there's no one to help you? That is a bleak and scary outcome in my opinion. But maybe I'm just a pussy (lol).
Part of the job x) However, you can get back a new home when you need it, later. I stayed with my aunt in the capital the first few days, then in cooperation with the social services I got myself a bedsit shared with lots of other young people in Trondheim, where I currently live, although at a different location.
Great that your aunt could help you out. Unfortunately, I have no relations in the rest of the world :(

A bedsit sounds cool, though it is probably more expensive than a hostel, right? Oh, so you are not done travelling then? How cool.
Well I may have had an aunt which paid for my flight ticket back home (wasn't that expensive). But besides that, no financial back-up, and wasn't that bad without money. France and Spain got universal free health-care, and as part of Norway I have a European health-insurance card for free which means I can just visit a doctor if I need to. Never needed to use it though. Never even threw up from bad food x) But maybe I have a superior immune system?
It must have been a great benefit to be insured, just in case something bad happens! I can't believe you never had to visit a doctor. After eating from the trash, I would've definitely had come down with something.
Well you don't eat "dinners" as such. You eat what food you can get, although when you do have money you buy what looks nice of course x) And I never used buses. I hitch-hiked with people, and sometimes walked, which worked occasionally in France because it's such a tightly populated country. To be honest, I made more money from people just giving me money at random, than from people giving me money when I begged. In Norway I also collected bottles and returned them in the store for money, which, if I really wanted to, could give me 20 dollars a day perhaps or more in populated areas. But I was lazy and didn't effort much. Spent most of my days philosophizing and developing philosophy x)
And you never had a bad experience hitch-hiking? It does sound a bit scary to get into a stranger's car. But again, maybe that's just a common misconception I have. Still, there must obviously be big differences between hitch-hiking in Europe and hitch-hiking in Asia, Africa or Latin America.

That job in Norway would've sound good to me! You probably would've got enough to pay the stay at a hostel or bedsit if you had worked the whole week.

Oh, and how did you do to philosophize with an empty stomach and/or sleep deprivation (assuming that was the case)? I can't concentrate on what I'm reading if I haven't eaten/slept well recently, even less when I'm reading philosophy.
The Voice of Time wrote: Not deep friends, but you meet people who will treat you like "friends" yes, "actual friends" yes, although I seldom encountered them during my journeys, but I did a couple few times. Other were just very friendly, but not "friend", mostly because they pitied me. But there's no point in developing deep relationships when you travel, you won't likely see them again anyways. You just share a moment of your life together. But that's good as well, I think we need both deep friends and more friendly friends, and just random people as well, it all adds diversity and spice to life. Takes it from dull to rich.
Well, it's not that I dislike meeting new people. I agree with you they can add diversity to life. But not when they're only up for chitchatting. And moreover, in my opinion, it's impossible to really befriend someone in a day/night. At most you can get acquainted with him/her, that's all.

Maybe I'm weird, but I hate making superficial social relationships. Especially because 99% of the time people do not come off to me as really sincere in those cases. Obviously I can't make a broad generalization because people are different, and it may be that some believe (just like I do) in possibly making fruitful relations.
Why not? Why should he remember you? If you remember him it's enough I'd say, unless you trying to stick unto him like some insect, which is stupid. You can enjoy yourself without being with friends all the time, not everyone needs to know your specifics all the time, or do you have a social aversion for strangers and people who don't know you? I find strangers liberating sometimes to talk with. They teach me new ways of communicating, new knowledge (although a lot of it is bogus of course), and it teaches me about the world at large, different points of view, and ways of thinking... but maybe that's just my interests.
It's not like I want to stick to people all the time and constantly demand their attention. But I just like to know they value my company, you know? People generally try to avoid being alone, even if that means having to chat up with people they wouldn't like to be with. Countless of times I made "small" friends who seemed happy to be with me, but then when they had better things to do I was totally ignored. I don't think of myself as a possessive person, on the contrary, I understand everyone may have their own troubles and concerns. However, I don't like it when they don't even make an effort to ever want to see you. Heck, if they don't like my company then why did they pay me attention in the first place? I'd rather they'd be cross and cold from the start than being ovewhelmingly nice concealing their dislike for me.
That depends upon your engagement with them. If you engage in smalltalk, you get smalltalk in return. If you engage in big talk, you get big talk in return. If you engage in fun talk, you get fun talk in return... people usually adapt towards how you treat them.
I'm not sure if I agree with your claim. Sure, in a philosophy forum you may get big talk, but that's not always the case in real life. Most people I know can barely talk about "deeper" and "controversial" topics. Hell, the "biggest" talk I've come upon is about politics, and that with people basically repeating the exact same opinions they heard on the media.

It's not like I want to get onto big talk rightaway, you know? Obviously, you can't come up to someone and say "Hey, so what is your idea of God?". But I dislike making smalltalk with people I won't ever see again, because I honestly could not care less about their job, their family or their opinion on the last Hangover movie. I wouldn't mind making big talk even with people I hardly know, because at least that way I get to meet an interesting part about them. I think that time is not wasted when you discuss something worth discussing. But that almost never happens anyway.
Seems to me again you are expecting the wrong thing... don't look for clones. Just look for something that fits. My buddy is nothing like me... He doesn't give a damn about the world, he's generally simple-minded, his world is mostly a joke to him (not in a bad sense, but in a sense he jokes a lot), his political leanings are the direct opposite of mine (I'm a staunch progressive, democratic socialist, he's more of a progressive capitalism kind of dude, though that's not really descriptive since he has never talked politics with me, it's more of an assumption), and so forth. We don't even play the same games, except some games which we play just to play together, and not really for solo... but we get along great. We party together, we joke together a lot, we share an enthusiasm for games in general, and we've built up over time a bit of shared dyadic (between us only) culture. So by most means we are nothing alike, but just those things that makes it possible to enjoy each others company, those things work... and it works great, we got a great relationship. So... moral of story: it's not clones that will give you good friendships, but whatever fits.

Extremely unlikely, I know him from school and we have a long history together x) Because we live in different town/city, we now mostly communicate on the internet, but we do visit occasionally. It's not that expensive to travel.
But I'm not looking for a clone! I just want someone willing to care about me, willing to give me his/her time even when their tired of me. At least that's how I try to be with people. I never leave a message unanswered. If they invite me for something even though I don't want to do it, I do it anyway without making up an excuse. And if I genuinely can't, I try to arrange something soon to make up for it. Am I asking for too much?

I didn't know you knew your Internet friend in the real life. That makes it totally different!
Well I don't understand how scepticism should be involved unless you are thinking about spirituality, which I'm not. I can't stand spiritual garbage, but the kind of meditation I'm talking about has nothing to do with spirituality, and everything to do with controlling your own body as well as learning to relax. In a way, listening to calm instrumental music while in a bathtub is a kind of meditation, if you know how to enjoy it properly. As I indicated in a thread I created in the political forum: appetite is an art that needs to be developed. And in this sense we are talking about an appetite for relaxations and music, a development of ones consumption.
Oh, ok, so you meant that kind of meditation. I thought you referred to a spiritual meditation.

It's difficult to see how it could help me find meaning. I'm sure it's a pleasing activity, though I imagine it would bore me after some repetitions.
No idea what that means. What I'm talking about is nothing like not taking control of your life, it's about a proper management where you don't give unobtainable desires the priority, but instead prioritize what you have, so as to stabilize yourself and have a bit of happiness.
I meant that being happy with what you have is not something bad, but whether that can give you meaning is something different to me. I'm a goal-centered person, if not I wouldn't care about where my life is going. I understand you talked about unobtainable desires, but how can you know what can be unobtainable and what cannot?
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by SpheresOfBalance »

Matt24 wrote:This question has been on my mind the past few years. I had been capable of ignoring it before, or fooling me with short-term goals that would ultimately leave me feeling empty.

But the issue just keeps coming back to me, and I feel I can't ignore it anymore. Because really, what is the purpose of our lives? Is studying, getting a job, getting married, settling down, having children, spending my money on superflous goods and then dying all there is to life? People I interact with seem to be ok with this; however, I find it to be a miserable prospect. So I shall spend my life working at some job (which I might or might not like) just to be able to satisfy my basic needs and buy stuff I don't even need (because after all, food and bed is all you really instinctively need)? And I shall get married with a person I probably picked as I would pick an apple from the greengrocer's: focusing on the external features, just to be able to have sex and satisfy my sexual needs AND/OR have children? Children who will eventually leave your house and repeat the same steps you did? And so I will age with my wife living every day without an objective, just to later die.. alone? It sounds absolutely deplorable to me.

Yes? No? What do you think? What really gets you going?

You could say, hey! What about friends and family? What about true love? Aren't those the things worth living for? Well, in my mind, they're not. First of all, how frequent are those hangouts with friends? Probably like once a month, and even less as everyone ages. It's like everyone's too busy living their own lives. And most of the time it becomes a rather dreadful and superficial thing: "Did I tell you about what my son did yesterday?"; "Would you believe what happened at the workplace yesterday?"; "Have you heard that X (a mutual friend) got divorced?".

The very same thing happens with the family. It gets me sad, for example, that my parents practically don't see their siblings much. When I was growing up, my brother was a big part of my life, and I don't really want to lose that (it looks I eventually will). You could say, "hey, but you will have a wife/husband to take care of you! You will have children to raise!". Indeed, but... How do you know you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody you've known for two/three years (in most cases!)? What if you "lose" your love for that person? Because honestly, even if you say "Well, I don't love him/her just because of his/her beauty... it's his/her heart and personality I love", how can you be so sure you know that person's heart? And what is your purpose to get married? To have children? Well, why exactly would you want to have children in the first place? I sometimes feel like having children basically means "Nothing's interesting with my life, so I guess we'll give ourselves the task to raise kids just to have something to do".

Others find meaning in doing pleasing activities. Partying, getting drunk or taking drugs (because you could argue that since there is no meaning, then there's no point in preserving your health)... yet that's just a way to ignore the suffering and the distress of life, and you'll eventually have to face the "downs" that come with the abuse of these substances/activities.

This whole analysis can basically be summed up as people doing things with others so as not to realize their life is meaningless and they're eventually going to die like everybody else (without being sure if that's the final end to their life).


I'm not sure if I'm strange or normal; smart or dumb for thinking about this. What is it I'm seeing that nobody else does? Or am I wicked/depressed and need psychological help?

Thanks in advance for your contributions, I would really appreciate somebody talking about this with me.
Wow, you sound a bit depressed.

Here it is, there has got to be something you're passionate about? Something really fun, or maybe something that requires much skill, or maybe something that really pisses you off that's worth fighting for, like social justice. You've got to have something that you're passionate about, if so go after it full throttle and be better at it than anyone else, so as to be that light illuminating the way. In other words, make your life count, by leaving a positive example so others lives can be enriched.
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

Nikolai wrote:Hi Matt

Of course, but I think it's important also to recognise that what you are going through is very rare - and that what is rare is special. When I went through this myself I didn't have an internet connection and it wouldn't have occurred to me to discuss it on forums. I only tried with friends and family and was left feeling that I was a very unusual person. I often think that dead writers saved me from despair, maybe suicide. Tolstoy was the most important to me, but also Thoreau, Emerson, Wordsworth and later philosophers like Spinoza, Kant and especially Schopenhauer.

I also learnt that resolving existential crisis (for me it was different to depression because I never stopped laughing, smiling, and functioning...but just felt bewildered by the meaningless of life), can need a couple of phases. It's possible to find a semblance of meaning that can sustain you for a while before the same deeper problem returns again.

What is happening to you is very unusual. You, a man, a mortal and a member of society has suddenly decided that death - you defining act as a mortal - is not at all to your taste - you despise the way it annihilates all meaning in life. Furthermore, you have become dissatisfied with your own pleasures...they don't last long enough and seem to contain the possibility for displeasure. Sure it's nice to have a friend, but its not fun, fun, fun 24/7 and anyway, if they drop you it hurts so much that it might have been better not to get too close.

Its almost as if, and I speak figuratively here, its almost as if a new part of your identity has woken up and this new man is looking rather critically at the situation that old man and his colleagues seem to find themselves in!

As I said, this is just a metaphor...but it is the metaphor that underlies the narratives that shall come to the rescue.

All your dissatisfaction and despair is due to your preoccupation with your things in time. For one example out of many, you say: "Aren't you ever worried that your Internet friend cuts you off all of a sudden? That happened to me once, and it totally let me down. So much time invested in something that didn't work out."

You have started to notice the unsatisfying nature of living in time and space, and seem to want to transcend that situation.

The solution is all about this. It is about the realisation that the world is not simply as it appears. It is the realisation that time and space are in a way, just opinions, or "illusions" as Einstein called them and allowing that realisation to ease our dissatisfaction with the old view of things.

Fortunately, you don't need to renounce your rationality. The Kantian philosophy is built on the assumption that time and space can not be said to be part of the actual world but our rather metaphorical tropes through which events can be explained. Most scientists are way too superstitious to handle this lofty realisation, so don't be worried about having to lose your rationality. rather you have to push your rationality as far as it will possibly go. It's hard but rewarding and your scepticism will force you to confront the world that actually appears in the moment to your senses.

Living in the moment is the same as living outside of time, and it is a skill the requires lots of practice. Very few people can just start meditating at will. the world always gets in the way to begin with. The philosophical life is one way of dismantling the barriers of life in time and space, but you shouldn't view this as the effort. It seems you are naturally doing it all the time. All your rumination is having the desired purpose, so don't let your friends and family persuade you that it is bad and fruitless. They don't understand the purpose because they don't understand the problem.

Living in the moment is totally unappealing at first, and a deep mortification to anyone intellectually inclined (the intellect needs time and space to function) but after time you will start to discover a deep relief and security in the present moment and it will appear to you as deep rich, beautiful and meaningful in itself...this is the meaning behind Camus's notion that sin is failing to see the deep beauty of the moment, and Levin's observation that purpose comes when thought is renounced.

I'll stop now because I've said enough...but so long as you realise that what you are going through will allow you to live in a much deeper and more satisfying way and in time you will consider yourself fortunate to have felt this.
Thanks Nikolai! You have surprised me with the accuracy you described the issue. It's almost as if you knew all that went through my head and put it clearly and concisely on a piece of text. I had never felt so understood. I'll try to respond to all the issues you raised chronologically, if you don't mind it.

First of all, I decided to ask this on a forum after I realized (as you did) that nobody else experienced something like this. Honestly, I didn't even bother to tell everyone, because I knew them enough to know they've never been worried about this issue. In fact, I've been able to categorise people according to the meaning they unconsciously give to their lives (I don't know if you ever found yourself doing the same thing). So far I've come across the hedonist type (those who live for the sake of pleasure), the theistic type (those who assure themselves of the existence of an afterlife, both in their milder and superior forms; that is, some base all their life and actions on this belief - the superior kind - while others think their belief is enough for salvation without having to act in a preimposed way - the milder kind-) and the unconscious type (those who live life the way they normally do in society, without ever looking for a meaning or considering alternative lifestyles). Those are the three main types I've been able to distinguish thus far. I'm sure there must be more, but I need to meet more people for that. Oh, and then there are the ones like us, but we're more than outnumbered so I don't know if we count as a "type". :lol:

I happen to take great delight in reading literary works too. Though regarding existentialist literature, I have so far only read Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky: I didn't know about the first three philosophers you mentioned (I'll be sure to check them out) and Schopenhauer, Kant & Spinoza have always sounded too complicated for me to feel like reading them. Is this a rational fear, or should I go ahead and try to read some of their works? I considered suicide too, but I rule it out for two different reasons: mainly because it's an egocentric thing to do. The pain I'd inflict in my family and friends would make me feel horribly guilty. I just can't hurt them like that. And also, in a lesser extent, because I'm too much of a sissy to bring myself into doing it. Don't think I could ever summon the courage! For some odd reason, I cling to life in spite of all the suffering. It's as if I were conscious of its "grandeur"; conscious that life is so unique that it can't be just relinquished.

Indeed, it's probably not depression. I too have been able to function properly, don't get me wrong. It's not like I go around life with a cold look and sullen face. But somedays, especially when things go wrong or sometimes even for no apparent reason I have this overwhelming need to cry, and to despair over my life. The other day it hit me when being with "friends". I felt this need to be left alone, and all I wanted was to cry. It's actually the only thing that makes me feel alive, if you know what I mean. It's not that I'm constantly thinking about life, but I reckon that this is the problem underlying my short depressive stages. Maybe as you say "existential crisis" is the more accurate term. I'm not sure.

I also felt that I had finally found meaning, but this was a one-of-a-kind momentary occassion which made me feel... happy for a day or so, and then it went away. I had this desire to help people, to be nice, and the idea of helping others put a smile on my face. But as soon as I executed that philosophy, I was unsuccessful. The ideal seemed more beautiful than reality.

Yes, little by little this new man has taken control of my mind and has been driving me nuts. It actually all started with no one else but death itself. Up to that moment, I had felt that life was perfect, that death was something I'd never have to deal with. However, when it eventually happened, all these thoughts came along.

I'm sorry, but I don't really understand what transcending space and time involves. What am I to do for being in a universe of space-time continuum? Should I negate the finiteness of life, is that what you mean by "living in the moment"? Sorry again, it's just that I feel it's really important for me to understand your argument.

As you've said, hopefully I can come off stronger from this. I really, really hope so. Thanks again for all your help.!
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

SpheresOfBalance wrote: Wow, you sound a bit depressed.

Here it is, there has got to be something you're passionate about? Something really fun, or maybe something that requires much skill, or maybe something that really pisses you off that's worth fighting for, like social justice. You've got to have something that you're passionate about, if so go after it full throttle and be better at it than anyone else, so as to be that light illuminating the way. In other words, make your life count, by leaving a positive example so others lives can be enriched.
I have my passions, and I won't deny it, sometimes they do turn into the purpose of my life.

But honestly, that seems to be a temporary thing, and sooner or later my mind rambles on with questions like "Are you really going to spend your whole life doing this? Maybe you won't even accomplish anything with it".

I would like to leave a positive example, but will anyone realistically know about me to make me a role-model? I'll probably just die alone without a big fuss, like 99.99% of all other humans do.
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

Blaggard wrote: We're all sorry for Hex, you get used to him though he's like that.

As to what you said on Camus, it's much of a muchness, some people will enjoy life some people will seek purpose. Camus spoke to me because I was looking for a reason, and Camu's Myth of Sysiphus said: life is absurd there isn't one, and that gelled with me, it wont for all people and such is life.

"there's only one way of life, and that's your own."

Another wise man.

You're clearly on the right path, it's pretty much all our paths but you of course make your own.

Anyway I read this and it resonated in a way, I did not of course take it as personal philosophy, that would be trite, but I did take it on board.

Kirilov gives a reason why suicide in the face of such things is rational, Camus tried to explain that whilst rational any act that leads in the absurd acknowledgement of life's absurdity leads to the conclusion that life is all we have and Kirilov's sacrifice like Jesus's is to show that we have a life and in all its absurdity where we have life we need not sacrifice it just because it is absurd, and just because it has not purpose, the rock is still rolling we must see Sysiphus as happy. Kirilov's choice in Dostoyevskis novels to kill himself is not a falsehood, but hence a noble truth. Life is a choice not a prison.

I liked the ideal I did like the absurdity, but don't for one minute think it was the only reason why I came hence to seek out joy in life in the face of absurdity. To each his own.
Thanks for the recommendations!!

To be completely honest, the Camus story seems difficult to understand. But I'll be sure to read it, sooner or later! Should I preferably read Dostoyevsky's "Demons" before that? From what I've gathered, the character Kirillov comes from that novel.

I remember reading this nice little summary of absurdism in Wikipedia that mentions Camus's story. Is this the theme of the novel?:

In absurdist philosophy, the Absurd arises out of the fundamental disharmony between the individual's search for meaning and the apparent meaninglessness of the universe. As beings looking for meaning in a meaningless world, humans have three ways of resolving the dilemma. Kierkegaard and Camus describe the solutions in their works, The Sickness Unto Death (1849) and The Myth of Sisyphus (1942):
Suicide (or, "escaping existence"): a solution in which a person simply ends one's own life. Both Kierkegaard and Camus dismiss the viability of this option.
Religious belief in a transcendent realm or being: a solution in which one believes in the existence of a reality that is beyond the Absurd, and, as such, has meaning. Kierkegaard stated that a belief in anything beyond the Absurd requires a non-rational but perhaps necessary religious acceptance in such an intangible and empirically unprovable thing (now commonly referred to as a "leap of faith"). However, Camus regarded this solution as "philosophical suicide".
Acceptance of the Absurd: a solution in which one accepts and even embraces the Absurd and continues to live in spite of it. Camus endorsed this solution, while Kierkegaard regarded this solution as "demoniac madness": "He rages most of all at the thought that eternity might get it into its head to take his misery from him!"
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by SpheresOfBalance »

Matt24 wrote:
SpheresOfBalance wrote: Wow, you sound a bit depressed.

Here it is, there has got to be something you're passionate about? Something really fun, or maybe something that requires much skill, or maybe something that really pisses you off that's worth fighting for, like social justice. You've got to have something that you're passionate about, if so go after it full throttle and be better at it than anyone else, so as to be that light illuminating the way. In other words, make your life count, by leaving a positive example so others lives can be enriched.
I have my passions, and I won't deny it, sometimes they do turn into the purpose of my life.

But honestly, that seems to be a temporary thing, and sooner or later my mind rambles on with questions like "Are you really going to spend your whole life doing this? Maybe you won't even accomplish anything with it".

I would like to leave a positive example, but will anyone realistically know about me to make me a role-model? I'll probably just die alone without a big fuss, like 99.99% of all other humans do.
Well I do know how you feel, as I have felt like that before, but luckily I have music, as it always lifts my spirits, and can remind me of the reasons to keep going. One of the things I really enjoy doing is research on the net, and of course my philosophy. Observing natures diversity is another thing that keeps me entertained. The nature of the universe and trying to understand the truth of things. There's lots of things that interest me leaving me with many reasons to live and none to die, though I know it's inevitable. But I'll not go without a fight, as I love this gift of experience.
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