What is the point of life?

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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: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 committing suicide if that happened to me - I don't think I would be able to handle it.
Well, as I would say in a later quote, I spent most of my time philosophizing. I considered my journey more like a self-employed voluntary job, not a vacation per se. I've always had very clear goals in my life, many of them in philosophy, and as such I spent time trying to ponder myself into a clarity about the issues at hand, but I also spent time dealing with life traumas and sorting my life out. I didn't have revelations every day, but they happened occasionally, and they happened because I had the peace of mind to focus on them. It was also an exercise in growing up, I was looking for role models on my journey, because I reasoned that I hadn't had a proper upbringing and needed to know from people how to deal with life... basically I was taking learning from people, putting it in a container, and then sorting inside the container, until I found a good match, and then I took it out of the container, and applied it to my life later bit by bit x)

What I did, was taking the term "to get to know yourself" to the very extreme in a philosophical sense, I'd say.
Matt24 wrote: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?
Unless you travel to a place without phone, that shouldn't be a problem. Always somebody willing to lend you a call, and people will take care of you if you get sick, at least in western Europe, people are generally kind and good-hearted.

You could ask your relatives to lend you money in case you want to go back home, and give them a sum of money to have a prepaid at least a part of the total fees that a flight ticket would accumulate. If you have enough to cover any ticket, you could just give them that and say to them to keep it for when you need to get back. I didn't really think that far ahead though. I just stepped out of the door x) Spontaneous.
Matt24 wrote: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).
You usually don't walk along country-roads without cars. I walked along main roads, and so there would always be someone coming within some minutes or at most an hour. The countryside is beautiful, and you usually don't have to worry about not finding people there, unless you travel to remote areas, but remote areas are usually boring, so I wouldn't recommend them. Except if there's a special sight there.
Matt24 wrote:Unfortunately, I have no relations in the rest of the world :(
I'm Norwegian, my aunt lives in the capital of Norway, Oslo. She wasn't exactly close by x)
Matt24 wrote:A bedsit sounds cool, though it is probably more expensive than a hostel, right? Oh, so you are not done travelling then? How cool.
A bedsit is what I got translating "hybel" from Norwegian. "Hybel" is when you live in a part of a house and share it with other people, it usually consists only of a bedroom (usually big enough to decorate and make it feel like your own), with shared facilities for cooking, toilet, shower, cleaning clothes, etc. A "hybel" is nothing like a day-rent thing, it's a permanent living solution. I live with an Afghanistan war veteran, an electrician (and music-maker) and a guy who works for the Red Cross, plus studying to become a nurse. I'm currently living on the Norwegian welfare system, I don't travel any more, instead I'm trying to complete high school (only finished 1 year), and my goal is to study to become a game designer and then a game director which is my big dream x) And owning and operating an empire of game development studios ;)
Matt24 wrote: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.
Just be smart. Figure out which trash cans usually consist of good food, and then each morning you just walk a route visiting each of the best trash cans in turn until you find something yummy. Usually some woman who only ate half her baguette, still fresh, because she's trying to stay fit x) It's actually quite quality food. But sometimes you come to towns where there's just medium quality or bad food, but you can't always have luck.
Matt24 wrote:And you never had a bad experience hitch-hiking?
Nope. Except language issues and that sometimes people would let me off at totally stupid places, like I once hitch-hiked to one of the world's most beautiful examples of a fjord... likely THE most beautiful, it is actually on UNESCO's list of natural wonders, and I saw the most amazing thing there (hint: rainbow trapped in a fog), anyway, the road is like far up on the mountainside, and there are these tunnels everywhere (Norway is the world's most tunnelled country, we have tunnels everywhere because the country goes up and down and left and right all the time), and they left me in the middle of a roundabout, with nowhere for cars to stop, and the village far away down, and i didn't even want to stay in the village, and a tunnel blocking the path in front of me... it was totally stupid, an elderly couple, but if they hadn't stopped I wouldn't had seen the world's most beautiful fjord in the manner I did, so I guess it wasn't totally bad.
Matt24 wrote:It does sound a bit scary to get into a stranger's car. But again, maybe that's just a common misconception I have.
I've always said, I'm big and strong and don't really worry about meeting bad people x) And Norway and Western Europe is very safe, with a possible very few exceptions perhaps in the worst of the worst areas, but those are small and generally insignificant when you have so many other good places to travel.
Matt24 wrote:Still, there must obviously be big differences between hitch-hiking in Europe and hitch-hiking in Asia, Africa or Latin America.
I'd agree. But in US for instance, it probably depends upon state. Some states are better off than others, and those would likely be safer and better to travel in.
Matt24 wrote: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.
Haha, it's not a job x) Many families does it, not because of the money, as the money is insignificant to the salaries in Norway, but because of a eco-friendly personal philosophy. Norway is a very ecosophical country, our "national philosopher" is in fact a hardcore environmentalist who recently died of old age. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arne_N%C3%A6ss
Matt24 wrote:Oh, and how did you do to philosophize with an empty stomach and/or sleep deprivation (assuming that was the case)?
I didn't, but I mostly got enough sleep, and if I didn't get enough food I'd have enough food by the evening, and then I could philosophize into the night... I also drank a lot of energy drinks and cola x) So I did eat more than just the absolutely necessary stuff.
Matt24 wrote:I can't concentrate on what I'm reading if I haven't eaten/slept well recently, even less when I'm reading philosophy.
I didn't read. I pondered x) Although I did have with me some books, and acquired some books while I was there. It consisted of the latest book of Songs of Ice and Fire, as well as other books, including "A Very Short Book about Mathematics", which walked through the fundamentals of mathematics, and another book on mathematics, about the Riemann Hypothesis (the greatest unsolved mathematical puzzle in modern history).
Matt24 wrote: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.
Depends upon the intensity of course, but I did say "not deep friends", it's only surface stuff. You don't get to know them properly no, but you can develop positive relations, that if you'd have enough time, might had developed into full relations. I've met people who have shared time with me sleeping in the same tent, and getting drunk together, and that was in fact a girl, a biologist, and she looked nice. Other times I've been invited to a concert (free, in which in fact featured Bob Marley's son, and the cool french dubstep group C2C which so few non-French people know), and that was with a friend group in which I was kind of initiated into, and I stayed with two of the people in the group for a few days each.
Matt24 wrote: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.
Well if a person is boring then don't socialize with the person! Simple as that :D I encountered almost only interesting people, to the extent I've had to give them nicknames as I don't recall their names... like the French Pirate, or the Rogue Grandma. Both names are characteristic of the people, btw x)
Matt24 wrote: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?
They do if they engage you, but you must not use that sub-sentence "value my company", in a generalized manner. You must remember that what fits them today, might not fit them tomorrow, and you should expect as such. They might value your company now, because they need it now, but tomorrow they might have had all they need, so they don't need you then, and you should adjust as such... all part of managing your expectations.
Matt24 wrote:People generally try to avoid being alone, even if that means having to chat up with people they wouldn't like to be with.
Weeeeell... I'm not among them x) And I usually don't inspire smalltalk in people, with a few exceptions, which I guess is a blessing.
Matt24 wrote: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.
You might not be needed then, so you should adjust. This way of thinking hints at obsessiveness, you should avoid overthinking people's relations with you, it doesn't always matter if people wants to be with you or not, because people simply have varied lives with lots of things happening and sometimes you are a fitting addition and sometimes not, and when you are not, you must be able to accept and see that and look for greener fields.
Matt24 wrote: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.
People ignoring you doesn't have to dislike you. You just don't matter, and that's fine, that's how things are. I don't matter to most people on Earth, and I don't really find that troublesome, because when I do matter to people, I can focus on that, and then the rest doesn't matter to me either. Think of it like a business, you can only sell things that people want, so don't feel down because nobody buys stuff they don't need. Focus on selling something else then, which might require a new market of people.
Matt24 wrote: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.
True that not everyone is fit for everything, that's why when I want to talk big, I try to dumb things down, or take it to their level, and their immediate lives. But again, expectations. Don't expect the local blonde whore to know Nietzsche if you bed her, expect her to know brands of perfume instead, and engage with her on that topic, and see if you can turn it into something that matters to you... like: "would you buy this perfume if you knew it was made by a group of starving children in Nepal?"... don't tell me you can't get intelligent answers from that, you'd be surprised how much intelligent thinking can come from down-to-Earth talks. She might not have the terminology, but she should have the imagination to imagine those kids, and should be able to give you an answer, and if the answer is that she doesn't care, you just had a bit of experience of human nature, so don't be disappointed just because the person isn't blowing your mind (with something else than a blowjob), because the situation might still hold valuable knowledge. You might alternatively also find out that fucking a dumb chick isn't worth all the pretty nipples in the world x)
Matt24 wrote: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?".
In fact, you can. You shouldn't have to "build up", that seems kind of... cowardly, sorry for saying that. But seriously, if they can't answer it then, don't expect them to answer it later. Most people I think actually do have an idea about God anyways, it's a question asked too often and most people in the Western World I guess faces at some time the question of their position on religion.
Matt24 wrote: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.
Hmm, I do, but I come from a family where nobody ever asked each other anything x) So I guess I'm "undernourished" in that regard and constantly open for stuff like it now. That said, I can get annoyed if I'm overwhelmed by smalltalk of course.
Matt24 wrote: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.
Hmm, yes. Well, on a philosophy forum that shouldn't be too much of a problem x)
Matt24 wrote: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.
The hint is in being tired of you ^^ Kind of unreasonable to ask them much more then, unless you have a serious problem.
Matt24 wrote:At least that's how I try to be with people. I never leave a message unanswered.
Imagine if both parties did that... the conversation would never end ^^ The ultimate curse of friendliness.
Matt24 wrote:If they invite me for something even though I don't want to do it, I do it anyway without making up an excuse.
Why can't you just say "I don't want to do it?"... why should you have to make an excuse at all?
Matt24 wrote:And if I genuinely can't, I try to arrange something soon to make up for it. Am I asking for too much?
Yes and no. Somethings you can expect, somethings not. To have somebody constantly adapt towards your wishes, and you adapt to that person, seems like a doomed cause, and I can't really imagine why you would want such a situation, as it's not very flexible and could in the long term significantly affect your sense of personal freedom and make you feel "trapped". I'd say a more economized way of maintaining relations would be preferable to most people.
Matt24 wrote:It's difficult to see how it could help me find meaning.
It's not supposed to, it's supposed to help you find a better more rich life basing itself on what you already have instead of sending you on quests to acquire all sorts of things.
Matt24 wrote:I'm sure it's a pleasing activity, though I imagine it would bore me after some repetitions.
Well, along with Yoga, I think it's generally a misunderstood concept. While I may have used the word "meditation" a bit wrong, as that usually does involve activity, I'll like to do a comparison with the word "yoga", which virtually everyone considers to be physical exercises. This is completely wrong, yoga instead is a mindset, crucial to Indian philosophy. And as such I think about meditation, meditation is a mindset you carry with you, and it's basically carrying a kind of routine thinking with you that seeks to turn your everyday life into one big meditative experience. You do so by among things, getting your priorities straight. Knowing what can be obtained and what can't, and pursuing the best of the obtainable. You also influence your way of thinking about things, making your thinking more efficient, but setting it on a course to give you pleasure. That's where steering your life comes in, you steer into calmness, pleasure, and an ability to experience beauty and value in things that you are not used to viewing in this manner. This kind of meditative lifestyle is attained by philosophizing yourself into it, you must ask one question a million times, and it will feel as important every time you do it, because it's so central to you: "how can this situation become better for me?". How can you increase the chance of feeling happy, mitigating bad feelings, feeling satisfied with what you see, and so forth...
Matt24 wrote: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'm also strongly goal-oriented, but I also realize that goals are obtained by sinking the ship of my happiness and well-being x)
Matt24 wrote:I understand you talked about unobtainable desires, but how can you know what can be unobtainable and what cannot?
If you've experienced months or years without satisfaction, that should be a big clue.
uwot
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by uwot »

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."
Matt24 wrote:That is a great quote!
It is, isn't it? I couldn't have put it better myself and in fact didn't.
Matt24 wrote: Unfortunately, I still have to see where that "grandeur" is to be found.
I think it is everywhere you look. We have little red spider mites, I have no idea if that's what they are called, but they are no bigger than this full stop . That's the adults. They are born, they find food, find a mate, have offspring. They are made of the same atoms as we are, as are all the objects seen in images from the Hubble telescope. The universe may not mean anything, but what a thing to be a part of.
You worry about building your own moral system. I think it's a waste of time looking for absolutes; just don't screw up the view for anyone else and you won't go too far wrong.
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SpheresOfBalance
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by SpheresOfBalance »

Another thought!

I think that honestly you'd have to ask yourself:

From what perspective do I feel this way?

Take your entire original post, and ask this question of each point you made of your life's futility, as you see it. I mean to say that, are you seeing this futility from mans perspective, or from the universal perspective.

It seems to me that you're doing so from the universal!

Why? Because you are condemning all of man's reasons for their lives, you are not content with many of mans reasons to be.

To ask of the universal, for a reason to be, has yet to be understood by anyone, as man is but an infant in that arena.

Some believe in a god and some the big bang, while still others believe in other reasons we exist. And some see that they can superimpose some or all of them, and still make sense of things, ignoring a few minor details of previous mans thoughts, of course.

The universal book has not been written yet!

If that's where your perspective lies, then you'll have to be content, on closely, listening, observing, and analyzing the totality of all mans understanding for any hope in seeing an inkling of the universal truth of things.

So it's not the destination, It's the journey!

Yes I know it's been said before, I just framed it, for this particular circumstance, as it fits.

Can you see the validity in my points, or do they miss your mark?
Skip
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Skip »

Matt24 wrote: I'm not saying the ephemerality of pleasure is the problem. Rather, it's the downs associated with these activities which put me off.
Okay then, if all you care about is how unhappy you'll be afterward, don't do those things. Don't do anything pleasant. They were merely examples: everything is temporary.
Have you escaped from the sufferings of life,
For the duration of every activity, every good night's sleep, every sunny day, every positive feeling - yes I bloody well have! And if I add up all the times I escaped suffering and compare it to the total time I spent actually suffering, I realize how fortunate I have been to have a much bigger pile on the right-hand side. I win! But if I spent all or even some of the happy time fretting over how i'll feel when it's over, I would have lost. And so will you, if you don't shake this habit of looking for the bad in the good.
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.
I have no idea what I will remember on my death-bed, if anything. I don't know what will happen to my body and mind as old age advances. But it doesn't concern me. I have lived as well as I could; have loved and been loved, have been kind to many other living things and cruel to none; I have appreciated the beauty and bounty of Earth; laughed and had good ideas and good food. I'll put death off as long as life gives me pleasure and exit when it no longer does, and then nothing at all will concern me.
I actually didn't know about the Zeitgeist movement. I'll do some research about it then :)
There are a couple of films on Netflix and there is a website.

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?
I think it will simply collapse and be followed by a very difficult period of wars and famines. Small pockets of population will probably survive, and they will probably re-form into primitive tribal structures.
I would prefer enlightened anarchy, but would happily settle for democratic socialism.
Perceiving exists.
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Perceiving exists. »

Hey Matt,

I haven't read all, but you descirbe a lot of how i feel and used to feel.
If you dont mind me asking, are you from the States or European? or for that matter, some other continent..

I will read, the whole post pff, one of these days and will share my opinion too :)

Dont let it get you down, no body cares whether you're a mason or an architekt, a farmer or baker, as long as you're ok with it.
Matt24
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

SpheresOfBalance wrote: 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.
We are very much alike in this respect. I enjoy listening to music (though it doesn't motivate me much, it does make me feel better), philosophizing (when I feel like doing so) and learning too. To be honest, if I didn't try to learn new things everyday, I don't think I could handle everyday life. That moment of insight when you fully and completely understand something is... an unexplainable yet beautiful feeling. Too bad I'm kind of a dummy for learning though, otherwise I'd definitely try to tackle more books both about science and philosophy.

Anyhow, all these activities eventually in time leave me feeling empty. Maybe not today, nor tomorrow, but I know these things don't justify my life in the long run. That doesn't mean I want to stop doing them, not at all. All I'm looking for is a higher goal/purpose in which to base my existence on. Am I making sense?
SpheresOfBalance wrote:Another thought!

I think that honestly you'd have to ask yourself:

From what perspective do I feel this way?

Take your entire original post, and ask this question of each point you made of your life's futility, as you see it. I mean to say that, are you seeing this futility from mans perspective, or from the universal perspective.

It seems to me that you're doing so from the universal!

Why? Because you are condemning all of man's reasons for their lives, you are not content with many of mans reasons to be.

To ask of the universal, for a reason to be, has yet to be understood by anyone, as man is but an infant in that arena.

Some believe in a god and some the big bang, while still others believe in other reasons we exist. And some see that they can superimpose some or all of them, and still make sense of things, ignoring a few minor details of previous mans thoughts, of course.

The universal book has not been written yet!

If that's where your perspective lies, then you'll have to be content, on closely, listening, observing, and analyzing the totality of all mans understanding for any hope in seeing an inkling of the universal truth of things.

So it's not the destination, It's the journey!

Yes I know it's been said before, I just framed it, for this particular circumstance, as it fits.

Can you see the validity in my points, or do they miss your mark?
I can follow your argument, but I'm not sure I understand the conclusion completely. Yes, I may be seeking for a "universal" purpose to justify the lives of men, in the most general sense. Indeed, that probably cannot be done.

Yet you say that as a result of the impossibility to discern meaning, I have to be content on "closely, listening, observing, and analyzing the totality of all mans understanding for any hope in seeing an inkling of the universal truth of things". I'm not sure what that means. Are you saying that although it's pretty much impossible to find meaning objectively, I should ceaselessly seek to find my own kind of meaning? Did I get it right?
Matt24
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

The Voice of Time wrote: Well, as I would say in a later quote, I spent most of my time philosophizing. I considered my journey more like a self-employed voluntary job, not a vacation per se. I've always had very clear goals in my life, many of them in philosophy, and as such I spent time trying to ponder myself into a clarity about the issues at hand, but I also spent time dealing with life traumas and sorting my life out. I didn't have revelations every day, but they happened occasionally, and they happened because I had the peace of mind to focus on them. It was also an exercise in growing up, I was looking for role models on my journey, because I reasoned that I hadn't had a proper upbringing and needed to know from people how to deal with life... basically I was taking learning from people, putting it in a container, and then sorting inside the container, until I found a good match, and then I took it out of the container, and applied it to my life later bit by bit x)

What I did, was taking the term "to get to know yourself" to the very extreme in a philosophical sense, I'd say.
Wow, when you put it that way it does sound like an adventure. Still, I think that for the purpose of philosophizing it would've been easier to just do that at "home". Granted, it depends on what you wanted to philosophize about. If you were trying to understand your emotions and past life, then I imagine that kind of experience alone would've been the only way to effectively achieve this - without the distractions of everyday life at home. That could've only happened, as you say, with the necessary peace of mind.

I'm curious to know if you were really able to find role-models. From what you had told me before, it didn't really look like you made strong bonds with people (or at least not in a profound sense). Did someone manage to make an impression on you just when you started to get to know them?
Unless you travel to a place without phone, that shouldn't be a problem. Always somebody willing to lend you a call, and people will take care of you if you get sick, at least in western Europe, people are generally kind and good-hearted.

You could ask your relatives to lend you money in case you want to go back home, and give them a sum of money to have a prepaid at least a part of the total fees that a flight ticket would accumulate. If you have enough to cover any ticket, you could just give them that and say to them to keep it for when you need to get back. I didn't really think that far ahead though. I just stepped out of the door x) Spontaneous.
Well, even if they're kind, I don't know if they would be altruistic enough to, say, give me money for medicines or for a visit to a doctor. You're right about phone calls though, I'm sure one could get away with that for free.

Yes, there are ways to make your own financial back-up. Especially thanks to our globalized banking system (I can't believe I'm saying this, but this is their main "positive") it's easy to access your funds even in the other half of the world.

It's not a bad idea to go somewhere spontaneously leaving everything behind. I would find it amusing (though that without considering the troubles you had to go through for food and accommodation). Maybe in the future, if I don't find any meaning in my life, I could do something like this. Though I'd rather that happened with the company of somebody else!
You usually don't walk along country-roads without cars. I walked along main roads, and so there would always be someone coming within some minutes or at most an hour. The countryside is beautiful, and you usually don't have to worry about not finding people there, unless you travel to remote areas, but remote areas are usually boring, so I wouldn't recommend them. Except if there's a special sight there.
Yeah, but sometimes you can't help it, can you? I mean, I've never hitch-hiked before, but I imagine the car you get on does not always end up where you want to go. So in my mind, being left somewhere along the road is a possibility. Anyhow, I don't know about this, so you're probably right.
I'm Norwegian, my aunt lives in the capital of Norway, Oslo. She wasn't exactly close by x)
No, but at least she wasn't on another continent. Don't think it would've been so easy if she had had to send you money for the flight to China or Australia.
A bedsit is what I got translating "hybel" from Norwegian. "Hybel" is when you live in a part of a house and share it with other people, it usually consists only of a bedroom (usually big enough to decorate and make it feel like your own), with shared facilities for cooking, toilet, shower, cleaning clothes, etc. A "hybel" is nothing like a day-rent thing, it's a permanent living solution. I live with an Afghanistan war veteran, an electrician (and music-maker) and a guy who works for the Red Cross, plus studying to become a nurse. I'm currently living on the Norwegian welfare system, I don't travel any more, instead I'm trying to complete high school (only finished 1 year), and my goal is to study to become a game designer and then a game director which is my big dream x) And owning and operating an empire of game development studios ;)
Actually, according to Wikipedia, a bedsit has actually many other synonyms, but it's usage is correct in the UK. In the US and Canada they are called boarding/lodging houses or SRO.

Your roommates seem so interesting! I'm sure they must have countless of stories to tell.

I'm glad you have all your life plans and goals figured out already! I once thought I did, until I realized that the result would probably leave me empty (as many of other long-term objectives have). But hey, if you are sure they're what you want, then go ahead!! You will definitely succeed if you really want it :)
Just be smart. Figure out which trash cans usually consist of good food, and then each morning you just walk a route visiting each of the best trash cans in turn until you find something yummy. Usually some woman who only ate half her baguette, still fresh, because she's trying to stay fit x) It's actually quite quality food. But sometimes you come to towns where there's just medium quality or bad food, but you can't always have luck.
Heh, but maybe I'd rather do any kind of community work to get some cash with which to pay for a meal. You're probably right that it depends on where you look though. If you come to a restaurant on a sunday night when it's closing, you would surely find some food in good state. However, if you look in the garbage of a common family, I doubt you'd find what you're looking for. In my case, I almost never throw away food unless it's in a bad state!
Nope. Except language issues and that sometimes people would let me off at totally stupid places, like I once hitch-hiked to one of the world's most beautiful examples of a fjord... likely THE most beautiful, it is actually on UNESCO's list of natural wonders, and I saw the most amazing thing there (hint: rainbow trapped in a fog), anyway, the road is like far up on the mountainside, and there are these tunnels everywhere (Norway is the world's most tunnelled country, we have tunnels everywhere because the country goes up and down and left and right all the time), and they left me in the middle of a roundabout, with nowhere for cars to stop, and the village far away down, and i didn't even want to stay in the village, and a tunnel blocking the path in front of me... it was totally stupid, an elderly couple, but if they hadn't stopped I wouldn't had seen the world's most beautiful fjord in the manner I did, so I guess it wasn't totally bad.
Hahaha well I guess you can't avoid certain misfortunes when you travel. But hey! It had a positive side :)
I've always said, I'm big and strong and don't really worry about meeting bad people x) And Norway and Western Europe is very safe, with a possible very few exceptions perhaps in the worst of the worst areas, but those are small and generally insignificant when you have so many other good places to travel.
I'm thin and frail, so I would be more worried cause I have no self-defence skills at all. Indeed, developed countries tend to be very safe, but as you say, they all have their ugly sides. I remember a "friend" telling me she got scared once when she and her companions found themselves in a ghetto in London. When you don't know too much the area you're visiting, it's easy to find yourself in the "worst of the worst areas".
I'd agree. But in US for instance, it probably depends upon state. Some states are better off than others, and those would likely be safer and better to travel in.
Indeed, especially in big countries, the differences in standard of living between the regions are striking. For the purposes of the discussion though, it is evidently preferable to wander around the better sectors of a country. Finding that out is another thing, as I said above, it's easy to get into a bad place without meaning to.

Anyhow, I don't know much about the US to be honest (Did you think I was American, or were you just bringing it up as an example? Lol).
Haha, it's not a job x) Many families does it, not because of the money, as the money is insignificant to the salaries in Norway, but because of a eco-friendly personal philosophy. Norway is a very ecosophical country, our "national philosopher" is in fact a hardcore environmentalist who recently died of old age. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arne_N%C3%A6ss
Man, Norway seems to have everything. Is it really the way they picture it in the rest of the world? I mean, it's ecological, it's egalitarian, it's socially liberal, it's got a well-run welfare state. What more could Norwegians really ask for? I'd like to have your opinion.
I didn't read. I pondered x) Although I did have with me some books, and acquired some books while I was there. It consisted of the latest book of Songs of Ice and Fire, as well as other books, including "A Very Short Book about Mathematics", which walked through the fundamentals of mathematics, and another book on mathematics, about the Riemann Hypothesis (the greatest unsolved mathematical puzzle in modern history).
Never got tired of just pondering? Didn't your thoughts ever feel... the same?

I read the first three books of Songs of Ice and Fire. Really liked the story and the way characters are portrayed as humans are: none of them is a "hero", none of them is a real "villain"; they have their moments of kindness and their moments of evil/harsh decisions. The books are kind of tedious after a while though, and I haven't read either the fourth or the fifth book yet.

I hadn't heard about the Riemann Hypothesis. After a quick Google search, I still have no idea what it consists of. Guess I need to keep studying maths to get a sense of the problem, lol.
Depends upon the intensity of course, but I did say "not deep friends", it's only surface stuff. You don't get to know them properly no, but you can develop positive relations, that if you'd have enough time, might had developed into full relations. I've met people who have shared time with me sleeping in the same tent, and getting drunk together, and that was in fact a girl, a biologist, and she looked nice. Other times I've been invited to a concert (free, in which in fact featured Bob Marley's son, and the cool french dubstep group C2C which so few non-French people know), and that was with a friend group in which I was kind of initiated into, and I stayed with two of the people in the group for a few days each.
Those are nice experiences, but didn't you feel bad about not being able to spend more time with them?
Well if a person is boring then don't socialize with the person! Simple as that :D I encountered almost only interesting people, to the extent I've had to give them nicknames as I don't recall their names... like the French Pirate, or the Rogue Grandma. Both names are characteristic of the people, btw x)
It's just that I always do want to give people a chance. I don't want to ignore them or anything if they talk to me. But it's like when I make the effort to get closer, not just a simple acquaintance (because after all, even if they didn't particularly strike me after a superficial talk, there may be a more interesting person beyond their cover), people reject me. That's why I say, they should either show they don't like me or give me a chance. I don't like to stand on middle ground.
They do if they engage you, but you must not use that sub-sentence "value my company", in a generalized manner. You must remember that what fits them today, might not fit them tomorrow, and you should expect as such. They might value your company now, because they need it now, but tomorrow they might have had all they need, so they don't need you then, and you should adjust as such... all part of managing your expectations.

You might not be needed then, so you should adjust. This way of thinking hints at obsessiveness, you should avoid overthinking people's relations with you, it doesn't always matter if people wants to be with you or not, because people simply have varied lives with lots of things happening and sometimes you are a fitting addition and sometimes not, and when you are not, you must be able to accept and see that and look for greener fields.
But you make it sound as if I were some kind of a commodity. "If there's demand for my friendship, I supply it. If demand goes down, so should my supply". That's an awful way to be treated! I don't want to be anyone's plan B, discarded when plan A is working well.

Tell me, why would I want to be around them if I know they just want a superficial friendship, just to amuse themselves when they're bored? Because you know what's worse, when things are bad you can never count on them. And that's not what a friend should be like.

You could say "Well, just cut them off, then!". Yet in spite of that, I have the weakness of forgiving. But after being hurt once, I can assure you I only respond to the person's call just for decency. I stop enjoying being with that person too much, and I sure as hell do not open up my soul with them as I would to others.
People ignoring you doesn't have to dislike you. You just don't matter, and that's fine, that's how things are. I don't matter to most people on Earth, and I don't really find that troublesome, because when I do matter to people, I can focus on that, and then the rest doesn't matter to me either. Think of it like a business, you can only sell things that people want, so don't feel down because nobody buys stuff they don't need. Focus on selling something else then, which might require a new market of people.
Exactly. As I said above, I'm not a commodity, nor a businessman. I can only offer true love, and if they want something different, then I'm not the person they should go to. I know most people on the world don't care about me either, but I don't like people pretending they do. It's the pretence that's most difficult to see. How these people just can't be honest.
True that not everyone is fit for everything, that's why when I want to talk big, I try to dumb things down, or take it to their level, and their immediate lives. But again, expectations. Don't expect the local blonde whore to know Nietzsche if you bed her, expect her to know brands of perfume instead, and engage with her on that topic, and see if you can turn it into something that matters to you... like: "would you buy this perfume if you knew it was made by a group of starving children in Nepal?"... don't tell me you can't get intelligent answers from that, you'd be surprised how much intelligent thinking can come from down-to-Earth talks. She might not have the terminology, but she should have the imagination to imagine those kids, and should be able to give you an answer, and if the answer is that she doesn't care, you just had a bit of experience of human nature, so don't be disappointed just because the person isn't blowing your mind (with something else than a blowjob), because the situation might still hold valuable knowledge. You might alternatively also find out that fucking a dumb chick isn't worth all the pretty nipples in the world x)
That sounds like a true story lol. I'll try to remember your strategy next time I make smalltalk. I usually want to stop talking rightaway when faced with superficial talk, but I guess I just have to work to turn that to my advantage. Thanks for the trick - I'll tell you later if I try it out :)
In fact, you can. You shouldn't have to "build up", that seems kind of... cowardly, sorry for saying that. But seriously, if they can't answer it then, don't expect them to answer it later. Most people I think actually do have an idea about God anyways, it's a question asked too often and most people in the Western World I guess faces at some time the question of their position on religion.
I know that people do have some kind of preconceived ideas about the world, deep profound opinions. But I don't agree with you that it can be mentioned from the get go. Imagine if I came up to a dude in a social reunion or party and tried to talk about this. I'd definitely scare most people away (even if they try to answer my question just to be polite). I don't know, I think it depends on the environment and on the kind of people you are interacting with.
Hmm, I do, but I come from a family where nobody ever asked each other anything x) So I guess I'm "undernourished" in that regard and constantly open for stuff like it now. That said, I can get annoyed if I'm overwhelmed by smalltalk of course.
I'm sorry for that. In my family it is usually the exact opposite: they want too know TOO MUCH about what you do in your life. That is not only invasive, but they also make me want to run away when I realize just how limited their perspective of life really is.
Hmm, yes. Well, on a philosophy forum that shouldn't be too much of a problem x)
Heh, I admit to enjoy it :)
The hint is in being tired of you ^^ Kind of unreasonable to ask them much more then, unless you have a serious problem.
I'm not tired of me, it's just that it would be so comforting for me to talk about the more important matters (like this!) with someone other than myself. I know most would not comprehend, but if someone despite that said "Ok, I see it's difficult" or "I can see what you're going through" it would be so helpful you know? They wouldn't need to say anything useful, they should just... be there.
Imagine if both parties did that... the conversation would never end ^^ The ultimate curse of friendliness.
I didn't mean it in a literal sense. What I referred to was the common behaviour when text messaging of hanging up on somebody else. Some people stop mid-conversation and they never ever answer back again. I feel as if I had been ignored, as if they had said "Oh, I found something more amusing to do than chatting with you. Bye." I'm not asking them to be available to me all the time. I wouldn't mind if they told me "Hey, I'm off to meet somebody"; "I'm off to sleep"; "I wanna go read a book, talk to you later". That would be fine with me! But why, WHY can't they even allot two seconds of their time to say goodbye to me... it's almost as if I didn't matter to them. And it usually shows off when messaging more than in real life. In real life, they are obviously compelled by decency in those cases. Yet it also shows off when they respond "We'll see" or "Sure, sure" to your invitations for future events.
Why can't you just say "I don't want to do it?"... why should you have to make an excuse at all?
Because I value their friendship, and even if I don't want to do what we're doing; I want to support them and be there, you know?
Yes and no. Somethings you can expect, somethings not. To have somebody constantly adapt towards your wishes, and you adapt to that person, seems like a doomed cause, and I can't really imagine why you would want such a situation, as it's not very flexible and could in the long term significantly affect your sense of personal freedom and make you feel "trapped". I'd say a more economized way of maintaining relations would be preferable to most people.
I don't think it would affect anybody's sense of freedom. You can reject the other's wishes of course, but in a just way. If you genuinely need to do something else (study/work/previous scheduled appointments), then that's ok. Life gets in the way sometimes. But to reject an offer just because "you don't feel like doing it" is just stupid, and shows you wouldn't really make a sacrifice for that person.

It doesn't mean you have to constantly adapt to the other, but try to make up for being so busy. Why don't you offer doing something next week? Why don't you propose something different, instead of complaining you don't want to do things? All in all, why not be honest?
It's not supposed to, it's supposed to help you find a better more rich life basing itself on what you already have instead of sending you on quests to acquire all sorts of things.
Well, but it's not like my purpose in life is to "acquire" stuff. I don't even have a purpose, that's the thing. It's not that I want more materialistically speaking, it's just that I don't know what would justify my existence (and it's definitely not the present).
Well, along with Yoga, I think it's generally a misunderstood concept. While I may have used the word "meditation" a bit wrong, as that usually does involve activity, I'll like to do a comparison with the word "yoga", which virtually everyone considers to be physical exercises. This is completely wrong, yoga instead is a mindset, crucial to Indian philosophy. And as such I think about meditation, meditation is a mindset you carry with you, and it's basically carrying a kind of routine thinking with you that seeks to turn your everyday life into one big meditative experience. You do so by among things, getting your priorities straight. Knowing what can be obtained and what can't, and pursuing the best of the obtainable. You also influence your way of thinking about things, making your thinking more efficient, but setting it on a course to give you pleasure. That's where steering your life comes in, you steer into calmness, pleasure, and an ability to experience beauty and value in things that you are not used to viewing in this manner. This kind of meditative lifestyle is attained by philosophizing yourself into it, you must ask one question a million times, and it will feel as important every time you do it, because it's so central to you: "how can this situation become better for me?". How can you increase the chance of feeling happy, mitigating bad feelings, feeling satisfied with what you see, and so forth...
I'm honestly overwhelmed by all that. How do I start meditating in that way? Previously I had though that closing my eyes and day-dreaming was enough, but I now see I was wrong! The principle sounds nice, however, I don't think I could convince me of being happy in my present situation. How do I go about to find value and beauty in the things I despise? It seems easier said than done.
I'm also strongly goal-oriented, but I also realize that goals are obtained by sinking the ship of my happiness and well-being x)
Yes, but some goals are worth trying and others... well, are not. I mean, I don't know. I've had relatively long-term goals which I achieved that left me feeling empty. So now I'm trying to fully understand when a goal is worth trying and when its outcome would not be worth the effort. It's not that easy to realize.
If you've experienced months or years without satisfaction, that should be a big clue.
But that's so difficult to make a criterion! After all, every goal involves making a sacrifice if you want to succeed. And usually, those sacrifices do not bring you much satisfaction. It seems to me that under that criterion, basically all my goals would be deemed worthless.
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by The Voice of Time »

Damn I really hate it when my fast writing forgets to type "not" or "no" etc, unless people understand what I'm trying to say it can really make for confusion...

This sentence:
I'm also strongly goal-oriented, but I also realize that goals are obtained by sinking the ship of my happiness and well-being x)
Was supposed to contain a "not" at this part:
I also realize that goals are not obtained by sinking the ship of my happiness and well-being x)
So basically I was trying to say: don't go for goals that sinks your ship of happiness on the way.
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by The Voice of Time »

This one-on-one discussion is starting to become so big that I'm gonna divide it up into two chapters. Chapter 1:
Matt24 wrote:Wow, when you put it that way it does sound like an adventure. Still, I think that for the purpose of philosophizing it would've been easier to just do that at "home".
I went on my first trip just because I felt like it, however, while on my trip I decided to make it into an escape from my life and my parents, so it became a kind of fleeing from my parents. In this way, I didn't have a home, but I don't think a home would really make for a good place to philosophize like I did, because your home doesn't inspire the right thoughts, it becomes a lot of echo instead.
Matt24 wrote:Granted, it depends on what you wanted to philosophize about. If you were trying to understand your emotions and past life, then I imagine that kind of experience alone would've been the only way to effectively achieve this - without the distractions of everyday life at home. That could've only happened, as you say, with the necessary peace of mind.

I'm curious to know if you were really able to find role-models. From what you had told me before, it didn't really look like you made strong bonds with people (or at least not in a profound sense). Did someone manage to make an impression on you just when you started to get to know them?
I'm a big anti-absolutist, and this also shines in my use of the term "role model", because what I really tried to say, is that I studied people, to try and find ideas that I could use in the formation of my own character and thoughts. It wasn't about copying anyone, but letting people exceedingly inspire me, either by example or contra-example, what is possible and how it is possible, and then letting me decide what I should become from it, not as a group of predetermined preset roles, but as pieces I can shape my own kind of character from.
Matt24 wrote:give me money for medicines or for a visit to a doctor.
What? That sounds really awful, if anything, that should be their biggest reason to give you anything. If you wanted to waste it on something I could've understood, but as long as you're not a hypochondriac, it seems rather chilly of them to not support your health should you need it.
Matt24 wrote:Yeah, but sometimes you can't help it, can you? I mean, I've never hitch-hiked before, but I imagine the car you get on does not always end up where you want to go. So in my mind, being left somewhere along the road is a possibility. Anyhow, I don't know about this, so you're probably right.
True, but then there's always a new car sooner or later.
Matt24 wrote:Actually, according to Wikipedia, a bedsit has actually many other synonyms, but it's usage is correct in the UK. In the US and Canada they are called boarding/lodging houses or SRO.

Your roommates seem so interesting! I'm sure they must have countless of stories to tell.
Uhm, not really. The war veteran has become a staunch pacifist trying to forget his past, with this hippy like attitude and hair style and spends a lot of time looking after his fish and his cat and try to stay away from alcohol. The nurse-guy doesn't really talk much and is often away or in his room or making food, his only interest seems to be a girl (or girls, I never remember if it's the same girl he brings home) and the Red Cross where he leads the local search party, it's not like he's been abroad or anything. The electrician really doesn't like me for totally stupid reasons and I personally think he's a bit of a psycho, not in an outwardly manner, but he seems to spend a lot of time cultivating his hatred for me as he expresses very clearly, though he's been calm and civil as of late, he's not really a guy it's easy to talk with... he's basically a bit of a xenophobe with regards to the house, perceiving me as a threatening new arrival, and he's twice my age.
Matt24 wrote:I'm glad you have all your life plans and goals figured out already! I once thought I did, until I realized that the result would probably leave me empty (as many of other long-term objectives have). But hey, if you are sure they're what you want, then go ahead!! You will definitely succeed if you really want it :)
Yup :)
Matt24 wrote:I'm thin and frail, so I would be more worried cause I have no self-defence skills at all. Indeed, developed countries tend to be very safe, but as you say, they all have their ugly sides. I remember a "friend" telling me she got scared once when she and her companions found themselves in a ghetto in London. When you don't know too much the area you're visiting, it's easy to find yourself in the "worst of the worst areas".
Well she could have overreacted. Some people are scared of the dark, despite the fact that the dark is rarely followed by scary things except in horror movies.
Matt24 wrote:Anyhow, I don't know much about the US to be honest (Did you think I was American, or were you just bringing it up as an example? Lol).
No idea where you come from, if I'd have to guess I would've guessed the US, just out of a statistical probability. I just brought it up as an example however.
Matt24 wrote:Man, Norway seems to have everything. Is it really the way they picture it in the rest of the world? I mean, it's ecological
That's not a proper adjective in this situation, but I guess you're just using it as a collective for environmental friendliness and natural product friendliness... and yes, we are, except of course we are the third biggest gas producer in the world, and fifth biggest oil producer (mostly export though), however, as far as I know, we don't have any power run on oil or gas for our primary electrical infrastructure, that's virtually all renewable energy, mainly hydropower, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricit ... _in_Norway). We variably import and export electricity over national borders however, and for this reason, although we only produce renewable energy for the national electrical grid, we consume non-renewable energy from Sweden and so forth, like nuclear energy etc. As for food, Norwegian food carries very high quality in general, and there's a national policy on local produce, ecological farming and you don't find GMO food in the stores as far as I know, as the Norwegian government doesn't officially recognize it as food unless it manages to fulfil certain criteria, and up until now only one product has ever accomplished all the criteria.
Matt24 wrote:it's egalitarian
Very much yes, egalitarianism is a strong underlying national principle.
Matt24 wrote:it's socially liberal
Very much yes, social liberalism is another doctrine of modern Norway.
Matt24 wrote:it's got a well-run welfare state.
Well this depends on who you ask, but I'd say generally a very well-run welfare state, as Norway has one of the highest rates of policy implementation rates in the world. Meaning that when the Norwegian government says it's gonna do something, it does so (election promises not included... there they fail and lie pretty much like any normal country x) though not entirely of course, it's just that as with most politicians, they promise more than they can give, and so it's a roll of dice if you actually get what you vote for)
Matt24 wrote:What more could Norwegians really ask for? I'd like to have your opinion.
What more could we have? Well, according to the Human Development Index we are the best in the world. And we're almost the richest in the world, only beaten by a couple of city-states and Qatar (homeland of Al-Jazeera)... we make the United Arab Emirates look poor xD So I guess what remains is becoming the definite richest, keeping the spot on top of being the most developed, and trying to capture the 1st place on the happiness index as well, where we are on top, and may have captured a first spot once or twice, but rankings are rather unreliable and it varies a lot between rankings, so we'll have to work harder to stay on top and be definite number 1. Time to start painting some smileys! :D
Matt24 wrote:Never got tired of just pondering? Didn't your thoughts ever feel... the same?
It did happen that I could not figure out where to ponder my way further, yes, but then I spent more time absorbing the surroundings to get inspiration... it's a bit like looking for fuel, or resources in general. Inspiration is fuel, and when you're empty, you gotta get some more.
Matt24 wrote:I hadn't heard about the Riemann Hypothesis. After a quick Google search, I still have no idea what it consists of. Guess I need to keep studying maths to get a sense of the problem, lol.
It's about the distribution of prime numbers when you count from one to infinity... how often prime numbers occur, as opposed to even and odd numbers. Prime numbers are the atoms of all numbers, they are the building blocks from which we get even and odd numbers. Figuring out the distribution could have wide-ranging consequences and potentially lead to really powerful mathematics... Think of it as the "holy grail" of mathematics x)
Matt24 wrote:Those are nice experiences, but didn't you feel bad about not being able to spend more time with them?
Naaah, they weren't really my types in the end, I'm a computer person, they are not, they enjoy the material (non virtual world) more, like to work with their hands etc. All of them studied at a local university dedicated to green-tech and development studies.
Matt24 wrote:It's just that I always do want to give people a chance. I don't want to ignore them or anything if they talk to me.
I don't think it wise to make it a principle for yourself, that could be problematic. But if you genuinely enjoy giving people a chance, then you should do it... but don't be polite just to give yourself dissatisfaction, that's not helping anyone.
Matt24 wrote:But it's like when I make the effort to get closer, not just a simple acquaintance (because after all, even if they didn't particularly strike me after a superficial talk, there may be a more interesting person beyond their cover), people reject me. That's why I say, they should either show they don't like me or give me a chance. I don't like to stand on middle ground.
Seems you need practise in learning to read people more. If you want straight answers you should ask for it, you can't expect people to serve you your uncommunicated requests on a silver plate, people simply aren't like that. If you want them to be frank with you, then be frank to them first.
Matt24 wrote:But you make it sound as if I were some kind of a commodity. "If there's demand for my friendship, I supply it. If demand goes down, so should my supply".
Not as such, your friendship is not the commodity, but what you could potentially do together is. You can't expect to grow a friendship if you don't have any nourished soil, seedlings and water. The friendship is the relationship between you two, the set of shared memories you have for instance, your in-between culture, and any mutually understood loyalties. But these are products which require the necessary resources to develop, these things require commodities you must supply. Once you've built them, they are there, but they won't grow, and although slowly, they will rust with time (though in a way that they can be brought back more easily... it's a bit like a house gathering dust... if you decide to clean it, it'll still be the same house you left, but it will gather dust with time, and still need cleaning to stay as it were). Let's explore it just a bit more:

1) In order to develop shared memories, you'll have to supply efficient mutual interests to pursue. If the mutual interests are inefficient, you'll have a slow and potentially unsatisfactory development, if the mutual interests are efficient, you'll have a fast-growing and rich development, it'll still take time of course, but at least you're on the right track.
2) You must be able to offer a feeling of uniqueness, that you are not just a simple expendable person, in a friendship sense. You have to make yourself feel special, something somebody wants to be part of. Everyone has a strong side and/or good side, they just have to find it or learn to recognize it, but sometimes, the desires of the potential friend simply matches something what you're good at or something that you are (both me and my friend were the fattest guys in our school... so we shared obesity xD), and this makes you feel like you belong to the same thing, which over time can grow into a culture... a distinct way of talking to one another, a distinct way of behaving and responding to one another, a distinct view of yourself in contrast to the world, and so forth... supply an identity, in other words. "What are we?".
3) Coming from the same or similar house or local culture can give you both an underlying sense of loyalty to one another, but the best way to inspire loyalty is to create a sense of "bromance"... like romance, just not in a sexual or girlfriend-boyfriend kind of way, but between guys. Or in other words, grant a reason for affection to develop, the natural glue of societies. Is there a recipe for affection? I have no good enough answer for this, but a feeling of certainty and dependability are surely strong factors, but these must be seen in relation to what an individual desires, it is in relation to what they desire to be able to be certain about and depend on. They have to find themselves in you, I guess, something about you must inspire them to allow their heart to get at peace with you. And the conditions for this will vary among people, but I think most people DO NOT like people who are overly interested in them, because that doesn't give them enough time to evaluate you, however, some people do like it fast as well, though I am sceptical if their way of doing it might not be a bit... unstable... pure speculation from my perspective of course.

End of chapter 1 x)
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by The Voice of Time »

Chapter 2:
Matt24 wrote:That's an awful way to be treated! I don't want to be anyone's plan B, discarded when plan A is working well.
Hmm... I don't mind being plan B, as long as I'm not always or mostly plan B. I find it only positive that I'm plan B, and not C or D x)
Matt24 wrote:Tell me, why would I want to be around them if I know they just want a superficial friendship, just to amuse themselves when they're bored?
You make amusement sound bad ^^ If you are being used as a tool I'd understand, but then the problem is not that they are amusing themselves, but that you are allowing yourself to be used, not thinking straight when you participate, or allow somebody to think for you. That's bad, but not the fault of amusement, amusement is generally good.
Matt24 wrote:Because you know what's worse, when things are bad you can never count on them. And that's not what a friend should be like.
I think you are slightly generalizing, although if they truly are only superficial, then they might lack a proper sense of what we in Norwegian call "nestekjærlighet" (neste = the next(person), kjærlighet = lovingness/love), usually associated with Jesus' teachings and meaning "love for thy neighbour", it's one of the few things coming from religion that utterly makes sense in my point of view x) But that's more of a bad person than just a bad friend.
Matt24 wrote:You could say "Well, just cut them off, then!". Yet in spite of that, I have the weakness of forgiving. But after being hurt once, I can assure you I only respond to the person's call just for decency. I stop enjoying being with that person too much, and I sure as hell do not open up my soul with them as I would to others.
Bad strategy. I'd recommend trying a less automated behaviour and being more careful before you act. Limping friendships is not a pretty thing to experience, it's better to focus on more greener fields then. Half a friendship might be half a friendship, but when you consume it, you are consuming half a friendship, and as a renewable resource, that's pretty inefficient for all involved parties.
Matt24 wrote:Exactly. As I said above, I'm not a commodity, nor a businessman. I can only offer true love, and if they want something different, then I'm not the person they should go to.
But are you being honest about that? Or are you hiding? Because if you're not being honest, it is a bit of your own fault as well.
Matt24 wrote:I know most people on the world don't care about me either, but I don't like people pretending they do. It's the pretence that's most difficult to see. How these people just can't be honest.
I've had personally a very strong traumatic experience of finding out somebody does not really care about me, twice in fact. I've not lived long enough to say if I'm truly over being cheated by people again, but I think at least I am, and since I expect you to be older than me (most people on this forum are, except Kayla) I expect you should start recognizing now more and more what are the actual signs of a person caring and a person not caring... my method usually consists of testing them bit by bit to see if they respond, if they don't, I give up on them, and take a note of how far the friendship stretches, and utilize it accordingly.
Matt24 wrote:That sounds like a true story lol.
I wish xD I've had crushes on pretty girls several times, but never had a catch on any of the prettiest. In the end I've given up on them, and satisfied with watching them on youporn.com instead ;) After all, my interests in general are not really very compatible with girls of that kind, and I'd prefer having a friends-with-benefits relationship with some ponderous girl... though to be honest I don't know if I'm made for any kind of romantic relationships, I simply don't like "buying stuff I don't need"... meaning that I'll have sex with whomever can excite me a lot, I'll certainly never go to a romantic dinner that's just soooo stupid and last century, I like the idea of living with others, and sleeping in the same bed, but not every day, maybe have regular sleep-overs and "your house is my house" kind of rules instead, and I don't see the need for just one person serving any one function, although by the likelihood of my limited ability to serve multiple relations I'll probably only have time for one, but as with sex, it's whoever can make me laugh, whoever is a good chef gets to make dinner, whoever likes my games gets to play them with me... and so forth. I think in terms of activities, not people. I engage in an activity, and I may have developed or not a sufficient relationship with one or more people to enjoy that activity with them... I consider it a very social progressive way of maintaining relations.
Matt24 wrote:I know that people do have some kind of preconceived ideas about the world, deep profound opinions. But I don't agree with you that it can be mentioned from the get go. Imagine if I came up to a dude in a social reunion or party and tried to talk about this. I'd definitely scare most people away (even if they try to answer my question just to be polite). I don't know, I think it depends on the environment and on the kind of people you are interacting with.
I think we'll have to agree that it depends upon the situation... a funeral might not be the time to discuss Plato or Aristotle... then again, cultures depend, and some cultures hold parties after funerals, and perhaps it's not too bad to discuss it then.
Matt24 wrote:I'm sorry for that. In my family it is usually the exact opposite: they want too know TOO MUCH about what you do in your life. That is not only invasive, but they also make me want to run away when I realize just how limited their perspective of life really is.
Ever tried to say "shut up if you don't have anything interesting to say!" ?
Matt24 wrote:I'm not tired of me, it's just that it would be so comforting for me to talk about the more important matters (like this!) with someone other than myself. I know most would not comprehend, but if someone despite that said "Ok, I see it's difficult" or "I can see what you're going through" it would be so helpful you know? They wouldn't need to say anything useful, they should just... be there.
If somebody said cliché stuff like that I'd think they were not really trying, to be honest, at least if it's all they had to say. I could say that to people I don't really care about in the particular situation. I'd expect of them to ask questions instead... inquire. That's proper interest.
Matt24 wrote:I didn't mean it in a literal sense. What I referred to was the common behaviour when text messaging of hanging up on somebody else. Some people stop mid-conversation and they never ever answer back again.
My buddy has done that to me, I nag him if he does, until he follows through with it. But it's also a test of dependability, if you can't depend on people to follow through with things, you should decrease your priority for developing the relationship, as it might be in a time of less fruitful development... more inefficient development... it might also come as a cause of the relationship having recently developed too fast, I'd reckon, like "growth pain", which you can experience in your legs when you're young as an example, and it might mean it's time to slow down growth and focus on stability.
Matt24 wrote:I feel as if I had been ignored, as if they had said "Oh, I found something more amusing to do than chatting with you. Bye." I'm not asking them to be available to me all the time. I wouldn't mind if they told me "Hey, I'm off to meet somebody"; "I'm off to sleep"; "I wanna go read a book, talk to you later". That would be fine with me! But why, WHY can't they even allot two seconds of their time to say goodbye to me... it's almost as if I didn't matter to them. And it usually shows off when messaging more than in real life. In real life, they are obviously compelled by decency in those cases. Yet it also shows off when they respond "We'll see" or "Sure, sure" to your invitations for future events.
Also remember that internet connections often fail, so it can look like you were the one to end a conversation in the regard, or their connection fails, and I really don't think it's fair that they should prioritize to get back at you then... if it fails it fails, and they might have something more pressing than saying "good night" to you. And that does not make them bad or uncaring etc., it's just not worth the hassle to be THAT dependable when technology is working against you.
Matt24 wrote:Because I value their friendship, and even if I don't want to do what we're doing; I want to support them and be there, you know?
No I don't. From my perspective, you can never have a friendship that isn't based on interests, that'll be a poor relationship. I can understand supportiveness, but it must have definite and practical limits, and I think you must haggle your way into that, because without any standardized meaning people are gonna have different limits and understand it differently and value it differently. Also, I don't think you can expect it from the start, or even after a few months. Maybe after a half a year or closer to a full year, maybe then you can think of start cashing in on a bit of supportiveness, and it might take even more time. Supportiveness must also not be the same as "blind allegiance", I think friends owe it to each other not to follow them blindly into hell, because hell simply isn't a good place to go... it's too hot, and you can get sun-burned :P Friends should be the angel standing on their right shoulder yelling at the devil on the left. I don't know... it's hard to agree with you on this because my thinking is so much more relative than yours. I'm always thinking in terms of exceptions and limits... how far you really can take things.
Matt24 wrote:I don't think it would affect anybody's sense of freedom. You can reject the other's wishes of course, but in a just way. If you genuinely need to do something else (study/work/previous scheduled appointments), then that's ok. Life gets in the way sometimes. But to reject an offer just because "you don't feel like doing it" is just stupid, and shows you wouldn't really make a sacrifice for that person.
I think "I don't feel like doing it" is an excellent criterion. There's loads of times when I don't feel like doing things, or my buddy. He might be tired, or hungry, or currently playing a game, and so forth. But if it happens too often, it is of course a sign of general disinterest, and might be taken more seriously. But then I'd go for a greener field, simply as that, and put the friendship on hold. I'm also sceptical of the term "just way" and "genuinely", they seem quite harsh and demanding, the one by definition, the former by the example you give later. Also, sacrificial relationships are not recommended, as they can make for a very non-pretty relationship, where you're not adequately satisfied. Sacrifices should only be based on real important things, or the occasional symbolic sacrifice, but only very occasionally.
Matt24 wrote:It doesn't mean you have to constantly adapt to the other, but try to make up for being so busy. Why don't you offer doing something next week? Why don't you propose something different, instead of complaining you don't want to do things? All in all, why not be honest?
They might not know where they are heading themselves. Despite limited experience, I don't think friendships in general are created by knowing beforehand. It takes time.
Matt24 wrote:I'm honestly overwhelmed by all that. How do I start meditating in that way? Previously I had though that closing my eyes and day-dreaming was enough
Day-dreaming can help, but it requires too frequent recurrence, and ends up being insufficient. A total mindset reshape needs to be done.
Matt24 wrote:, but I now see I was wrong! The principle sounds nice, however, I don't think I could convince me of being happy in my present situation. How do I go about to find value and beauty in the things I despise? It seems easier said than done.
You misunderstand me, or rather, I didn't say it correctly... you are not trying to make better what is there that you already see. But try to see things you haven't noticed and which are more beautiful than what you've seen previously. You might have to quest a little bit as well, but the point is that you don't need to go to the other side of the planet, just somewhere close by you haven't been before for instance, or a person you've not taken notice of before, or a group of people... and so forth. It's about finding value locally, as opposed to chasing it around.
Matt24 wrote:But that's so difficult to make a criterion! After all, every goal involves making a sacrifice if you want to succeed. And usually, those sacrifices do not bring you much satisfaction. It seems to me that under that criterion, basically all my goals would be deemed worthless.
I don't know, but maybe they are? Maybe you're not ready for them or that they are not your true goals?

... end of chapter 2 x)
Matt24
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

Skip wrote: Okay then, if all you care about is how unhappy you'll be afterward, don't do those things. Don't do anything pleasant. They were merely examples: everything is temporary.
It's not that I'm renouncing to do any pleasant activity. You misunderstand me. I'm saying I can't find meaning in doing that. In my opinion, if you lead a hedonistic lifestyle you have to live wholly by that philosophy, otherwise you will still find yourself without any "real" purpose. What I mean is, when pleasure is moderated, the aim in your life stops being pleasure. Do you follow my argument? I wouldn't be able to find meaning in infrequent pleasing activities. That is not to say I don't ever want to do anything enjoyable because it's temporary: on the contrary, I want to do them, but I can't base my whole life on them.

...Unless you meant living 24/7 for pleasure; something I think would be quite egocentric and stupid: living that way may involve damaging your health and/or doing immoral life choices.
For the duration of every activity, every good night's sleep, every sunny day, every positive feeling - yes I bloody well have! And if I add up all the times I escaped suffering and compare it to the total time I spent actually suffering, I realize how fortunate I have been to have a much bigger pile on the right-hand side. I win! But if I spent all or even some of the happy time fretting over how i'll feel when it's over, I would have lost. And so will you, if you don't shake this habit of looking for the bad in the good.
It's not looking for the bad in the good. It's about realizing that eventually you will have to think about where your life is going and what you want to achieve in it. I'm not going to live for parties, food, sex, etc. Maybe it's something personal, but for me (especially because many times what was once pleasurable may stop being so) I can't be content with the memories of past satisfactions (in fact, I can barely remember the feeling I got from most of those experiences).

Every moment I enjoy is not enough if suffering awaits in the near present. I don't know, I may be weird, I know many who think just the same way you do.
I have no idea what I will remember on my death-bed, if anything. I don't know what will happen to my body and mind as old age advances. But it doesn't concern me. I have lived as well as I could; have loved and been loved, have been kind to many other living things and cruel to none; I have appreciated the beauty and bounty of Earth; laughed and had good ideas and good food. I'll put death off as long as life gives me pleasure and exit when it no longer does, and then nothing at all will concern me.
Well, yes, I believe in love and in being kind too. But pay attention because those attitudes do not reflect the hedonistic one you were talking about. Does being in love always involve joy and bliss? Of course not, if you've ever been in a serious relationship you will know it's not all a bed of roses. Does being kind always involve doing what I like doing? No, sometimes you have to put up with serious situations you don't like, even though you'd rather be doing something different.

So from that you can logically see that you will have to face sufferings. Maybe to you all future little pleasing activities justify any future suffering, but that's not how I see it.
There are a couple of films on Netflix and there is a website.
Yes, I found the film on Youtube. I'm not sure I believe ALL the conspiracy theories they adhere to, but hey! They probably have good ideas. I'll check it out soon :)

I think it will simply collapse and be followed by a very difficult period of wars and famines. Small pockets of population will probably survive, and they will probably re-form into primitive tribal structures.
I would prefer enlightened anarchy, but would happily settle for democratic socialism.
Ok, thanks for your opinion lol.

I haven't thought out much about the future, but I imagine periods of famines/economic depressions as you do (hopefully without involving wars!) that will bring about the collapse of capitalism. Maybe of a greater magnitude than the 2008 crisis. I'm not too sure if that would mean the State taking over or if people would be able to unite and create a form of social anarchism.
Matt24
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

uwot wrote:I think it is everywhere you look. We have little red spider mites, I have no idea if that's what they are called, but they are no bigger than this full stop . That's the adults. They are born, they find food, find a mate, have offspring. They are made of the same atoms as we are, as are all the objects seen in images from the Hubble telescope. The universe may not mean anything, but what a thing to be a part of.
You worry about building your own moral system. I think it's a waste of time looking for absolutes; just don't screw up the view for anyone else and you won't go too far wrong.
Indeed. If you've been watching Cosmos this month (you know, the remake of Carl Sagan's epic series), it is clear to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the universe we are a part of.

Why wouldn't I try to build my own moral system? I think change needs to start in ourselves, and though I know I won't be able to abide by my moral standards 100%, it's worth a try. Especially because I realize sometimes I don't treat others as I would like to be treated, and that makes me feel... awful and weak.
Matt24
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Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Matt24 »

Perceiving exists. wrote:Hey Matt,

I haven't read all, but you descirbe a lot of how i feel and used to feel.
If you dont mind me asking, are you from the States or European? or for that matter, some other continent..

I will read, the whole post pff, one of these days and will share my opinion too :)

Dont let it get you down, no body cares whether you're a mason or an architekt, a farmer or baker, as long as you're ok with it.
Heh, it's nice to know there are many of us, I don't feel so alone now. We should start a club or something. It can be named "The Seekers of Meaning" lol.

No, I'm from neither of those continents. Actually, I'm from South America! Want to guess the country? I'm sure you won't guess right, heh heh.

Read it whenever you want to. There's A LOT of text. I personally wouldn't be able to keep up with all the replies if I weren't on holiday. I had never expected to receive so much help!

Don't worry, I'm making my best effort to find my purpose. I don't know if you read the post where I say this, but I wouldn't get myself to commit suicide anyway. So I will persevere. Hopefully it won't be a fruitless fight and I'll find my own purpose and place in life.
User avatar
Thozau
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Location: Hamburg, Germany

Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Thozau »

Hi Matt24,

i understand you look out for some meaning in life.
Maybe an older post of mine might be of entertaining inspiration.
It´s titled:

Planet We - A new approach towards the meaning of life

(Sorry, i would have posted the direct link but i don´t know how to do it.
You might have to search for it...)

Best regards & good luck,
Thozau
Skip
Posts: 2553
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: What is the point of life?

Post by Skip »

Matt24 wrote: I'm saying I can't find meaning in doing that.
That's because there isn't any.
In my opinion, if you lead a hedonistic lifestyle you have to live wholly by that philosophy,
I wasn't advocating hedonism or a philosophy or anything like that. Merely pointing that everything - you know EVERYTHING! I think I mentioned the universe? There isn't anything less trivial than the frickin universe - lasts only as long as it lasts. I could have said martyrdom instead of beer or leading the proletariat to victory over the oppressor instead of sex, and it would still be temporary. Anything you choose to do, whether you choose it for fun or glory or high purpose or distraction or a golden key to the chocolate factory, only lasts as long as it lasts. If you want to do it, do it. But if you're going to keep thinking the whole time: "After this, I'll have to find some other thing to do, and in the end I'll die, oh woe is me!", then why bother?
you will still find yourself without any "real" purpose.
So? There isn't one. Sane animals don't need purposes; humans invent purposes.
Do you follow my argument?
Sure. You don't appreciate life for its own sake. You want to be more significant than algae. For a human, that's normal. (Of course, there is nothing more significant than algae, because without them, we wouldn't exist.)
I want to do them, but I can't base my whole life on them.
You don't get to base your life - that's already happened. All you can do is narrate it, describe it, represent it, explain it, justify it, magnify and embellish and make a saga out of it. You may find an audience outside of yourself, maybe a very large audience, if your deeds are dramatic enough. But you and your deeds and your story and your following will still end sometime.
It's about realizing that eventually you will have to think about where your life is going and what you want to achieve in it.
So, what's stopping you? By all means, think about it. Choose a path, have an ambition, learn what you need to learn and then go and achieve stuff. Don't be whining that this takes too long and that's too complicated and the other thing will probably fail. Of course it does, is and will. Futility doesn't stop heroes. If you want to be a hero, find something magnificent and difficult to attempt.
Well, yes, I believe in love and in being kind too. But pay attention because those attitudes do not reflect the hedonistic one you were talking about.
I wasn't talking about hedonistic anything. I mentioned orgasm and beer and you ran off with that, instead of any of the more productive activities I mentioned. You made an unfounded assumption. I was talking about appreciating life. Being present in, aware of, and grateful for every minute that doesn't hurt. There is so much pain and misery in this world - a disproportionate amount of it directly caused by our own species - that I do not wish to produce any more by negating what's good and beautiful, simply because it doesn't last forever. The good and beautiful is often ephemeral: you have to be receptive or you miss it.
I'm not telling anyone to like the same things I do. I'm only saying that if you don't like anything, you lose out.
So from that you can logically see that you will have to face sufferings.
I didn't suffer logically: shit just happened. I survived - so far. With luck, I have another ten years, but it's not looking easy.
Maybe to you all future little pleasing activities justify any future suffering, but that's not how I see it.
Nothing justifies anything. Shit just happens. You try to avoid as much of the pains as possible. Little people have little activities, which are not always pleasing. Great big important personages have great big important activities, which are sometimes horrific. Guess which group does the most self-justifying.

I haven't thought out much about the future, but I imagine periods of famines/economic depressions as you do (hopefully without involving wars!) that will bring about the collapse of capitalism.
See the documentary The Age of Stupid. It's not conspiracies that cause the really severe shit; it's complacencies.
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