How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

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

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GhostThinker25
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How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by GhostThinker25 » Tue May 28, 2019 4:59 am

It's been a while since I started reflecting on certainty and got lost in a dark path of uncertainty. I believe language has great influence on my problems with certainty, since using it is the way we make sense of things. I went into a skeptical-like state (much like Descartes) and I just can't seem to return to my normal state. Ok, I'm certain of a few things, but I feel like I lost the control I had over my life because now I have doubts about several basic concepts all over my mind. Many times I feel like I can't make correct statements about the present because I don't know if the things I've observed have changed. For example, if the laws of physics have changed really subtly and I can't perceive the difference, if people who had a specific behavior still have it and many other situations similar to those. Another thing is, since I can't read minds, I'm not sure of how I can tell if someone is telling me the truth or not, excluding a few cases in which I can directly observe the situation. I just don't know if the people who seem to love really do. I'm not sure if they're being honest when they say they love me. Also, I'm not sure about many things of the past. How can I be certain History isn't wrong? How can Historians know if someone didn't lie or if a group of people didn't decide to lie? The last part, which is the unclearest to me, is the future. It's a mistery. How can I tell things aren't going to change? People say "I'm going to do this" or "I will do that", but how can they be sure they're right? I don't see a way to tell if I'll be alive in the next few minutes, so how can people believe they're right?
Well, I don't really know what to do to reach peace of mind. I feel stuck in this stressful state of disorientation. How can I escape this?

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Harbal
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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by Harbal » Tue May 28, 2019 7:38 pm

I think you need to find a way to reconcile yourself to a lifetime of turmoil. Either that or stop striving for the impossible.

FlashDangerpants
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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by FlashDangerpants » Tue May 28, 2019 9:04 pm

GhostThinker25 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:59 am
The last part, which is the unclearest to me, is the future. It's a mistery. How can I tell things aren't going to change? People say "I'm going to do this" or "I will do that", but how can they be sure they're right? I don't see a way to tell if I'll be alive in the next few minutes, so how can people believe they're right?
Well, I don't really know what to do to reach peace of mind. I feel stuck in this stressful state of disorientation. How can I escape this?
Consider the alternative scenario. Imagine you ask your 7 year old nephew what he wants to be when he grows up and he replies...
"In a minute I will tell you I will be a firefighter when I grow up, but actually when I am 18 I will ignore a lump on my left testicle, assuming it is nothing. When I finally go to a doctor I will learn to my horror that I only have weeks to live, so the firefighter thing will never happen".
And then he just grins and says "I am going to be a firefighter".
Would your mental state actually be improved if you could have that conversation?

When we make statements about the future, they are contingent, we all know they may not turn out to be true, and everybody knows to approach them on an all other things being equal basis (your predictions being no worse than mine or those of 5 billion other people if the world is suddenly eaten by an undetectable intergalactic space goat next Tuesday).

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Harbal
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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by Harbal » Tue May 28, 2019 9:33 pm

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 9:04 pm
Imagine you ask your 7 year old nephew what he wants to be when he grows up
How did you know he had a 7 year old nephew?

FlashDangerpants
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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by FlashDangerpants » Tue May 28, 2019 9:49 pm

Harbal wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 9:33 pm
FlashDangerpants wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 9:04 pm
Imagine you ask your 7 year old nephew what he wants to be when he grows up
How did you know he had a 7 year old nephew?
Ah, even if I knew ... how could I be certain?

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Harbal
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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by Harbal » Tue May 28, 2019 10:07 pm

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 9:49 pm
Ah, even if I knew ... how could I be certain?
Why would you want to be certain? It's not like it's your nephew and you have to remember his birthday.

Impenitent
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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by Impenitent » Tue May 28, 2019 10:25 pm

the only certainty is that you are not the same you after you read this...

-Imp

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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by doolhoofd » Wed May 29, 2019 12:05 am

A Lesson in Zen
A zen student consulted his teacher and said,
"My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, my legs ache, or I’m falling asleep... It’s just horrible!"
"It will pass," the teacher said.
A week later, the student returned, and said:
"My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive... It’s just wonderful!"
"It will pass," the teacher said.

Walker
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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by Walker » Wed May 29, 2019 4:14 pm

BBC interview with Feynman (uncertainty)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MmpUWEW6Is

Walker
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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by Walker » Thu May 30, 2019 1:28 pm

GhostThinker25 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:59 am
Well, I don't really know what to do to reach peace of mind. I feel stuck in this stressful state of disorientation. How can I escape this?
Be watchful for when your emotions are stirred, then follow the “I thought,” to its source. The more powerful the emotions the better, although any emotional feeling will do, good or bad. Happiness, anger, fear, greed, lust, rage, don’t deny any of these when they arise. Instead, place full attention and presence upon the appearance of a particular emotional feeling when it appears and inquire, who is feeling this and why? Undistracted attention will quickly lead awareness to the source of the I thought, where I spontaneously disappears. Without the I anchor, energy formally associated with emotion now fuels objectless awareness, which correlates with a generalized, non-specific feeling of being at peace with the world, being at peace in the moment, peace of mind, and so on. The experience can be described as an expansion of consciousness, or a clearing of obscurations that veil turiya.

Nick_A
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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by Nick_A » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:52 am

GhostThinker25
It's a mistery. How can I tell things aren't going to change? People say "I'm going to do this" or "I will do that", but how can they be sure they're right? I don't see a way to tell if I'll be alive in the next few minutes, so how can people believe they're right?
Well, I don't really know what to do to reach peace of mind. I feel stuck in this stressful state of disorientation. How can I escape this?
Welcome to the club. The more we become aware of our lack of meaning and the loss of peace of mind it produces the more we seek escape. What are our options?

The first is drugs which create peace of mind by falling into imagination.

The second is becoming attached to a cause which provides the illusion of meaning. The more a person is attached to a religious or political cause for example, the more it substitutes itself for the human need for understanding.

Understanding may not produce peace of mind but may serve to awaken us to the real purpose of our lives and pursue it. Now you have to choose if you want peace of mind or awakening to meaning at the expense of peace of mind imagination offers. Not an easy choice.

When a person experiences the phenomenon of life with the whole of themselves they will understand it. But we don't do it. We are either intellectualizing, emoting, or sensing and their results don't agree. We live in opposition to ourselves.

IMO it is best to forget about peace of mind and strive for understanding through opening the mind. it begins with sensation. Go out into nature and experience it without either intellectualizing or emoting. It isn't easy but once a person becomes able to consciously sense the natural world without the interpretations of our thoughts and emotions, it is the beginning of freedom

surreptitious57
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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by surreptitious57 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:54 am

Stop looking for certainty where there is none. The only things that are certain is that existence causes suffering and
death is inevitable. You cannot do any thing about the latter but you can however learn from suffering over time. As
you can adapt to it and accept it while reducing it as much as possible even though it cannot be avoided completely

Atla
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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by Atla » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:44 am

GhostThinker25 wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 4:59 am
It's been a while since I started reflecting on certainty and got lost in a dark path of uncertainty. I believe language has great influence on my problems with certainty, since using it is the way we make sense of things. I went into a skeptical-like state (much like Descartes) and I just can't seem to return to my normal state. Ok, I'm certain of a few things, but I feel like I lost the control I had over my life because now I have doubts about several basic concepts all over my mind. Many times I feel like I can't make correct statements about the present because I don't know if the things I've observed have changed. For example, if the laws of physics have changed really subtly and I can't perceive the difference, if people who had a specific behavior still have it and many other situations similar to those. Another thing is, since I can't read minds, I'm not sure of how I can tell if someone is telling me the truth or not, excluding a few cases in which I can directly observe the situation. I just don't know if the people who seem to love really do. I'm not sure if they're being honest when they say they love me. Also, I'm not sure about many things of the past. How can I be certain History isn't wrong? How can Historians know if someone didn't lie or if a group of people didn't decide to lie? The last part, which is the unclearest to me, is the future. It's a mistery. How can I tell things aren't going to change? People say "I'm going to do this" or "I will do that", but how can they be sure they're right? I don't see a way to tell if I'll be alive in the next few minutes, so how can people believe they're right?
Well, I don't really know what to do to reach peace of mind. I feel stuck in this stressful state of disorientation. How can I escape this?
Yeah 100% certainty doesn't exist for us (only dumb people believe in it). But you could try this for example: if you are at least 90-95% sure of something, treat it as certain unless proven otherwise. I think this is a pretty optimal approach for everyday life.

Walker
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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by Walker » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:06 am

“Tuva or Bust!” Like suffering, freedom is a state of mind. In principle, Tuva or Bust! is the quest for certainty, a quest made possible by a free state of mind. Suffering is a state of low peace of mind. Freedom is a state of high peace of mind.

Invention is the mother of necessity (cell phone).
Peace of mind is the father of invention.

Dubious
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Re: How can I reach certainty about some things and obtain peace of mind?

Post by Dubious » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:33 pm

Nothing is certain of anything which was ever written or thought. There's only a greater of lesser probability of it being so.

Why should this disturb my "peace of mind" and what piece of that would it be?

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