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Existential dread

- Sat, 31 Dec 2016 11:50:50 EST fxoRXnTe No.207530
File: 1483203050436.jpg -(187800B / 183.40KB, 716x494) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Existential dread
Hey /pss/, sorry for not being more philosophical, but I would like to get some advice from you all. It'll be hard to present my problem in a way that will yield the best results, so bear with me.
My friend has been struggling with finding a meaning to life. He's very intellectual, so he has done a lot of his own research by way of philosophy, and I'm pretty sure he considers himself an Absurdist. But he's not comfortable with the fact that nothing has meaning. Now I've read some Camus and I do agree that there is some quelling of these anxieties in the fact that at least Nothing is real, but this isn't enough for my friend. I've tried to get him to explain his feelings a bit more but I don't want to act like I'm analyzing him by writing things down as he explains. So again, I apologize if none of this is very clear.

That being said, I'll share some of the things I can recall him saying. He says he's bored with everything, and a lot of things that once gave him joy fail to excite him any longer. Some of these things are simple, such as video games, and he says he dislikes activities like this because they're not beneficial over time. So I ask why he doesn't do something that is beneficial, such as reading a book or learning something new. He does a lot of reading and learning, but again argues that even all this knowledge he acquires has no benefit because it will all die with him. Another thing I noticed when he talks about this is that he often says 'nothing matters on a cosmic level'. I tried saying that everything serves a purpose, using the example I read on here how a table is more than the sum of its parts, it serves a purpose for us to use it to rest things on. He then said that everything is nothing but atoms, and atoms have no purpose and that they simply exist.

I don't know. He finds no purpose in anything. I want to help him find a purpose for at least some things. Science can't really prove that there is a meaning for things, so I'm at a loss for what to tell him.
Hugh Sebblelock - Mon, 02 Jan 2017 09:55:22 EST 54PBc7Id No.207533 Reply
OP, your buddy just needs to get over it. It's literally that simple. I was where he's at like years and years ago (I'm 25 now, idk his age) and I can tell you from experience that it's literally just something you have to get over.

Humans want purpose. Humans want magic. Humans want wonder. When you rob a human of those things through philosophy, they become sad. But they'll get over it.
Nicholas Fussleridge - Mon, 02 Jan 2017 18:34:29 EST RVijGnLl No.207534 Reply
hi buddy, ur friend's thought pattern sounds a lot like mine. for many years i troubled myself wondering what the point in my existence was if A) it means nothing and B) i wasn't enjoying life. some of the things ur friend has said are exact words that have come out of my mouth. honestly it's a pretty depressing concept to understand, and i'd recommend therapy to deal with those feelings before they get overwhelming, but the ideas will stay with ur friend

also like >>207533 said, u kinda grow past it
Hugh Nassleletch - Wed, 04 Jan 2017 18:17:59 EST BKJX7E+7 No.207544 Reply
>He says he's bored with everything, and a lot of things that once gave him joy fail to excite him any longer.

Sounds like a diagnosable depression to me.

>Some of these things are simple, such as video games, and he says he dislikes activities like this because they're not beneficial over time.

OK, then he should get some other hobby. Like painting or music. Now if he's actually depressed then that won't probably work tho.

>nothing matters on a cosmic level

Number One Rule for those who understand the meaningless of humanity and the absurdity of existence: Just don't fucking think about it.

Really, as humans we're not supposed to know that we're completely insignificant. Hell even evolutionary our psyches are designed to deal with wolves, live game, what color eatable berries are and of course sex and kids. Not the holographic principle, evolution or relativistic physics.

If your friend has problems with that I'd say it's more connected to his own personal issues than the intellectual problems. He should prob get a therapist or something.

At least try to convince him that his emotional experience of his own life doesn't change according to his understanding of his place in reality. Like for example your feeling of love for some person is the same whether you believe life is insignificant or valuable.
Reuben Hurrypit - Wed, 04 Jan 2017 21:52:02 EST FSAozKjO No.207545 Reply
Can someone lay out the arguments for human life being devoid of meaning? That doesn't seem self-evident to me, and I don't reach that conclusion when I think about the universe or anything else.
the flicker !FwnV7hV52I - Wed, 04 Jan 2017 23:25:35 EST vano1wpA No.207546 Reply
It's a consequence of the totalizing effect of secular materialism on people's understanding of the world. Without a God, they conclude there is no locus of causality and morality, and therefore there must be nothing at all; they don't realize that to pose the question (of existential meaning) is already to be defeated.

Let me share something a very smart man once told me. Imagine arranging everything this way:


"Aesthetic" here means what's apparent to the senses, "logical" the system of inductive and deductive reasoning, and "theoretical" the overarching framework of knowledge. Now what he convinced me of is that the only sensible way to understanding is by going from the top down -- you start with the sensory realm, you use that to develop your moral conscience, you use that to develop your system of reasoning, and finally you arrive at your theory of the world. The failing of countless otherwise very intelligent people throughout history is they went they wrong way about it. If you start by elucidating your theory of reality, you will never get to a correct moral understanding. That's why there's a line between the moral and logical. You can't get there from here.

"The meaning of life" is going about it totally backwards. What can be said at all? This (consciousness) appears to be a source of mattering. Now one has an axiological leg to stand on. Have I made my point clearly?
Phoebe Berrypag - Thu, 05 Jan 2017 03:28:33 EST M2a7S9cl No.207547 Reply
1483604913998.jpg -(194730B / 190.17KB, 1155x768) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.
Simply to exist and perceive is meaningful? Regardless of our notions about anything, personal or greater insignificance, wonder can be standing on the porch, listening to the rain, smoking, breathing, feeling the wind, gravity, my posture, seeing the city move, and a fat racoon cross the street.

That our ideas are the product of our experiences is generally a Phenomenological concept. I mean of Jean-Paul Sartre's thought, particularly "Being and Nothingness", about alot of things, consciousness in relation to becoming, having a dream or aspiration, which is negated by the possibility of not following through, or other real or imagined selves who have same or similar aspiration and don't follow through, but also reaffirmed by the possibility of actualizing the goal in reality. In between the intention and the action is nothing.

The translator has a far better summation in the introduction, my knowledge is pretty nil here. There's an interesting bit about emotion in the introduction too. Here's a long quote from the first chapter, the Origin of Negation, V the Origin of Nothingness

"I assert that I am my essence in the mode of being of the in-itself. At the same time I always refuse to consider that essence as being historically constituted and as implying my action as a circle implies its properties. I apprehend it, or at least I try to apprehend it as the original beginning of my possible, and I do not admit at all that it has in itself a beginning. I assert then that an act is free when it exactly reflects my essence. However this freedom which would disturb me if it were freedom before myself, I attempt to bring back to the heart of my essence--i.e., of my self. It is a matter of envisaging the self as a little God which inhabits me and which possesses my freedom as a metaphysical virtue. It would be no longer my being which would be free qua being but my Self which would be free in the heart of my consciousness. It is a fiction eminently reassuring since freedom has been driven down into the heart of an opaque being; to the extent that my essence is not translucency, that is is transcendent in immanence, freedom would become one of its properties. In short, it is a matter of apprehending my freedom in my self as the freedom of another. We see the principal themes of this fiction: My self becomes the origin of its acts as the other of his, by virtue of a personality already constituted. To be sure, he (the self) lives and transforms himself; we will admit even that each of his acts can contribute to transforming him. But these harmonious, continued transformation are conceived on a biological order. They resemble those which I can establish in my friend Pierre when I see him after a separation. Bergson expressly satisfied these demands for reassurance when he conceived his theory of the profound self which endures and organizes itself, which is constantly contemporary with the consciousness which I have of it and which can not be surpassed by consciousness, which is found at the origin of my acts not as a cataclysmic power but as a father begets his children, in such a way that the act without following from the essence as a strict consequence, without even being forseeable, enters into a reassuring relation with it, a family resemblance. The act goes farther than the self but along the same road; it preserves, to be sure, a certain irreducability, but we recognize ourselves in it, and we find ourselves in it as a father can recognize himself and find himself in the son who continues his work. Thus by a projection of freedom--which we apprehend in ourselves--into a psychic object which is the self, Bergson has contributed to disguise our anguish, but it is at the expense of consciousness itself. What he has established and described in this manner is not our freedom as it appears to itself; it is the freedom of the Other.

Such then is the totality of processes by which we try to hide anguish from ourselves; we apprehend our particular possible by avoiding considering all other possibles, which we make the possibles of a differentiated Other. The chosen possible we do not wish to see as sustained in being by a pure nihilating freedom, and so we attempt to apprehend it as engendered by an object already constituted, which is no other than our self, envisaged and described as if it were another person. We should like to preserve from the original intuition what it reveals to us as our independence and our responsibility but we tone down all the original nihilation in it; moreover we are always ready to take refuge in a belief in determinism if this freedom weighs upon us or if we need an excuse. Thus we flee from anguish by attempting to apprehend ourselves from without as an Other or as a thing. What we are accustomed to call a revelation of the inner sense or an original intuition of our freedom contains nothing original; it is an already constructed process, expressly designed to hide from ourselves anguish, the veritable "immediate given" of our freedom.

[..] We find ourselves then in the presence of two human ekstases: the ekstasis which throws us into being-in-itself and the ekstasis which engages un in non-being. It seems that our original problem, which concerned only the relation of man to being, is now considerably complicated. But in pushing our analysis of transcendence toward non-being to its conclusion, it is possible for us to get valuable information for the understanding of all transcendence. Furthermore the problem of nothingness can not be excluded from our inquiry. If man adopts any particular behavior in the face of being-in-itself--and our philosophical question is a type of such behavior--it is because he is not this being. We rediscover non-being as a condition of the transcendence toward being. We must then catch hold of the problem of nothingness and not let it go before its complete elucidation.
Phoebe Berrypag - Thu, 05 Jan 2017 03:31:32 EST M2a7S9cl No.207548 Reply
1483605092998.jpg -(98624B / 96.31KB, 800x622) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.
>>207547 (continued)
However the examination of the question and of the negation has given us all that it can. We have been referred by it to empirical freedom as the nihilation of man in the heart of temporality and as the necessary condition for the transcending apprehension of negatites. It remains to found this empirical freedom. It can not be both the original nihilation and the ground of all nihilation. Actually it contributes to constituting transcendences in immanence which condition all negative transcendences. But the very fact that the transcendences of empirical freedom are constituted in immanence as transcendence shows us that we are dealing with secondary nihilations which suppose the existence of an original nothingness. They are only a stage in the analytical regression which leads us from the examples of transcendence called "negatites" to the being which is its own nothingness. Evidently it is necessary to find the foundation of all negation in a nihilation which is exercised in the very heart of immanence; in absolute immanence, in the pure subjectivity of the instantaneous cogito we must discover the original act by which man is to himself his own nothingness. What must be the nature of consciousness in order that man in consciousness and in terms of consciousness should arise in the world as the being who is his own nothingness and by whom nothingness comes into the world?

We seem to lack here the instrument to permit us to resolve this new problem; negation directly engages only freedom. We must find in freedom itself the conduct which will permit us to push further. Now this conduct, which will lead us to the threshold of immanence and which remains still sufficiently objective so that we can objectively disengage its conditions of possibility--this we have already encountered. Have we not remarked earlier that in bad faith, we are-anguish-in-order-to-flee-anguish within the unity of a single consciousness? If bad faith is to be possible, we should be able within the same consciousness to meet with the unity of being and non-being--the being-in-order-not-to-be. Bad faith is going to be the next object of our investigation. For man to be able to question, he must be capable of being his own nothingness; that is, he can be at the origin of non-being in being only if his being--in himself and by himself--is paralyzed with nothingness. Thus the transcendences of past and future appear in the temporal being of human reality. But bad faith is instantaneous. What then are we to say that consciousness must be in the instantaneity of the pre-reflective cogito--if the human being is to be capable of bad faith? (pg. 45)

unrelated pic from Self as Other: Reconsidering Self-Care
the flicker !FwnV7hV52I - Wed, 11 Jan 2017 03:32:51 EST vano1wpA No.207570 Reply
1484123571568.jpg -(461279B / 450.47KB, 2000x1394) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.
>All the contents of the average human life is a salad bowl of circumstantial, transitory desires that do more to obliterate one's connection to their will to live than to advance any endeavor they may want to undertake before death.
Gotta be honest, this is a pretty bad sentence homie.
Reuben Wirrystock - Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:49:47 EST Kyyd6tev No.207581 Reply
>one grammatical error
>pretty bad
fo you i fix
>All the contents of the average human life are a salad bowl of circumstantial, transitory desires that do more to wear down their will to live than to advance any endeavor that one may want to undertake in life.

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