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  1. #1
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Default What to do when life is known to be pointless

    What do you do when you suddenly realise that your existence is completely pointless? Quite simply, you live for a higher ideal. I had one of those moments today in the shower; I thought "what the hell; there is no point to life". Then I tried to come up with a solution. That was it; you live for something greater than your own preservation. Be it justice, helping the helpless, spreading the truth or giving people joy and happiness. It's the way you feel truly satisfied as a human being.

  2. #2
    a white iris elfinchilde's Avatar
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    In response to the title thread:

    Deny reality.

    You build one of your own.

    Justice, equality, freedom, love, whatever. After all, if life really has no meaning, what's to stop us from creating one of our own?

    Perhaps that's why life was born pointless. So that we may create our own point and meaning.
    You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
    They called me the hyacinth girl.
    Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
    Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

    --T.S Eliot, The Wasteland

  3. #3
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    The only life that one can truly say is pointless is their own. If you find your life to be pointless, then take steps to remedy the situation. Imagine what would give your life some type of point and then take steps toward achieving that goal.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
    http://www.revoltingvegetables.com

  4. #4
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    I imagine relationships to higher ideals (religious; political; social; fiscal; etc.) likely began as a strategy to protect from immediate dangers in our ancestral environment.

    This shared "parental" community model probably contemporarily functions as an intermediary system, engineered as a voicebox for many concerns that its members are either unable to personally negotiate or as a way to find comfort in unifying their ideology with like-minded peoples.

    Many people enjoy enlistment within such an ideal as a way to elevate their personal identity; possibly to promote their nuanced belief while establishing (?) a deeper sense of personal importance.

    So...to your question: what to do when one is without tangible existential connection?

    Nothing.

    Embrace pointlessness. Sincerely.

    Your immunity will be your greatest reward.

  5. #5
    a white iris elfinchilde's Avatar
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    ^ That's the other way.

    Pros and cons either way.

    If you can adopt Night's method (which is essentially Buddhism--the concepts of annatta, anicca, and dukkha)--you will be at peace, and life exists as something for you to ebb and flow with. Not many can achieve such grace, though. And if one can't, the realistic danger is nihilism: a complete negativity that does not believe in life, or anything, and is bitter and cynical. When the real meaning is positive.

    By doing things and identifying with a "higher ideal"--it would give a sense of purpose, and from there, one may find what one genuinely enjoys, and resonates with your soul. The caveat is that you may lose yourself in midst of all the action.

    No way is right or wrong. It is simply who you are, and who you want to be.

    And how you get from the former to the latter. Personality will guide which method is taken.
    You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
    They called me the hyacinth girl.
    Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
    Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

    --T.S Eliot, The Wasteland

  6. #6
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    What do you do when you suddenly realise that your existence is completely pointless? Quite simply, you live for a higher ideal. I had one of those moments today in the shower; I thought "what the hell; there is no point to life". Then I tried to come up with a solution. That was it; you live for something greater than your own preservation. Be it justice, helping the helpless, spreading the truth or giving people joy and happiness. It's the way you feel truly satisfied as a human being.
    Exactly.
    Life comes to seem more and more pointless, the more that we live to endlessly please ourselves.
    I have heard it said many many times in my life that we must get outside of ourselves and serve someone else in order to feel real fulfillment, purpose and joy.
    They say the way to get out of depression is to focus on someone else. While that's a little too simplistic, helping others or serving others does help.

    I used to be exceedingly selfish when I was young. I never wanted children because I was afraid they would ruin my life. Instead, my children have made my life worth living because I have made it my aim in life to be their helper, their advocate, their whatever-they-need (not in a co-dependent way). I'm also preparing them for independence. If it wasn't for my kids, I would still be a very selfish person. God knew I needed them.

  7. #7
    a white iris elfinchilde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    Exactly.
    They say the way to get out of depression is to focus on someone else. While that's a little too simplistic, helping others or serving others does help.
    that sounds about right. great insight, Mom.
    You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
    They called me the hyacinth girl.
    Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
    Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

    --T.S Eliot, The Wasteland

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    What do you do when you suddenly realise that your existence is completely pointless? Quite simply, you live for a higher ideal. I had one of those moments today in the shower; I thought "what the hell; there is no point to life". Then I tried to come up with a solution. That was it; you live for something greater than your own preservation. Be it justice, helping the helpless, spreading the truth or giving people joy and happiness. It's the way you feel truly satisfied as a human being.
    INFPs can have the opposite problem. They can devote their lives to seeking high ideals and end up feeling spent down all the time due to overreaching. Real peace and satisfaction may come only later in life when they learn to take care of themselves a bit, focus on the sensory life around and within them, and interact with more directly with their immediate environment.

    IOW, it depends on the personality type, the individual, and what stage of life you're at. Early in life, better use of the Auxiliary will provide solutions. Later in life (mid-life crises and that sort of thing) I would look to one's Tertiary and Inferior for added meaning. That's where each type will start finding answers to problems that sap their lives of meaning and elude quick resolution.

    As a middle-aged INFP, I'm finding added meaning in Si and Te--getting more sensory and being more hands-on with life and my immediate environment.

  9. #9
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    What do you do when you suddenly realise that your existence is completely pointless? Quite simply, you live for a higher ideal.
    Sometimes that is still difficult... because intellectually you are left thinking, "I'm just making up this ideal, it has no real life outside of me." It's easier to pursue something you can see bigger than yourself, outlasting yourself... but when it is all mortal, then interest even those sorts of goals can fade.

    For a very long time I based my meaning in traditional Christianity. When everything felt pointless, I could just tell myself it wasn't a waste because of ideas I gleaned from the Bible about God, heaven, eternity, etc.

    So I slipped into existential depression for a long while when that drifted away from me. I had nothing to cling to.

    I don't know what changed for me. Maybe I just stopped caring about finding something "inherent" in the universe to follow. I just got to a point where I stopped evaluating my life in those terms.

    What matters to me in this world?
    What do I think the best way is to live?
    What is worth living and dying for?
    What could I give myself to without compunction?

    I stopped focusing on whether I could justify my life's meaning as something eternal (as compared to mortal), and I just brought it back to me and my life. I realized I also did have values -- things that might not universally apply to everyone but did apply and have meaning to me -- and so I am allowing myself to pursue them.

    I think trying to "tell oneself to find meaning" is sort of pointless, although a J has a better chance of pulling that off. P's are scanning the external world for truth; meaning and truth is found outside of them, not inside, generally. So you can't just pretend and lie to yourself.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #10
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    I covered this in my blog, find 2 messages with word suicide.

    What I didn't say that my #1 thing to do after wishing for death was to notice the merit of pleasurable emotions, that is, indulgence.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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