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  1. #11
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    I suppose developing Fi would involve a high degree of focus upon the self and one's inner world in order to cultivate a personal code of ethics.

    *shrugs* Fi escapes even me.

  2. #12
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Uhh, let me break this down, since the idea of an "existential breakdown" is foreign to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beat View Post
    Do you have a strong, positive outlook on life
    Yes, most days now, for the past few years.

    and feel secure, in that you're here and existing for a reason, that life has meaning and that you hold a purpose?
    No, I don't think I'm here for a reason or have a specific purpose, because I have no cause to believe so, and I don't need to invent a belief in this to be happy.

    How often do you question your stable and secure mentality (assuming you have one)? How do you deal with the doubts when they arise?
    ...question? I worry sometimes that I'll get depressed again eventually, but other than that, I don't spend too much time thinking about it.

    Sorry if I answered incorrectly, but I'm not quite sure what you're asking here.

  3. #13
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beat View Post
    Me: "Because life is good even if it's painful"

    What about when it's not good? We strive to make changes and fulfill what's empty. Then you question, why even do that? What happens when things go wrong again, or when it's not enough? What do you live for? Is it the next pleasant moment/period of life?
    I don't think I can apply my situation to all situations, it could be more unique. But my recent experience was this:

    Before I resolved my "life problem," I was so miserable and depressed that no matter how GOOD things were (i.e., no matter that I had a comfortable existence, money, a family that loved me, friends, opportunities, etc.), I was suicidally depressed and spent each day asking myself why I even bothered to be alive. Literally. And I think in that context, the existential questions tower to a mountainous size.

    After I resolved my life problem and moved forward, I found that I experienced a "base level joy" so all-encompassing that I no longer even needed to know the answers to those existential questions. I'm happy to be alive anyway. The desire to live exists without any need for intellectual support. And I can still acknowledge that I have no deeper insight into the "meaning of life"... but that question no longer seems to matter that much. Yes, I will die one day. No, I am not exactly what happens to me when I die. And no, I'm not sure I will ever achieve anything "great." But life seems to be about knowing who I am, being able to be who I am, and interacting with others in a way that they also know who I am and I know them; and enjoying what I can along the way.

    I think a lot of people are content with who they are or secure enough in themselves and their lives that they don't need to answer those impossible questions, at least not as a means to justify their existence. Even if a lot was taken from them, they could still be secure in who they are and act as an independent will in the universe, regardless of what answers they did or did not have.

    I have a rather good life. I have an amazing family. There's nothing inherently wrong with me. But I often look at people that have it so much worse than I do and I have to wonder how they make it through. Where does their motivation stem from? Can people really just live life without even feeling a need to question their existence?
    I wish I had answers to that question. People are very complex and situations are as well, so one particular "solution" might or might not work for a particular individual at a particular time.

    A lot of time religion obviously plays a role in coping. You see religion offering stability and security to people in unstable environments, so when everything else is going poorly they still believe that things will be okay and thus they endure.

    But it's not even that clear-cut. You get things like Jewish people singing about their belief in God as they are marched off to the gas chambers to die while oily soot and smoke chokes the air: How does that work? And how does it work when the same Jews would both voice belief in God and act as if God exists even when at the same time they could decry God and claim he doesn't exist because He did not act? Even faith is not necessarily just a denial mechanism, it is a very complicated thing.

    I think some types of people have it easier. For example, ESFPs seem less worried about the existential questions (except as fleeting party topics of conversation); as long as they feel they have some power, can do something that makes them happy, and have people around, they seem to cope just fine. But the people who are introverted, who live "in their heads," usually need more philosophical meaning invested in their lives.

    Anyway, I might be veering off. I think self-contentment exists independently of life circumstance. You seem to be asking "how or why does it exist"? People seem to like to talk about that, and the topic shows up in religious circles a lot.
    "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

  4. #14
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beat View Post
    Do you have a strong, positive outlook on life and feel secure, in that you're here and existing for a reason, that life has meaning and that you hold a purpose? How often do you question your stable and secure mentality (assuming you have one)? How do you deal with the doubts when they arise?

    I want to see how it varies from person to person.
    I think that I have a decent outlook on life, but I don't necessarily feel that I'm "here and existing for a reason, that life has meaning and that I hold a purpose." My thoughts are more along the lines of life being a source of possibility. Could there be an external, objective, unseen reason or meaning of life? Sure - but it's not something I have a definitive answer to, and I'm okay with leaving that as an unknown, at least until I have better reasons to commit to a decision on it. Will I ever? Possible, I suppose, but I'm not expecting to.

    But just because I don't believe in any particular "meaning of life" doesn't mean that I can't find personal purpose and meaning through the things I choose to pursue, and how I choose to live. But I don't think that's what you were asking - that's more something internal that I can select (and change), rather than an external framework of meaning that supports me.

    I occasionally question this outlook, but I always (at least, so far) haven't found a reason to abandon it. When I do question it, it often comes down to telling myself that not having an answer to something, even something important, isn't a failing (actually, open questions are a good thing for me usually), and ask myself if I have reason to close the question in my mind. So far anyway, asking that question has always reinforced my "question without an answer" stance.

    Note sure if that answered your question or not, but it's as good as I've got .

  5. #15
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beat View Post
    I don't want to get off topic but heart made a comment about developing Fi. How do you develop something like that? Isn't that the kind of thing that you either have or you don't?
    From what I understand, as you mature and gain a certain amount of life experiences and you become more facile with your dominant functions, the tertiary and inferior function will develop along with them.

  6. #16
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beat View Post
    Do you have a strong, positive outlook on life and feel secure, in that you're here and existing for a reason, that life has meaning and that you hold a purpose? How often do you question your stable and secure mentality (assuming you have one)? How do you deal with the doubts when they arise?

    I want to see how it varies from person to person.
    For the first 23 years of my life I questioned if life had a purpose, and I never really felt secure or stable internally, and overall I had a negative outlook on life. At 23 I committed my life to Jesus Christ. Since then I've felt secure, and I've had a strong positive outlook on life without any serious doubts.
    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)
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  7. #17
    Senior Member SquirrelTao's Avatar
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    "Breakdown" is too strong a term, but I have frequently had moments in which I've "felt the winds of Being whistling past my ears". I've been atheist since my teens. Gradually, I've come to have spiritual feelings. They've walked in through the back door. They've come in the form of dreams and synchronicities. They are vaguely comforting. That and I'm very busy.

    I think I went through existential type things so much in my college years that I became almost immune to being too shaken. Nothing really bothers me much existentially - wondering if aliens exist, wondering if the universe will eventually become extinguished, not knowing what happens to people when they die or if they ever get a "fair shake" from some superior entity or force, in the afterlife, after suffering in this life.

    What does that say about me? Could it be I'm in denial and in for an existential breakdown in the future? Possibly. I don't know.

    I'll tell you about one of the dreams I had that seemed somehow reassuring to me. I was on top of a snowy mountain, surrounded by wolves. The wolves were lying in the snow all around me, aware of my presence, but making no move to "get me". I asked, "Where am I?" A voice answered, you are on a mountain top near the Pacific ocean and by the Mexico border. When I awakened, I did some online research and turned up a wolf refuge on a mountaintop in San Diego. I learned there had just been a snowfall on this mountaintop.

    So what does that prove? I'm not sure. I'm not going to start a cult or anything, but I do feel vaguely reassured by experiences like that. Especially since wolves have played such a prominent role in many of my dreams, sometimes guiding me and sometimes challenging me.

    I don't know if I believe in spirit animal guides. I do believe in Jungian archetypes. Maybe some day I will need to know. For now I am okay not knowing.

  8. #18
    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    Existential breakdowns ? about 3-4 times a year. I'd rather call it existential despair. It lasts for a couple of hours, rather than days. But I ponder about existentialism daily. My favorite painting is The scream.

  9. #19
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    Does anyone want to brief me on what existentialism is? Simple terms?

    /
    The central tenet that seems to unify the diverse existential philosophies is this: existence precedes essence.

    i.e., you have existence before you have a telos, an end, a goal.

    The existentialist believes that he must define what his end is, the good that enables him to choose to continue, to move forward, to do anything at all, for his underlying, preceding existence does not define or determine this end for him.

  10. #20
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    How often do you experience an "existential breakdown?"

    Too often for me to call them "breakdowns" anymore.

    *shrugs*
    `
    'Cause you can't handle me...

    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

    "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is."

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