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  1. #11
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    (I don't personally sign up to that extreme individualist worldview, but I understand it well enough)
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

  2. #12
    Senior Member kuranes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    The problem is the difference between emotion and logic. Were they closely linked, the logic of knowing you're not alone would be the same as feeling you were not alone. Since they are not, knowing you're surrounded in support has nothing to do with feeling security.
    Huh. That's an interesting way to look at it that I hadn't ever thought of. For some reason it reminds me of the solution to that old question of why we feel that the years are passing quicker each new year. ( Because at 5 years old one year was one fifth of your life, while at 20 it is only one twentieth etc. )

    I can feel lonely even when I'm with people, although it is usually of a different sort than the lonely feeling one gets while actually by oneself for long periods. Why ? I was discussing this with a friend the other day, and these are some thoughts we had on the subject, followed by me thinking out loud.

    "One wonders and discovers that even this is wonder." M.C. Escher

    ( 1. ) You know that feeling that you get when you finish reading a really good book, as though you know the author pretty well, even though you have never met ? I can have that same feeling magnified by much more, over imaginary people I must be subconsciously idealizing. It must be so, since I don't have any real feeling for reincarnation or anything of that sort. Yet I can actually feel like I "miss" this person, who is merely a nameless someone that I have never encountered, even in such books. ( My imagining of authors is "another story" ) Is this then me longing for perfection, as a kind of twist on "feeling sorry for oneself" ? Perhaps. But sometimes I will sense that this person might even be unhappy with me, at a particular moment, and so it isn't just some escapist thing.

    ( 2. ) The idea of "sharing moments" goes beyond what some people say it is. It doesn't just mean getting people to "see what you see" ( literally or conceptually ) but can also mean some kind of mysterious spark exchanged. I may not even be sure that the person felt the same impact as me re: the event or feeling we are sharing ( although its great when that happens too, etc. ) but I may sense that they at least understood that I got/get something out of it, and sometimes just this by itself helps the other person relate to me more effectively, and ( when it is an event that they point to ) then the reverse may happen.

    Why do I say "mysterious" if I can put it in a nutshell so quickly ? I think it is partly down to the many denotations and connotations of the word "understand". Sometimes to say "I understand you" can seem to imply a condescending superiority, without that even being intended. We like to think of ourselves as being at least somewhat unpredictable ( even to our own understanding, to say nothing of others ) and so having someone thinking or saying otherwise can throw us a bit, subconsciously; if nothing else.

    And yet to imply an understanding of a specific particular ( this "shared thing" mentioned in #2 ) seems less of a remark about our entire "self" than it does a window onto something that is more of a "clue" inside of us than it is a "fact", and so therefore something we can both use to 'understand" better, in a different sense of what this word "understand" can mean. More like we have resumed "following a trail" that we had "lost" in the interim, than like having already arrived somewhere.

    "Come Watson, the game is afoot !"

    And then in a moment, the trail is cold again. We are back to ordinary life, which is good in its own stable way, of course, but ...for that moment...we had a ..."spark" between us, for lack of a better term.

    I think this is partly what people mean when they talk about "eyes being the windows/doorways to the soul"; although in a pure scientific sense the eyes do not convey any information, but rather the brow line etc. Regardless, you may know what I mean.

    Sometimes this spark can translate into a feeling of mischievously being 'in cahoots" with someone else, and sometimes it is more of a "romantic" feeling; or it is a carryover from "awe" at nature, which then subsides into something we all may feel, but have no words for, yet....... lacking the inventiveness of Eskimos with their snow.

    There are some people that I feel these sparks with more often than others, and then some people with whom I rarely if ever feel them. In some cases I sense a stubbornness at following me into a new place, like a horse, shying away from a bridge. In other cases, I sense that the person is not so much unwilling, but simply incapable of "following" or sharing of this sort.

    At times I am glad to be alone, and king in my castle. Other times I look around this place and it seems to mock me. I had a buddy who would often say "It's come to this" as a way of lightening up boring or awkward situations with a joke, and I'm tempted to say it on those occasions. ( I learned a new "reply" to this the other day, from someone on another board, when he told about his friend, who was doing the same joking routine with another cliche; and throwing it into all sorts of situations, just to see who lets it go by. "Yeah, but here's the kicker." )

    Could this "missing" person in my life be just my conscience/superego given romantic outer layers of disguise ? Is it just another aspect of my "self" ?

    Once on a camping trip me and my brother and one sister were getting drunk around a campfire. I would overdo booze more often in those days, and I mostly just remember passing out after a while. I later heard that there was a period of about a half hour, before I went to sleep, where my brother and sister said that I was concerned about a member of our party who was "missing". They denied to me then that there was anybody missing, but told me later that I kept running around looking, anyway, thinking that a prank or misunderstanding was in the works. ( Is this the curse of Geminis ? )

    Antonio Damasio talks about different kinds of things we might mean when we speak of our consciousness. One hears people occasionally refer to our "reptile" brain as being a lower layer function or more primal consciousness. Damasio takes this idea way further, and speaks of "extended consciousness" ( long term memory, as in a hard drive ) as distinguished from other types of consciousness that can be glimpsed while in Hypnosis and other unusual states or medical conditions.
    Psyche 6(8): Review of Antonio Damasio's "The Feeling of What Happens" by Aldo Mosca

    Perhaps at that campfire I was sensing the temporary loss of access to one of these components. Could the components have some affinity for one another too, so that they can feel a sense of "loss" at times other than drinking etc. ?

    Or is this "missing" person less an actual part of me, but rather an interest in a "personality" put together on a composite basis; as a "prototype" ( conceptually speaking and looking back ) of different people I have become aware of, including fictional individuals, who share traits that I enjoyed ? A precursor. Like taking the word "common denominator" out of math, and putting it into service in the world of personalities ?

    I can feel the so-called "existential loneliness" too, but I've never been much concerned with it, perhaps because of a lack of some kind: maybe a lack in my ability to notice such things. "The most merciful quality of the human mind is the inability to correlate its contents." - H.P. Lovecraft

    Once in a blue moon I will feel an instinctual dread fall over me like a massive shock, as though I had been right on the brink of discovering some conceptually simple and yet still immense thing I'd be better off not ever knowing. Afterwards, I cannot pin down what that thing even was. Is that the "real" existential loneliness ?

    When this happens with me it feels more like horror than loneliness, but not a horror that contains disgust. It has something to do with the idea that there could have ever been a "true nothing" however long ago, that meant both "no space" and "no time", and not ( as is usually connotated by the word ) an infinite vacuum, or something like that. I cannot even imagine what a "true nothing" would be like, assuming it applied to all possible realities, and subsumed any further potentials. That there is, in our reality, the opposite condition to this, is what allows me to even contemplate such a thing, of course; but at those rare moments I feel I am on the verge of knowing more. My mind uncharacteristically immediately shrinks from it, not because it is some kind of contradiction of our currently agreed upon laws of physics, but in some other way.

    There are some new theories that indicate that time can be broken down into "particles" flowing, just as we break down other things ( matter and electromagnetism ) into waves and particles etc. Maybe I have some "instinct" for implications of this ( if it is so ) during those rare moments.

    I don't dwell on these feelings, though, and I distract myself with books and other explorations.

    "The opposite of a true statement is a false statement, but the opposite of a profoundly true statement may very well be another profoundly true statement" - Neils Bohr.
    "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
    Reichsfuhrer Herman Goering at the Nuremburg trials.

  3. #13
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    Just getting to the rest, but wanna say I relate to point 1 a hella lot. I spent most of my childhood and teens with Wace, St Francis of Assisi and Bonaventura as my best friends that I 'talked' to in my head and stuff...

    ----

    Also, it's pretty sad that some of the people I know just really don't get, understand or believe even if they do understand, that my mindset really is more medieval than modern... individualism is anathema to me in many ways... to me, all of humanity is like a ship that we're all in... all in the same boat together, and it really is the responsibility of everyone to look after his brother, so to speak, for the welfare of the entire ship. I truly and honestly believe that, not just intellectually but I feel it too, deep down, it's an integral part of who I am. That's why it kinda upsets me when people do this "don't wanna be a burden to you" routine thing... I don't feel annoyed at that person, but at the society that's created that kind of mentality in them...
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

  4. #14
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I'll admit, I'm heavily guilty of the burden-mindset. Others are never a burden for me, and I make it a point to let them know that.. but when it comes to myself, I tend to feel different.. my logic is the same though. I believe you should not feel ashamed to ask for help, advice, or otherwise because you should know that your contributions have given you the right to receive help in return.. just as you have helped those unashamed to come to you. It's idealist at best, but that's how I feel...I guess I just need a bit more growing up to realize that I am included in those that contribute.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
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  5. #15
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    I often hear people talking about the meaning or purpose of life. I think that humanity has enormous potential to evolve into something spectacular, but it's happening very slowly because people don't recognize that their purpose is to be instrumental in the great work of achieving this evolution. Even taken over a shorter period, within one lifetime, a person's experience of life can be hugely enhanced by achieving some level of enlightenment, the earlier the better. None of it really happens without outside help - from fellow humans. When people refuse to ask me for help, or refuse to let me support them, it's like they're stopping me from doing what I feel is the sole purpose of my existence. I think there's something in the idea that this concept is what's behind why the vast majority of people find, sometimes even despite themselves, that helping others can be hugely gratifying. It's why voluntary charity work tends to be rather addictive, IMO... I've done so much of it and seen so many newbs come in, cynical, jaded, often forced there due to some government unemployment initiative or community service for some crime or other... but before you know it they're asking for more things to do, and saying things like "I can't explain it, it just gives me a buzz to do this stuff!"

    I think at some level, they're realizing their purpose in living...

    Individualism suits a capitalist economy, it's great for 'economic growth' and marketing and stuff... but I don't think it's good for humanity at all; it fosters an ideal of independence, whereas I believe human beings are meant to be interdependent. I think this is why so many people feel that there's something wrong with simply following the promptings of their natural need to inter-rely on others - the individualist propaganda tells them they've 'failed' to reach the ideal if they do that. There's a torsional sorta thing going on there in most people, I think...

    -------

    I relate to much of what you said kuranes... specially this part:

    Quote Originally Posted by kuranes
    In some cases I sense a stubbornness at following me into a new place, like a horse, shying away from a bridge. In other cases, I sense that the person is not so much unwilling, but simply incapable of "following" or sharing of this sort.
    Though I don't think anyone is truly incapable... but many, many people do have inhibitions which block the way. Those inhibitions need to be addressed though, before they can do it, and often they're not even aware that they're there.
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuranes View Post
    And then in a moment, the trail is cold again. We are back to ordinary life, which is good in its own stable way, of course, but ...for that moment...we had a ..."spark" between us, for lack of a better term.

    I think this is partly what people mean when they talk about "eyes being the windows/doorways to the soul"; although in a pure scientific sense the eyes do not convey any information, but rather the brow line etc. Regardless, you may know what I mean.

    Sometimes this spark can translate into a feeling of mischievously being 'in cahoots" with someone else, and sometimes it is more of a "romantic" feeling; or it is a carryover from "awe" at nature, which then subsides into something we all may feel, but have no words for, yet....... lacking the inventiveness of Eskimos with their snow.
    This is the way I feel as well. You write so beautifully.. or is it I who wrote this? :

    Quote Originally Posted by kuranes View Post
    Could this "missing" person in my life be just my conscience/superego given romantic outer layers of disguise ? Is it just another aspect of my "self" ?
    Well, maybe so.

    I wonder if you know this: when someone falls into a coma they are still able to hear other people talking to them.

  7. #17
    Senior Member kuranes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burkeus View Post
    This is the way I feel as well. You write so beautifully.. or is it I who wrote this? :
    Thanks !

    "Strangers passing in the street; by chance two separate glances meet, and I am you and what I see is me. And do I take you by the hand, and lead you through the land, and help me understand the best I can? "

    "Weary strangers' faces show their sympathy. They've seen that hope before."

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    Quote Originally Posted by burkeus View Post
    Well, maybe so.

    I wonder if you know this: when someone falls into a coma they are still able to hear other people talking to them.
    Yes, the Damasio link in my post may be of interest to you in that regard. Did you hear the story ( I don't know if it is true ) that Mel Blanc was in a coma, and they'd been trying to get him out of it for a long time, unsuccessfully. It was reportedly getting close to the time when something perhaps irrevocable would have to decided upon. Mel's son said "Let me try something" and leaned towards Mel.

    The son spoke one phrase distinctively, and it was enough to break through to Mel and he woke up !! Can you tell me what that one phrase was ?
    "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
    Reichsfuhrer Herman Goering at the Nuremburg trials.

  8. #18
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    I would much, much rather feel alone than to share and suddenly be mobbed by people trying to make me feel better -- Oh God, I can't explain how many times that has happened before. It's just better to feel alone.

    ---

    I knew an ENTJ once... I bitched about school once, and she demanded that I stop talking about it because essentially the same thing was happening to her and it was so overwhelmingly horrible that she wasn't going to allow me to talk about it because I couldn't possibly have compared to her pains.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  9. #19
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    Hap - people who are genuinely interested in helping you will not 'mob' you... people who do that are, IME, well-intentioned but really, at heart, they're doing it for their own gratification rather than for your sake. If someone cares genuinely about you then they do what is best for YOU, which includes leaving you alone and giving you space when you need it.

    In fact, that's pretty poignant to me cos that's happened before, where somebody has been used to a church scene full of busy-body do-gooders who tend to do more harm than good a lot of the time, and because this was her experience of what happens when you show that you're struggling, she learned to put on a brave face and soldier on alone. Eventually became acutely depressed, and still considered this a better alternative than having her life taken over by do-gooders. Which actually, I can understand... though it makes me frustrated to see it happening. And makes it harder for people who genuinely want to help from genuine care about that person (rather than buying a stairway to heaven, so to speak), to actually GET to help... because people push them away
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

  10. #20
    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    usually it is that i am suspicious that i am not alone in my thinking, when i'd prefer to be the only one

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