• schopenhauer1
    2.1k
    As the question states.
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    So I can "learn German", "read philosophy", "listen to music", sleep and avoid pain.
  • Waya
    857
    I am alive to attempt to bring love, hope, and joy to other beings. Even though I don't always succeed, those are my goals, and I want to work towards them. A life lived for oneself is shallow and meaningless, believe me. Without living for something, or someone, greater than myself, I have no purpose.
  • Abdul
    34
    Well said. My answer exactly
  • Akanthinos
    1k
    At the end of everyday, seconds after I've snuggled into my bed, my cat comes and spoons me, right under my armpit. In the last five years of cohabitation, she has perhaps failed to do so 2 or 3 times.
  • JustSomeGuy
    307
    I live for life. For the experience. Occasionally I still get in a funk and question what the point is, but I always remember--either on my own or with the help of others--that life has no point.

    The only purpose of life is to live it. To do it for it's own sake. Like watching a sunset, or listening to a symphony, or dancing. You aren't trying to accomplish anything in these activities. There is no higher purpose beyond the experience itself. Life is the same.
  • JustSomeGuy
    307
    I should add for clarification, when I say life has no point or purpose, I'm only speaking of inherent purpose. But this lack of purpose is exactly what allows us to give our lives whatever purpose we want them to have, which is an incredible thing.
  • Buxtebuddha
    1.8k
    To find love in all things and smile.
  • StreetlightX
    2.9k
    I live for living-for.
  • ChrisH
    28
    I want to know what's going to happen next.
  • schopenhauer1
    2.1k
    k
    So I can "learn German", "read philosophy", "listen to music", sleep and avoid pain.
    darthbarracuda



    I live to see why others live. It amazes me the things that people say to keep going everyday. I mean, it is all instrumental- we live but for surviving, finding a more comfortable circumstance, and keeping entertained and out of boredom's clutches, but the attempts at some aspirational faith (see here: aspirational faith article) is quite amusing. If you teach yourself to believe long enough and hard enough, maybe you will actually believe it. But is it just fooling ourselves? Swinging from one hope-vine to the next; getting starry-eyed for lofty visions of grandeur?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Building my business, learning more, faith, and helping my country, simple.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    But is it just fooling ourselves? Swinging from one hope-vine to the next; getting starry-eyed for lofty visions of grandeur?schopenhauer1
    >:O >:O >:O No it's not. You may be swinging from one hope-vine to the next, I'm stuck on the same one.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Those who are restless and anxious, always running from this and that and not knowing what to do - they are to be pitied, for they are already dead. To be alive means precisely to chase after this and that, for no other reason than the chase itself. It is overflowing energy, which must be dissipated - those who are restless and anxious, they have very little energy, and therefore they don't do anything, and are depressed. But how is it possible that intense energy flow through a man or a woman, and not have them move mountains?

    Depression is just that - a low energy state - we're talking of psychological energy here. You barely have energy to even get out of bed in the morning... you struggle to even brush the teeth! To take the same toothbrush every day, and every day do the same old motions, over and over again. That must take great energy - and when there is little energy, it becomes a chore, almost impossible to do.

    And yet, there are people in their 90s, crooked and barely able to move, and yet they do move and don't complain. Why? Because they have great psychological energy - their bodies may be old, but their minds are young.

    And then, there are people in their 20s who stay on their bed the whole day starring at the ceiling. Why? Their body is 20, but their mind is 90!
  • bahman
    530
    Searching for the meaning.
  • schopenhauer1
    2.1k
    I'm stuck on the same oneAgustino

    The concept of hubris is as old as the Greeks, maybe older!
  • JustSomeGuy
    307


    Very well said.

    What can be done, though, by someone with low psychological energy (depression) to remedy their situation? How does one increase their psychological energy?
  • matt
    77
    Exercise and eat healthy. Anti-depressants.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Anti-depressants.matt
    No. Those don't give you energy, you just no longer feel sad.

    Exercise and eat healthy.matt
    To a certain extent. Those are good, but they already require energy to undertake.

    What can be done, though, by someone with low psychological energy (depression) to remedy their situation?JustSomeGuy
    I'm not really sure. I can distinguish between the two states, and it is like seeing the world differently when you switch between them, but that switching is difficult. It's like seeing one object red, and then suddenly seeing the same object yellow. It's hard to give a "how" - you see, looking for a "how" seems to be part of the problem, since depression and low psychological energy often lead to rumination and compulsive thinking. So seeking a "how" is often a compulsive thing and is actually a manifestation of the problem.

    To give an example. When I was 12-14 and played video games, I remember that I would often end up compulsively researching how to be the best at a certain game (say Counter-Strike), rather than actually playing the game. It was so hilarious because I was reading about "What is the best weapon?", "How To Get The First Shot In", "How to get more headshots", and other such questions, and I spent more time compulsively researching than actually playing. And each of those questions didn't really have a clear answer, but there were a whole host of competing answers! So, I kept jumping from answer to answer thinking I now have the holy grail and can finally play at my best (that thought and good feeling didn't last long, soon I was back to compulsive research after I started doubting each of the answers I had read :P ).

    I think in life many things don't have a how, and most people do things without having a how. A how is not necessary. You don't need a how to move your legs, you just do it. It is the mind that creates the problem. Before you first kissed a girl, you were so worried about "how" - how to do it? And then when you actually do it, you find out that the "how" is irrelevant, because you don't follow it anyway - you just do it - naturally - the same way you move your legs.

    There are a lot of contributing factors for low psychological energy though. Beliefs, attitudes and expectations are part of it. If you have the wrong beliefs, the wrong expectations and the wrong attitudes, you're going to dig yourself in a hole. Studying stoicism is useful in that regard. Mindfulness also helps bring those into awareness and learn to manage the underlying emotions.

    Being around negative & discouraging people is another thing that can pull you down, depending again on your beliefs, attitudes and expectations. For example, growing up, my family was always very negativistic, pessimistic, and discouraging of everything. So I internalised this very negative attitude and pessimism. So if you let what other people think or say of you, then you can be in trouble. For example, if someone says "You can't do X", and you let that affect you, then you may really be unable to do X. A healthy attitude to have towards what others say is to realise that what they say objectively does not affect what you're capable of or not. So if they say negative things, they're actually doing you no harm - the only moment when harm is done is if you take what they say as truth. So depending on your social circumstances, your age, etc., you may have to live around such people, sometimes, if you're married to such a person for example, for your whole life. So then you need to adjust so that you don't react to negative things they say about you anymore.

    Another issue is that you may not accept being a certain way. For example, maybe you're an introvert and prefer to spend time alone, but your society pushes you to live like an extrovert - then no wonder you'll be miserable so long as you accept what your society forces on you.

    Also, social expectations can pull you down. For example, you may not have a girlfriend or boyfriend, and your society tells you that you must have one to live a worthy life. So then, you may be depressed, thinking that you're in a really bad place, and you're doing something wrong. So learning not to care about social expectations, and love your fate, is also quite freeing.

    And the other issue is when you're too much goal-focused rather than process focused. When you're goal-focused and things are going great - then you'll be ecstatic and you will have abounding energy. But when you're goal-focused and things aren't going great... then you will often lose energy very quickly. One way to be less goal-focused is to not care about the result so much. So, for example, you can play chess always thinking about winning, or you can play chess focusing on what's the next move you should make, and not caring if you win or lose. The process-focused way seems more sustainable psychologically. Obsession with winning is, paradoxically, one of the things that can prevent you from winning.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    The concept of hubris is as old as the Greeks, maybe older!schopenhauer1
    Yes, what about it? You mean to say that I'm a prime example of it? :D
  • CasKev
    389
    @JustSomeGuy @schopenhauer1

    I continue to exist because I can't bear the thought of causing unwanted suffering in others, even though I would likely not be around to witness it. I also fear the result of a failed suicide attempt, ending up with an even worse set of circumstances (partial brain damage, paralyzation).

    Being 'trapped in life' this way, I aim to do things that will minimize suffering or maximize long-term contentment. I take antidepressant medication, undergo repetitive trans-cranial magnetic stimulation once a month (another treatment for depression), talk to a counselor when life's stresses are high (like now, while I'm fighting my ex's potential move with my daughters to a city 6 hours away), work a steady job, exercise regularly, stick to a decent diet, get an adequate amount of sleep, and pay attention to the people in my life that matter.

    It may sound like a pretty dismal perspective, but by doing all of these things, I manage to maintain a decent mood most of the time, and enjoy a lot of what life brings. Thoughts of the ultimate pointlessness of existence have less power when I maintain this feel-good regime.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I continue to exist because I can't bear the thought of causing unwanted suffering in others, even though I would likely not be around to witness it. I also fear the result of a failed suicide attempt, ending up with an even worse set of circumstances (partial brain damage, paralyzation).CasKev
    Why are you in such a hurry? Wait a little longer, we all die anyway. You will not escape from that, so don't be worried. Just hang around as much as you can, death will come by itself anyway.
  • bahman
    530
    I continue to exist because I can't bear the thought of causing unwanted suffering in others, even though I would likely not be around to witness it. I also fear the result of a failed suicide attempt, ending up with an even worse set of circumstances (partial brain damage, paralyzation).CasKev

    Worst than that, there could be a life after death!
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Also, @Wosret's advice which I have recently started following has proven to be very good too. It's called not giving a shit about what happens. Or in more formal terms, as Krishnamurti said, the secret is not to care what happens next (and by that, I don't mean not to want certain things to happen, but rather not to be attached to them happening).
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Thoughts of the ultimate pointlessness of existence have less power when I maintain this feel-good regime.CasKev
    Why is pointlessness even relevant? If existence had a point it would be rectilinear... no just kidding. If existence had a point, you'd be complaining why does it have a point?! Now you're not free to do whatever you want, you have to chase this point! And failure to reach that point will be terrible. You cry now, when it has no point, but just imagine what you'd be doing if it did have a point >:O
  • CasKev
    389
    @Agustino

    I think the problem is that I spent a good portion of my life chasing the wrong points, and the consequences of those actions are interfering with my chasing the right points... haha
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I think the problem is that I spent a good portion of my life chasing the wrong points, and the consequences of those actions are interfering with my chasing the right points... hahaCasKev
    I think more important than chasing the right or wrong points is chasing what Nassim Taleb calls optionality - the possibility to change route at any time. You never want to corner yourself.
  • matt
    77
    No. Those don't give you energy, you just no longer feel sad.Agustino

    To a certain extent. Those are good, but they already require energy to undertake.Agustino

    Good point, but these should address the real issue (the depression). And with that relief, it will be easier to take action. Negative thoughts will fade for a time. It all comes down making the effort to take action. Action drives passion and visa versa.
  • CasKev
    389
    When I was 12-14 and played video games, I remember that I would often end up compulsively researching how to be the best at a certain gameAgustino

    I think that's a common drive for a lot of people; one that comes from this learned need to be somehow different from or better than others. I know this played a large role for most of my life, and lingers on despite having recognized it for what it really is. For example, I get some small satisfaction at being the #1 Word Buzz player in the world (and from letting other people know! haha), despite it having no real use in my life aside from passing the time.
  • CasKev
    389
    Why is pointlessness even relevant?Agustino

    It probably doesn't help that I work at an old-age home, where most of the people don't know who they are anymore, can't carry a conversation, and/or have to wear diapers and can't wipe their own butts. Seeing people in varying states of mental and physical decay is a constant reminder of what we're all working toward...
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