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Existentialism Stinks
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JemCheeta
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar, that quote is absolutely wonderful, exactly how I would put it.
That meaning, the meaning we put into it, has a different flavor and a different effect on us. Before, with a meaning that had been handed down to me, I was basically asked to serve that meaning, and sacrifice my individual ideas for a truth that could not be questioned. I could have my own 'take' on that truth, but in effect, it was saying that the answers were already there and I had nothing to worry about except following the rules.
Now, I create my meaning, and in that, I gain pride in myself that I've never had access to. If I make a change on the world and on those around me, I take credit for it, along with those that have affected me. It makes everything more exciting.
Humm...you know, its occuring to me that in a way it removes the very necessity for a purpose in life, and makes life the purpose, the living of it.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JemCheeta wrote:
...in a way it removes the very necessity for a purpose in life, and makes life the purpose, the living of it.


I Couldn't have put it better myself. The purpose of life is to live. How we live (i.e. the nature of that purpose) is up to us.

We decide on the value of any given thing, and, as you say, can take pride in the excercise of our own personal meanings.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jem, your last post was excellent!!

You folks likely don't know that Furls Fire once dubbed me Quote King. Here's a few I've posted before, here or at the Hangar.

This one is Bernard on Northern Exposure:
Quote:
"Your existence has no meaning. None at all. And if you donít come to grips with that, youíre gonna continue to lead a incomplete, unfulfilled, totally neurotic life. Now normally, Iím loathe to give advice, but, if I were you, Iíd learn how to sit still; to face the abyss; to embrace it; to do nothing."


These next five are from David Zindell's Neverness, the first of four books in what might be the best exploration of such matters that fantasy/sci-fi has to offer:
Quote:
"The secret of life is life: It goes on and on, and that's all there is."
Quote:
There was no secret; there was only the crushing bondage of being, and finally when it was time to be no more, nothingness.
Quote:
-Oh, ho, listen, Man, and we'll tell you everything! Do you hear the waves whispering the secret? We know you know, Man. The secret of life is just sheer joy, and joy is everywhere. Joy is what we were made for. It is in the rush of the nighttime surf and in the beach rocks and in the salt and the air and in the water we breathe and deep, deep within the blood. And the sifting ocean sands and the wriggling silverfish and the hooded greens of the shallows and the purple deeps and in the oyster's crusty shell and the pink reefs and even in the muck of the ocean's floor, joy, joy, joy!

-No, life is pain, I know. There's a poem; I remember some of it: "We're born in our mother's pain and perish in our own."
Quote:
"All my life - and it's been a long life, hasn't it? - I've spent every moment trying to figure out why I was alive. My own private quest, Pilot. Now you say the Eddas are inside me; you tell me I have only to remember and...and what? You say I'll learn the secret of life on a higher level of existence. Butr life's life, isn't it? There's always misery, yes; and the higher the level of existence, the greater the misery. I've had enough - do you understand? I, Leopold Soli...I. I, like the Timekeeper - enough. How can there ever be an answer? All my life I thought I was learning how to live. But I knew nothing, did I? Justine knew everything. Yes, I'll sled on to Kweitkel and live with the Devaki, if they'll let me. We were happy there once, Justine and I. Do you remember?
Quote:
"I'll tell you what I know, what I've deduced. And what I've seen. I'll tell you everything."

He opened his eyes, and they were as wet and blue as the icy sea. "Tell me how to make love last. Isn't that the secret of the universe?"

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah!! The Quote King riseth once again!! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Green Wave
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great quotes Fist, I particularly like the first one.

Reminds me of old Nietzsche, who said:

Quote:
Remember, that when you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks also into you.


Wink

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Powerful stuff, definately.
I worry though, a lot of those, and a lot of the discussion about the subject, only deals with the very first feelings of hopelessness and despair that came with the idea. I definately see where that is coming from, I just went through it recently. It is such an odd psychological phenomenon, but it seems more like an awakening than a loss.
Everything is a little odd, I really don't know how to describe it. If anyone has any positive quotes about it, let me know
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile

I've got a positive quote on the subject for you:

JemCheeta wrote:
Before, with a meaning that had been handed down to me, I was basically asked to serve that meaning, and sacrifice my individual ideas for a truth that could not be questioned...Now, I create my meaning, and in that, I gain pride in myself that I've never had access to.


You make a good point in your prevous post too. Although perhaps a certain amount of despair is inevitable at first, especially if you had always thought that there was supposed to be meaning, once you come to terms with it on your own grounds, it can be a liberating realisation. The realisation that you and you alone are responsible for whatever life turns out to mean to you.

We must always make the most of it. Lack of external "reason" should provide the impetus for internal "reason", a reason which we create, perhaps daily, for ourselves. It is not necessary to assume that the lack of some over-riding "plan" make everything "pointless". Do the best you can, and that is all anyone can realistically expect.

Of course, you must decide what "the best" that you can do is, and it's up to you how honest you are about it, to yourself.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, philosophy is only important if I can bring it back to the everyday living of life.. so I'm trying to do that with this, and the first feelings I'm getting aren't helplessness or a smallness of being, but instead more like an increase in importance... it sends my whole view on philosophy out the window on one hand, but brings it all back with the other.

My philosophy was, and is I suppose, platonic in nature. Socrates puts the goal of human existence on personal happiness. And I've got nothing better to do than be happy Smile
There was, before, the idea of a giant metaphysical GOOD for humanity, and while my faith and quest for that idea has been diminished, most of the ideas that he presented still apply. Which is very convenient! I'm glad I wasn't a fundamentalist when I went through this or I might have just killed myself Razz
But anyway, there are two feelings that I'm getting
the first one is the most exciting. It's NEWNESS. Like a totally new view of the world, coming out of a stagnant thought process that wasn't taking me anywhere but right here. It feels like a new period of growth when I had (cynically) felt as though I was done with new periods of growth. That also suggests that there will be future periods of growth, and that definately lends itself to making life worth living.
Also, I sort of feel like I can be the star of my own movie... I know how cheesy that sounds, but if I had believed in God, I would have felt like I was a small part of a divine plan, and unimportant in comparison to other things. Without all that stuff, I'm just as important as everyone else. Existentialism goes very well with what I learned in kindergarten it seems Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of a "Giant Metaphysical Good", but not for humanity, for individuals.

I agree that happiness is a vital goal. Without it, everything else seems mere dross. I once read:
"If you have to move even one inch from where you are now to be happy, chances are you never will be."

And I like that. I have the ability to be happy, almost regardless of what I'm doing, of what my circumstances are. But it's not without its inherent dangers either. It makes it easier to get into a "rut". That's something I constantly have to beware of.

There are always periods of growth ahead. The trick lies in recognising them when they happen. If we don't constantly re-evaluate ourselves and our opinions, we may never realise how we are growing.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we've violently hijacked the 'existentialism stinks' thread pretty completely. Heheheh. There should have been a seperate "Existentialism rawks" thread.... oh well
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL

JemCheeta wrote:
"Existentialism rawks"


Well, it looks like it does. For the participants anyway. Wink

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