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9-5-x here.

Yesterday I literally stared at the ceiling for hours, thinking about how nothing matters. And not just thinking about it but feeling vastly empty. Like nothing I can do - no activity or thought - will fill this void because it's all inherently meaningless and fleeting. Normally I can get by with hanging with friends, listening to good music, and philosophizing, but these things only serve as temporary distractions from the nothingness. The emptiness is ever-present and distractions only work for so long before they too become part of the void.

I don't know what to do. How do I get out of this, how can I find meaning?
 

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Hey.
I'm a 5-9-x and get those feelings a lot.
I think the good thing is that you realize that no activity, physical object, or even person will be able to fill your need for meaning.
I think the best way to deal with the void is to own it. I'm a bit nihilistic. I believe that probably nothing does have inherent value. But there you are, with all this empty space in you; And that space is yours. It's your freedom, in a way. That void can look like a black hole. But it's also a blank canvas (sorry for the cheese). You, as an individual, have every right and responsibility to fill your space however you decide to. If you have the powers of 9 and 5, I can believe you possess a great imagination. Let the emptiness be your resting place, your sanctuary for peace and protection. Once you are at peace, you can begin dreaming and imagining the world you would like to live in. That world is yours. Your inner landscapes. That is the place made specifically for you; a place no one can take or destroy. That will be your strength. You are wise not to expect meaning from the outside world! You are the creator of meaning. There will always be some pain in the emptiness. But remember it is only for a season. Take it as growing pains. Explore that space. But don't passively accept it. That place is your ultimate freedom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey.
I'm a 5-9-x and get those feelings a lot.
I think the good thing is that you realize that no activity, physical object, or even person will be able to fill your need for meaning.
I think the best way to deal with the void is to own it. I'm a bit nihilistic. I believe that probably nothing does have inherent value. But there you are, with all this empty space in you; And that space is yours. It's your freedom, in a way. That void can look like a black hole. But it's also a blank canvas (sorry for the cheese). You, as an individual, have every right and responsibility to fill your space however you decide to. If you have the powers of 9 and 5, I can believe you possess a great imagination. Let the emptiness be your resting place, your sanctuary for peace and protection. Once you are at peace, you can begin dreaming and imagining the world you would like to live in. That world is yours. Your inner landscapes. That is the place made specifically for you; a place no one can take or destroy. That will be your strength. You are wise not to expect meaning from the outside world! You are the creator of meaning. There will always be some pain in the emptiness. But remember it is only for a season. Take it as growing pains. Explore that space. But don't passively accept it. That place is your ultimate freedom.
Thank you. That is quite inspiring
 
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I fill my void with pretty things. Not in a shopping sense, just in an appreciation sense. I make myself appreciate the beauty of what's around me and in the world. It may not have inherent meaning but it fills the senses and gives one a reason to take another breath.
 

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9-5-x here.

Yesterday I literally stared at the ceiling for hours, thinking about how nothing matters. And not just thinking about it but feeling vastly empty. Like nothing I can do - no activity or thought - will fill this void because it's all inherently meaningless and fleeting. Normally I can get by with hanging with friends, listening to good music, and philosophizing, but these things only serve as temporary distractions from the nothingness. The emptiness is ever-present and distractions only work for so long before they too become part of the void.

I don't know what to do. How do I get out of this, how can I find meaning?
Meaning isn't found, it's made. Start there.
 

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I don't even think about meaning. I live every day and activity as its own moment. I don't necessarily plan ahead anymore, and I have pretty much everything I need in life except companionship--which will come in time. I've found that creating a system of defined perception only makes me feel bogged down and smothered, eventually wanting to destroy who I am all over again. As for staying in nihilism, that's just absurd. Life's a lot easier, and much more fun, when you stop caring and start living. Perhaps as a start, try reading of Romantics. Most of them wrote what they do because they've been there / done that.
 
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If we take the position that nothing has inherent value, then that means you have the freedom to ascribe personal meaning to things and alter them to become something of value to you.

That seems convenient. To not be imposed meaning from the outside and to be able to choose what is meaningful and what isn't in your life.

If you want to choose to give priority to nihilistic thoughts in such a fashion, then you have ironically decided to make it something that matters to you in life. But you can always take your pencil and make your story a bit more interesting.
 

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Nothing matters man... it's true... everything is just a circle without an objective meaning. Find what makes you happy as a person and as individual. You don't need to find the meaning for the whole universe, you just need to find the meaning of your own life.
 

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I think the best way to deal with the void is to own it.
I can get pretty nihilistic too! I kinda live with a sense of dread and emptiness a lot of the time. I find myself completely unable to believe in God or that there is, in fact, anything at all to stand on. And it's funny, I think I also "own it" as a way of dealing with it. I come at it from the standpoint of, "OK, assuming life is meaningless and that horrible things happen to good people for no reason, have happened to me, will happen to me again in the future, and then I'll die and become nothing at all, how do I want to approach life? How can I find energy and joy and happiness?"

I'm laughing reading that over because it sounds so overwhelmingly morbid and I think my friends would be horrified. But I take the question seriously. And there are two answers I have:

1. I am here to help other people, to provide comfort and ease their suffering. One thing we know for sure is that suffering is real, and it sucks. (It would then follow that other people are here to help me... it's all quite circular, but whatever, no one said your life philosophy wasn't allowed to be circular.)
2. No meaning or purpose is necessary if you're truly living in the moment. As I write this post I'm thinking only about the best words to use and how to get at the truth. All questions about what my purpose is, or how to go on if nothing means anything, fade away.

I'm pretty content with that. I DO feel that life is essentially meaningless and purposeless in the traditional sense of those words, and yet living as much as I can within the space of the two beliefs above allows me to experience tremendous joy.

"Owning it" also means I feel as though I'm dancing around the edge of the void, my knowledge of its depth and horror making all the good things about life feel sharper and more exquisite. I like to be able to hold both inside me. But I think to be able to feel that sort of thing requires being a true participator in life -- which, I admit, I'm only able to do some of the time.

But back to the main question --

To get out of where you are requires action. Are there things you know you should be doing, but aren't doing?
 

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It's not necessarily the fear of being seen as ignorant & dumb that fuels my desire for knowledge, even though I'd hate to be seen that way so I'm sure it probably has something to do with it.

I'm fascinated by human behavior throughout history, specifically how people perceived their own behavior. Slave owners, Nazi's, doctors performing lobotomies - so SURE that what they knew was right.
 

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Meaning is what you make it to be.
It's a subjective print on a set of objective systems, events and activities.

I'm dark, nihilistic and yet curious, ambitious, full of humor and attitude.
Human nature is fucked up in a lot of ways but that doesn't include everyone.
Passion, knowledge, grits, calculations and irony will get you through.
 

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I felt the same a while ago. I felt that nothing matters and that I should just kill myself. Now I think that while nothing might matter, how can you be sure? Maybe there is more meaning than we can think of. I accepted that I'll never know anything for sure, so I just try to live feeling the best I can, because I think feeling fine is the best way to know you are doing things right. Of course that's very simplified, but you get the idea.
 

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the whole talk is worth listening to, but the part about finding your self may be more germane
 

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This is a good topic. As an 8 I have enormous will power and self belief even in reduced circumstamces. It can be challenging at times. I struggle at times to give advice for 5's that don't care enough. I wind up influencing a lower 5 slowly by day to day and week to week stuff over time and sometimes they will take little things here and there and use them, do them, show interest. If I know a 5 really struggling, I usually give space a while and infrequently check in to let them know I am still there. Or I let them contact me once every long while and I let them know I am still there.
 

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The idea of filling your inner landscape with meaning is good. I'm not exactly nihilistic but I do fear and cower away from the underlying idea of meaningless, seeking for meaning...because truly, that's the way reality appears to be. Hopeless with no chance of improving it.

You can try and see meaning in the every day world though. There's a blog I follow who posted something quite amazing and inspiring to me.

You can find meaning in the small things, in interactions, in people, in animals, nature - anything. Look below the surface. Find what is hidden.

The example this person provided was of a flight they were on and an encounter with a seemingly bright and cheerful man. They met and made conversation when eventually, this person asked the man what was troubling him. The man broke and confessed to crippling problems, despite barely having a crack in his façade. This person could sense somehow that something was off, there was more depth to this than just cheer.

My point is - dig beneath that which you perceive at first glance. Look for the hidden sides to everything, a 'mystery' to be uncovered and explored. In the grand scheme of things, it may again mean nothing, but it makes the world a more interesting, less empty space.
 
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