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Long story short, my life is a complete failure. It’s full of wrong decisions, (in)actions, regrets, mistakes after mistakes, that I honestly think maybe it’s already too late to “fix everything” (eg: I’m losing all the good chances/opportunities, as I’m getting old now). It’s really ironic & tragic, because a lot of people always say that I’m very talented especially in music (I used to be quite an active musician & composer/songwriter, but sadly I’m still not famous & successful), smart, a deep thinker, a highly sensitive person, etc etc.

I am also an idealist, meaning that I actually have a BIG vision & idea for the future of civilization/mankind/humanity, to make a real progress & “leap jump” in the future. For example, I seriously think that the real, truest “meaning of life” is to make a HUGE progress, a sort of evolution, for the future. And for our Human species, in my opinion, the real purpose is to unlock our wildest potential: our human’s Imagination. And I’m talking about all those most creative, artistic, & imaginative human’s minds for example like in all those most imaginative, fantasy, sci-fi movies, games, novels, comics, anime/manga, and any other most amazing work of arts. So in my opinion, our humanity/mankind/civilization’s most important & biggest task is to turn all those imaginations into a reality. And that’s why I’m now a big/huge proponent & supporter, as well as very interested in technology such as: Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and also Artificial Intelligence (AI), and also some thinking & concepts such as Transhumanism. But then again, sadly, the problem is I don’t know how to reach all those dreams & ideas of mine. And that is really depressing.

I’m a Chinese-Indonesian, living in Jakarta (Indonesia). And the biggest problem is the culture/society here, also the mindset of the people here. They’re all still mostly very conservative, traditional, & outdated mindset/perspective about life. Especially with my Asian/Chinese-Indonesian parents for example, they still only think that the only “meaning of life” or “purpose” is simply just to survive, find a good job (or business), and make money, & then get married, have kids/children, etc etc. But for me, this can’t be all there is to life; Life should be so much more than that! But then, another biggest problem that I do realize and finally admit now is that, sadly, perhaps it’s all due to the many flaws in my personalities too: I listen too much to what other people/person say, I care too much (deeply), I’m easily down & depressed, & I also lack the ‘drive’/energy/motivation (and this is why perhaps I appear to be just “lazy” in the eyes of most people, including in my parents’ eyes), especially this year, when my Existential Depression just getting so much worse to the point of even being suicidal (having suicidal thoughts/fantasy/ideations almost everyday).

I’m 38 years old this year, and here I am now, in reality, I’m still living with my parents, almost can be viewed as jobless/unemployed, or even a hikikomori (a shut-in recluse only staying at my room most of the time). The situation is now even getting much worse, with my family/parents’ problems, stress, plus now my little brother is also a depressed shut-in just like me, so my Chinese father especially, who is almost 70 years old now, is really disappointed, stressed, & perhaps even having a (severe) depression, because in his eyes, his sons are still a complete failure, and a total loser, because we are still not financially independent, still living in their houses & dependent on them for food, bills, etc etc. I’m also basically jobless/unemployed, and not interested at all to run his (my father’s) businesses, which are also currently going through perhaps the most difficult time of all times (financially, I don’t know & really afraid that perhaps even my parents’ money will run out soon or later), especially due to this COVID-19/corona pandemic situation.

I also don’t know what to do. I’m lost, confused, depressed, suicidal, & feel like an alien. I can’t relate to most people/Human beings. I’m too “way out”, lost in my own thoughts, idealisms, visions, & all these “big/huge ideas” that I basically just don’t know anymore HOW/WHAT to do? Reality is depressing, very depressing, boring, limiting, & to be honest, this whole existence is just stupid, pointless, & meaningless for me now. My existential depression/crisis is getting much worse now, probably even the worst now, like I’ve said above, everyday now I’m even having suicidal ideations/fantasy/thoughts, and for me now, I’m seriously thinking that perhaps to die (death) is better than to live (just only to survive/for survival everyday).
 

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I’m also 38 and feel like I haven’t found my true calling in life. I’ve started trying to find answers to questions like ‘who am I?’, ‘what motivates me?’ and ‘what makes me happy?’. I completed a personality test where I came up as an INFP and it’s inspired me to try to learn more about myself through this. One idea I’ve had is to speak with other INFP’s, see if they’re asking the same questions and see what answers, if any, they have found.

Have you done much travelling Niki?
 

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Woah, 38. I still imagine myself to be naive, everything about me gives me away the only way I know how to express myself is by showing my real, most deepest and valued emotions and I think you sound not much different from. For starters, don't look at a life as though you past can dictate your future because by identify with your age of 38 it shows that maybe you missed your past days. I wish you well with your music, it's sounds like you use your words very well, I would imagine that you still could be successful or famous or both at what you do, so don't give up and live every day as though it's your last. It's funny what makes a person's mind tick so just stick to your guns and strive to be s better you, Niki.
 

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It sounds like you are being too hard on yourself. How about starting small? Can you do one happy thing today? One happy thought - one act of kindness? Even if it is just smiling at a family member? And then, write it down and be proud of yourself.

For me, action usually helps me to stop the spiral and get out of my funk, but if I let myself think too big, then it is overwhelming and I shutdown altogether. I know value is not based on what I do, but rather, who I am -- but, sometimes moving in a direction - even a small movement - reminds me of who I am.

**Also, I wanted to add that if we focus too much on what we are incapable of, it can feel like we are incapable of everything. We (and I'm speaking to myself here) need to give life to what we are capable of, even if it is small.
 

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I used to be like you. I as well have made two albums and didn't become a successful musician but what a great experience it was and I still play music to this day because I enjoy it. Music relaxes me and sometimes I inspire a few people but that's not my main motivation. Through time I realized that just being born is enough. I am a perfect soul and I am just as important as anyone else regardless of my accomplishments or lack threreof. Wayne Dyer's famous line really helped me to just be me. Do nothing and everything gets done. You are here to experience life. That's it. You are part of the source and you will return to the source. There is nothing to do, accomplish or be. Actually that's the key. Just be. You are perfect just the way you are.

 

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I am also an idealist, meaning that I actually have a BIG vision & idea for the future of civilization/mankind/humanity, to make a real progress & “leap jump” in the future. For example, I seriously think that the real, truest “meaning of life” is to make a HUGE progress, a sort of evolution, for the future. And for our Human species, in my opinion, the real purpose is to unlock our wildest potential: our human’s Imagination.
Thank God there are no customers for your fantasies!

And I’m talking about all those most creative, artistic, & imaginative human’s minds for example like in all those most imaginative, fantasy, sci-fi movies, games, novels, comics, anime/manga, and any other most amazing work of arts.
So you think commercial trivial culture is great art? You don't seem to be an art expert either, and you probably have no idea what people like Freud and Jung read when they were just teenagers.

make a HUGE progress
It seems to me that it is you who needs to make ‘HUGE progress’ in the first place.

I am also an idealist
they still only think that the only “meaning of life” or “purpose” is simply just to survive, find a good job (or business), and make money, & then get married, have kids/children, etc etc. But for me, this can’t be all there is to life; Life should be so much more than that!
Life is what it is, it isn’t what it ‘should be’. I’m tempted to say that you should be much more now than you are.

jobless/unemployed, or even a hikikomori (a shut-in recluse only staying at my room most of the time)
The delusions of grandeur burst as soon as they come into contact with the society you hardly know but strangely enough want to reform in the most radical way. An unconnected brain, living in a cupboard in a poorly ventilated room, can easily imagine that it can redeem the world, just think of INF Hitler.

my Chinese father especially, who is almost 70 years old now, is really disappointed, stressed, & perhaps even having a (severe) depression, because in his eyes, his sons are still a complete failure, and a total loser, because we are still not financially independent, still living in their houses & dependent on them for food, bills, etc etc.
and not interested at all to run his (my father’s) businesses, which are also currently going through perhaps the most difficult time of all times (financially, I don’t know & really afraid that perhaps even my parents’ money will run out soon or later)
I am also an idealist, meaning that
It was immediately clear to me that the restriction ‘meaning that’ was also meant as a poor excuse. You want to be the great benefactor of humanity, but you are too self-centred to consider the needs of the people with whom you live and who inspire your – not particularly precious – fantasies. I just say ISFJ.

You were privileged for the first 38 years of your life and obviously did nothing more than daydream a little, and now you want to impress with the suicide idea. Now that you are at war you threaten to desert to the afterlife. I'm not impressed! It is possible to live a life beyond the ordinary without compromising yourself, but not every fool can do that. If you have such great abilities, you should be able to use them to make money for yourself and your family without overloading your brain. The creativity of INFPs has something to do with their unmatched independence from the outside world (I, N, F, P), but that is also their downfall, as good advice goes unheeded, as in your case.


Thomas Nagel: The Absurd

Most people feel on occasion that life is absurd, and some feel it vividly and continually. Yet the reasons usually offered in defense of this conviction are patently inadequate: they could not really explain why life is absurd. Why then do they provide a natural expression for the sense that it is?

I​

Consider some examples. It is often remarked that nothing we do now will matter in a million years. But if that is true, then by the same token, nothing that will be the case in a million years matters now. In particular, it does not matter now that in a million years nothing we do now will matter. Moreover, even if what we did now were going to matter in a million years, how could that keep our present concerns from being absurd? If their mattering now is not enough to accomplish that, how would it help if they mattered a million years from now?

Whether what we do now will matter in a million years could make the crucial difference only if its mattering in a million years depended on its mattering, period. But then to deny that whatever happens now will matter in a million years is to beg the question against its mattering, period; for in that sense one cannot know that it will not matter in a million years whether (for example) someone now is happy or miserable, without knowing that it does not matter, period.

What we say to convey the absurdity of our lives often has to do with space or time: we are tiny specks in the infinite vastness of the universe; our lives are mere instants even on a geological time scale, let alone a cosmic one; we will all be dead any minute. But of course none of these evident facts can be what makes life absurd, if it is absurd. For suppose we lived forever; would not a life that is absurd if it lasts seventy years be infinitely absurd if it lasted through eternity? And if our lives are absurd given our present size, why would they be any less absurd if we filled the universe (either because we were larger or because the universe was smaller)? …

III​

One may try to escape the position by seeking broader ultimate concerns, from which it is impossible to step back-the idea being that absurdity results because what we take seriously is something small and insignificant and individual. Those seeking to supply their lives with meaning usually envision a role or function in something larger than themselves. They therefore seek fulfillment in service to society, the state, the revolution, the progress of history, the advance of science, or religion and the glory of God.

But a role in some larger enterprise cannot confer significance unless that enterprise is itself significant. And its significance must come back to what we can understand, or it will not even appear to give us what we are seeking. If we learned that we were being raised to provide food for other creatures fond of human flesh, who planned to turn us into cutlets before we got too stringy-even if we learned that the human race had been developed by animal breeders precisely for this purpose-that would still not give our lives meaning, for two reasons. First, we would still be in the dark as to the significance of the lives of those other beings; second, although we might acknowledge that this culinary role would make our lives meaningful to them, it is not clear how it would make them meaningful to us.

Admittedly, the usual form of service to a higher being is different from this. One is supposed to behold and partake of the glory of God, for example, in a way in which chickens do not share in the glory of coq au vin. The same is true of service to a state, a movement, or a revolution. People can come to feel, when they are part of something bigger, that it is part of them too. They worry less about what is peculiar to themselves, but identify enough with the larger enterprise to find their role in it fulfilling.

However, any such larger purpose can be put in doubt in the same way that the aims of an individual life can be, and for the same reasons. It is as legitimate to find ultimate justification there as to find it earlier, among the details of individual life. But this does not alter the fact that justifications come to an end when we are content to have them end-when we do not find it necessary to look any further. If we can step back from the purposes of individual life and doubt their point, we can step back also from the progress of human history, or of science, or the success of a society, or the kingdom, power, and glory of God,' and put all these things into question in the same way. What seems to us to confer meaning, justification, significance, does so in virtue of the fact that we need no more reasons after a certain point.

What makes doubt inescapable with regard to the limited aims of individual life also makes it inescapable with regard to any larger purpose that encourages the sense that life is meaningful. Once the fundamental doubt has begun, it cannot be laid to rest. … Consequently the absurdity of our situation derives not from a collision between our expectations and the world, but from a collision within ourselves.

VI​

In viewing ourselves from a perspective broader than we can occupy in the flesh, we become spectators of our own lives. We cannot do very much as pure spectators of our own lives, so we continue to lead them, and devote ourselves to what we are able at the same time to view as no more than a curiosity, like the ritual of an alien religion.

This explains why the sense of absurdity finds its natural expression in those bad arguments with which the discussion began. Reference to our small size and short lifespan and to the fact that all of mankind will eventually vanish without a trace are metaphors for the backward step which permits us to regard ourselves from without and to find the particular form of our lives curious and slightly surprising. By feigning a nebula's-eye view, we illustrate the capacity to see ourselves without presuppositions, as arbitrary, idiosyncratic, highly specific occupants of the world, one of countless possible forms of life.

Before turning to the question whether the absurdity of our lives is something to be regretted and if possible escaped, let me consider what would have to be given up in order to avoid it.

Why is the life of a mouse not absurd? The orbit of the moon is not absurd either, but that involves no strivings or aims at all. A mouse, however, has to work to stay alive. Yet he is not absurd, because he lacks the capacities for self-consciousness and self-transcendence that would enable him to see that he is only a mouse. If that did happen, his life would become absurd, since self-awareness would not make him cease to be a mouse and would not enable him to rise above his mousely strivings. Bringing his new-found self-consciousness with him, he would have to return to his meagre yet frantic life, full of doubts that he was unable to answer, but also full of purposes that he was unable to abandon.

Given that the transcendental step is natural to us humans, can we avoid absurdity by refusing to take that step and remaining entirely within our sublunar lives? Well, we cannot refuse consciously, for to do that we would have to be aware of the viewpoint we were refusing to adopt. The only way to avoid the relevant self-consciousness would be either never to attain it or to forget it – neither of which can be achieved by the will.

On the other hand, it is possible to expend effort on an attempt to destroy the other component of the absurd-abandoning one's earthly, individual, human life in order to identify as completely as possible with that universal viewpoint from which human life seems arbitrary and trivial. (This appears to be the ideal of certain Oriental religions.) If one succeeds, then one will not have to drag the superior awareness through a strenuous mundane life, and absurdity will be diminished.

However, insofar as this self-etiolation is the result of effort, will-power, asceticism, and so forth, it requires that one take oneself seriously as an individual-that one be willing to take considerable trouble to avoid being creaturely and absurd. Thus one may undermine the aim of unworldliness by pursuing it too vigorously. Still, if someone simply allowed his individual, animal nature to drift and respond to impulse, without making the pursuit of its needs a central conscious aim, then he might, at considerable dissociative cost, achieve a life that was less absurd than most. It would not be a meaningful life either, of course; but it would not involve the engagement of a transcendent awareness in the assiduous pursuit of mundane goals. And that is the main condition of absurdity – the dragooning of an unconvinced transcendent consciousness into the service of an immanent, limited enterprise like a human life.

The final escape is suicide; but before adopting any hasty solutions, it would be wise to consider carefully whether the absurdity of our existence truly presents us with a problem, to which some solution must be found – a way of dealing with prima facie disaster. That is certainly the attitude with which Camus approaches the issue, and it gains support from the fact that we are all eager to escape from absurd situations on a smaller scale.

Camus – not on uniformly good grounds – rejects suicide and the other solultions he regards as escapist. What he recommends is defiance or scorn. We can salvage our dignity, he appears to believe, by shaking a fist at the world which is deaf to our pleas, and continuing to live in spite of it. This will not make our lives un-absurd, but it will lend them a certain nobility.

This seems to me romantic and slightly self-pitying. Our absurdity warrants neither that much distress nor that much defiance. At the risk of falling into romanticism by a different route, I would argue that absurdity is one of the most human things about us: a manifestation of our most advanced and interesting characteristics. Like skepticism in epistemology, it is possible only because we possess a certain kind of insight-the capacity to transcend ourselves in thought.

If a sense of the absurd is a way of perceiving our true situation (even though the situation is not absurd until the perception arises), then what reason can we have to resent or escape it? Like the capacity for epistemological skepticism, it results from the ability to understand our human limitations. It need not be a matter for agony unless we make it so. Nor need it evoke a defiant contempt of fate that allows us to feel brave or proud. Such dramatics, even if carried on in private, betray a failure to appreciate the cosmic unimportance of the situation. If sub specie aeternitatis there is no reason to believe that anything matters, then that doesn't matter either, and we can approach our absurd lives with irony instead of heroism or despair.

DOI: 10.2307/2024942
 

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Long story short, my life is a complete failure. It’s full of wrong decisions, (in)actions, regrets, mistakes after mistakes, that I honestly think maybe it’s already too late to “fix everything” (eg: I’m losing all the good chances/opportunities, as I’m getting old now). It’s really ironic & tragic, because a lot of people always say that I’m very talented especially in music (I used to be quite an active musician & composer/songwriter, but sadly I’m still not famous & successful), smart, a deep thinker, a highly sensitive person, etc etc.

I am also an idealist, meaning that I actually have a BIG vision & idea for the future of civilization/mankind/humanity, to make a real progress & “leap jump” in the future. For example, I seriously think that the real, truest “meaning of life” is to make a HUGE progress, a sort of evolution, for the future. And for our Human species, in my opinion, the real purpose is to unlock our wildest potential: our human’s Imagination. And I’m talking about all those most creative, artistic, & imaginative human’s minds for example like in all those most imaginative, fantasy, sci-fi movies, games, novels, comics, anime/manga, and any other most amazing work of arts. So in my opinion, our humanity/mankind/civilization’s most important & biggest task is to turn all those imaginations into a reality. And that’s why I’m now a big/huge proponent & supporter, as well as very interested in technology such as: Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and also Artificial Intelligence (AI), and also some thinking & concepts such as Transhumanism. But then again, sadly, the problem is I don’t know how to reach all those dreams & ideas of mine. And that is really depressing.

I’m a Chinese-Indonesian, living in Jakarta (Indonesia). And the biggest problem is the culture/society here, also the mindset of the people here. They’re all still mostly very conservative, traditional, & outdated mindset/perspective about life. Especially with my Asian/Chinese-Indonesian parents for example, they still only think that the only “meaning of life” or “purpose” is simply just to survive, find a good job (or business), and make money, & then get married, have kids/children, etc etc. But for me, this can’t be all there is to life; Life should be so much more than that! But then, another biggest problem that I do realize and finally admit now is that, sadly, perhaps it’s all due to the many flaws in my personalities too: I listen too much to what other people/person say, I care too much (deeply), I’m easily down & depressed, & I also lack the ‘drive’/energy/motivation (and this is why perhaps I appear to be just “lazy” in the eyes of most people, including in my parents’ eyes), especially this year, when my Existential Depression just getting so much worse to the point of even being suicidal (having suicidal thoughts/fantasy/ideations almost everyday).

I’m 38 years old this year, and here I am now, in reality, I’m still living with my parents, almost can be viewed as jobless/unemployed, or even a hikikomori (a shut-in recluse only staying at my room most of the time). The situation is now even getting much worse, with my family/parents’ problems, stress, plus now my little brother is also a depressed shut-in just like me, so my Chinese father especially, who is almost 70 years old now, is really disappointed, stressed, & perhaps even having a (severe) depression, because in his eyes, his sons are still a complete failure, and a total loser, because we are still not financially independent, still living in their houses & dependent on them for food, bills, etc etc. I’m also basically jobless/unemployed, and not interested at all to run his (my father’s) businesses, which are also currently going through perhaps the most difficult time of all times (financially, I don’t know & really afraid that perhaps even my parents’ money will run out soon or later), especially due to this COVID-19/corona pandemic situation.

I also don’t know what to do. I’m lost, confused, depressed, suicidal, & feel like an alien. I can’t relate to most people/Human beings. I’m too “way out”, lost in my own thoughts, idealisms, visions, & all these “big/huge ideas” that I basically just don’t know anymore HOW/WHAT to do? Reality is depressing, very depressing, boring, limiting, & to be honest, this whole existence is just stupid, pointless, & meaningless for me now. My existential depression/crisis is getting much worse now, probably even the worst now, like I’ve said above, everyday now I’m even having suicidal ideations/fantasy/thoughts, and for me now, I’m seriously thinking that perhaps to die (death) is better than to live (just only to survive/for survival everyday).
Sorry to hear about your feelings. Maybe try counselling, for the depression? I think that has to be fixed first, because if you're depressed you're not going to have the motivation to make the necessary changes. Once you feel better, then you can looking at some concrete things you can do to push yourself forward. It's worth it to try, especially with your talent.
 

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Thank God there are no customers for your fantasies!



So you think commercial trivial culture is great art? You don't seem to be an art expert either, and you probably have no idea what people like Freud and Jung read when they were just teenagers.



It seems to me that it is you who needs to make ‘HUGE progress’ in the first place.





Life is what it is, it isn’t what it ‘should be’. I’m tempted to say that you should be much more now than you are.



The delusions of grandeur burst as soon as they come into contact with the society you hardly know but strangely enough want to reform in the most radical way. An unconnected brain, living in a cupboard in a poorly ventilated room, can easily imagine that it can redeem the world, just think of INF Hitler.







It was immediately clear to me that the restriction ‘meaning that’ was also meant as a poor excuse. You want to be the great benefactor of humanity, but you are too self-centred to consider the needs of the people with whom you live and who inspire your – not particularly precious – fantasies. I just say ISFJ.

You were privileged for the first 38 years of your life and obviously did nothing more than daydream a little, and now you want to impress with the suicide idea. Now that you are at war you threaten to desert to the afterlife. I'm not impressed! It is possible to live a life beyond the ordinary without compromising yourself, but not every fool can do that. If you have such great abilities, you should be able to use them to make money for yourself and your family without overloading your brain. The creativity of INFPs has something to do with their unmatched independence from the outside world (I, N, F, P), but that is also their downfall, as good advice goes unheeded, as in your case.


Thomas Nagel: The Absurd

Most people feel on occasion that life is absurd, and some feel it vividly and continually. Yet the reasons usually offered in defense of this conviction are patently inadequate: they could not really explain why life is absurd. Why then do they provide a natural expression for the sense that it is?

I​

Consider some examples. It is often remarked that nothing we do now will matter in a million years. But if that is true, then by the same token, nothing that will be the case in a million years matters now. In particular, it does not matter now that in a million years nothing we do now will matter. Moreover, even if what we did now were going to matter in a million years, how could that keep our present concerns from being absurd? If their mattering now is not enough to accomplish that, how would it help if they mattered a million years from now?

Whether what we do now will matter in a million years could make the crucial difference only if its mattering in a million years depended on its mattering, period. But then to deny that whatever happens now will matter in a million years is to beg the question against its mattering, period; for in that sense one cannot know that it will not matter in a million years whether (for example) someone now is happy or miserable, without knowing that it does not matter, period.

What we say to convey the absurdity of our lives often has to do with space or time: we are tiny specks in the infinite vastness of the universe; our lives are mere instants even on a geological time scale, let alone a cosmic one; we will all be dead any minute. But of course none of these evident facts can be what makes life absurd, if it is absurd. For suppose we lived forever; would not a life that is absurd if it lasts seventy years be infinitely absurd if it lasted through eternity? And if our lives are absurd given our present size, why would they be any less absurd if we filled the universe (either because we were larger or because the universe was smaller)? …

III​

One may try to escape the position by seeking broader ultimate concerns, from which it is impossible to step back-the idea being that absurdity results because what we take seriously is something small and insignificant and individual. Those seeking to supply their lives with meaning usually envision a role or function in something larger than themselves. They therefore seek fulfillment in service to society, the state, the revolution, the progress of history, the advance of science, or religion and the glory of God.

But a role in some larger enterprise cannot confer significance unless that enterprise is itself significant. And its significance must come back to what we can understand, or it will not even appear to give us what we are seeking. If we learned that we were being raised to provide food for other creatures fond of human flesh, who planned to turn us into cutlets before we got too stringy-even if we learned that the human race had been developed by animal breeders precisely for this purpose-that would still not give our lives meaning, for two reasons. First, we would still be in the dark as to the significance of the lives of those other beings; second, although we might acknowledge that this culinary role would make our lives meaningful to them, it is not clear how it would make them meaningful to us.

Admittedly, the usual form of service to a higher being is different from this. One is supposed to behold and partake of the glory of God, for example, in a way in which chickens do not share in the glory of coq au vin. The same is true of service to a state, a movement, or a revolution. People can come to feel, when they are part of something bigger, that it is part of them too. They worry less about what is peculiar to themselves, but identify enough with the larger enterprise to find their role in it fulfilling.

However, any such larger purpose can be put in doubt in the same way that the aims of an individual life can be, and for the same reasons. It is as legitimate to find ultimate justification there as to find it earlier, among the details of individual life. But this does not alter the fact that justifications come to an end when we are content to have them end-when we do not find it necessary to look any further. If we can step back from the purposes of individual life and doubt their point, we can step back also from the progress of human history, or of science, or the success of a society, or the kingdom, power, and glory of God,' and put all these things into question in the same way. What seems to us to confer meaning, justification, significance, does so in virtue of the fact that we need no more reasons after a certain point.

What makes doubt inescapable with regard to the limited aims of individual life also makes it inescapable with regard to any larger purpose that encourages the sense that life is meaningful. Once the fundamental doubt has begun, it cannot be laid to rest. … Consequently the absurdity of our situation derives not from a collision between our expectations and the world, but from a collision within ourselves.

VI​

In viewing ourselves from a perspective broader than we can occupy in the flesh, we become spectators of our own lives. We cannot do very much as pure spectators of our own lives, so we continue to lead them, and devote ourselves to what we are able at the same time to view as no more than a curiosity, like the ritual of an alien religion.

This explains why the sense of absurdity finds its natural expression in those bad arguments with which the discussion began. Reference to our small size and short lifespan and to the fact that all of mankind will eventually vanish without a trace are metaphors for the backward step which permits us to regard ourselves from without and to find the particular form of our lives curious and slightly surprising. By feigning a nebula's-eye view, we illustrate the capacity to see ourselves without presuppositions, as arbitrary, idiosyncratic, highly specific occupants of the world, one of countless possible forms of life.

Before turning to the question whether the absurdity of our lives is something to be regretted and if possible escaped, let me consider what would have to be given up in order to avoid it.

Why is the life of a mouse not absurd? The orbit of the moon is not absurd either, but that involves no strivings or aims at all. A mouse, however, has to work to stay alive. Yet he is not absurd, because he lacks the capacities for self-consciousness and self-transcendence that would enable him to see that he is only a mouse. If that did happen, his life would become absurd, since self-awareness would not make him cease to be a mouse and would not enable him to rise above his mousely strivings. Bringing his new-found self-consciousness with him, he would have to return to his meagre yet frantic life, full of doubts that he was unable to answer, but also full of purposes that he was unable to abandon.

Given that the transcendental step is natural to us humans, can we avoid absurdity by refusing to take that step and remaining entirely within our sublunar lives? Well, we cannot refuse consciously, for to do that we would have to be aware of the viewpoint we were refusing to adopt. The only way to avoid the relevant self-consciousness would be either never to attain it or to forget it – neither of which can be achieved by the will.

On the other hand, it is possible to expend effort on an attempt to destroy the other component of the absurd-abandoning one's earthly, individual, human life in order to identify as completely as possible with that universal viewpoint from which human life seems arbitrary and trivial. (This appears to be the ideal of certain Oriental religions.) If one succeeds, then one will not have to drag the superior awareness through a strenuous mundane life, and absurdity will be diminished.

However, insofar as this self-etiolation is the result of effort, will-power, asceticism, and so forth, it requires that one take oneself seriously as an individual-that one be willing to take considerable trouble to avoid being creaturely and absurd. Thus one may undermine the aim of unworldliness by pursuing it too vigorously. Still, if someone simply allowed his individual, animal nature to drift and respond to impulse, without making the pursuit of its needs a central conscious aim, then he might, at considerable dissociative cost, achieve a life that was less absurd than most. It would not be a meaningful life either, of course; but it would not involve the engagement of a transcendent awareness in the assiduous pursuit of mundane goals. And that is the main condition of absurdity – the dragooning of an unconvinced transcendent consciousness into the service of an immanent, limited enterprise like a human life.

The final escape is suicide; but before adopting any hasty solutions, it would be wise to consider carefully whether the absurdity of our existence truly presents us with a problem, to which some solution must be found – a way of dealing with prima facie disaster. That is certainly the attitude with which Camus approaches the issue, and it gains support from the fact that we are all eager to escape from absurd situations on a smaller scale.

Camus – not on uniformly good grounds – rejects suicide and the other solultions he regards as escapist. What he recommends is defiance or scorn. We can salvage our dignity, he appears to believe, by shaking a fist at the world which is deaf to our pleas, and continuing to live in spite of it. This will not make our lives un-absurd, but it will lend them a certain nobility.

This seems to me romantic and slightly self-pitying. Our absurdity warrants neither that much distress nor that much defiance. At the risk of falling into romanticism by a different route, I would argue that absurdity is one of the most human things about us: a manifestation of our most advanced and interesting characteristics. Like skepticism in epistemology, it is possible only because we possess a certain kind of insight-the capacity to transcend ourselves in thought.

If a sense of the absurd is a way of perceiving our true situation (even though the situation is not absurd until the perception arises), then what reason can we have to resent or escape it? Like the capacity for epistemological skepticism, it results from the ability to understand our human limitations. It need not be a matter for agony unless we make it so. Nor need it evoke a defiant contempt of fate that allows us to feel brave or proud. Such dramatics, even if carried on in private, betray a failure to appreciate the cosmic unimportance of the situation. If sub specie aeternitatis there is no reason to believe that anything matters, then that doesn't matter either, and we can approach our absurd lives with irony instead of heroism or despair.

DOI: 10.2307/2024942
Totally useless :rolleyes:
 

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It's really sad & depressing of how nobody here seems to understand my point. There are admittedly few good comments here, but the rest are just boring cliche type of comments & phrases I've often heard, which are still meaningless for me.

This forum used to be quite good (quality, deep, & thoughtful comments) when I frequented here back around 8 years ago. It's really sad of how this forum turns out/have become now.
 

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Hi Niki,

It’s people like you who remind me that there is still kindness and goodness in the world.

If anyone judges you, screw them. We live in a MAJOR economic depression now.

I still remember you from way back. And you have never changed. You have maintained your integrity.

That is a GREAT quality to have as a human being. Please do not let your inner demons or society get you down.

You are a rare soul in life. I hope you know you inspire more people than you think. You inspire people like me to not give up.

It’s hard to see life clearly when we live with depression in an era that breeds it. We live in times of existential human extinction, so it’s only natural and normal to feel down and out, especially when you’re naturally not the type of person who steps on others to get ahead and feel trapped as a result of it.

So please KNOW that. You are an AWESOME rare gem!

Edit- and thank you for all of the positivity that you’ve contributed to the world through your great thoughts and talent. I truly mean it. There are days I want to give up, and then I think that life is worth living because there ARE STILL DECENT human beings left in the world, and it would be great travesty to see there are less people like you here.
 

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You were privileged for the first 38 years of your life and obviously did nothing more than daydream a little, and now you want to impress with the suicide idea. Now that you are at war you threaten to desert to the afterlife. I'm not impressed!
I, however, am very impressed that you spent so much time and effort writing this presumptuous, narrow-sighted garbage about someone you don’t truly know, all for your own satisfaction. It sure as hell wasn’t meant for OP’s.
Help isn’t a theory, sweetheart, it starts with compassion and understanding. Way to dissect and analyze every single detail except for the only one that matters—intent.
 

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Nikki, we truly hope you’re okay. Know that the feelings you feel are fleeting and temporary.

You feel lost and confused because you literally feel like you have nowhere to turn to.

It’s tough living in the environment you live in. It’s tough, especially since you are an intuitive, who doesn’t fit in. Like a square peg forced to fit into a round hole-a quality to be proud of (you do you, and who cares what the critics say). And sometimes parents can be so critical it’s best to avoid talking to them when they are so disjointed.

And I’d imagine living in Indonesia, you don’t have access to counselors and therapists (and especially with COVID, makes things more complicated- even teleport doctors make you feel worse- as the Internet is such an impersonal medium).

Maybe you can take some time off from online, and enjoy nature somewhere if you can like a walk in the park? A night out enjoying the city skyline? Panoramic views of the beach? Take it all in. A time retreat away from technology??

I’d also imagine sitting in front of the computer compounding your problems even more. Although technology is meant to be more engaging, at times, it can work in reverse and make people feel the opposite (I know, the irony, right?). Dear friend, you are strong. Remember that. And your courage shows through your talent. And so glad to remember you since globalchatters. You are true and dearest, indeed!! Love your music. Love your philosophy. Please carry on. The world needs you.

You truly have a voice and presence about you that delights many of us, a level of wisdom and insight so rare to find! -Peace & Respect to You
 

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Suffering is worse then death.
Since you havent killed yourself you either have hope (as seen from your idealism) or you are too much of a coward to do it. Might also be that you have too many people fond of you and don't want them to suffer - or you do, can't tell from the post.
LIfe is overrated, but fun is not. Have some fun before you die, you might change. Its what helped me. I had to stop being myself to find myself. I have been close to deat a few times, it made me value life and set up goals. Have begged god to bring me back to life once, but I still live a godless life.
I also can't relate to my countrymen, so I don't care about what happens to them or my country. Its depressing at the same time, to feel so alienated from your kin.

What I find absurd in depressed people is how they are so resistant to doing drugs and experiencing the unconventional, but they are willing to kill themselves. Atleast do something interesting before you kill yourself.

Books on stoicism have helped me retain my emotional composure. Thus spoke Zarathustra motivated me.

Had to fix my diet and lifestyle too, its connected to focus and motivation. You seem like a smart man, educate yourself on nutrition and environmental poisons, its fairly easy since the science has progressed quite alot.

Killing yourself is the cowards last and most heroic action.
 

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Niki, many of us started on these forums because we've felt something similar to what you are talking about. We know how it feels, the world seems to have different values, priorities. Seems like we were born in the wrong time, or somehow ended up around people who don't naturally look at life and what they want out of it the same way.

I won't pretend to understand exactly how you feel, or what options are available to you. As for myself, I realized at age 31(I'm about a decade older than you now) that I wanted to go a different direction than I was going. I still spend much of my workdays doing something I don't find inherently interesting. That pain from "reality" or mainstream society causing deep boredom, seeming limited, stupid can be very real, I know it. And it does get to me, but, I don't let it claim my identity. There are days I just have to embrace the suck, or the emptiness, then force myself to climb out of that. I do it to pay the bills. I don't pretend its anything else, and I leave it to go into more of "my own world" when it's done.

I have good times and bad times, and the good times make it all worth it. And in this other part of my life I pursue my passions, including writing my stories, and have become a paid author recently, but know I have a long way to go yet to build where I want to be.

I've accepted and working on embracing that it's not going to be easy, that I'll often feel like an outsider, that I want different things than most other people, while still doing what I have to do. But, glad I didn't give up when I was 31, some pretty good things have happened since then.

Don't know that that helps. Just saying this world is not easy for a lot of us, gotta meet it half way a lot of times while fighting to keep that balance. Wish you well.
 

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Let me console you. I know your struggles too well. I'm 29 years old and lived through the same fears. In order to get to know myself better, I tried everything (self-reflection, observing my own thoughts, counseling, birth chart, pastoral advice, self-help books...). There is a book I would like to recommend to you. It has the beautiful title: "It's only too late if you don't start now: create your second life at any age" (by Barbara Sher). Barbara Sher has written many books and I feel that they could be helpful for you. Her books will help you to get to know yourself better and decide what you wanna do with your life. They include beautiful pearls of wisdom like: “You can learn [do] new things at any time in your life if you're willing to be a beginner" and “Doing what you love isn't a privilege; it's an obligation.” or “You might find the perfect combination of all your interests and have a very enjoyable career. Or you might discover that what you really love is learning itself.” I believe INFPs have many talents and gifts, which makes it so difficult for us to make a decision because: a) we think we have to choose just one strength and neglect our other interests, and b) we want to do the right thing which puts additional pressure on us. The most important first step would be to find out which core activity you really love. Do you want e.g. pass on knowledge about AI to students (teaching)? Do you want to do research? Do you want to design yourself? You know, we never play just one role in life but many and often things overlap. If you can't decide what you wanna do, you do everything. By "everything" I mean that you could study for example technology, draw mangas in your spare time and post them on social media. This shows that you are interested and if this results in more professional opportunities, G R E A T but get started. Franz Kafka said it best: "Paths are made by walking". One thing I've learned is to never underestimate coincidences. We try to calculate and control everything before we make a decision because humans appreciate security but end up in 'overthinking'. What we often underestimate are coincidences. One meeting, one person, one activity could change literally everything!! Why not giving coincidences more chances and learning to love the unknown and mystery? I have the hunch that you need more resilience. Don't let other people discourage you so easily. Nobody knows you as well as you do. I've made the experience that most people put half as high demands on themselves as we INFP's do. That knowledge takes a lot the pressure off me. Never let your thoughts drift too far into the future. Otherwise, you forget to enjoy and live in the moment. A lesson I learned from sensors...good, ey? 😆😅
The coming age of digitization will change a lot and end conventional curriculums and career paths. People are getting older too. You're only 38 for God's sake. This is the new 28, so start realizing yourself!! As long as you are healthy and can move around you are not too old!
In parts you remind of Disney's Belle - the classical INFP woman - who said the same:

Madame Gaston
Can't you just see it?
Madame Gaston
His little wife, ugh

No, sir! Not me!
I guarantee it
I want much more than this provincial life!

I want adventure in the great wide somewhere
I want it more than I can tell
And for once it might be grand
To have someone understand
I want so much more than they've got planned...
Belle was a smart girl but didn't fit into her village. Learn from her. If you don't fit in, have you ever thought about seeking greener pastures, i.e. moving to another city, district, country, etc.?
 

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Niki, I feel your pain. I'm an INFP male Pisces if you wanna know and i had a car accident when i was 21 and at the age of 25 i'm still in the recovery process. its been tough, on one hand the expectation from the people around me to be more than what i am weighs heavy, my ideals of the world are too like yours. their exceptions of me to be "normal" like get a job, wife kids, retire... is so boring and lame and unexciting and unadventurous. my exceptions of myself is an adventurous fulfilling life with surprises and what ever comes, fuck boring. My problem is i'm too weak to hold down a job and get enough cash to kick start it. ATM i've been sitting around waiting for 4 years contemplating literally all sorts of things. I found i have a unique talent when it comes to work, i boost everyones morale and inturn boosts work efficiency. I also found that i cant find a job looking for this position because it'll be perfect, for me. what i'm trying to get to is society was not built for me, no way. THIS society was built for those who desire money over everything. Its those at the top of society that control it all. I dont care for money. it makes no sense to me. I was born to travel, collect experiences and share stories. being stuck inside and unable to get a job and chase these dreams has been so detrimental to my health, one thing it has allowed me to do is think, about my future. i must have analysed and perceived over 1000s of different potential futures i want for myself and will be satisfied with. We INFPs have the ability to capture anything we truly desire, we have something in us, an endlessly burning fire of determination to achieve our truest desires. i will manifest the best possible future for myself. Getting what you want doesnt happen over night, dont ask yourself any other question but this "what do i truly want" For me its 2 houses, 1 to rent nd to receive an income, 1 to return to when im not traveling. all i need to do is buy my first house and a van and get tennents to move in. dream lifestyle accomplished. (my dream isnt this simple it goes in much more depth afterwards) what do you truly want Niki? before my crash i did what society expecting me to do and be. after my crash, no after my time to think,i will never be what society expects me to be. i am a free individual bound by no constraints. I long for purpose, for me no purpose = no motivation no motivation = absolutlyno output. i have to create a made up purpose in my mind sometimes, sometimes i have to make myself believe im doing it for someone else. our minds are very powerful. we study people all the time, im able to trick my mind, vision the person i need to talk to who holds to answers to my questions or the advice(usually a close friend) i have the conversation with my friend in my mind, using their voice, tone, knowledge,perspectives personalities. ive been doing this since i can remember. i fully feel like it is them talking to me in real time. using them in my mind i can get them to say the words that will motivate me for example. I was and am really depressed atm and came on here for what ever reason, saw your post made an account and replied so this my first ever post on any forum and i have no idea what kind of impact my words will have. i hope it helps some :)
 

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You can only aim for these bigger aims of saving the world only if your own house is in order. I think your solution is quite simple.
Help run your dads business. Save it. Support your family. Inspire your brother. Then when you finish doing that, then think what your purpose might be. Your purpose only comes to you when you experience the world and discover what fires your inner flame.
But first, save your family. They need you.
 
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