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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
INFJs, how did you overcome the meaninglessness of existence?

Looks like I'm completely wired to be driven by things that are meaningful, so I'm literally frozen now since years and can't do anything at all, can't move in any direction. I have to force, drag myself to do anything.

Tried to find some universal purpose, I always suspected that there must be something to it - turns out there's no such thing.
Tried to find personal meaning, purpose, find my own meaning in life - turns out there's no such thing.
Tried to give my own life meaning anyway - turns out I can't brainwash myself with self-deceptions.

Also, the self is more like of illusory nature, and free will is more like of illusory nature (along with everything else).
Also, the core belief that we live in some positive world and that humanity has a future are illusions, lies. We live in more like sort of a hell, humanity is destined to become extinct (probably pretty soon) and is beyond saving anyway.
Maybe trying to "fix" the world and trying to impose meaning on it is in a way evil too and just creates more pain. There's no such thing as a "good person", just better and worse.
I'm also simply too different from non-INFJ people to get along without faking everything.

Tried letting go the ego as much as possible - whether or not with ego, things still don't work. And once there is no self then what's the point of human existence anyway, it's the main thing that makes us "special".

And I'm getting older and we all will die anyway.

Now I'm at the point of giving up all logic and rationality too. Life is illogical, all human logic and understanding are circular constructs that implode beyond certain points and so in a way refute themselves, if we cling to the illusion of linearity.

What is left is positive emotions perhaps, love etc., but a few too many rounds with psychopaths, sociopaths and other pathologicals just prove how meaningless the most evolved human emotions are as well. Human nature in general can so easily be "refuted" by psychopaths and a few other forms.

So now I'm trying to give up meaning, purpose, logic, reason, sense, self, ego, expectations, try to think as little as possible and be as unintelligent in certain things as possible, become universally detached from everything in life (but retain the ability to be fully attached to some select few people). But this is my like 167th attempt to overcome meaninglessness. I feel like in the end I'll be nothing more than a stupid, brainless, aimless zombie running on autopilot.

I've been through worse and survived it so it's not that all this stuff would drive me to suicide or anything. If there is no solution whatsoever, then I'll manage too anyway somehow. But maybe I'm missing something. Any advice or insight or whatever would be greatly appreciated, thanks. :)
 

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What makes you think existence is meaningless, and why do you think it's a good idea to resolve to spend the rest of your days as a simpleton? It's important to know why you feel the way you feel before we can start to look at how to resolve these feelings (as what I hope are words of reassurance, it isn't to do with religion). I think you know that your approach isn't going to be a good one (otherwise you wouldn't have made this thread), but you don't think it's any worse than any other philosophy that dominates other people's conceptions of existence, either. A fair opinion, as most people out there in the western world subscribe to consumerism and materialism that is utterly devoid of substance or spiritual worth; but why settle for no worse, when you could build on what you've got right now, the solid foundation that is cynicism? To be completely disillusioned with the society around you is a fantastic opportunity to develop yourself, because it means you've been smart enough to reject all of the crap that is fed to you out there, and not many people can get to that level of perception and introspection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"What makes you think existence is meaningless"
Because it is. It's not a philosophy, it's fact, unless you can prove otherwise. My post didn't contain any cynicism.
 

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Your view saddens me. It reminds me of my former self. Recent life events changed me into more positive thinking and optimism, I can only wish you well and I hope you find your way too, it will change everything.

Be it love, be it art, be it a kind stranger's smile, something will get to you, eventually.

To tell you the truth, happiness is not simply given, it is made by you.
 

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@Atla
jeebus how many psychopaths have you met? You must be some kind of psycho-magnet.

You might be interested in reading literature by Murakami. His main characters usually deal with this sort of existential hooplah.
 

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You're justifying your own existence by enforcing its meaninglessness. You've surpassed a lot only to reach the plateau, the same one I've been on for a while now too. It's really a question of whether or not this is also able to be surpassed, perhaps there is a greater understanding to achieve and perhaps only then we will find the answer.

But really, perhaps it's safer to say that this right here is the meaning of your life. Your meaninglessness, IS your meaning. Meaninglessness is a word, right? So it has meaning, right? Don't think "Well, that's language is conventional" because you're literally defining your existence, therefore giving it a meaning. You see, that's the contradiction you are facing. There's no such thing as meaninglessness, but at the same time, there is no such thing as meaning. So where are we? What's the big idea then?

Well, instead of trying to justify your existence or define it through a meaning.. why not just exist as we are meant to exist? You're trying to comprehend what is incomprehensible. Just accept the fact that you can't have all the answers now. Remember that life is a journey and not a destination, keep that quote in mind, it's helped me re-assure myself that even though I feel empty now, I have no idea where it will bring me, and that mystery alone gives me something to live for.

I mean, I'm not saying life is going to be a thrill. I'm certainly not sitting on the edge of my rolley-chair here waiting for what is going to happen next in my uneventful, predictable life. I know what's going to happen because I know what's probable and what isn't. However, this is also what gives me the power of control. So perhaps I should use it, and so should you. Perhaps it is time to exert our understanding into something tangible and physical. Like creation, or destruction.

Your mind has observed and soaked up everything it has to evolve and surpass to this point, now it's time release that information to your physical body and exert your will and influence into the tangible plane of existence. Regardless if your name is known or unknown for your deeds and achievements, your creations will validate your existence even after your death.

You are a person who has been watching a pond for a very long time. You know what would happen if you dropped a pebble in it, but you just don't see the point in doing so because you already know. So now you feel like you have nothing left to live for. Well, you can drop the pebble, right? Sure, you know what will happen, but... you don't know what will happen with you. And you don't want to know, because you want to reinforce and justify your reluctance to experience what it's like to be the participator rather than the observer. You don't want to "corrupt" yourself, or "taint" your 'observer' self image, because you think the observer is preferable. Little do you know, you would actually be accessing an entirely new realm of information that you can have a field day, or existence, with, if you were to pick up that pebble and drop it in the pond. You would feel the sensation of picking it up, and letting it go, and watching it sink and cause a ripple effect on the little world of the pond.

Your mind is the observer, your body is the pebble, and the pond is the world, the reality you live in. So pick up the damn pebble, and dive into the world, and cause a ripple effect that is ultimately unique to you. I think you will find that coming back to the real world after surpassing so much, will give you insight you couldn't even imagine right now.

Of course, who am I to say this? I'm a hypocrite. I haven't taken the advice that I give to others. Why?

Because there is also the possibility, that the plateau is where I belong at this moment. Perhaps this is where we should be, for now at least, but maybe even forever.

Because meaninglessness, can be what gives life meaning for people like you, and possibly myself as well. If not forever, at least for now. Perhaps we will pick up the pebble one day, perhaps not.

I guess it just depends on how much you are craving for something more.
 

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@Atla Through distractions. :th_wink: life is full of fun distractions, some more useful then others.

:th_blush: find your own distraction aka passion.

Existence is ultimately meaningless, but your small life is meaningful to you.
 

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I am new here too. But I want to chime in because I remember having a lot of those thoughts and not being able to work out for myself what the heck the point is and what to think next, and I'll focus on this idea of trying to stop being a thinker. I found that to be fruitless.

If none of my post resonates or relates, just disregard it. Given the forum (literally) that we're talking in, its possible for a response to be off point. Here goes.

I have read and re-read your post. A lot of what you wrote are things I myself wrote at different times in the past. Especially trying different things, such as trying to think less. And the sad thing is, I was even encouraged by others who should have counselled better, to think less. In my humble opinion, that doesn't work. Everything I do that doesn't hurt anyone else or me isn't a bad thing. My ability to think a lot is mine.

You know what a thinker can do? think about why they thing so much. and then think about that, and then think about that. with curiosity. I am now very suspicious of people who want someone to think less.

However, I have learned to be meta with myself (which is easy when you are a thinker), and expand, to think more but think more different thoughts, to think all the thoughts I can so that I stop judging so much. judging myself, and judging my thoughts. For me, my thoughts were / are really valuable. I don't try to stop thinking so much anymore. But I did consider that I was ruminating, thinking the same (negative) thoughts over and over, and so I let in as many good new thoughts as possible. And for me , those thoughts and ideas to think about came from people I've never met - people who write books and do podcasts. The people in my real life rarely offer me anything that takes my thoughts down a creative and thoughtful path. Such is life. I accept that now.

And I don't mean pop psychology positive thoughts i mean I expanded what topics I would think about, I listen to podcasts on science and philosophy and music and art that I know nothing about, so that I can think new thoughts.

Sounds like you want authenticity. And I have come to experience authentic feelings that make me happy to be alive, and looking forward to doing my thing on the planet before I turn to dust. But it took time.

Much as I love the idea of tribal living and a community of people working together, I ended up really thankful that I am alive at a time where I can get influences from people outside my immediate face to face environment because a lot of those people don't know what the heck they are doing.

For me, I found that listening to other humans who had figured some of this out really helped me. I read, and listened to music and listened to internet interviews/ talks / podcasts by people who, from what I could tell, were living with some sense of authenticity AND knew that we are just particles that will turn back into to dust someday. And I found that a lot of these people had a sense of humour which helped.

I believe that we are here to play and enjoy our life, but so many people are perverting that and projecting their anger and anxiety onto others in their interactions that it can seem like there is nothing else to experience with people. For example, I have these hobbies where I play, I just play, I put different coloured materials together, i see what I can create, I look at pictures of what other people have created and enjoy seeing their craft, their skill. But I have been laughed at and criticized in real life for enjoying playing in this way, for enjoying playing with materials that make me happy, content, make me feel creative.

After years of thinking that maybe the criticizer had a point, I saw that the emperor has no clothes. The people in our lives who don't encourage us when we are being curious with our life, the only thing you can do is get up and walk away from them.

They are likely to tell you that meaning is found at the mall or some other building where people congregate, and if that isn't true for you, then its unlikely to become true through trying to make it so. Or if you spend enough time with them, they will try to tell you that your job in life is to make them happy. As if that is even possible.

The realization that existence is meaningless, I think, is a realization that ends up leading to more happiness and freedom but a lot of people are spending their whole waking life trying to deny the facts about existence. But it's not the end point for your thoughts and your understanding of your life. It's part of a chapter in a book a lot of people don't bother to read, in my opinion.

Long story short, at this point when I see someone in my life getting angry that their car got dented, to my eyes, they are acting as if we live for ever. they are acting as if they have time to waste being miserable. And I don't mean some pollyanna approach to life that is touted all over the internet these days ( be a friend to have a friend bs). I mean a real understanding that you seem to be expressing here, that you have a view of life and our existence that can lead to being aware - you can do whatever you want with your life on some level because it isn't bound by the things you have come to see as casts.

You can seek your happiness because your life is not in service of anything other than its own existence. You won't have to live with all the shouldding. The shouldding is really so pointless and you are able to see that. But when I firest started to glean that I was on to something about existence being meaningless, I was very confused as well. It helped a lot to detach from people who told me to go to the mall more. Unless a person is a socio or psychopath, they can operate on this planet without all the shouldding and they will still do the right thing by their fellow man. If you know that you don't want to hurt any other human, you can leave a lot of the cultural rules and norms behind and just live.

None of this is my own stuff, its a mix of hundreds of sources (from Nietche to the Simpsons) that I've exposed myself to in service of playing with my ability to think. :)
 

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It seems to me that you mix up the "fact" that everything is meaningless with a general negative attitude to everything. If you think there is no purpose, no frame, you could also react to that with a feeling of freedom and self-determination. Your negativity and lack of drive is not necessarily bound to this meaninglessness. Your meaninglessness is not the same as nothing worth to be living for. For example, the care of family and friends, the pleasure from different experiences exist regardless of whether some god puts them into some big plan or humanity becomes extinct one day etc. They create a natural frame of puposes by themselves. This is not brainwashing. You could ask yourself if the root of the problem lies really in they way you think the universe to be like or in your very (everyday) life.

I had another kind of problem, some time ago. It was that all circumstances of my life seemed to get more and more boring and routined and reducing the chance of random and interesting happenings. The reason was an extremly full university term and a very restricted social life, both intensifying each other. These rather concrete and mundane problems made me zoom out and ponder constantly about life in general, in a very negative way. The solution was to endure the phase of hard work, and then purposefully making life more interesting, embracing randomness, always yes and do instead of no and don't. And the most important: concentrating, paying attention to the things right in front of you, especially new things. They can get much more interesting, than thought before. Not letting old long-term thoughts interrupt everything. This way I got out of loops and back into life, slowly.
 

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Sounds like you have a very well developed brain, try meditation where you fully put yourself in your body, specifically your heart, and get in touch with the wide array of feelings available in the human realm.Sounds like you’d benefit from trying new things that don’t involve so much brain activity. Maybe you are well-versed in body things as well, but I’d like to suggest finding some physical exercise you really enjoy, maybe in nature environments, as well as a high quality diverse eating regimen.If your thoughts are off, which it sounds as if they aren’t the most hopeful and positive, the first steps to take are to get your body super healthy and relax into it. Trying new things will help you find your passions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Your view saddens me. It reminds me of my former self. Recent life events changed me into more positive thinking and optimism, I can only wish you well and I hope you find your way too, it will change everything.

Be it love, be it art, be it a kind stranger's smile, something will get to you, eventually.

To tell you the truth, happiness is not simply given, it is made by you.
I hope so.. I'm looking for that something since years and years and just can't find it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@wind_up_bird

I have deep experience with three, whom I would classify as well-adjusted, covert, "compensated" psychopaths (not the obvious overt ones one can spot easily), and one of them is my father. Plus some sociopaths, I think psychopath and sociopath are somewhat different. My grandmother was a sociopath and when I was little she and my father basically fought a war over me. Well I try to avoid them but as you see I was kinda born into it.

Thanks to unusual circumstances, I could also deeply question one of the psychopaths (a female one) for a year, to understand what that creature actually is and how it experiences life. I would say that as an INFJ I haven't just absorbed most forms of normal human existence, but also sociopath and psychopath existence (but maybe it would have been better if life hadn't forced me to do that).

But to be honest, the ONLY way to understand this world, humanity and our history is by understanding psychopaths..
 

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But to be honest, the ONLY way to understand this world, humanity and our history is by understanding psychopaths..
ASPD (Anti-Social Personality Disorder) is speculated to be a result of trauma. These are the kind of people who have experienced fear, weakness, powerlessness, and deep insecurity that is deeply rooted into them. It's their foundation. It's why they face the world in the way that they do, by shutting down access to their own trunk of their tree by watering their roots with self-deception, and projecting the deception into the poisonous fruit that blossoms on their branches. It's like being cut, getting infected, and being in denial about having an infection and enforcing this denial by inflicting your own pain on others by cutting other people and hoping they get infected too. The infection is the core of their being, but they desperately and almost pathetically project this onto others in order to cope. Most of them don't even realize it only because they don't want to. They are desperate people. And it's a shame that so many buy into the superficial image fueled by media and the Anti-Socials themselves.

Don't be fooled. An Anti-Social is a life, but a life that has it's own flaws like any other. Understanding these people isn't understanding humanity and history, only a single aspect. I feel like you probably wish you were an Anti-Social. But Anti-Socials are just as worthless or worthy as anyone else, whether you want to accept that or not.

You think you understand these people but you don't, especially because you grew up around them. You're biased.

Edit: I'm not a psychologist, these are my own thoughts and perspectives based on the information I've studied and interpreted on the subject. Even if I were a psychologist, my thoughts still would not be definite. So take everything I say with a grain of salt like you would anyone else, I'm not an omnipotent existence that knows all. No one is.
 

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I always wonder how does one manage to think less? Isn't that impossible unless under the effect of various substances?
 

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@wind_up_bird

I have deep experience with three, whom I would classify as well-adjusted, covert, "compensated" psychopaths (not the obvious overt ones one can spot easily), and one of them is my father. Plus some sociopaths, I think psychopath and sociopath are somewhat different. My grandmother was a sociopath and when I was little she and my father basically fought a war over me. Well I try to avoid them but as you see I was kinda born into it.

Thanks to unusual circumstances, I could also deeply question one of the psychopaths (a female one) for a year, to understand what that creature actually is and how it experiences life. I would say that as an INFJ I haven't just absorbed most forms of normal human existence, but also sociopath and psychopath existence (but maybe it would have been better if life hadn't forced me to do that).

But to be honest, the ONLY way to understand this world, humanity and our history is by understanding psychopaths..
In my experience you can't relax around psycho and socio paths. You can understand them by being around them, but you can't be in touch with your own ability to feel relaxed. They prevent that.
 

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It's called "learned helplessness".

Your mind is mutating. You are about to level up. Into something a little more like this:



(some people even choose this)



This metamorphosis never goes without pain. Luckily, there are things that can provide some perspective on the matter.

I am not going to do the usual and pre-chew it for you. I am going to provide you with links, which is about the most boring thing I could do. I am not going to entertain or "cure" you, but I am going to give you what I consider to be ingredients for a do-it-yourself remedy. I read and watched these in my search for the same answers and they helped me overcome and integrate all those white-hot question marks digging their way through the brain.

These two are not exhaustive by any means, but they contain the active compound. You can add your own flavor as you please.

Here is a short article. Existential Depression in Gifted Individuals. I also found a PDF of Dabrowski’s Theory and Existential Depression in Gifted Children and Adults (that the article cites) that goes in detail.

Here is a video lecture by my favorite weirdo. Stanford's Robert Sapolsky On Depression.


Please don't get hung up on the titles. I promise you, these make sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@maivilo

I'm not quite on that plateau I think.. I already hit the "ceiling" and now I'm coming "back", and while still trying to evolve in certain things, I'm also trying to devolve in others. I never tried to be an observer, always tried to be fully involved, even if I was forced into "observer mode" again and again.

The way I see it, defining something doesn't give it meaning in some "bigger", "universal" sense, defining something is simply defining something in relation to other things.

Unless you are trying to say that we SHOULD get lost in these small loops, these little circular reasonings, like meaninglessness is meaning, and get into a state where we can forget that we did that trick. So that everything points to itself and the meaning of life is life, the meaning of this moment is this moment etc.

I've been experimenting with this and it's kinda promising but my main problem is that I still need some bigger destination(s) in life, something that would get me going. Something to go for in that pond. I'd need a lot bigger "loops" for that, but unfortunately I can't fool myself in that magnitude.

"your creations will validate your existence even after your death"
Well why would they. Once we are gone we are gone, and besides, sooner or later all humans will be gone. But actually, my existence is "validated" without creations too, I mean it doesn't even need to be validated because existence is a given.

(I don't know if my post made any sense)
 
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