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Discussion Starter #1
One of my friends asked me this question recently:

Do you find this world (and the people in it) to be ultimately good and beautiful or... not so much?

My answer:

Nature takes my breath away. I love our natural world. It is the closest thing to religion I know.

In regards to people... I want to understand everyone, even bad people. I want to see through their eyes. I think even many evil men think they're doing the right thing.

Despite tragic misunderstandings and conflicts... Yes... this is a beautiful world. The people in it... beautiful as well.

I have a fascination with fictional tragedy, not because I am naturally depressed, but for other reasons.

In fiction... when a great loss or suffering affects a character... and when that character struggles on through his/her pain... it inspires me. It empowers me.

It isn't the pain that I appreciate. Rather, I appreciate the fact that the PAIN CANNOT stop the character from loving... from striving... from struggling for his/her beliefs in a cruel world. That struggle is a testing ground for the BEAUTY of the human spirit. Only the love, devotion, and determination that burns BRIGHTEST in a dark world shines on. Anyone can claim love when loving is easy. How many would suffer for love?

What other animal would do that?

We are beautiful creatures. We live in a beautiful world. Yes... life is beautiful. The STRUGGLES we face only serve to prove the beauty of our spirit.

I am thankful to be alive. And I am thankful that there is so much more of this world to explore. Hope you found the answer you were looking for! ;)

- Are you attracted to sadness?
- If so, why do you think this is? What do you get out of it? Is it massochistic?
 

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This is a difficult topic! I can't quite put my thoughts into words so I’m sorry if I sound a little all over the place.

I love emotion. I find that if a movie or a book or a painting doesn't move me emotionally than I am disappointed.

I have a thing for fictional tragedy too. Romeo and Juliet comes to mind.

It depends what the sadness is associated with. When someone is sad I feel sad. I can often reflect the feelings that someone else is feeling; it is overwhelming but also addictive.

I can relate to how you feel about nature. I can be moved to tears by a spectacular landscape. I can't quite pinpoint why I cry, perhaps I am sad that I have been living away from nature for so long.

After watching the film The Fountain I realised that there is beauty in death. I thought the idea of being buried (in a biodegradable coffin) beneath a fruit tree and the tree soaking up the nutrients from my body which helps the tree to grow fruit which the animals then eat...it's almost as if my death brings life.

"Death is the road to awe" The fountain.
 

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Though my attraction to sadness was much more prevalent in my angst-filled youth, let's say until I hit about thirty or so, and has to a large degree been replaced by other emotions, I must admit that I am still attracted to the poignant, the affecting, the melancholy.

Like you I am drawn to sadness in fiction and much prefer an unhappy ending to a happy one, not least because the happy is generally anticipated. I recall another thread, the movie thread I believe it was. Someone asked about scenes which invoke tears and sadness, or at least that thrill at the struggle of which you speak. There are many for me; the end of Last of the Mohicans (Uncas' sacrifice, Alice's suicide, Chingachgook's vengeance). The scene in Anna and the King when the King's daughter is dying, and the two lovers are being killed, the shot of the bible pages falling uselessly to the floor, the King's torment. The Valerie's Letter sequence from V for Vendetta. The unrequited love story form Farewell my Concubine. Only a few films have actually produced tears, however; the end of Harold and Maude, the end of Brokeback Mountain, the aforementioned scene in Anna and the King- A Summer Story (if you can find it, I challenge anyone to watch it and not weep. Possibly the saddest film I have ever seen). These scenes move me, without a doubt.



Regarding the natural world, while I do admit to being drawn to nature, I feel that all the world is natural, human-made and not. I tend not to put humanity on a pedestal. I move ever farther away from humanism and human-centric thought. Other animals have similarly strong spirits. They grieve, defend their loved ones, even die of grief. I do not feel that we are special (though I do concede that other animals could probably care less for the finer aspects of our literature). To be honest, I am generally put off by stances that wallow in the grandness of the human spirit, and use words like "humanity."

I believe that, ultimately it boils down to a matter of survival, and that our human spirit and our other traits (and those of our fellow species, and possibly species yet to be encountered in other solar systems, dimensions, etc), are merely manifestations of survival instincts, however far removed they may seem.

I do not view the world as objectively beautiful. I think one's appreciation of beautiful, ugly, good, evil, is wholly subjective. I do not believe in absolutes, whether in the field of morality or aesthetics. Likewise, I would never apply adjectives such as cruel or harsh to the world or the universe. I do not think that the world is beautiful per se, it simply is, though I personally find it beautiful based on my own subjective criteria.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well said, both of you.

Not all sadness attracts me. Some sadnesss makes me feel revolted. Especially sadness that is needless and unfair.

It's only when people suffer sadness in realizing some kind of greater moral or ethical principle that I feel a sense of pleasure in watching it.

What if it isn't the sadness that we're attracted to? But rather... the sense that people are suffering sadness in following their moral code, putting that code above their own safety.

What if it isn't the pain of Romeo and Juliet that we are attracted to, but rather the fact that they suffered in the name of their love? What if it isn't Uncas and Alice's deaths that we are attracted to... but rather the fact that they suffered those pains in the name of love? Or that V in V for Vendetta suffered in the name of his principles.

To INFJs that value ethics and morals, I could see something being very attractive.
 

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I do have an attraction to sadness. When I was younger, I hated anything sad, but as a teen I began finding a strange beauty in sadness. As I've matured, I'm more selective about the kind of sadness I'm drawn to. I like tragi-comedies. (You know, movies about tragedies, but the characters deal with things using humor.) I like realistic tragedies, the kind where people are sort of swept up in events that they couldn't have foreseen or prevented. Somehow there is a quiet strength and grace in mankind that is revealed in moments of trial. That's the beautiful part to me - the inspirational overcoming of something.
 

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i like your original post. however, i am not attracted to sadness.

in fact, im half-tempted to start a thread asking us to name things that *make us happy* because we've got a couple threads pondering why we like sad things. i want to go against the norm. :wink:

i do, personally prefer seriousness or discussion of heavy life topics. i think most INFJs do. and i think that has to do with our fascination with ethics, psychology, and theory.

i think (and here's some self-analysis) that the reason i do NOT like to dwell on sad things is due to the fact that life is too serious. too important. and i'm quite aware of that.

therefore, give me happiness, the disney ending, any day of the week. i seek escapism because i know and understand completely that the world is not like that.
 

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Yes absolutely I work as a nurse and i see sadness all the time it's more of a sense of being moved both emotionally and spiritually. alike reading a book you can empathise with a person. Feeling moved is inspirational and gives you a sense of connection. I have seen the most peaceful moments at the time of death while incredibly sad at the same time. I feel being an infj allows us to grasp this very easily we are more able to cope with emotinally intensity and have no fear.
 

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As most things cannot occur without their opposite--- such as love and hate, black and white, happiness and sorrow--- I think this world is dependent upon balance. Therefore, this world is both beautiful and hideous.

How could we truly define beauty without knowing ugliness? The purest appreciation comes from knowing both sides equally.

But there are always shades of greys.
 

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I only just scanned the other responses to this thread so I apologize if I'm repeating anything...but this is actually, weirdly, something I was giving a lot of thought recently. I always have found a lot of comfort in sad feelings. I don't really have any excuse either, as I had a healthy, stable childhood. After breaking down the thought process recently, I think that its because it makes me feel free in a strange way. Sadness is usually felt as either a lack of or breaking of attachments, and I think that I self sabatoge a lot to obtain this feeling. INFJ's tend to have a rich inner world, and maybe this sadness/freedom makes us feel more in touch with ourselves. I'm trying to break this cycle now, and in some ways I feel more fulfilled and in other ways even more lonely. I don't want to be that 60 year old with cats and nightly martinis though (but hey, if that's your thing and you're rocking it, rock on :) I'm pretty sure I could make it work if need be) and I'm trying to attach more and just go with things anyway - I want to have a story, good or bad, is what I'm realizing. Just going with a wave that life presents though takes away from indulging in these waves of sadness (there just isn't the time or focus) and subsequently freedom, and I do kind of miss riding this wave, although I'm feeling a lot of other great emotions. It's a mess huh, lol.
 

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I don't know how to express this too well but I don't think I'm attracted to sadness. I think I have tendencies to revert back into a negative frame of mind due to my past but only because it's such a learned habit that it has taken me a lot of work over the years to beat it out of me.
For as long as I can remember, and now that I know better, I've had a sense of despair and hopelessness even as a child and throughout most of my life up until a few years ago. I guess it would be depression to an extent but to another it was just being very vulnerable emotionally and not equipped to handle disappointments in life. As bad as it got at times, there were the rare times when it was a comforting calm sadness. There are few times when I miss certain aspects of those times, not the hopelessness, but the calm, and like the Nirvana lyrics say, "I miss the comfort in being sad."
But overall I'd say I'm an optimist and that's probably why I think I've been able to overcome those feelings and push them away for the last few years. I'm truly thankful to be able to be happy after such a long long time.
I know I've never been able to handle any sad media to the point where I can rarely listen to music that even has a sad tinge because I'll easily be affected by it. I do like my dark dramas but nothing too deep. If I think about it, in all fairness, I try to avoid things that stir negative emotions.
 
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