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(Writing down thoughts)

I often find myself thinking that this whole learning process, accumulating knowledge and figuring oneself out is pointless, because we all die. It will just vanish.
Except when you write a book or otherwise pass on your knowledge. But for what? Those people will die too.
The only thing that remains is the ever-changing collective of humanity. Makes individualism kind of pointless, except that it can function as a catalyst for change in the collective. It always boils down to collectivism in my mind. Individualism often seems like feel-good construct of modern times to me, rather than a serious answer to the problems of collectivistic evil.

Give me your thoughts on this if you will.
 

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I think this is where the process-oriented nature of INFP journaling intersects with an INFJ's need to see results in the real world.


Excessive, purposeless writing never did much for me... I enjoy self-discovery and I'd consider my intra personal intelligence to be quite solid, but I'd rather let my thoughts exist in my head, bouncing around until I absolutely must record them, usually for some purpose be it a grocery list, an essay, a love letter.
 

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Things just are.

Actually that's way too 'being'-centric. No-thing really 'is', because that means a kind of enduring integrity. All manner of things are constantly being born and decaying at every moment. For items to really exist as we see them they'd have to somehow not be this way.

I think it's that we forget that, all things are really just passing by, since they're just appearances resulting from constant processes of change. We forget that we can't really hold on to anything, and then get frustrated when we're reminded of it. If we weren't deluded about it to begin with, it wouldn't happen. But who knows how to really do that.
 

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I often find myself thinking that this whole learning process, accumulating knowledge and figuring oneself out is pointless, because we all die. It will just vanish. Except when you write a book or otherwise pass on your knowledge. But for what? Those people will die too. The only thing that remains is the ever-changing collective of humanity.
First of all, you cannot guarantee the survival of the collective as much as you guarantee the survival of an individual (Because the same argument holds for both: sooner or later all things fade away, just in different time scale). Then the focus shifts, the question is not about attaining immortality for both, but to stay existent and give life its fullest potential; of knowledge, of the arts, of the commune, and of the individual journey. That is the glory of humanity.

If you give meaning to immortality only, then it is already a lost case. We are one among in the cradle of life; the fabric of spacetime is provided with all of its physical properties, and intelligent beings are let into existence in favorable conditions. Like in a golden wheat field, we slowly stand up in self-awareness, bring our head up in the field, and perhaps run around for a while; but there is always a time to bring our head back; a time to go. And there will be no one in the picture, only winds blowing past the field to make it wave in a sunset.

You ask what meaningful things existed in that story when in the end everything faded away. But what about the time you started to see the tall grass of the field; the time we first stood up, walked, and ran; the time we were so full of life we jumped up and down, climbed trees to see the horizon beyond; the memories of pain we felt when we fell down; the memories of lazy afternoon in the golden field, basking in the sun. All the joy, pain, uncertainty, learning, companionship, and progress; the story is not trying to tell you that there is nothing in the end; it's trying to tell you that life existed, and existed well.

(A story that never ends is not a story at all, but something else entirely. In the same way, you cannot equally ascribe properties to infinity and immortality as you would to finite things and life in all its fragility and struggles. What enables you to ascribe things as truly meaningful and beautiful in a comparative sense, is the fact that it is finite in nature. Nothingness has no meaning, but neither does infinity; in a fine line between those two are finite things; fragile and beautiful things and processes that can thus be called, meaningful.)


Makes individualism kind of pointless, except that it can function as a catalyst for change in the collective. It always boils down to collectivism in my mind. Individualism often seems like feel-good construct of modern times to me, rather than a serious answer to the problems of collectivistic evil.
In their appeal, they both have merits and unfavorable traits of their own. The key here is to balance the two ideologies in a way that is applicable to the current condition.

The core merit of individualism is that it's apt at bringing new things. Individuals are free to focus on developing constructs of their own as they saw fit. This means that there is no apparent limit to the extent of variety, which as you've said, feeds back to the collective to increase its arsenal of feasible constructs (arts, patents). In a situation where human survival was not a concern, individualism fosters civilizations in their adaptability, but at a cost of diminishing cohesiveness of society.
[ Example: the Renaissance, post-modern USA and other Westernized countries ]

The core merit of collectivism is that it's apt at tackling projects that are otherwise too immense for any individual alone. Collectivist approach to engineering, reconstruction, and survival often possesses far greater power and effectiveness. This means that there are greater effort toward building stable infrastructures and toward homogenizing the society. This also feeds back to the individuals who benefit from said infrastructures and cohesion of a homogenized society. In tough survival situations and advancing infrastructures, the collectivist approach gets the job done effectively, but at a cost of hammering down individuality (specific molds are introduced to force individuals to fit in it for the sake of utility for the collective).
[ Example: Industrial China, Germany, pre-1980 Japan, mid-WWII USA, Soviet Union ]
 

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Individualism does not exist. Everybody is tied somehow to the collective and influenced by the collective. Pure individualism inspired only from oneself does not exist, the individual is a result of a growing up process that involved other people. He did not exist separately from the rest. His personality, his decisions, his ideas were all a result of growing in the society, not alone, as an individual.

What's the purpose? It's easy. Even if the person dies, she helped shape the world. If it would all be stored in the individual, everytime all the knowledge would reset all the time. But it doesn't. All progress and ideas pass on from person to person, they improve it then pass it further. It's like a production line, every station adding to the product, until it is finished.

Yes, I will die too. No, I'm not that smart or a scientist. But I did help the world and left a mark on it. The ways are countless. I worked for Lenovo warranties, we got calls from research institutes. Could be anybody else that took the call, but no, it was me. I helped fix that laptop on which someone found a solution to something or came up with a new idea. I take no credit for the idea. But I was there, even if you did not see me. Now I work for a energy drink company that just held a running marathon for those that can't walk. I offered support to the teams so that they can accomplish this. Is my name anywhere? No. But did I help? Yes. I said something on a forum to someone that believes there is no point to it all. Did I get this idea in his mind for a second? Yes, I think I just did. It's never pointless. We want to see immediate results with very high impact. The truth is that the world is huge and the individual is small. I think you ask too much from him. You need to adjust your focus and appreciate the individual for what he is, you for what you are and life for what it means to all of us.
 

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The worldlines of our consciousness may go on forever Energizer Bunny-like. May also be some Thomas Nagel-like teleological effects for individuals and groups creating an all roads lead to Rome situation of sorts with karma-like progress/memories.
 

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Some people feel intensely that the world has meaning, significance, and import.

Every blade of grass and every gust of wind is speaking the meaning of life to them. Everything is just dripping with so much meaning that they can't even take it all in. It's overflowing from every mouth.

Obviously it doesn't follow from that that the world actually does have the meaning and significance those people feel but the converse is also true.

If I feel there is no point it does not follow from that that there actually is no point.
 

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Holy crap you guys are smart. >_>

...

Hmm, I actually thought of something along these lines today. Not so much in terms of individualism or collectivism but rather the root question. What does it all mean? What's it all for?

After all you're right, we do die. It does seem pretty pointless. And truthfully I've struggled to find the answer to this myself for quite some time before reaching something that was satisfactory to me. For me, time itself is a mural. An ode to our existence and the thing for which we ascribe our very lives to. We chip into time itself our piece of existence. Each one of our actions, however minute, is set in stone as soon as that second passes.

No one can steal that away from you. For as of this moment, I still breathe. I can still perceive the things happening around me and I can still do things until my death comes. And I know that, as soon as I perform an action that that action will be saved as having occurred in time for the rest of eternity. Kinda like filming one giant home movie. Perhaps it doesn't sound too romantic or substantial but I'm just glad to have been a part of the play. We don't reprimand children for their below par performances in a 4th grade play, we just play the tape and enjoy the memories.

And for me, that's what I seek as well. Every time I smile or every time I make another person smile, it's recorded and saved as a part of history. Eternally. It's why I can come to terms with my failed relationships or move on from terrible situations. Since, no matter what came to be from it, at some point I smiled within them. I enjoyed myself, I had fun, I was happy.

As for what you can do... perhaps share the love. For me, I only acquire as much knowledge as I need to make the next person I see happy or to fulfill my ambitions (which are fairly large). The significance of knowledge and to what end it serves is your destiny to control. If you spent seven years to become a doctor, I'm sure you'd save a life and cause a massive ripple in events. Or if you practiced an instrument, I'm sure you'd move a person to tears. Or even if you took the time to talk to someone that just really needs someone to listen...

Actions have significance. Time is your canvas.

Edit: Reading closer I see that I may have just given a "feel good nonsense" type of answer. xD

Collectivism...

Well I mean, we are part of the whole. That doesn't make the collective evil or the individual futile or meaningless. To the contrary, without the individual the collective could not possibly exist. Or rather, it could not possibly exist in the form that it currently holds. Remove any one individual and the collective changes. Remove them all and it ceases.

Being an individual and having the knowledge that you do unique to you gives you free reign to leave something etched into time. Even if it's as simple as your interactions today. This thread itself is proof that the individuals here have assembled due to your query and that these moments are now forever etched into time.

It'll all end one day, sure. But for now, life goes on...
 

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It's good you're thinking about these things.

Wisdom can be burdensome but it does have meaning. Sure, if you look at the big picture you are probably a dime a dozen but that's only incentive to help the world rather than yourself. Your life and quest for knowledge is only pointless if you treat it that way. You can make it meaningful and worthwhile.

I feel like individualism is kind of the nature of being one, sentient being. If you're seeing from one set of eyes most of the time, you're going to focus on what's going on through those the most. It's only natural. Still, I can't help but wonder what things would be like if they weren't that way. That's all I have to say lmao
 

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@Glassland

Even an individual is part of a collective, much like microorganisms are part of the human body.

While you are alive you can share your gifts with the world you are a part of. Those gifts are unique to you or at least not common for the whole collective. There is a middle way between extreme individualism and extreme collectivism :wink:
 

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Survival of a species seems to be the closest thing to an answer for meaning, observing how so many seem to driven by biological clocks even if they clearly don't seem mature enough or ready for parenting.
The film Lucy (2014 I believe) seemed to make more evolutionary sense alongside survival of the fittest, with people striving to share knowledge or breed en masse, as if biologically aware few will survive in the grand scheme of things a millenia later.
 

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It isn't 'for' anything. Alternatively it's 'for' whatever you want it to be.

The whole 'we're part of a collective! My contributions will live on!' always seemed like a bit of a temporary extenuation to me. The collective has a expiration date too, in all likelihood. The collective is an incredibly tiny fragment of existence. You could alter/contribute to the collective greatly and calling it a drop in the ocean would be ridiculously overblown praise. A drop in a goldfish bowl that fully recycles it's water every week maybe.

My answer to this question was: you don't matter, you never will matter. Not really. Now this seems terribly depressing on the surface and I suppose it is but... so what? It doesn't matter. You can cling to this realization and be sad about it because you feel like you have to but why? The realization isn't going to be awarded a medal by the universe. You can kill yourself but... why? To prove you won't play the game? Okay. But it doesn't matter if you won't play. If you genuinely want it though? More power to you. It's functionally equivalent to choosing to live and choosing to experience all this infinitesimal slice of existence has to offer.

It's depressing but it's also freeing. 'Want' is the only rudder you have so you might as well employ it fully.
 

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If my previous post does not help, perhaps this INFJ-ish song will make more sense.

 

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(Writing down thoughts)

I often find myself thinking that this whole learning process, accumulating knowledge and figuring oneself out is pointless, because we all die. It will just vanish.
Except when you write a book or otherwise pass on your knowledge. But for what? Those people will die too.
The only thing that remains is the ever-changing collective of humanity. Makes individualism kind of pointless, except that it can function as a catalyst for change in the collective. It always boils down to collectivism in my mind. Individualism often seems like feel-good construct of modern times to me, rather than a serious answer to the problems of collectivistic evil.

Give me your thoughts on this if you will.
one's life only makes sense within the context of the whole
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
three words:
near death experiences

If you would research the topic, you would soon discover that you are spirits temporarily living in human flesh...
I've already researched those and while the possibility of the supernatural always exists, NDE's are not a proof. There could also be a materialistic explanation to the phenomenon like synapses getting fried while you are dying.
 

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(Writing down thoughts)

I often find myself thinking that this whole learning process, accumulating knowledge and figuring oneself out is pointless, because we all die. It will just vanish.
Except when you write a book or otherwise pass on your knowledge. But for what? Those people will die too.
The only thing that remains is the ever-changing collective of humanity. Makes individualism kind of pointless, except that it can function as a catalyst for change in the collective. It always boils down to collectivism in my mind. Individualism often seems like feel-good construct of modern times to me, rather than a serious answer to the problems of collectivistic evil.

Give me your thoughts on this if you will.
But at the same time if it wasn't for reckless individuals chasing mirages there wouldn't be much change. If you look back to the past, our life is pretty incredible. We can express so much more individuality that they could have ever done due to technological and social limitations. It takes generations to see shifts in collective consciousness. For the longest period of time children were considered humans in the making, were treated very poorly psychologically, physical and sexual abuse were considered not worth making a fuss about. Life was rough, you don't have the luxury to think about others' suffering when you have to suffer a lot already.

In any case, there's a shift in mentality happening, because we have much more leisure time and ever less life threatening worries, it forces us to think about our own individuality. Whom you will marry, whom you will work with, what goals can you set for your life. Questions that only few could ask themselves in the past, when everything was managed by the community. Those changes challenge a lot of rules when it comes to societal behaviors, rules that organized society so thoroughly everyone had his little box with an identity attached, obligations, ambitions, a social place. Now it can seem chaotic at times, at least a little worrisome, maybe humanity isn't capable of making that shift and will disappear somehow.
 

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(Writing down thoughts)

I often find myself thinking that this whole learning process, accumulating knowledge and figuring oneself out is pointless, because we all die. It will just vanish.
Except when you write a book or otherwise pass on your knowledge. But for what? Those people will die too.
The only thing that remains is the ever-changing collective of humanity. Makes individualism kind of pointless, except that it can function as a catalyst for change in the collective. It always boils down to collectivism in my mind. Individualism often seems like feel-good construct of modern times to me, rather than a serious answer to the problems of collectivistic evil.

Give me your thoughts on this if you will.
Sounds like you're trying to soothe existential anguish by displacing the actual issues from the individual to the collective, which, to me, feels mostly like a cop out through diffusion of responsibility.

Problems and virtues of any collective both stem from the individuals who make it up - either from their inherent conditions, or through the emergent phenomena that arise from their interactions. You can't consider one without considering the other.

The ever-changing collective of humanity will also die eventually, if you want to be dramatic about it. Looking for meaning in the future (or the past) is the easiest thing to do when you can't find it in the present, but it's just avoidance on our part. Such is my opinion.
 
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