Existential Crisis... Have you had one?

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I've been in one for so long I can't even imagine not being in one.

Strazdas:

OniaPL:

Lottery and religion are two different entities which do not belong in the same category, you can't compare them. I fail to see what you intended to convey with this comparison.
And how do you determine "a good cause"? There is no universal, objective good cause.

Both run on people stupidity and false belief.
While not objective, a universal good cause is one that ensures existence. Stupidity and blind belief does not fall into that. although i do agree lottery is not the best example. However when people think they can heal cancer with prayer this does not help humanity. or maybe it does, it weeds out the stupid.

Well, the stupidity of belief depends entirely on a) how the person expresses his faith and b) the point of view from which you are assessing the situation.

Wesstboro Baptist Church? Yes, that's stupid.
Terrorist organizations using religion as a way to recruit pawns? Yeah, not that good either.
A person refusing treatment because it's not what God intended? Yeah, dumb.

But the part that you are forgetting is that these are all extremes. Every religion, faction, organization etc. has it's extreme sides. If you right now go out and walk up to an average, sensible christian/muslim/buddhist/whatever, they will not tell you to burn in hell because you are an ungodly monster. These extremes will always exist, but their existence does not invalidate everything else.

While in less developed countries religion remains a problem, that's not how it has to be. Christianity, being a mjority religion in most developed countries, has evolved past that point, and I don't see why something like Islam wouldn't evolve past it's troubles with women for example.

However, if you'd say that religion, as a whole, needs to adapt to the modern world and not the other way around, that is what I'd agree with.

Strazdas:

OniaPL:
But that's on humanity, not religion itself. Besides, the dark ages can't be compared to modern ages since during the dark ages and before them religion played an important part in the affairs of the state while in the modern world religion largely does not have much of a say when it comes to politics, legislation or similar affairs that could hinder the scientific progress that other people strive for.
Third world countries are a different matter, of course.

Humanity made godreligions. religion, being construct of humanity, has all the problems humanity has. While church does not have the ultimate power anymore, to say that it does not have a say in politics legislation, scientific progress of even something as simple as teaching biology in school is simply ignorant. Do you not remember the incident when a woman sued the local government, because the senior home were forcing prayer before food. Or how religious zealots stopped stem cell research pre-obama? or how abortion is still not legal in many states? or how gays are shunned by religious zealots?

I do admit i attacked you too zealously, i am like that, and for that i am sorry. but religion is a thing that should not be sought out or even suggested. Not in the state it is now anyway.

Aren't those all incidents that happened in USA aside from the LGBT community's grievances with religious folk? I hadn't even heard of this "senior home forcing prayer" bit.
While those are things that happened, judging all religious folk for it would be the same as me judging all americans for the bad apples that their country has.
Besides, USA as a nation is so divided that it has become the land of extremes as far as I am aware, and therefore there are a lot of religious extremists on the move. But it's the same with any other thing over there.

I'm largely afraid that we have ran into one of the problems of the internet discussion which has created a disconnect between us. I'm talking as a citizen of Finland; In my country religion has no say in the teaching of biology, nobody's forcing prayer on anyone and abortion is perfectly legal. IT just is there, and helps some people to get through their days.
Meanwhile you are arguing on behalf of the USA (which is a mess of a country anyways), where things are different and at least if I am to trust the image news gives me, everyone is a raving lunatic.

I guess my main problem with your argument is that while religion has it's bad sides, the majority is at the very least neutral. You don't hear about the man who gets a feeling of happiness from the thought of a god watching over him, nor do you hear about the events that the church organizes that some people enjoy etc.
Religion brings a lot to some peoples lives, but all you ever hear in the media are the crazy ones, who are the "vocal minority".

1. Became anorexic, got pretty sick.
2. buy gun, place on head, pull trigger.
3. repeat step 2.
4. fuck hi-point.
5. alcohol as a constant. Just everyday.

(a slight exaggeration actually, the gun keeps refusing to load the bullet into the chamber, so I didn't quite get to the placing on my head part. still fuck Hi-Point.)

OniaPL:

Aren't those all incidents that happened in USA aside from the LGBT community's grievances with religious folk? I hadn't even heard of this "senior home forcing prayer" bit.
While those are things that happened, judging all religious folk for it would be the same as me judging all americans for the bad apples that their country has.
Besides, USA as a nation is so divided that it has become the land of extremes as far as I am aware, and therefore there are a lot of religious extremists on the move. But it's the same with any other thing over there.

I'm largely afraid that we have ran into one of the problems of the internet discussion which has created a disconnect between us. I'm talking as a citizen of Finland; In my country religion has no say in the teaching of biology, nobody's forcing prayer on anyone and abortion is perfectly legal. IT just is there, and helps some people to get through their days.
Meanwhile you are arguing on behalf of the USA (which is a mess of a country anyways), where things are different and at least if I am to trust the image news gives me, everyone is a raving lunatic.

I guess my main problem with your argument is that while religion has it's bad sides, the majority is at the very least neutral. You don't hear about the man who gets a feeling of happiness from the thought of a god watching over him, nor do you hear about the events that the church organizes that some people enjoy etc.
Religion brings a lot to some peoples lives, but all you ever hear in the media are the crazy ones, who are the "vocal minority".

I just picked the USA incidents for couple reasons like USA usually gets more exposition and thus is more known, european nations are more atheist than the rest of the world, and african/asian countries usually have extremists to the point of "ban games because its from the devil" in the goverments and i think we both agree thats wrong but does not directly apply to our situation.
Yes, those are extremists, but extremists are speaking loud and no non-extremists bother to shut them up. you know why? because very often those views are the views of the religion they follow, they just dont follow it diligently enough to undermine their own logic, like those extremists do.
Finlandish then, very nice, you are in one of those countries that seem to seperate church and public services the best and i think the rest of the world has A LOT to learn from you. but that may cause the problem of you not seen the examples i told happen and thus remain skeptical. Here in Lithuania, not far from you, we had mandatory catholic teaching at schools, the public ones mind you. if it were religion in general it would be fine, but it was the local christianity to the point that has baptism performed on all of us. We had no choice, and our culture endorsed it as a good thing. Too bad i wasnt smart enough by then to argue against them and endured silently. Abortion is illegal in my country and it is considered a "major crime" due to religion influence. the church advocate which political group to vote for and in fact we got one political group call themself "christians party" (even though they are not christians, but the 80 year old lady that got back from Siberian coal mines after independence doesnt really know better). I am arguing on behalf of majority of the world. I wish that it was limited to US, i truly do.
I guess we need to define religion more strictly to argue whether majority of it is bad or not. for simplicity i take the major religions out there. and out of those only buddhism is somewhat neutral. Others on the other hand is inherently "bad". Thing is, most people who consider themself "Religiuos" do not actually follow though with their holy book, so the confusion of "good chistian" vs "good person thinking hes a christian" appears. (substitute christian with other religions if thats better for you, its a major one here so i pick that as example i know best). Yes, there are people who get happy from thinking that somoen watches over them. usually those people will not take charge of their life expecting some god to save them anyway. i do not endorse such behaviuor though. this feeling can be equated to when a fireman feels good by helping the community even without adequate payment. however in this case hes actually doing something useful.

Capcha: what to see
i think capcha always has a relevant metaphor ready. if there is a god, its name is capcha.

I've given myself a big ass goal that maybe impossible, but I'm setting myself a challenge to keep life exciting. This works for me, just think of all the silly children TV shows where they go "I'm going to be the best ____".

Katatori-kun:
I kinda had one of those once. Here are the steps I took to resolve it.

1. Went to GP. Was given a sample of SSRIs in a brown paper bag with hand-written dosage instructions scribbled on it.
2. Took a dose. Went nuts for a day.
3. Researched those particular pills. Discovered the horrific side-effects which the doctor gave me no warning of. Vowed

Seroxat by any chance? They're one I never tried.....for good reasons.

OT:

Had a crisis, fell apart, quit everything, lost most of my friends, distanced myself from my family, won't go out much any more. Not sure if anyone still worries about me as I don't really have much contact with friends and family any more, and even when I do, no meaningful or deep exchanges occur.

I live by simple rules really..

1) Do my job well and be a reliable worker.
2) Be a decent person. If I can help, I will.
3) Don't save, if I want something and I have the cash then fuck it, I'm buying it!
4) Don't bother with a pension plan......I won't be needing it.

I had one when I was thirteen, and we don't talk about that time since it was.....bad.

It went on for several months, and longer than I probably should have let it.

I didn't know what I was doing with it or what was happening until I talked to one of my teachers since she noticed I seemed off. She told me to stop wallowing in it and over thinking everything and just focus on stuff that matters to me. Also to find something that I like doing and just do that, which was playing music and playing games, and that helped a lot.

It took some time, but I eventually got over it.

Had an existential crisis? Let me tell you, my LIFE is an existential crisis. My choices represent the holding pattern that is the very causality of life. And I'm the best damned rock in all of the storms of existence.

Had a minor one around 13. I'd watched a lot of "End of the World" movies and started having dreams of the world ending with everyone except me having something to do. That was seriously the worst part, I felt like nothing I did would ever matter because the moment I'm gone, that's it, even if I did something memorable, no one would remember it and if they did, it wouldn't last long.

Then I just thought, fine then, as long as I feel like I've done something good, I'll be fine.

Private Custard:

Katatori-kun:
I kinda had one of those once. Here are the steps I took to resolve it.

1. Went to GP. Was given a sample of SSRIs in a brown paper bag with hand-written dosage instructions scribbled on it.
2. Took a dose. Went nuts for a day.
3. Researched those particular pills. Discovered the horrific side-effects which the doctor gave me no warning of. Vowed

Seroxat by any chance? They're one I never tried.....for good reasons.

It's been so long I don't clearly remember, but I think it was Celexa.

Though frankly, I think it's irresponsible to the point of criminal negligence for a Dr. to give any medication without documentation.

Katatori-kun:

Private Custard:

Katatori-kun:
I kinda had one of those once. Here are the steps I took to resolve it.

1. Went to GP. Was given a sample of SSRIs in a brown paper bag with hand-written dosage instructions scribbled on it.
2. Took a dose. Went nuts for a day.
3. Researched those particular pills. Discovered the horrific side-effects which the doctor gave me no warning of. Vowed

Seroxat by any chance? They're one I never tried.....for good reasons.

It's been so long I don't clearly remember, but I think it was Celexa.

Though frankly, I think it's irresponsible to the point of criminal negligence for a Dr. to give any medication without documentation.

Aah, brand name version of citalopram, same as cipramil (one of a few that I took). Side effects weren't too bad for me....I just hated the constant belching/gas build-up, leg twitching and general spaceyness.

Tricyclics, now they were an extreme for me (Dothiepin).

I have existential crises all the fucking time, because I'm depressed and think a lot. Sometimes, I could just be sitting down with my friends, and I feel...nothing. I'd feel empty, and I'd get so absorbed in my negative thoughts about myself and life that I just say to myself, "You know what? I don't care anymore. I don't care what happens me. Someone or something just kill me now, because I'm fed up of this bullshit. There's so much weird shit that could happen to me or the people I love right now, and I'm so scared and confused I don't even want to live anymore."

Essentially, I know that I'm insignificant, I know that all humans are insignificant, and eventually, everyone I know, including myself, will die and disappear into the dustbin of history.

But whatever. I've never actually attempted suicide; not seriously, anyway. I'll make my own meaning in life. If there is a meaning in life (which there's not; "meaning" in anything is nothing more than a social construct), then it's just for people to live and die, since that's what humans are best at. Living and dying.

I personally want to become a writer and obtain enough money to have the comfortable lifestyle I've always desired.

I think you need to have at least one to really "grow up".
You see the world for what it really is for the first time and it devastates you.
Then you make an effort to be happy again. Build up your reasons why.
Then you continue on.

If there's something that I've learned in my lifetime, is that there seems to be more effort involved in being happy than there is in being miserable. I try to maintain a happy/neutral. You can shatter from happiness and you can drown in sorrow. I like to...not do either of those things.

So, to answer the title I'd say yes that I've had one and every once in a while it lingers near.
But I fight it off.

I feel that most days, but then I just think of the wise words of Yahtzee " Maybe all gaming is pointless, just toying with the gravel on the big road of life. But hey, at least there's violence and tits!"

I'm a moody teen, of course I have. I guess I've never really concerned myself with fate or whatever (I firmly believe there is no higher power or any such crap), but I've wondered what the point of it all is. Specifically for me that is, not for life in general; I just wondered what I'm doing with my life and if it's worth it, not if life itself has a meaning.

yes i have and what worked for me was pretty simple. i started learning old scrafts, put in a veggie patch, i tend to make alot of things myself these days from scratch from lasange through to making willow bark rope, etc for baskets instead of just going to the shop and buying a bucket.

its never as efficient, its harder, it takes longer to do something but i find it more satisfying escpecially growing things

It bothers me from time to time but the way I deal with it is realising that no matter how much I worry it won't change anything so it's better just to go along trying not to think about it. I do think that our lives are already determined to some extent but you do have choices along the way.

SirBryghtside:
Nah, I'm happy with how I worked it out. There is no such thing as free will, all just chemicals having reactions and stuff, but I'm pretty content going along with it and enjoying myself. That is my one philosophy, just to enjoy things to the maximum level. Sometimes kills my foresight, but generally I'm really content with things.

I don't really get all this whining about free will. We are logical and highly intelligent beings. We're smart enough to understand what we are doing and why we are doing it. Every action we take is a voluntary one based on a choice that is made for a reason that we understand and decide upon before we make it. We're autonomous.
What more could you really ask for? Would you rather our actions just be completely random?

I used to have them when I was younger. Before I knew about biology and chemistry and physics. That's one of the perks about learning science - it gives you a wider perspective.

What is the point of our lives? Well, that's the thing - the Universe or God or Nature (whatever you want to call it) doesn't give us one. Why are you here? Because two human beings copulated and genetic material was exchanged and an egg was fertilized and you developed according to the laws of physics, chemistry and biology along a path determined by your genetics. That's why you're here. That's the only reason why any of us are here.

The universe doesn't care about us, or at least, not in any way that I can fathom. Things just happen due to long chains of causes and events over the course of time. Humans care about each other - the rest of the universe, not so much.

When it comes to dealing with an existential crisis, one has to deal with THEIR reason for living. You're not given one by the universe. At best you're given a reason for living by other people, but usually we have to come up with a reason ourselves. That's what you've got to do - come up with an internal reason for living, one that won't change easily. My reason for living, selfish as it is, is because I'm interested in seeing stuff happen. I'm curious about the world, curious about what will happen in history, regardless of whether it's good or bad.

I suppose? Maybe when I was 14?

I can't tell if the results of my life are the product of my own choices or a predetermined path.

Bolded the correct answer, in my opinion anyway, some could say it is partially the product of random chance too.
I don't see how it matters though, just keep living, if you enjoy what you do, continue doing it, if you don't, stop. Hammertime.

This haunts me every morning. Life feels pointless. Life is hollow. My life is nothing. If I died that wouldn't have any impact on the world. It's like tossing a pebble in the ocean. There are some ripples, but there's no change.

Then I have my morning cup of coffee and I feel awesome.

However to be a little more serious I don't believe my life matters to anyone besides me and my friends. I wont leave the world as a better place than the world that I first come to, but does it really matter? I can try to make a difference and I can enjoy life and what it has to offer.

AnarchistFish:
I've had periodic panic attacks to do with fearing death, ever since I lost my religion.

In November I got something like this full on. Fearing death, fearing ageing, fearing how short life is, fearing eternal non-existence, fearing how futile life is no matter how good or bad it is. Preys on your thoughts all the time. It peaked around Christmas time. Worst thing about it is feeling that even if I got over it I'd just be ignoring the problem I've realised here.

"Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not." -Epicurus

This thought has been helpful to me in the face of circumstances similar to those you describe.

coheedswicked:
Existential Crisis... Have you had one?

Not really, only almost every day.

It's far worse when you think about being dead. An eternity of nothingness, and not even realising it.

I have had a few scares about death. Not me dying, but everyone else.

A few months ago it hit me, really hit me, that the day my father or mother dies is the last time we'll ever have had a chance of seeing each other. That I will, very likely, live years or maybe decades after that without ever seeing them or hearing their voice or talking with them about all sorts of stupid things. My memories will be all that remain. I also realized that either me or the man I love will likely have to outlive the other, and that in my family of five siblings, someone will be last.

I managed to visualize this future so vividly in my head that I gave myself a panic attack of sorts. And with a pang I suddenly realized why some people need faith in an afterlife to even get up in the morning.

My most recent existential crisis was a period in my early 20's. Basically I was upset that the idealism I learned in grade school wasn't true, and the world is a big bad place. I got over it with the "yes, and?" technique.

"Everyone is out for themselves, and there is no true meaning to life!" "Yes, and....?"

Yes, I certainly have - and such things as angst, ennui, etc., are still things that haunt me - and I've come to think that they haunt everyone who has yet to take the blue pill...

Anyway, the largest one marked a crossroads in my life. At that time, I was either going to give up any will to live, or find some way to do something to address the source of the problem. I spent a lot of time in serious reflection upon my life, reconstructing it from my earliest memories, first with my usual attitude, and then, after remembering some things that brought me a glimmer of confidence, looking over my life again in light of THAT attitude. This process ultimately culminated in an epiphany that lead me to the next step I had to take.

I decided that I would do what I could to open up dialogue about the very problems which lead me to crisis - "How should one live?", "How can one lead a meaningful life?", "What direction should all this be headed in?", etc. To that end, I chose to return to school, study philosophy, where I met some like-minded people who are my companions in the mission to find/create meaning (not the 'every man for himself' individual meaning which is clearly insufficient, but a meaning that can be shared across humanity). I'm now in graduate school, on my way to teaching, so that I can extend the dialogue to others with similar experiences/concerns. I still don't have the answers, but genuinely working to do something about it has kept me from outright nihilism, and validated my concerns by letting me know that I am not alone in struggling with such worries, and they are a serious problem not to be dismissed - indeed probably the single most serious problem one can concern themselves over.

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