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What's the point/Why Bother?

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  • #66204
    Seeker
    Participant

    Hi all,
    I’m new to this forum but thought I’d give it a go instead of searching for inspiration via others’ discussions. I (in theory) know that the answers are supposedly within me, but maybe this will help.

    Basically, I’ve recently graduated university with a First, after working so hard and sacrificing other things for it. Suddenly, though- since I graduated, it all seems meaningless/pointless. I feel like I try and try, not just with work but with life in general (for example a year ago I had a tough but ‘expansive’ time traveling)— I try to learn/grow/be happier/wiser/better etc YET it feels like I just end up in the same place. It feels like I think I have learnt etc but then that I don’t really learn/grow/change etc, so I can’t help but feel WHY BOTHER/WHY TRY?

    I’m questioning- why bother/try at all in life? what’s the point of it all? do we even change/grow?, since it doesnt seem like it to me.. I mean- if in absolute terms we die and when we’re out of human form we remember we are already complete etc (in theory that’s what seems likely), then why bother since it doesnt make a difference? On the other hand, if we don’t change/grow and if nothing really matters, then (also) why bother?

    It sounds cliched but I’m also questioning the meaning of life, why I’m here etc.. (Perhaps there is a bit of depression in the mix too- not sadness per se but a kind of numbness/emptiness etc.. BUT really dont want to label myself/things, just thought I’d add that to the post in case it informs ppl better..)

    I feel kind of self-centered doing this- but I suppose others in the same/similar state might find answers/discussion helpful too. Thank you in advance for any ideas/support on here.

    #66205
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi Seeker,

    People have been asking that question since the beginning of time. The Book of Ecclesiastes and the Bhagavad-Gita are two texts which might be of interest to you.

    I found that it all boils down to either serving God and/or living according to your true nature.

    Another theory is that we are here to experience life that only we can in our unique way ~ and that God then experiences that through us as we are part of God.

    Forget your Shoulds or “I think”s. Do what lights up your eyes and puts a spring in your step. And if you can find something that also helps other people then that’s even better!

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 9 months ago by Inky.
    #66209
    Seeker
    Participant

    Hi Inky,

    Thank you for such a quick and kind reply, and for your suggestions!

    Erm, not to disrespect your beliefs and ideas (just I think I’d better be honest and open), but what if I’m feeling a lot of resistance towards the idea of God? Since a year or two I’ve lost faith/belief/trust in the idea of God, and religious/God terminology/stuff kind of makes me want to run the other way.

    Also, I just still think/react- but what’s the point in any of it still? Life doesn’t need me, it just is.. The world doesnt need me, when I’m gone it’ll still be here.

    #66211
    Inky
    Participant

    There’s a saying I love: “I believe in Aslan even if there is no Aslan. I am a Narnian even if there is no Narnia.”

    So you see, you don’t have to believe in God. But wouldn’t it be nice to Act As If? (And besides ~ Who knows??) And in all the holy texts from all religions there is a common theme: To help others. That rings true whether you’re an atheist, a Buddhist, or just a regular human!

    Sadly, it is true that life and/or the planet will continue on, if we drop dead or stop living life. But if you look in the mirror you will see a person crafted and altered through millions of years of evolution. We are made (for whatever reason) to love, help, run, play. Wouldn’t it be a shame if you realize The Meaning and it’s too late?

    At least begin. Start by doing exactly what you feel like, something that brings a smile to your face.

    #66231
    Seeker
    Participant

    Thanks again Inky. Again, a loving and compassionate response. I’ll try that- though there is a part of me that doesn’t want to do anything unless/until I see the point, I also see that maybe that’s like hitting my head against a brick wall. Perhaps, I hypothesise, the way to understand life is by living it and experiencing it, and that gaining understanding is part of that journey.. Maybe it won’t come to me if I just wait and think and think..
    Like you said, I’m just going to give moving on a go, and see how it goes.
    Much love, Seeker.

    #66238
    Jordan
    Participant

    I think what you are facing is an existential crisis. This often happens to really intelligent people, people who’s intellect exceeds wisdom. Your mind is “smart” enough to question such great things, but you lack the “experience” to link together purpose. This is becoming increasingly common as more people scrutinize life. Unfortunately people just scrutinize and never take a step back to experience. Intillects of the west have seen this problem many times, and what they refer to your “disease” is something called dispair. In existential terms, people go through life creating their own identity. A part of this identity is a career or life purpose. You go through life trying to build up towards some grand purpose (ex- a grand career, a grand relationship, a grand involvement in something). Eventually you may find that your grand purpose was not really something you wanted afterall. Maybe you really wanted to have a successful career, but are finding a job gives you less satsifaction than you thought. When this happens you feel “despair,” a feeling that arises when the identity you work towards is not something you want. Economically this is a “sunken cost,” an investment into something that will not pay off. You may spend much time seeking an answer or seeking some job, but find that is not what you want and then you “despair” over wasting time. The root of this problem is that we at a young age strive for some grand identity and only that identity. What we need to recognize is that there is no grand identity we can conceive of without some sort of “wisdom” (experience). When young with no experience we try to create something that’s not what we want. Instead just try to create multiple identities, and over time you may recognize what this grand identity is. Just live on and it will come to you. You just need the experience to enhance “wisdom”, and this wisdom will alight the seed of grand-identity that you are waiting for. Now this is really painful to just wait idly by for that seed to come, but that is all you can really do. It will grow on it’s own. Don’t despair over wasting time, instead realize that this is growing the seed. Even getting a degree in something you don’t like is still helpful, it still serves to reinforce that is not what you want. Now you can go on and try something new.

    Solution? To cope with the above you need a spiritual connection. I don’t mean religion, I mean spirituality. Spirituality is not the same as religion, and although it could involve a deity there are non-deistic spiritual paths. This just means an overall connection- whether that be the cosmos or god, or your own nature. Read a little into Thereveda Buddhism, they deal extensivly with your problem. Try Vipassana meditation. There are religious texts like Inky suggested, but these often just serve the intellect and not the wisdom. The Bhagivad Gita is a good quick read- it is the first text on psychoanalysis. Another figure, Alan Watts, has really good books and youtube discourses that discuss life/death/spirituality/purpose in terms relatable by intellects.

    I face the exact same problem you do. I go through bouts of depression over seeing the point of it all, but when I take a step back I see better. Don’t worry if you get depressed over this, it is quite natural. Just remember that overtime things will work out.

    #66259
    Seeker
    Participant

    Wow, thank you Jordan. This resonates quite a bit! There’s a lot in there and without babbling on, the ideas really help. It seems there’s a weird balance between consciousness (which thinking can sometimes help) and living..

    Slightly unrelated but related nonetheless, another thing that is part of this feeling is my realising how I sacrificed fun and living to the full, and non-academic opportunities (societies, trying new things, friendships/possible relationships, honestly and fearlessly exploring sexuality/relationships even or just finding out who I am), and right at the end before I graduated I had a few weeks of fun and really living in a sense, and maybe part of the feeling of the work being meaningless/not worth it comes from my wishing I’d had fun too. It kind of feels like I’ve missed all those opportunities and part of me wishes I could go back to university, not for the work but to have fun/make the most of opportunities.

    Maybe that’s part of my lack of motivation too- a part of me right now feels why bother , and a part just wants to have fun somehow and not have responsibilities like finding a job.

    #66665
    Steve
    Participant

    I think Jordan has some wise words to say there.
    I would just like to pick up on something you said first up…”I (in theory) know that the answers are supposedly within me”
    This is true to an extent. You are the final arbiter of your ideas, however, ALL change and growth is triggered from external sources. You won’t get the idea to become a clown or seek God or eat cannibals…unless the idea is triggered by an external source. You will then take it on board, toss it around and come up with a decision. And, as Jordan says, you have to be exposed to those external forces and ideas somehow…and the best way to do that is to live life to the full. Sitting around contemplating your navel will not provide those wisdom -building opportunities. Get out and try some things. If they work, great, if they don’t, even greater…you will learn some valuable lessons.

    #66667
    Tir
    Participant

    The spiritual path teaches you the difference between learning and regret, about being and acceptance. The point is that there is a million points but they are fluid and in tandem with what you accept and what you let go of. When I feel an existential moment, I immerse myself in nature because the beauty and vastness of it all with the magical reality of science meeting wonder makes me understand interconnectedness in a way that paychecks, personal relationships and societal conformity or lack thereof never will. Also, read Viktor Frankl’S Mans Search for Meaning because it gives those of us with existential crises something to think about outside of ego. I hope you find meaning within and without. This may not seem like it right now, but seeking is a good thing.

    #66808
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Let me get this Thing straight to you . Its all in your brain . The Things You do , The Things You think About , More than 80% Of the decisions You Take is already decided by Your brain but YOU Dont realise this . Just look in science . Its already acknowledged by scientists. Only a small part of what we make are concious decisions . I mean Why You Keep on Having Thoughts about What the meaning of life is and all such thoughts ….. Well Its not your fault . Its Your brains fault . Its You Brain wanting to know The meaning of life . Why doesnt it just see the things around us happening I.e. vision and just consider it as all random things . Look At The Sun up there . Why doesnt it just accept the Sun and stop Feeling mystery And intrigue ? . See , its all in your brain .

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