Meaning of life?

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I feel that life is pointless. I've been taking all these steps to improve my mental health and finally gain stable employment... but I can't help thinking I'm chasing an empty goal. I have a clear understanding that I am just a product of evolution and natural selection, and that my only real purpose is to eat, sleep, and spread my genes -- the same as any animal. It's a game I don't want to play.

I'm not smart enough to contribute to science or philosophy, not talented enough to contribute to art or literature. I'm average at best. I could die right now and it truly wouldn't matter. I've read that around 155,000 die each day. I'm a drop in a bucket. Regardless of my depression, this is an objective truth.

I wish I was religious. I wish there was a God and that I am living and contributing to serve some higher purpose. But I just can't delude myself into believing that.
 
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Apotheosis

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I wish I was religious. I wish there was a God and that I am living and contributing to serve some higher purpose. But I just can't delude myself into believing that.
Would that be a Delusion?

I once read this saying; which I thought was good; if maybe a bit 'fluffy bunny rabbit'.

The meaning of Life is Love; the meaning of Love is beyond description
 
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Borderline

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I don't want to argue against anyone's faith, because for many people it is very helpful in dealing with depression. I would never want to take that away from someone.

I personally cannot believe in something which my intelligence tells me does not exist or cannot be true. I also believe that human emotion (ie Love) is a product of the brain and exists in the realm of science and chemistry (just as Depression is).

If you truly believe that there is something divine in the human experience, then I envy you.
 
ms_P

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I don't believe. Is there a club? Are there meetings?
 
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Apotheosis

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If you truly believe that there is something divine in the human experience, then I envy you.
I'm convinced that there is. I have little desire to convince anyone else of it either. I have thought about 'things' at depth; I enjoy very much listening & reading up on Atheism; & science is of interest. Some days I do have doubts about certain things; but in general I cannot escape the idea that there is very much more to life than meets the eye.
 
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Borderline

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I'm glad you have that belief. I do not share it and never will. I think that people have to believe there is more to life than meets the eye, because what meets the eye is a pale and meaningless existence. It's a survival mechanism.

Further, I think that if life only truly begins when you die, the universe is very poorly designed.
 
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Apotheosis

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I'm glad you have that belief. I do not share it and never will. I think that people have to believe there is more to life than meets the eye, because what meets the eye is a pale and meaningless existence. It's a survival mechanism.
Yes; there is that - there is truth in this. But we are very much the meaning; we give existence meaning.

Further, I think that if life only truly begins when you die, the universe is very poorly designed.
Depends what it was designed for?
 
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Apotheosis said:
Yes; there is that - there is truth in this. But we are very much the meaning; we give existence meaning.
That's a circular argument and depends on entirely on divine belief to have any real meaning.

Depends what it was designed for?
Or if there was a design at all. Or this isn't just one universe in a billion.
 
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Apotheosis

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That's a circular argument and depends on entirely on divine belief to have any real meaning.
In a way it is & does. But meaning can found purely in the scientific; materialistic & the subjective; without any reliance on the divine. Meaning can be found in the mechanism of life; the deterministic Universe; in the mathematical processes of life. To Einstein & many others; such things filled them with wonder.

A meaning can be found in social structures, or interpersonal relationships; in career or vocation.

Remove all magical, religious, spiritual & esoteric thinking; & what are we left with? A World & a Universe in which we can imbue with vast meaning.

Or if there was a design at all. Or this isn't just one universe in a billion.
Maybe. Maybe even just a tiny part of what is. Who knows?
 
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Borderline

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Apotheosis said:
In a way it is & does. But meaning can found purely in the scientific; materialistic & the subjective; without any reliance on the divine. Meaning can be found in the mechanism of life; the deterministic Universe; in the mathematical processes of life. To Einstein & many others; such things filled them with wonder.
For most people, average people, life isn't about studying mathematical equations or producing fine literature. It's about working 9 to 5 so you can pay your rent and eat (our equivalent of hunting/gathering). The rest is just filler and/or revolves around the compulsion to propagate the species. We do this for 40 or 50 years and then we retire, shrivel up in old age, and die.

If you find that kind of existence fulfilling or rife with intrinsic meaning... great. If you are one of 'the gifted few' who can make a lasting positive mark on the world (in science, literature, philosophy, etc.), even better.

I think that a process which is repeated billions and billions of times (more or less identically) is virtually devoid of meaning and is designed by nature to be purposeless to the individual (hence why so many people can die without having an impact on the species). Natural selection says that it is actually beneficial for members of species with genetic or hereditary flaws to die off.
 
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Borderline

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I probably shouldn't be expressing such views on a depression board, where people are vulnerable. You can delete this thread if you want.
 
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Apotheosis

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I probably shouldn't be expressing such views on a depression board, where people are vulnerable. You can delete this thread if you want.
I think this is an interesting discussion; you are free to express any views that you wish; within the posting guidelines. Of all places is not a MH forum & depression board the place to express such things?

I do know where you are coming from; & I can appreciate that perspective. I see 'it' from a different perspective. I would think a much wider one; but people do disagree; some people would think I am delusional; &/or severely mistaken. Although I sometimes find corroborative ideas on-line; I don't know people in my own life who share my esoteric subjective views; in fact most of the people I know find some them quite abhorrent or thoroughly confusing to themselves.

Something which does make sense to me is this - that I have had experiences of psychosis; which are not generally the norm. From this I have built a kind of map of personal meaning to these experiences. Whether or not this 'map' is intrinsically or objectively true - doesn't really matter - in regards to me feeling better about myself & the World, it does appear to work.

For most people, average people, life isn't about studying mathematical equations or producing fine literature. It's about working 9 to 5 so you can pay your rent and eat (our equivalent of hunting/gathering). The rest is just filler and/or revolves around the compulsion to propagate the species. We do this for 40 or 50 years and then we retire, shrivel up in old age, and die.
I would tend to agree - which is why I find the experiences of the 'mad' so interesting; & why I have always been fascinated with the subject of mental health & non ordinary or severely altered states; from even before I became unwell.

There is scope for a very wide range of different subjective experiences of life; without necessarily being a great thinker; or contributing great things to mankind. I love food - I have just been to tesco to buy the ingredients for a vegetarian chilli - all sorts in there; a bit of my own recipe; it will certainly be a unique & new taste. Such things I find interesting.

I am very interested in computers; it is a main interest; the nature of computing & the internet is such that no one person will know all there is to know; & the subject evolves & progresses at a very fast rate - the learning curve never levels out with the entire field of digital technology. Other subjects of interest have been fishing, driving, the drawing arts; digital art & photography, alternative healing; reading; philosophy; the outdoors; to name the main ones. I don't want to sound like I am giving you a pep talk - at certain times I have been in the pit of total depression; hopelessness, with life devoid of all meaning & any sense. But it does appear to pass.

I haven't worked in over 10 years - all those hunter gathers are in for a wake up call with the present economic climate. I look forward to old age; & death is something to be welcomed after a long & full life - my success I do not see in wealth; & marriage; & all the other trappings of outward prosperity - but more so in the accomplishments of the inner struggle; & of how well hardships & pain has been dealt with; or how much I have been able to process certain emotional & psychological states. Of course the wealth & a family of my own would be a nice thing - but they are not the be all & end all. I think that there is a profound value in suffering, pain & the depression I have gone through. There is a meaning in it to me. A value it has given me; that I would not have had; had my life been smooth sailing.

I know that you are probably aware of all these ideas & ways of thinking. I am just rambling my thoughts. A long time ago I read an article on depression which said; when depressed; then go with it, wallow in it, entertain it, allow it to come; that there is a good reason for it to be there. When it is pathological or extreme; it is of course a different kettle of fish; but I have found such advice helpful at times.

http://www.jungcircle.com/depression.html
 
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Dollit

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Can I just say that not everybody is brilliant or a high flyer and those people aren't the people who shore up society, they just rise to the top. The people who keep society going are the average people who are by far in the majority. Absolutely nothing wrong with average. Brilliance isn't all its cracked up to be.
 
scottsblue

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i lost my beliefs in god or super power with my love of football, with no enjoyment in football ther couldnt be a god in my eyes.

relationships and happyness come together like magic tho, u have to try different things. basicly just hang out the window to feel the breeze, your probably thinkin ur more likely to catch a £20 note sticking ur head out the window of ur car, than find any happyness. but you have to be patient or just put urself in a unusuall position, even to just shake things up for urself.
 
B

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My job councilor has me doing all kinds of things, but everything just feels I'm peeling potatoes. Imagine a life where everything has the same feeling as peeling potatoes... or worse. I don't have a single memory of actually enjoying life.

I'll try returning to this thread after my ECT treatments next week. Assuming I don't lose my memory.
 
KP1

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If you could have your ideal life money no object what would it be?
 
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Dollit

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I don't really think that there is any such thing as an ideal life - life changes all the time and so do we. The have an "ideal" life would make a person stagnate.
 
KP1

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People can have dreams,goals,aspirations and people can be content with what they have got in life for them life could be ideal and I don't think that means necessarily that they stagnate.
Often people have barriers either real or perceived to stop them achieving what they think they want in life and sometimes these barriers can be broken down eg through psychotherapy to improve quality of life.
I for one am not easily satisfied and I don't know why its probably just my personality. I had the career the husband the house the children which could be someones "ideal". It also came with a hell of a lot of pressure on me personally and hugh responsibilities which in the end possibly help along by my genes( lots of bipolar and other health probs in my family) I had a breakdown and shattered into little pieces. This was at the ripe old age of 46.I can't yet put the pieces back together and by the way I feel like humpty dumpty and I look like him too.
 
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saffron

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Quality of life is in the individuals wants and needs. it is so hard to get out of ruts sometimes and can not think of anything that will make things better. but until you yourself know what it is you desire the search will go on. Depression is a state of mind that takes away motivation, excitement and self worth.
Keeping busy in mundain tasks, or even certain work situations, will pass the time but it will not give you the satisfaction you need, a sense of acheivement if you feel that the goal in doing this is not a personal one.
settingsmall goals first will allow you to negotiate longer term ones, that are realistic and acheivable.but it will take self discipline.
So, for instance, if you agree that you have not done anything simple with the family like going for a walk in the woods or having a picnic for a long time and feel that this would give you some quality and something worth working for then there is a point in it all. but sometimes people get so stuck ina rut it is easy to forget what little things gave or will give you pleasure.
hope that makes sense.
S :hug:
 
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Borderline

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You have a very good understanding of depression. The entire world seems like a bland rice cake with a Tylenol aftertaste. In the state I'm in, there's nothing I want. Nothing I desire. Nothing I aspire to. I'm incapable of building a future. It's worse than prison.

I have my daily routine. I exercise every day. I jump through all the hoops my job councilor sets for me. There's really nothing I haven't tried.

Except ECT.

I'm hoping that ECT will repair or destroy the foul neurological connections my brain has been making for the past 15 years and give me a second chance (in reality, a first chance) at life.
 
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