General Question

dopeguru's avatar

I just don't get the purpose of life anymore?

Asked by dopeguru (1928points) April 15th, 2015
25 responses
“Great Question” (7points)

We do the same things over and over again. Life isn’t satisfying to me when the past is a burden of broken hearts. Im walking down the street and feel deep sadness. Im going to grow old and die, dancing with the same hopes until then. It just isn’t fulfilling and it is misery. I don’t get it, I just don’t. The only way I can forget is to keep myself very busy with worldly things, but thats just avoiding the objective perspective of what life is really about.

Am I stupid to think this way?

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talljasperman's avatar

It sounds that your awareness is maturing. When the student is ready then the master will appear. I suggest taking a philosophy course or start writing about your revelations.

dopeguru's avatar

@talljasperman Yeah… I’ve been aware forever though. Thats why I’m an emotional wreck.

Blondesjon's avatar

I hit the same wall of existential angst about twenty years ago and started drinking beer on a regular basis.

the anecdote just kind of ends there. things worked out.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Why are you so sure that there is a purpose?

dopeguru's avatar

@Blondesjon Haha. I started pot.

Zaku's avatar

You’re not stupid. This is a great opportunity to check in with your feelings and get what they’re all about, so that you can choose what you really want to do with yourself from this point on.

It works best if you can remember how to be happy in the present, and not bother with ideas about the past and future. All that we ever actually experience is the present. The past and future don’t exist until they get to the present, and thinking about them too much can be a big distraction from your actual life, and your enjoyment of it.

Remember what you love, and focus on that.

Blondesjon's avatar

@dopeguru . . . I started smoking pot because I smoked it once and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

hominid's avatar

You are not stupid for feeling this way. This is the same for everyone. We all have to find our own way to live with reality.

@dopeguru: “The only way I can forget is to keep myself very busy with worldly things, but thats just avoiding the objective perspective of what life is really about.”

You could try this. But as you suspect, it’s avoidance and procrastination. In my experience, it’s also quite painful.

You could try to figure out what it’s like to not ignore reality, and just see what you can learn. The only advice I can offer is that from your other threads here, make sure you try this for some time alone*. We all take it alone anyway. So, skip the whole dating thing for awhile and see what happens when you pay closer attention to your fears and desires. You’re young. They will change in content – but they may not change in character. If you can figure some important things out now, it may make moving forward easier.

* In my experience, healthy relationships require two individuals who are comfortable with being alone. They’re not come to in fear of loneliness or a dependency. If you can be ok with being alone, you’ll be able to see more clearly when you choose a partner.

dopeguru's avatar

@hominid Everyone thinks this way and finds their own way?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

You hit the nail on the head, the pursuit of wordly things is always a let down because there is nothing or no one one in the world that can fill what the soul lacks. If all there was, was this, man is surely a miserible wretch.

hominid's avatar

@dopeguru: “Everyone thinks this way and finds their own way?”

Sure. Drugs, tv, consumerism, money, religion – it’s all a quest for happiness. We are all hoping to be happy someday, so we desperately try to find a way there. You are not alone. Even people who announce their happiness and appear to have figured out are not immune. They will get sick, people they love will die, they will suffer, and they will die.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You found the purpose of life. It’s nothing other than to reproduce. Pass those genes on, big f***ing deal. No, the meaning in life is to have fun, provide others with fun, enjoy the trip, and in the end, not have any regrets for what you missed out on. Make your existence help a few others and let them help you.

kritiper's avatar

There is no purpose, at least, not a defined one. For there to be a purpose, your life would have to have been planned, which it wasn’t. If there is any purpose at all, it is that you were born to die. Hate to be so gruff, but get used to the idea. I have.

tinyfaery's avatar

Make your own purpose.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

So true, life is just a big gaping black hole. Just spend a couple of days in a hospital and this idea will really and truly hit you! Futile and painful. I often wonder why we celebrate new life when all we are doing is welcoming yet another victim who will fall into the self-defeating cycle of misery. Anyway, one has to see it the way. @Adirondackwannabe puts it. It is the only way to get over it.

livelaughlove21's avatar

The purpose of life: To live, and then eventually die.

You’re welcome.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Your life can have purpose, it’s really up to you. Every day you have an opportunity to do things that will help other people to have a happier, safer, healthier and/or more fulfilling life. Whether you’re a parent, a teacher (formally or informally), a healer, a volunteer, an advocate, an activist or many other things, you can make the world a slightly better place every day. You don’t have to be Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King or Marie Curie. You can just be you, but live your life with the hope that you’ll make a difference in some small way.

Perhaps instead of spending your time worrying about how you can make yourself more appealing to dropkicks, you could spend some time thinking about what and who matters to you (and I’m not talking about men who want to use you) and what you can do, even in tiny ways, to make those things or people’s lives better.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

The purpose of life is to find your purpose in life.

LostInParadise's avatar

You have learned a great lesson. There is no purpose to life. There is no set of goals that you are required to fulfill. Here is the next lesson to learn. Love is all there is. I don’t mean love only in the narrow romantic sense. I mean a love of life in its entirety – the good, the bad and the ugly. It is absolutely extraordinary. Embrace it in all its aspects. You have only a limited time so don’t squander it. If you are in a rut, then move on to some new area.

LuckyGuy's avatar

There is no grand, assigned purpose. It is up to you to decide how you want to spend the years you have. Will you spend them creating something or will you tear things down? Will you make the world better or leave a trail of debris behind you? You decide.

I am a productive, creative engineer with a moderately successful business and family. After my surgery, for a number of months I was incontinent. During that period I noticed that my life centered around the intake and output of fluids. 90% of my brain power was devoted to either retaining or eliminating pee.
Without realizing it, my quest for dry undies became my purpose in life. Fortunately those days are past and I can focus on more important, worldly issues – like sex and bacon!

(You’ll get through this. I promise.)

Bill1939's avatar

Watching the idealistic expectations of my twenties, the belief that prejudices would decline, individuals could be themselves and opportunities to achieve their dreams would increase, become the opposite fifty years later had left me despondent. It seemed, as others here have stated, that nothing changes, that the only reality is one is born, maybe reproduces and dies, that the is no purpose beyond distracting oneself from the pointlessness of life.

The problem with this perspective is that to have it one most focus their attention on themselves. However, when one considers others, cares about them and tries to make their lives better their despair diminishes. Retired and having sufficient means to live without struggling to survive I spend much of my time volunteering, delivering meals to the elderly and ill who are unable to get out, helping our food kitchen provide meals to the poor, aiding the terminally ill with palliative care and helping them to die with dignity, serving on community organization’s board of directors, and more.

Human nature is slow to evolve. Greed, hunger for wealth, and the power to control others has existed since civilization began and likely long before that. The only way that this will change is one person at a time. The individual must invent their own purpose by discovering how they may diminish suffering by serving others.

janbb's avatar

Life just is; you have to create your own purpose or purposes.

kevbo's avatar

Many years ago, I enlisted a friend to do a type of energy work on me. One of the messages I got from it was “don’t worry about your (great) sadness.” This didn’t come with an explanation, and I found it frustrating because I wasn’t given a reasonable alternative, and I wouldn’t be satisfied without some answer regarding a way out.

So here’s what I’ll say about your situation based on my experience. World-weariness and profound sadness are the birthing pains of a spiritual awakening. When life is good, there’s no need for introspection, because the focus is on soaking up life experiences. When experience stops being satisfying, it opens the door (and even nudges you) to discovering an altogether different level of understanding life. When that happens, everything gets better and pretty much stays that way.

So as maddening as it might sound, don’t worry. If you want to do something about it, start looking inward and finding guides to help you look inward.

When you find a path that works for you, it’ll be easy to let go of the worldly things that comprise the activity-for-activity’s-sake in your life.

Things will get better, I promise, but it may take some time.

talljasperman's avatar

Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Looks like your life is finally going to be worth more than it has ever been.

chinchin31's avatar

Well I think religion helps… ( that is just my opinion).

I often get depressed a lot too as I find life consist of more mean and judgemental people than it does nice people. I am also very sensitive person generally. So I can understand how you feel.

I have “fooled” myself into believing that there is an eternal life after death and it will be a life full of no pain or unhappiness and that there will be justice for all evil people in proportion to the evil things they have done on this earth.

Christianity and the bible teaches us this and I believe it. I think having a belief like this helps me to keep positive in life.

I don’t think life has no purpose. I couldn’t believe that everything just goes black when you die and you are a nothing forever. I think if you believe this then life has no meaning and is probably the reason why a lot of people commit suicide. But that is my assumption. They just want to end it all.

I think you should see life as a journey. Try to do as much good as possible, even when people are mean to you , in the belief that you will be rewarded with an eternal happy life by God when you die. The hope of a life to come is the only thing that keeps me going in life.

I wasn’t always like this but the older I get the more I find thinking like this helps in life . I never read the bible growing up but now as an adult I do. I find that it ( the new testament) does help me to make sense of life.

I think for life to have meaning you have to have some sort of belief system and stick to it, even if you are not religious. You have to learn to think for yourself and not just follow everything that is popular because popular beliefs are always changing. This is not easy but I think in the long run it makes life more meaningful.

I am not forcing you or judging you. That is just my two cents.

I also think it is very important in life to find something you are good at and be the best at it. I think too many of us are slaves to the system set up by society and government. E.g I think our school systems are too geared to rewarding academic success. I think if you live in places like America it is less so though. I think if everyone did what they love to do and were equally rewarded for it there would be less problems in the world. I think society is generally unfair as we are forced to study and do things that add no value to our lives and by the time many of us realise this we are in our thirties or forties. I think this is the cause of the mid-life crises . A realisation that we were living someone else’s dream and not our own.
A lot of so called successful people in the world are successful because they refused to follow they mainstream . They did what they love to do. Sometimes in life you have to follow your heart and take risks and go against the mainstream.
I think we all have a meaningful purpose in life but the mainstream media and the systems we are born into do no foster that. I think gradually people are beginning to see this though.
For example long ago having a degree was enough to get a job but now people are more interested in other things like your personality or what you can actually do because nowadays nearly everyone has a degree.

I think you should stick true to yourself. It is not always easy but I think in the end you will be happier. I think too many of us force ourselves to do stuff we shouldn’t be doing.

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