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anna-banana
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06 Aug 2014, 5:27 am

I can deal with it most of the time, but there are days when I?m so horrified I can hardly do anything to take my mind off of it.

I know we will all die and I?m generally ok with it (as in, I can see how mortality makes all things life worthwhile), but the longer I live the more time seems to speed up, I?m only in my early 30?s but already it?s pretty bad and it?s only going to get worse; at this rate, my 40s and 50s will just be gone in a poof of smoke.

I thought that existential dread was something that goes away or becomes tolerable when you have a lot of love in your life, but I have a lot of love in my life and still it horrifies the s**t out of me to the point of being paralysing sometimes, like today.

Just the thought that everything is speeding towards an end and that absolutely everything we do is utterly insignificant really bothers me on days like this. I don?t really know what to do with this.

Tomorrow I might laugh this thread off but it?s an accurate representation of how I?m feeling today, and on so many other days.
How do you guys deal with that stuff? Any good advice?


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em_tsuj
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06 Aug 2014, 6:11 am

what is existential dread?



devin12
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06 Aug 2014, 8:50 am

Wow you sound just like me except I'm 49, can you imagine? I looked up existential crisis on wikipedia about a month ago, I think that describes it if anyone is wondering what it is. Unfortunately I have no advice. I meditate, I do yoga. I don't lack a belief in God, but there you have it, an existentialist crisis. The thought of death is always there. Please know that you aren't alone in your thoughts and perceptions of things.



little_blue_jay
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06 Aug 2014, 9:24 am

anna-banana wrote:
the longer I live the more time seems to speed up, I?m only in my early 30?s but already it?s pretty bad and it?s only going to get worse; at this rate, my 40s and 50s will just be gone in a poof of smoke.



Wow you just described how I feel sometimes - I'm 37 and I feel like time is flying along too fast! And it is getting worse!

As opposed to you, though, I don't have alot of love in my life. I haven't found a nice guy to marry and settle down with yet :(

I already worry about how I'm going to die - I hope its peacefully in my sleep at a ripe old age.

I have no advice either :(


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AspergianMutantt
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06 Aug 2014, 9:41 am

Hell, I didn't think i would live past my 20's, then 30's and then 40's, and here I am now in my 50's and still feeing the same way. the best thing you can do is go find something to preoccupy your mind, OR just learn not to care about it anymore to the point the thought no longer consumes you. live for the moment for in the end thats all we truly have. OR go find religion, thats what most people do to help them overcome their fears of death.

Even though I still feel that way I no longer dwell upon it, no point.


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devin12
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06 Aug 2014, 10:54 am

I have had some luck lately with deciding not to think about it or care about it as much. I think a number of things in my life led me into this feeling of existential dread (good way of putting it, by the way). I know having an awareness of death is considered good in eastern religions because it's important to understand impermanence, but it was getting to be too much and people were saying I was being morbid. I'm not really into altering my thoughts on anything, I like to leave everything the way it is in my mind and work around the difficult parts. However, it has helped me some to decide I'm not going to focus on it. I think in my case it was getting out of balance and not necessarily good even spiritually.



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06 Aug 2014, 12:23 pm

What do you do? You watch Woody Allen, that's what you do.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJd3MgIcbnA[/youtube]



SameStars
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06 Aug 2014, 12:34 pm

I've spent enough years thinking about the subject to know it's a futile exercise for me, I've come to accept that the pain and uncertainty that come with the wondering are not going to change anything. I'm kind of okay with believing there is no deeper meaning to it all.
I don't really have advice to give, I try to take joy from my interests and not to dwell too much on the future.



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06 Aug 2014, 1:43 pm

Honestly, I suspect that existential stuff usually comes from having too much of an ego: humans forget that they are simply another animal, no more special than any other, and from that they have the expectation that their lives and all that they do is going to be some spectacular fireworks display of awesomeness. Then they get disappointed when that doesn't happen.

Stop spending so much time thinking and spend more time living. Be the animal that you are. Stop philosophizing about materially useless stuff like whether life is "worthwhile" or "insignificant." Those are just thoughts in your head, unnecessary (and probably barely meaningful) abstractions that have no effect on the physical world in which you live.

That's how I deal with it. I identify with the more psychologically balanced animals in the world (non-humans) rather than with the mind games that humans play with themselves.


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smileybro
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06 Aug 2014, 4:10 pm

My Take-

Every time you are focussed on death, counter balance this with the wonder of new life.
Last night I did a home visit to a terminal cancer patient I have known for 20 years.
On the way home, I went to the supermarket and bumped into another patient
that was about to become a grandmother....

It works for me



LookingLost
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06 Aug 2014, 5:03 pm

I think I have it the other way around. The thought of living in this world for an undetermined period of time fills me with dread.


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anna-banana
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06 Aug 2014, 6:22 pm

devin12 wrote:
Wow you sound just like me except I'm 49, can you imagine?


wow that's not very uplifting :lol:

thanks for the posts though guys, you've made me feel less like I'm throwing a sissy first-world fit (although I freely admit that this is pretty much what it is).

starkid wrote:
Honestly, I suspect that existential stuff usually comes from having too much of an ego: humans forget that they are simply another animal, no more special than any other, and from that they have the expectation that their lives and all that they do is going to be some spectacular fireworks display of awesomeness. Then they get disappointed when that doesn't happen.

Stop spending so much time thinking and spend more time living. Be the animal that you are. Stop philosophizing about materially useless stuff like whether life is "worthwhile" or "insignificant." Those are just thoughts in your head, unnecessary (and probably barely meaningful) abstractions that have no effect on the physical world in which you live.

That's how I deal with it. I identify with the more psychologically balanced animals in the world (non-humans) rather than with the mind games that humans play with themselves.


see this is exactly what I also believe in and what I always tell others. it's just that days happen when the human ego wins anyway and I can't shake those thoughts.

I guess what's partially to blame is my exposure to news and current affairs which have been abysmal lately; that stuff gets me thinking that my outrage towards the bad guys and empathy towards the victims is a meaningless waste of energy, and that whether they live or die is as meaningless as my own life and death, and this just leads to more depressive thoughts, which combined with yet another strand of grey hair on my head puts me in this doomsday mood; I know it's all very dramatic.

It was easier when I had a dog; his happy thoughtlessness was contagious in a good way. Sadly I can't have one in my current home :/


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anna-banana
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06 Aug 2014, 6:29 pm

btw starkid re: your signature, I actually at some point considered getting a tattoo of the Lotka-Volterra equation as an expression of my profound pessimism towards humanity and its ability to fix things. I'm trying to be as aware of the reality and our place in it as possible but my brain still fails me sometimes.


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anna-banana
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06 Aug 2014, 6:33 pm

AspergianMutantt wrote:
Hell, I didn't think i would live past my 20's, then 30's and then 40's, and here I am now in my 50's and still feeing the same way. the best thing you can do is go find something to preoccupy your mind, OR just learn not to care about it anymore to the point the thought no longer consumes you.


problem is, my main preoccupation is with writing fiction and as speculative fiction is my genre, I inevitably end up with these thoughts and dwell on them for as long as I'm working on a piece :/

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OR go find religion, thats what most people do to help them overcome their fears of death.


I wish I could. I think I would actually welcome religious feelings if they appeared, but it's very unlikely as I'm a natural sceptic.

thanks though!


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14 Aug 2014, 7:47 pm

LookingLost wrote:
I think I have it the other way around. The thought of living in this world for an undetermined period of time fills me with dread.


Yes!


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