Forum: Arts / Philosophy

Philosophy
PURPOSE; am i being too philisophical?
By DancerbyGodmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1178, member since Sun Nov 20, 2005
On Mon Jul 27, 2009 08:43 AM

I often feel that when I talk to my colleagues and friends that I am completely misunderstood. I must be a philosophical person when it comes to the idea of "purpose and identity" because sometimes these ideologies surround my mind and I find myself asking all the "W" questions: Why am I here? What is my purpose? Who am I? (Identity) Where is my lifes journey taking me? All of these things! I don't know why I can't seem to accept "not knowing" some of these questions. I feel that a person who can identify their purpose in life can have peace of mind knowing that they have value and meaning in life.

What do you all think? Should I rightfully so be misunderstood for questioning these things or is there something more here?

DbG

10 Replies to PURPOSE; am i being too philisophical?

re: PURPOSE; am i being too philisophical?
By Snuffymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3386, member since Wed Jan 02, 2008
On Mon Jul 27, 2009 09:18 AM
I don't think you're being too philosophical. In fact, I'm not sure that there is any such thing as being too philosophical.

A lot of people wonder about a lot of those questions. I am aware of them, but I don't think anyone will ever find an answer. Some people become quite unhappy pondering these things. My boyfriend, for example, is prone to having the occasional existential crisis due to considering these ideas and concluding that existence doesn't serve a purpose (this, obviously, depends on various beliefs).

Some people may disagree with me on this - and that's fine; it's one of those issues where there's not necessarily a right or wrong answer - but my take on the world thus far is that ultimately, nothing really means anything. This seems pretty depressing, but the way I see it is that we can create our own meaning, and our own purpose. Things may not necessarily mean much objectively, but they certainly mean a lot subjectively. I don't know if I'm explaining myself very well, and I don't have time to get into any more detail... but this is the general gist of my take on the world.

You shouldn't be misunderstood for it. There are definitely a lot of people who don't/won't think about these issues, but you're by no means alone by considering these things. :)
re: PURPOSE; am i being too philisophical?
By LeSoulierVertmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1392, member since Sat Feb 05, 2005
On Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:46 PM
Should you be misunderstood? That is an interesting question.

Are you asking if people should not know what you mean when you ask why?

Some people wont understand the "why" questions and will never ask them. Some people will ask them every day of their life. Some people will go through a "why" phase until they find answers they are comfortable with or get sick of asking the questions.

I dont think it matters whether people understand you or not. Relying on the responses of other people is only going to lead to pain. Ie, if you have a question, then you should do your best to figure out the answer, and not wonder whether other people would ask it, or know what you're talking about. Sometimes philosophically, you have to stand on your own, as many people don't feel the need to open their eyes to the "bigger picture".

I myself, am always thinking about the bigger picture. I want to know what has true meaning in my life, versus things that I cling to, to feel comfortable. So far I haven't found all the answers, but I also have a feeling that I dont know them for reasons beyond my comprehension.

One thing I do know about is that, I can only experience the present moment. I can look to the future and reflect upon the past, but those are both done in the present, therefore I try to live my life in the present moment and not clinging to memories I have or looking forward to times that don't exist yet.

I also believe that if people are judged after death, it is only by how well they treated themselves, other people, and the environment around them. People can state their beliefs all they want, but the kindness if their actions is what truly matters to me.

Those are some of my ideas about life. I have a million more, but I don't want to overwhelm you. Good luck on your adventure.
re: PURPOSE; am i being too philisophical?
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 3037, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Fri Sep 04, 2009 04:23 PM
Could your purpose be something as simple as survival? See where that leads you.
re: PURPOSE; am i being too philisophical?
By dancinqt5013member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3865, member since Wed Aug 17, 2005
On Fri Sep 04, 2009 09:06 PM
I think a lot of people try to leave those questions unanswered because, IMO, you can't ever really answer them. For some people, it's just easier to accept that and move on. But if you can't get the question out of your head, why not at least try and answer it? I find that if you give it enough thought, you can at least get another step closer to the answer, which alone gives you a lot more insight on life than if you left the question totally unopened.

I don't think you're being too philosophical about it. It's up to the individual to decide how much they need to know in order to feel content. Of course, those who feel the need to know everything may have to settle, but generally questioning things? I don't think that's overly philosophical at all.
re: PURPOSE; am i being too philisophical?
By Sloley Comments: 6, member since Fri Sep 25, 2009
On Fri Sep 25, 2009 05:50 AM
I found that work plus my pastimes gave me what I wanted in life and though I occasionally thought about the why's a wherefores I didn't take that much notice, I was too busy.

My thoughts over the years and the occasions when I have experienced what some people call the 'supernatural' but I would call merely natural plus my interest in 'life the universe and everything' have led me to the conclusion that there are many other universes and that our consciousness continues its existence in another form.

But now that I am retired and concentrate on my pastimes, one of which is photography, I feel that I should leave something, do something that steps outside my life as I have led it up to now. I have an idea what it might be but will save it for a new post.

So, my point is this find something that will absorb your very being and it will give purpose enough for this life.

Slo
re: PURPOSE; am i being too philisophical?
By ballerinagirl66 Comments: 411, member since Sat Oct 06, 2007
On Fri Sep 25, 2009 06:05 AM
I don't think you're being too philisophical-in fact, it's quite normal to wonder about those kinds of things.

I do, however think that a person's beliefs and values can help them to answer some of those questions. For example, if you believe in God, perhaps your answer to the question "Why am I here" could be "to live for God", etc.
re: PURPOSE; am i being too philisophical?
By DancerbyGodmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1178, member since Sun Nov 20, 2005
On Sun Oct 04, 2009 01:16 PM
Thank you all for your posts. The responses were comforting.

Sometimes you just need another perspective to give you somewhat of a realization check...

I often find myself away from the strength I have in my faith because of the trials and tribulations in life.

DbG
re: PURPOSE; am i being too philisophical?
By DancinBlackBeltmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 365, member since Thu Jul 22, 2004
On Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:06 AM
No, I don't think you're being too philosophical. Those questions are legitimate, and I wish more people took their lives seriously enough to question them. Philosophers have always struggled with the question of purpose or satisfaction in life. Aristotle and Aquinas stressed that finding happiness through virtue was the purpose of life. Plato also emphasized virtue, although because of stoicism and dualistic beliefs about the soul, his focus was not as much on happiness. Freud said pleasure, which is found primarily in sex. Niche said there is no purpose. Machiavelli wanted power. Pascal said there is no purpose apart from God. So it is a gray area in that there are a lot of different opinions on it, although the criteria by which you decide these your purpose can be right or wrong.

Quite honestly, your worldview (set of beliefs about the way the world works) determines your answer to those questions. Even more narrowly, your belief about the supernatural determines what you believe about your existence/purpose. If you believe there is no supernatural, your are left to decide your own purpose, whether that there is none, that you must survive, or that there is something you must accomplish in your time here, ect. If you're pantheistic then your purpose is to be as good as possible, and to eventually achieve 'oneness' with the universe/force/power whichever term you choose to use. If you are a theist(monotheist), then your purpose is to follow the commands/patterns set by God so that after death you can live in heaven.

I'm assuming from your Screen name and your second comment that you are a Christian (forgive me if I am wrong :)!). And if you don't mind, I'll offer you the answer to those questions from a Christian perspective:

Why am I here? Because God created you.
What is my purpose? To build a relationship with God based on his love for you, so that you can in tern spend eternity with him. Also, to share his love with others. (not to bash them on the head with a Bible, but to actually love them, unconditionally like he does).
Who am I? (Identity) A person created, loved, and provided for by God.
Where is my lifes journey taking me? I think you may be asking a more direct question here (like will I be a dancer, secretary, doctor, mom, ect.), which I can't answer for you. But generally, your life's journey should be taking you closer to God, preparing yourself more and more for the life after this one.

Hopefully that helps :). Don't feel bad because you ask deeper questions, some people just think more deeply, and like to have more certainty than others.

And a note to other readers: this wasn't intended to be a Bible beating post by any means. I was showing the answers from one worldview to the questions she asked :) . I tried to give a more balanced answer in the paragraph before that one. So I hope you know that I'm not trying to start a religious debate here, just to give an answer to her question :).
re: PURPOSE; am i being too philisophical?
By placidfluidity Comments: 20, member since Mon Oct 28, 2002
On Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:28 AM
Just curious...what is your sign? I am a capricorn who likes to figure things out and look deep into things. I used to get funny looks too. But, now I've surrounded myself with other people who like to figure things out too...those people are out there. Good on you for being so intelligent ;).
re: PURPOSE; am i being too philisophical?
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11592, member since Thu Dec 16, 2004
On Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:57 PM
Also from a Christian perspective, you cannot answer these questions definitively. The Christian religion is based on FAITH and not KNOWLEDGE. If you KNEW why you were here and who created you, faith would be impossible.

In any case, everyone struggles with these questions at some point. It's part of what makes us human. So while it's frustrating to know that you'll never get concrete answers, you can take comfort in knowing that we're all in the same boat.

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