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Man's Search for Meaning
November 17, 1999
4:29 pm
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eve
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PS. And I claim the right for me to find this question not so important. That propably makes me an agnostic: I don't believe that man can find out about god or the final reason and aditionally I don't believe that trying to solve that puzzle will be of any help. I do have moments and experiences that I would call spiritual, and I agree that they are mostly wonderful and a great sorce of self-value, but again - I don't choose the intellectual approach. I just do/have (?) it and try to do/feel it better next time, or to find it again when things get rough. It's really difficult to put into words in a foreign language!
Eve

November 20, 1999
5:17 pm
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Eve. I suspect that the "it" that you have is an emotional memory of having felt very intrinsically valuable during your very early infant life. Such emotional memory comes from good bonding and secure attachment in infancy. However,it seems that not everyone has this emotional memory.

Some, like myself, have emotional memories of very conditional caretaking in infancy accompanied by emotional memories of fear of abandonment.

Since no contextual memories are associated with these emotional memories, it is sometimes difficult to see that the arousal of such fear based memories are no related to present reality. Suffering is the result. The intellect and some education helps in this regard.

Now, when it comes to horrific situations like Auschwitz the intense suffering are intimately related to the present and are unavoidable.

It is unavoidable suffering that cries out for meaning. This is the poignant and timeless message in Frankl's book - "He who knows the 'WHY' can bear almost any 'HOW'". Whether the 'WHY' is true or not is irrelevant. As long as one's reason for experiencing the physical and psychological pain reduces the suffering - if not the pain. This is the fundamental purpose of all religion; to give meaning to man's short and seemingly futile struggle to survive on this earth.

However,since to date most if not all religions fail to withstand serious rational analysis, man's quest for meaning in his pain, suffering and death will continue. In the full flush of youth, such issues are easily dismissed. Father Time however has an inevitable way of raising the profile of these issues.

I maintain that one's feeling of low intrinsic worth is a direct cause of much suffering, inappropriate, demanding and criminal behaviour, insecurity and fear of death. This is why helping people find value in the self, their life and death is so important. Otherwise we, as a society, will continue to treat symptoms and not causes.

What do you think about this?

November 21, 1999
10:51 am
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After listening to a lecture by Albert Ellis the other day, I am wondering about something. If we are the only higher species that is capable of true reasoning perhaps our emotional struggle is really some form of biological backlash. Could it be that our original intent is the primitive "survival of the fittest" thing
??? So, consequently, depression and the behaviors we have to others is just natures way of making sure only the strong survive. After all, as we become increasingly intellectual(I'm talking over the past million years) we have to have a weakness. We have the ability to cure disease and prevent premature death, so what is left? The mind. She/he who can function without emotional pain, etc., will live and hopefully carry that particular strong genetic make-up into the next generation. Does that make sense? Maybe all this time we've been looking for a spritual reason for life when in fact it's only biological. And just maybe the whole idea of religion is just a groups way of trying to control others so they might fail in their survival. Set up unreasonable demands to ensure failure
Biologically the world is meant to be populated by people who have their shit together! And as we move further and further away from a phyiscal world(farming)
into one of the intellect, there has to be a way to weed out the weaklings. In the old days hard labor would kill me, now it's PTSD. Just a thought. I guess I am a big believer in the "for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction" thing-and-maybe there has to be some fallout for our increasing technological belief structure. Okay Tez, have at me...
First, let me put on my protective eye wear!!!!!

November 21, 1999
12:39 pm
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with our heavy population, close living conditions, breakdown of nuclear family and community....psychological issues are now more important and prominent than in so called "primitive" people....we, western society, suffer more emotionally and mentally than just about anywhere else on earth..hence, high murder rate, violence related crimes, homelessness, suicides and our poor children who just cant survive in this intense, stress filled life...making them want out (suicide or drugs)
Survival of the mental fittest doesnt necessarily go to those who "have their shit together" there are a lot of people surviving this type of lifestyle through gangs (community)drugs, violence, victimization and underhanded dealings with the law and innocent people who may in fact 'have their shit together" but in the face of a gun.....that doesnt really matter does it>
More to ponder.........

November 21, 1999
3:56 pm
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Kitten. You said, "We have the ability to cure disease and prevent premature death, so what is left?" The funny thing about our predators - virus's, bacteria, etc - is that they mutate as fast as we beat them.
However,talking of the mind you said " ...She/he who can function without emotional pain, etc., will live and hopefully carry that particular strong genetic make-up into the next generation." Neural connections from our 'emotional brain', the amygdala to the cortex and therein working memory (conscious awareness) are much stronger than in the reverse direction. Dr LeDoux (1996) suggests that the weaker pathways from the 'thinking' brain (Cortex) to the 'emotional brain' may strengthen as humans evolve. Thus your proposition seems to be probable.

You said, "Maybe all this time we've been looking for a spiritual reason for life when in fact it's only biological." Are you implying that being "only biological" is somehow only part of 'blind nature' fumbling along the pathway of chance happenings? Perhaps there is a link between the psyche of man and the physical world. Pauli (one of the great fathers of quantum physics) and Jung (a founding father in the field of analytical psychology) certainly thought so. If this link exists then we may discover that nature may not be so blind after all. We are part of nature in action in any case.

You posited, " the world is meant to be populated by people who have their shit together!" This would reduce the human race to a very bland existence; everyone agreeing with each other in some 'new age' conformity.

We have a rich colorful world filled with diversity. It seems that Creation is hellbent on 'change' to ensure this diversity in experiences. For without 'experiencing' what is the use of creation in the first place? Seeing the meaning of the universe as being in order that an Awareness experiences the diversity of Creation, makes sense out of the seemingly senseless evolutionary creation, sustenance and destruction cycles of 'nature'. Pain is an essential component in motivating us to seek survival; albeit that these motivations are sometimes seemingly misdirected (drug taking). Realising the need for pain as a warning of imminent danger for our survival, lessens the degree of suffering. Whereas, senseless pain heightens the intensity of the suffering. Even psychological pain has a survival basis even though neurotic at times.

Again the search for meaning for suffering in life continues. The problem with evolution as a basis for finding meaning is that it is outcome (end) focused.

Does the end justify the means - EVER????

November 21, 1999
6:30 pm
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kitten
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Well, Tez, I did say maybe...I was, however, thinking about the increase in therapists out there. It seems the smarter we are the more problems we have. I'm sure there was a time in your life where things seemed simpler, not such a struggle. Is that because things were easier or was it perception? Dr. Ellis said we are all f...ing nuts because of our way of thinking(yes, he did say the word, and a few more like it). I know it is along the lines of Frankl...attitude! I'm not sure, but I think it's better to worry about the here and now and forget about the end results. It is there waiting--we can't change that. For now, I wish to experience...everything. In many ways I'm an incurable romantic. Suffering is just one small part of who I am--there is so much more. I wonder about you?
What else is there? Are you hiding something? What is it that makes you think so strongly about pain and suffering? Tell me more about you. Tell me who the little Tez was...I am interested.
K
ps. new age stuff is just old thoughts, recycled...

November 21, 1999
6:38 pm
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our biology is our biography, our spirit and biology are NOT seperate, our cells have memories..ask any quantum physicist. As much as we would like to seperate our day to day lives from the soul, they is no seperating, god happens any way:)

November 22, 1999
9:12 am
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oh tears, I truly believe our cells have memory. Indeed, my questions were brought up as a mere spring board for more thought. In fact, I have memories of things that are not of this physical body I occupy. Most of them have been documented by others...these particular memories are of times and places I could NOT have been. Silly sounding perhaps, but true. So, no I don't beleive biology and spirit are seperate. As for the person with the gun, well, I think that if the biological idea were correct, the person with the gun would self destruct over a period of time. Negative passions breed negative health, etc. History hasn't really proven this, but we have never been in a time where there has been such a high rate of technology.
I once asked a clairvoyant if it is possible to be happy and creative...if letting go of my suffering would help or hinder me in my life. Just like the great artists of all time--would they have done their works if they had been 100% stable? She told me my creative spirit is seperate from suffering...I deserve to be everything I can be. I don't have to pay for my talent by shouldering some immense burden. I can let go...move on. My passions, talents, etc., are uniquely mine. To share, to use. So, my sweetness, tears, I do not have my shit together, not will I probably ever, but that's okay. The only person I can fault for my not moving on, is me. My god given gifts are mine, not my parents, nor my siblings, nor my children's...mine.
And if I'm a little sensitive, or naive, or wishfull--
that's me. It is here in this place that is truly me I can do my best work. You, too, can produce the most beautiful works...they are an extension of you--a truly beautiful and magnificent soul.

November 22, 1999
11:34 am
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eve
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everybody, my computer takes so long to load up all these messages, I'll make a new thread "man'x search for meaning II" and hope you'll join in.
Eve

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