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Old 12th-July-2015, 09:36 PM   #1
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Default Absurdists, what do you conjure?

food for thought: link

(this might not relate to all members, but i feel many forumers here carry absurdist/nihilist/existentialist philosophies so I'm curious...)

Can you describe your internal fable? The paradigm that defines your overall approach and flow to life? If so, what is it for you?

I find it often exists unconsciously, guiding us through our otherwise static existence - giving us some ephemeral, arbitrary vector rooted gently (or heavily at times) in some ancient part of the human drama.

Rationality can't give humans any primary incentives, but it does tone the edge off the many conflicting dramatic tensions initially existing within us, occasionally leaving some with only a ghost of a hope or aspiration - something simplistic and unobtrusive perhaps. Others may indulge more grandiose visions or drives, subjective as they may be.

What whims or ideas move you?
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Old 12th-July-2015, 09:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Absurdists, what do you conjure?

To create and anything that needed or help it.
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Old 13th-July-2015, 03:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Absurdists, what do you conjure?

Hmmm I may actually write a detailed answer to this, after I somehow wake up my brain.

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Old 13th-July-2015, 04:50 AM   #4

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Default Re: Absurdists, what do you conjure?

I experience all three outlooks simultaneously.
If guns were legal in the UK, I probably would have topped myself a long time ago...
Most days, I take the absurdist POV, but when that doesn't cut it, I revert to nihilism and escapism.

I feel that the pleasure in this life isn't worth the pain..
Having said that, there are mysteries left to be solved, and that's the only thing I sort of look forward to.
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Old 13th-July-2015, 12:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Absurdists, what do you conjure?

My stance changes with the wind. Absurdism is my mainstay however.

I often struggle to find meaning in a life without a holistic narrative. This impacts on me in many ways and I find myself unmotivated and unproductive. Any goal I could have has a permanent 'kick me' sign on it's back. It might not be being beaten up every second of everyday, but if it were sentient it would have good reason to be anxious, lest the leather jacket clad 5th graders of nihilism come knocking.

I've spent and will continue to spend a lot of time looking to meet the bottom-up needs of myself. These are less shakable than anything I deliberately construct, you can't topple bedrock. Stagnation ensues. So meaning is derived from acting in whatever way keeps me comfortable. This leads to a lot of escapism. Insight is something I intrinsically value - well... some insights anyway. I value some people too. I've got a reactive approach to ethics which entails me being just good enough to live with myself, anything more is a construction that won't weather times to come. I struggle to maintain friendships and whatnot, so usually there is an understanding that I'm not a regular.

Most of the time the meaning I find is in my thoughts.
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Old 13th-July-2015, 02:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Absurdists, what do you conjure?

What if I am wrong and something greater exists? and even if it doesn't I will make it exist in my own mind (fantasize). My life in reality might be pointless but in my mind I am god and can experience anything I wish.

As well as
Always remain honest with yourself, then even if you don't have or trust anyone else you will still have and trust yourself.
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Old 13th-July-2015, 04:19 PM   #7

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Default Re: Absurdists, what do you conjure?

Soren Kierkegaard's "Sickness Unto Death"was a useful read. There's a chapter about forms of despair (despair of infinitude/finitude, necessity/possibility and conscious despairing).

I often view the worldly life as acceptance of despair, as the aesthetic acceptance of existential choice to build upon the meaningless, which is not a lie, but yet another layer of truth to be added on and falsified only by the baser layers. The lowest level is the acceptance of existence in itself, then there's the physical reality, my personal reality, above that there's the layer of understanding of personal realities in relation to all others and lastly there's omniscience. These layers don't have to go one over another, sometimes they are intertwined and produce varied borders of knowledge, guessing and indifference.

I find fuzzy and many-valued logic to be liberating, operating on it, everything holds a partial truth to the whole picture, some potentials are low, while they hold something interesting, they are often dismissed depending on the layer the mind currently operates in.

Conscious despair over retaining the self, or being self, in the following I will provide some quotes as they convey the idea accurately, here's the original for a complete text and better formatting. I don't resonate with his religious or Christian references as I did with the descriptions of various states of life's misery.

B. Despair Viewed Under the Aspect of Consciousness.
With every increase in the degree of consciousness, and in proportion
to that increase, the intensity of despair increases: the more
consciousness, the more intense the despair.

This is everywhere to be
seen, most clearly in the maximum and minimum of despair. The
devil’s despair is the most intense despair, for the devil is sheer spirit,
and therefore absolute consciousness and transparency; in the devil
there is no obscurity which might serve as a mitigating excuse, his
despair is therefore absolute defiance. This is the maximum of despair.

The minimum of despair is a state which (as one might humanly be
tempted to express it) by reason of a sort of innocence does not even
know that there is such a thing as despair. So when consciousness is at
its minimum the despair is least; it is almost as if it were a dialectical
problem whether one is justified in calling such a state despair.
The Despair which is Unconscious that it is Despair, or the
Despairing Unconsciousness of having a Self and an Eternal Self.
That this condition is nevertheless despair and is rightly so
denominated may be taken as an expression for a trait which we may
call, in a good sense, the opinionativeness of truth.
Veritas est index sui et falsi.

But this opinionativeness of truth is, to be sure, held in
scant honor, as also it is far from being the case that men in general
regard relationship to the truth, the fact of standing in relationship to
the truth, as the highest good, and it is very far from being the case
that they, Socratically, regard being under a delusion as the greatest
misfortune; their sensuous nature is generally predominant over their

So when a man is supposed to be happy, he imagines
that he is happy (whereas viewed in the light of the truth he is
unhappy), and in this case he is generally very far from wishing to be
torn away from that delusion. On the contrary, he becomes furious, he
regards the man who does this as his most spiteful enemy, he considers
it an insult, something near to murder, in the sense that one speaks of
killing joy. What is the reason of this?

The reason is that the sensuous
nature and the psycho-sensuous completely dominate him; the reason
is that he lives in the sensuous categories agreeable/disagreeable, and
says goodbye to truth etc.; the reason is that he is too sensuous to
have the courage to venture to be spirit or to endure it.

However vain
and conceited men may be, they have nevertheless for the most part a
very lowly conception of themselves, that is to say, they have no
conception of being spirit, the absolute of all that a man can be -- but
vain and conceited they are . . . by way of comparison.

In case one were to think of a house, consisting of cellar, ground-floor and
premier étage, so tenanted, or rather so arranged, that it was planned for a
distinction of rank between the dwellers on the several floors; and in
case one were to make a comparison between such a house and what it
is to be a man -- then unfortunately this is the sorry and ludicrous
condition of the majority of men, that in their own house they prefer
to live in the cellar.

The soulish-bodily synthesis in every man is
planned with a view to being spirit, such is the building; but the man
prefers to dwell in the cellar, that is, in the determinants ofsensuousness.

And not only does he prefer to dwell in the cellar; no, heloves that to such a degree that he becomes furious if anyone would propose to him to occupy the bel étage which stands empty at his disposition -- for in fact he is dwelling in his own house.

No, to be in error or delusion is (quite un-Socratically) the thing they fear the least. One may behold amazing examples which illustrate this fact on a prodigious scale. A thinker erects an immense building, a system, a system which embraces the whole of existence and world- history etc. -- and if we contemplate his personal life, we discover to our astonishment this terrible and ludicrous fact, that he himself personally does not live in this immense high-vaulted palace, but in a barn alongside of it, or in a dog kennel, or at the most in the porter’s lodge.

If one were to take the liberty of calling his attention to this by a single word, he would be offended. For he has no fear of being under a delusion, if only he can get the system completed . . . by means of the delusion.

So then, the fact that the man in despair is unaware that his condition is despair, has nothing to do with the case, he is in despair all the same. If despair is bewilderment (Forvildelse), then the fact that one is unconscious of it is the additional aggravation of being at the same time under a delusion (Vildfarelse). Unconsciousness of despair is like unconsciousness of dread (cf. The Concept of Dreadby Vigilius Haufniensis): the dread characteristic of spiritlessness is recognizable precisely by the spiritless sense of security; but nevertheless dread is at the bottom of it, and when the enchantment of illusion is broken, when existence begins to totter, then too does despair manifest itself as that which was at the bottom.

The despairing man who is unconscious of being in despair is, in comparison with him who is conscious of it, merely a negative step further from the truth and from salvation. Despair itself is a negativity, unconsciousness of it is a new negativity. But to reach truth one must pierce through every negativity.

For here applies what the fairy-tale recounts about a certain enchantment: the piece of music must be played through backwards; otherwise the enchantment is not broken. However, it is only in one sense, in a purely dialectical sense, that he who is unconscious of despair is further away from truth and salvation than the man who is conscious of his despair and yet remains in it.

For in another sense, an ethical-dialectic sense, the despairing man who consciously remains in despair is further from salvation, since his despair is more intense. But unawareness is so far from removing despair, or of transforming despair into non-despair, that, on the contrary, it may be the most dangerous form of despair.

By unconsciousness the despairing man is in a way secured (but to his own destruction) against becoming aware -- that is, he is securely in the power of despair. In unconsciousness of being in despair a man is furthest from being conscious of himself as spirit. But precisely the thing of not being conscious of oneself as spirit is despair, which is spiritlessness -- whether the condition be that of complete deadness, a merely vegetative life, or a life of higher potency the secret of which is nevertheless despair. In the latter instance the man is like the sufferer from consumption: he feels well, considers himself in the best of health, seems perhaps to others to be in florid health, precisely when the sickness is most dangerous.

This form of despair (i.e. unconsciousness of it) is the commonest in the world -- yes, in what people call the world, or, to define it more exactly, what Christianity calls "the world," i.e. paganism, and the natural man in Christendom. Paganism as it historically was and is, and paganism within Christendom, is precisely this sort of despair, it is despair but does not know it.

It is true that a distinction is made also in paganism, as well as by the natural man, between being in despair and not being in despair; that is to say, people talk of despair as if only certain particular individuals were in despair. But this distinction is just as deceitful as that which paganism and the natural man make between love and self-love, as though all this love were not essentially self-love.

Further, however, than this deceitful distinction it was impossible for paganism, including the natural man, to go; for the specific character of despair is precisely this: it is unconscious of being despair. From this we can easily perceive that the aesthetic concept of spiritlessness by no means furnishes the scale for judging what is despair and what is not -- which moreover is a matter of course; for since it is unable to define what spirit truly is, how could the aesthetical make answer to a question which does not exist for it at all? It would also be a prodigious stupidity to deny that pagan nations en masse, as well as individual pagans, have performed amazing exploits which have prompted and will prompt the enthusiasm of poets; to deny that paganism exhibits examples of achievement which aesthetically cannot be sufficiently admired. It would also be foolish to deny that in paganism lives have been led which were rich in aesthetic enjoyment, and that the natural man can lead such a life, utilizing every advantage offered with the most perfect good taste, even letting 49 art and learning enhance, embellish, ennoble the enjoyment. No, it is not the aesthetic definition of spiritlessness which furnishes the scale for judging what is despair and what is not; the definition which must be used is the ethico-religious: either spirit/or the negative lack of spirit, spiritlessness. Every human existence which is not conscious of itself as spirit, or conscious of itself before God as spirit, every human existence which is not thus grounded transparently in God but obscurely reposes or terminates in some abstract universality (state, nation, etc.), or in obscurity about itself takes its faculties merely as active powers, without in a deeper sense being conscious whence it has them, which regards itself as an inexplicable something which is to be understood from without -- every such existence, whatever it accomplishes, though it be the most amazing exploit, whatever it explains, though it were the whole of existence, however intensely it enjoys life aesthetically -- every such existence is after all despair. It was this the old theologians meant when they talked about the virtues of the pagans being splendid vices. They meant that the most inward experience of the pagan was despair, that the pagan was not conscious of himself before God as spirit. Hence it came about (to cite here an example which has at the same time a deeper relation to the whole study) that the pagans judged self-slaughter so lightly, yea, even praised it, notwithstanding that for the spirit it is the most decisive sin, that to break out of existence in this way is rebellion against God. The pagan lacked the spirit’s definition of the self, therefore he expressed such a judgment of self-slaughter -- and this the same pagan did who condemned with moral severity theft, unchastity, etc. He lacked the point of view for regarding self-slaughter, he lacked the God- relationship and the self. From a purely pagan point of view self- slaughter is a thing indifferent, a thing every man may do if he likes, 50 because it concerns nobody else. If from a pagan point of view one were to warn against self-slaughter, it must be by a long detour, by showing that it was breach of duty toward one’s fellow-men. The point in self-slaughter, that it is a crime against God, entirely escapes the pagan. One cannot say, therefore, that the self-slaughter was despair, which would be a thoughtless hysteron proteron; one must say that the fact that the pagan judged self-slaughter as he did was despair. Nevertheless there is and remains a distinction, and a qualitative one, between paganism in the narrowest sense, and paganism within Christendom. The distinction (as Vigilius Haufniensis has pointed out in relation to dread) is this, that paganism, though to be sure it lacks spirit, is definitely oriented in the direction of spirit, whereas paganism within Christendom lacks spirit with a direction away from it, or by apostasy, and hence in the strictest sense is spiritlessness. (b). The Despair which is Conscious of being Despair, as also it is Conscious of being a Self wherein there is after all something Eternal, and then is either in despair at not willing to be itself, or in despair at willing to be itself. A distinction of course must be made as to whether he who is conscious of his despair has the true conception of what despair is. Thus a man may be right, according to the conception he has, in asserting that he is in despair, it may be true that he is in despair, and yet this is not to say that he has the true conception of despair, it may be that one who contemplated this man’s life in the light of the true conception would say, "You are far more in despair than you are aware, the despair lies far deeper." So with the pagan (to recall the foregoing instance), when in comparison with others he considered himself in 51 despair, he doubtless was right in thinking that he was in despair, but he was wrong in thinking that the others were not; that is to say, he had not the true conception of despair. So then, for conscious despair there is requisite on the one hand the true conception of what despair is. On the other hand, clearness is requisite about oneself -- in so far, that is to say, as clearness and despair are compatible. How far complete clarity about oneself, as to whether one is in despair, may be united with being in despair, where this knowledge and self-knowledge might not avail precisely to tear a man out of his despair, to make him so terrified about himself that he would cease to be in despair -- these questions we shall not decide here, we shall not even attempt to do so, since in the sequel we shall find a place for this whole investigation. But without pursuing the thought to this extremest point, we here merely call attention to the fact that, although the degree of consciousness as to what despair is may be very various, so also may be the degree of consciousness touching one’s own condition, the consciousness that it is despair. Real life is far too multifarious to be portrayed by merely exhibiting such abstract contrasts as that between a despair which is completely unconscious, and one which is completely conscious of being such. Most frequently, no doubt, the condition of the despairing man, though characterized by multiform nuances, is that of a half obscurity about his own condition. He himself knows well enough in a way up to a certain point that he is in despair, he notices it in himself, as one notices in oneself that one is going about with an illness as yet unpronounced, but he will not quite admit what illness it is. At one moment it has almost become clear to him that he is in despair; but then at another moment it appears to him after all as though his 52 indisposition might have another ground, as though it were the consequence of something external, something outside himself, and that if this were to be changed, he would not be in despair. Or perhaps by diversions, or in other ways, e.g., by work and busy occupations as means of distraction, he seeks by his own effort to preserve an obscurity about his condition, yet again in such a way that it does not become quite clear to him that he does it for this reason, that he does what he does in order to bring about obscurity. Or perhaps he even is conscious that he labors thus in order to sink the soul into obscurity, does this with a certain acuteness and shrew calculation, with psychological insight, but is not in a deeper sense clearly conscious of what he does, of how despairingly he labors etc. For in fact there is in all obscurity a dialectical interplay of knowledge and will, and in interpreting a man one may err, either by emphasizing knowledge merely, or merely the will. But, as was pointed out above, the degree of consciousness potentiates despair. In the same degree that a man has a truer conception of despair while still remaining in it, and in the same degree that he is more conscious of being in despair, in that same degree is his despair more intense. He who with the consciousness that suicide is despair, and to that extent with the true conception of what despair is, then Commits suicide -- that man has a more intense despair than the man who commits suicide without having the true conception that suicide is despair; but, conversely, the less true his conception of suicide is, the less intense his despair. On the other hand, the clearer consciousness of himself (self-consciousness) a man has in committing suicide, the more intense is his despair, in comparison with that of the man whose soul, compared with his, is in a confused and obscure condition. 53 In what follows I shall go on to examine the two forms of conscious despair, in such a way as to display at the same time a heightening of the consciousness of what despair is, and of the consciousness of the fact that one’s own condition is despair -- or, what is the same thing and the decisive thing, a heightening of the consciousness of the self. But the opposite of being in despair is believing; hence we may perceive the justification for what was stated above (I.A) as the formula which describes a condition in which no despair at all exists, for this same formula is also the formula for believing: by relating itself to its own self, and by willing to be itself, the self is grounded transparently in the Power which constituted it.
Part 2 about the despair to be oneself:
(2) The despair of willing despairingly to be oneself -- defiance.
As it was shown that one might call the despair dealt with in section 1
the despair of womanliness, so one might call the despair now to be
considered the despair of manliness. In connection with the kind just
described it may be called: despair viewed under the determinant of
spirit. But this manliness belongs more precisely under the determinant
of spirit, and womanliness is a lower synthesis.
The despair described in section 1
(ii) was despair over one’s weakness,
the despairer does not want to be himself. But if one goes one single
dialectical step further, if despair thus becomes conscious of the reason
why it does not want to be itself, then the case is altered, then
defiance is present, for then it is precisely because of this a man is
despairingly determined to be himself.
First comes despair over the earthly or something earthly, then despair
over oneself about the eternal. Then comes defiance, which really is
despair by the aid of the eternal, the despairing abuse of the eternal in
the self to the point of being despairingly determined to be oneself.
But just because it is despair by the aid of the eternal it lies in a sense
very close to the true, and just because it lies very close to the true it is
infinitely remote. The despair which is the passageway to faith is also
by the aid of the eternal: by the aid of the eternal the self has courage

negative self, the infinite form of the self, will perhaps cast this clean
away, pretend that it does not exist, want to know nothing about it.
But this does not succeed, its virtuosity in experimenting does not
extend so far, nor does its virtuosity in abstraction; like Prometheus the
infinite, negative self feels that it is nailed to this servitude. So then it
is a passively suffering self. How then does the despair which
despairingly wills to be itself display itself in this case?
Note that in the foregoing the form of despair was represented which
is in despair over the earthly or over something earthly, so understood
that at bottom this is and also shows itself to be despair about the
eternal, i.e. despair which wills not to let itself be comforted by the
eternal, which rates the earthly so high that the eternal can be of no
comfort. But this too is a form of despair: not to be willing to hope
that an earthly distress, a temporal cross, might be removed. This is
what the despair which wills desperately to be itself is not willing to
hope. It has convinced itself that this thorn in the flesh
gnaws so
profoundly that he cannot abstract it -- no matter whether this is
actually so or his passion makes it true for him,(From this standpoint, it
is well to note here, one will see also that much which is embellished
by the name of resignation is
kind of despair, that of willing
despairingly to be one’s abstract self, of willing despairingly to be
satisfied with the eternal and thereby be able to defy or ignore
suffering in the earthly and temporal sphere. The dialectic of
resignation is commonly this: to will to be one’s eternal self, and then
with respect to something positive wherein the self suffers, not to will
to be oneself, contenting oneself with the thought that after all this
will disappear in eternity, thinking itself therefore justified in not
accepting it in time, so that, although suffering under it, the self will

not make to it the concession that it properly belongs to the self, that
is, it will not humble itself under it in faith. Resignation regarded as
despair is essentially different from the form, "in despair at not willing
to be oneself," for it wills desperately to be itself -- with exception,
however, of one particular, with respect to which it wills despairingly
not to be itself.) and so he is willing to accept it as it were eternally. So
he is offended by it
or rather from it he takes occasion to be offended
at the whole of existence, in spite of it he would be himself, not
despitefully be himself without it (for that is to abstract from it, and
that he cannot do, or that would be a movement in the direction of
resignation); no, in spite of or in defiance of the whole of existence he
wills to be himself with it, to take it along, almost defying his torment.
For to hope in the possibility of help, not to speak of help by virtue of
the absurd, that for God all things are possible -- no, that he will not
do. And as for seeking help from any other -- no, that he will not do
for all the world; rather than seek help he would prefer to be himself --
with all the tortures of hell, if so it must be.
And of a truth it is not quite so true after all when people say that "it
is a matter of course that a sufferer would be so glad to be helped, if
only somebody would help him" -- this is far from being the case, even
though the opposite case is not always so desperate as this. The
situation is this. A sufferer has one or more ways in which he would be
glad to be helped. If he is helped thus, he is willing to be helped. But
when in a deeper sense it becomes seriousness with this thing of
needing help, especially from a higher or from the highest source --
this humiliation of having to accept help unconditionally and in any
way, the humiliation of becoming nothing in the hand of the Helper
for whom all things are possible, or merely the necessity of deferring to

another man, of having to give up being oneself so long as one is
seeking help -- ah, there are doubtless many sufferings, even
protracted and agonizing sufferings, at which the self does not wince
to this extent, and which therefore at bottom it prefers to retain and to
be itself.
But the more consciousness there is in such a sufferer who in despair is
determined to be himself, all the more does despair too potentiate
itself and become demoniac. The genesis of this is commonly as
follows. A self which in despair is determined to be itself winces at one
pain or another which simply cannot be taken away or separated from
its concrete self. Precisely upon this torment the man directs his whole
passion, which at last becomes a demoniac rage. Even if at this point
God in heaven and all his angels were to offer to help him out of it --
no, now he doesn’t want it, now it is too late, he once would have
given everything to be rid of this torment but was made to wait, now
that’s all past, now he would rather rage against everything, he, the
one man in the whole of existence who is the most unjustly treated, to
whom it is especially important to have his torment at hand, important
that no one should take it from him -- for thus he can convince
himself that he is in the right. This at last becomes so firmly fixed in
his head that for a very peculiar reason he is afraid of eternity -- for
the reason, namely, that it might rid him of his (demoniacally
understood) infinite advantage over other men, his (demoniacally
understood) justification for being what he is. It is himself he wills to
be; he began with the infinite abstraction of the self, and now at last
he has become so concrete that it would be an impossibility to be
eternal in that sense, and yet he wills in despair to be himself. Ah,

demoniac madness! He rages most of all at the thought that eternity
might get it into its head to take his misery from him!
This sort of despair is seldom seen in the world, such figures generally
are met with only in the works of poets, that is to say, of real poets,
who always lend their characters this "demoniac" ideality (taking this
word in the purely Greek sense). Nevertheless such a despairer is to be
met with also in real life. What then is the corresponding outward
mark? Well, there is no "corresponding" mark, for in fact a
corresponding outward expression corresponding to close reserve is a
contradiction in terms; for if it is corresponding, it is then of course
revealing. But outwardness is the entirely indifferent factor in this case
where introversion, or what one might call inwardness with a jammed
lock, is so much the predominant factor. The lowest forms of despair,
where there really was no inwardness, or at all events none worth
talking about, the lowest forms of despair one might represent by
describing or by saying something about the outward traits of the
despairer. But the more despair becomes spiritual, and the more
inwardness becomes a peculiar world for itself in introversion, all the
more is the self alert with demoniac shrewdness to keep despair shut
up in
close reserve, and all the more intent therefore to set the
outward appearance at the level of indifference, to make it as
unrevealing and indifferent as possible. As according to the report of
superstition the troll disappears through a crack which no one can
perceive, so it is for the despairer all the more important to dwell in an
exterior semblance behind which it ordinarily would never occur to
anyone to look for it. This hiddenness is precisely something spiritual
and is one of the safety-devices for assuring oneself of having as it
were behind reality an enclosure, a world for itself locking all else out,

a world where the despairing self is employed as tirelessly as Tantalus
in willing to be itself.
We began in section 1
(ii) with the lowest form of despair, which in
despair does not will to be itself. The demoniac despair is the most
potentiated form of the despair which despairingly wills to be itself.
This despair does not will to be itself with Stoic doting upon itself, nor
with self-deification, willing in this way, doubtless mendaciously, yet in
a certain sense in terms of its perfection; no, with hatred for existence
it wills to be itself, to be itself in terms of its misery; it does not even
in defiance or defiantly will to be itself, but to be itself in spite; it does
not even will in defiance to tear itself free from the Power which
posited it, it wills to obtrude upon this Power in spite, to hold on to it
out of malice. And that is natural, a malignant objection must above
all take care to hold on to that against which it is an objection.
Revolting against the whole of existence, it thinks it has hold of a
proof against it, against its goodness. This proof the despairer thinks
he himself is, and that is what he wills to be, therefore he wills to be
himself, himself with his torment, in order with this torment to protest
against the whole of existence. Whereas the weak despairer will not
hear about what comfort eternity has for him, so neither will such a
despairer hear about it, but for a different reason, namely, because this
comfort would be the destruction of him as an objection against the
whole of existence. It is (to describe it figuratively) as if an author were
to make a slip of the pen, and that this clerical error became conscious
of being such -- perhaps it was no error but in a far higher sense was
an essential constituent in the whole exposition -- it is then as if this
clerical error would revolt against the author, out of hatred for him
were to forbid him to correct it, and were to say, "No, I will not be

erased, I will stand as a witness against thee, that thou art a very poor
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Old 13th-July-2015, 07:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Absurdists, what do you conjure?

Meaning is a human emotion,meaning is just what I feel.
Life is amazing gift,only a fool will throw it away(As it a emotion the correctness is irrelevant)
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Old 14th-July-2015, 04:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: Absurdists, what do you conjure?

I think I lean toward Absurdism, with a healthy dose of ambivalence.

What's the purpose of meaning? I mean, does life have to have meaning in order to have meaning?

I'm not saying this well.

Why do people need for their lives to have meaning? Why would anyone feel the need to kill themselves physically, kill their minds with religion, or experience any amount of despair upon realization that there is no intrinsic meaning to the universe?
Rather than focus on what we aren't, I think it's more productive to focus on what we are. We are funny little creatures on a curious little planet. It isn't much, but it's our home. We are connected to every living thing on this curious little planet by some squiggly, imponderably small bits of chemistry inside all of our predominantly invisible cells. We have "relations" with one another in order to keep our squiggly bits healthy, and we generally enjoy ourselves in the process.

How cool is that?
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Old 16th-July-2015, 06:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Absurdists, what do you conjure?


I feel the OP question struck each of you quite differently. Perhaps acting as a sort of mirror into the self and what disposition/solution we've developed toward the question of 'meaning'.

@Hiam - I like your reply! I think it responds best to the intent of my question, although I should blame my phrasing for not coming across better to others. o.o So your ephemeral, internal impetus is toward creation. And you feel life as an amazing gift where subjective feeling cannot be 'wrong/incorrect' for not being rational because it's not even a question of technical accuracy... right?

Perhaps nihilistic despair is the erroneous application of logical deconstruction to a fundamentally irrational dimension? A sort of over-extension; a one-sided idealization of logic as the single relevant and important factor of life? (Perhaps I'm placing words in your mouth, how do you see it?)

And what do you find yourself creating, or wanting to create? If this impetus had its way, boundless, what would manifest?

@Sinny91 - "I feel that the pleasure in this life isn't worth the pain.. "
Mmmh, when life can't be justified or rationalized by concept, when the universe is agnostic toward us, then what are we left with to decide the meaning/value of life to ourselves save for what the experience is/feels like overall to us, yes..?

I think this intersects Yellow's point. Not directly, but by point of contrast. If there's no reason to do or not do anything, and life's given you no reason to feel undesirable, then we may very well find all of it fascinating and novel. We'd enjoy the gift we experience.

@Hado - I see. There are a lot of themes running underneath your rationalizations. Themes of safety. Themes of best-not-to-try. I'm not condemning those, by the way. But is this a disposition you've concluded inevitably results from your deductions, or something which is a subjective feeling on the matter?

I do wonder, though, what would happen if we considered alternative emotional responses to the same questions. Reactions all the same subjective but opposite. Lets say that you're a person with a quick bounce-back rate, a natural level of energy (or thirst for new) and recovery from failure. When approaching the question of constructing impetus, arbitrary as they may be, they might weather damage better. For no logical difference whatsoever, this person would experience life quite differently due to that existing response.

It feels like your impetus-center (heart?) is not strong enough to convince the rest of your mind that it's pursuits and needs are relevant. But going back to Hiam's phrasing, should the one be discrediting the other?

(Perhaps if it wasn't constantly fearing the kick, perhaps if the bullies would understand that the heart-impetus reigns over its own domain, things would shift? Perhaps the so-praised logic is being a little hypocritically biased by exalting itself even beyond what Reason really requires -- for logic alone is not where the impetus to downtrod or shame arise from. Just musings..)

@Blarraun - I haven't read your spoilers yet (I'll get to them) but I really like your multi-layered approach.

So you don't attempt to converge all of your multi-faceted experience of life into a single cohesion or perspective? You allow it to exist organically as a layering, that outputs different results depending on the subtlety of how each situation strikes the whole, if I understand?

Your sense of self/ego mustn't be very *fixated* - that's great. I find that often times it's the feeling of "this is what I am/believe" and the certainty of knowing that, that inclines many of us to converge our life experience into one fundamental reconciliation - a single paradigm that can account for it all; all of ourselves and/or the world.

A mind not so plagued by that driving force would likely find that the most accurate view to have is one that honors and aligns with life's multifaceted nature. It's shades of grey and ambiguity. Because our human capacity at present cannot honestly grasp it all or form any purely consistent perspective. Any attempts we construct are highlighting certain facts and undermining opposing ones (whether those facts are our own inner experiences of things or external events)

@Yellow - I think you have such a healthy psychic disposition, I'm happy for you. ^^
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Old 16th-July-2015, 08:19 PM   #11
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Default Re: Absurdists, what do you conjure?

Yep you understood me quite well.
Well there are a lot of things you can call creating:
ideas,software/games,text,speaking,graphic art(not so much,more when I was younger then now) and more subtly things.
it is like the final act,using all the knowledge(the material),skills(the experience), Intelligence(tool),then there is you using them all to make something,an idea(the plan),then you express it to the realty(the man/woman).
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Old 16th-July-2015, 10:59 PM   #12
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I experience existential despair as aimlessness rather than meaninglessness personally.

When I'm caught in it I experience time as being lost in this dark storm of labyrinthine waves and thickets pulling me in all directions with no sense of a way out; shouting 'which way do I go, which way out', but only hearing the thunder; lacking any internal compass, or means of deciding the necessary direction to take (if there is one); observing innumerable others who even when they appear self-assured they know the way seem to be basically masking this same essential confusion with different justifications.

The lack of any real compass makes me stand still, which in reality is to drift under the pulls of fate and influence, for you know that time is short and you can only take so many paths, experience so much, read and think about so much before it's over, but all the paths seem arbitrary and lack any sign. You just will, or are willed, to go one way or another, which unless you know yourself and the internal foundations of your desires well enough, is often vapid, replaced ephemerally with different thoughts, different wills, and without any real course or structure, "like chaff in wind."

My internal fable is basically intuition. It is the closest thing to a firm foundation I've found upon which to lay my life. When I leave myself to intuition I find it naturally gravitates me in a direction towards subjects of intense interest, passion and affinity, as if it were my organism's pre-written script, such that I basically live to live out the edifice of creation realised throughout my time-form upon its foundation. I'm not too concerned about the storm anymore as I don't think there's any clear answer to the confusion it represents, and either way I haven't discovered any better option for me than to follow my compass.

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Old 17th-July-2015, 06:11 AM   #13
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Context: I think I'm in a pretty good position between being aware of the horrors and emptiness of the world, and not having experienced it directly/seen actual visuals. I've also had an existential crisis that made me think a LOT of deeper and harder thoughts than I've had before or since. Went through panic attacks daily for a period of time and everything.

That said, my conclusion to all this chaos, absurdity and scary unknowns is this: Live intrinsically, not extrinsically. Once you value things for what they are, as they are, and when they are, then they become self-contained experiences of happiness that don't lose their luster trying to expand out into nothingness.

"Why" is one of the most useless questions ever when it comes to the intangibles and in hopes of comfort. Asking "why" in this situation is like jumping into space - you should be able to enjoy the adventure and openness of it all, not hope for anywhere to land.
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Old 21st-February-2017, 01:01 AM   #14
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To be contrary, I do believe that existence has intrinsic meaning.

Everything comes into balance with everything else.

If everything is in balance then everything has meaning.

But it may mean that not everything meaningful is good.

Pain is meaningful but it is not good. Pain signals death.

Emptiness is meaningful but it leads to suicide because of pain.

The only solution to pain and suffering is the absence of ignorance.

What I believe in is Theistic Buddhism.

Love is the balance of all the good as a result of liberation.

This way you become connected to all existence.

God is this connection, it is not pantheism.

God is conscious and connects all existence.

But God is not fully complete and whole yet.

God is one with all life and nothing is dead, it is not materialism.

We are disconnected from God because of decay.

Because decay happens, like the force in Star War we are all ghosts.

You may feel that you exist but really you are like a tornado.

You do not control your direction, you intend your direction.

You are not a rocket that guides itself to the moon.

You are a skydiver that falls through hoops.

Nothing is pushing you from behind, you are being pulled into the future.

And this is why God exists,

because the connection we have is us being pulled into one being.

Everything about Nihilism and Absurdism and Existentialism is about being pushed around.

Because you are pushed you have no control.

But Theistic Buddhism says you are bing pulled.

Pain pushed, love pulls.

Everything wrong with us is about resistance.

We resist God, we resist being pulled into the higher self.

And this is because of ignorance.

We don't know where to go to make us happy.

Everything pushes and pulls inside us.

We have dispair because we feel like we have nowhere to go.

That we are not accepted, the god did not accept us.

We are lost because of ignorance.

When liberation happens we find God because we realize we must let go.

We must stop resisting and accept that we are loved.

When we feel that love is not real we despair, we rage, we power trip.

Because God is everything, you are inside god and God is inside you.

Nothing is wrong with you, everything is wrong with the world.

If we accept that resistance is the problem, ignorance is destroyed.

Then we realize that everyone is us and we care about each other.

Isolation destroys the connection we have with God.

We are lost and when we are found we know life has meaning because of balance.

We just define existence as without meaning because it has no direction.

But because of God, all of existence has direction, and it is all of us together.

If existence was meaningless and has no direction it was only because of isolation and ignorance.

The universe has direction, it has a spirit and we are its soul, Gods Love.
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Old 21st-February-2017, 01:50 AM   #15
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... conjure ...?

I take life seriously in the mien but overriding that is what I eventually realized was an absurdist outlook. Nothing special other than recognizing that 99% of human activity is completely absurd and pointless. The main affect is that I'm not terribly affected by events, especially large scale. For example the present nutty alt-right movement going on in the U.S., while it bothers me on a personal level, ultimately is a shrug of the shoulders and recognition that in the medium term it won't matter (e.g. it's at most a short term bother).

It's not anything active but just an umbrella to my outlook.
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Old 21st-February-2017, 02:31 AM   #16

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Puffy wrote how I feel except better than I could. So...what Puffy said.
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Old 21st-February-2017, 07:39 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by AnimeKitty
God is conscious and connects all existence.
We are all connected as the unified mind of the earth and the unified mind of the universe; as such we are part of the greatest, just as we contain the smallest, and our mind reflects what existence there is to be had in the greater whole, so we are like God.

So we are a unified mind - each individual - and capture the essence of experience of mental states and connection with other minds, just as occurs on higher levels.
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Old 13th-April-2017, 05:23 AM   #18
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I find the bounds of reality are what creates my nihilistic/existentialist despair. I feel this because it limits my experience, my adventure for I see no other way in which to live, and so I give mystery the benefit of the doubt, that is to strip it of reductionist materialist connotations, so I may feel a sense of possibility. I believe poetry (not in the literary sense) is great for exploration via doing so. I intend to read Sean Carroll's "The Big Picture" to get an idea of Poetic Naturalism.
I believe that Sean Carroll argues that our complexity is what makes us significant, and so I think under the rose coloured glasses of Poetic Naturalism, we give ourself meaning.
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Old 13th-April-2017, 06:43 AM   #19
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I am Cognisant and being existentially cognisant is a contradiction.

To be self conscious necessitates having a sense of self and with that comes an ego; I once sought ego death, it's possible but unsustainable, really just delusional. I've tried creating my own meaning but again self delusion just isn't what I am, no fiction however pleasing can change what I know.

So I have an ego and I'm abundantly aware of meaninglessness, irrelevance and futility of my existence, I desperately want what I know I can never have, to put it succinctly I am offended by the very nature of my existence.

I stared into the void until I lost my mind after all isn't this what they all say?
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Old 13th-April-2017, 06:50 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Cognisant
I once sought ego death, it's possible but unsustainable, really just delusional.
You might want to think about changing this view.
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Old 13th-April-2017, 07:50 AM   #21
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Are you going to convince me you have no ego?
Why are you trying to convince me of this?
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Old 16th-April-2017, 06:09 AM   #22
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The faster gray matter can store and combine patterns, the faster you can learn and be creative.

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Old 16th-April-2017, 08:07 AM   #23
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The cat's dead.
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Old 16th-April-2017, 08:26 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by AndyC View Post
Hello, I am the universe.

I just want to say I am not indifferent to you but I am absurd.

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Old 16th-April-2017, 09:03 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Auburn View Post
What whims or ideas move you?
I saw this movie when I was 6 years old:

It really fucked me up. Lots of things I saw as a child were fucked up.

But it does not matter because I am still alive.

I held on because something was inside me.

Pain can never destroy me.

Good things exist.

I exist.

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Old 16th-April-2017, 10:20 AM   #26
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I am glad Auburn made this thread so that we can see where others kind of stand on this issue of meaning. Even Architect chipped in.

Personally, I think we have to create our own meaning because without that we will be swallowed by despair. Is it disingenuous? Yes, probably. But who cares, anything to stay sane, pun intended.

I would almost fully adopt the Existentialist bent to things if it wasn't for free will being caught up in the mix. I think there is far too much that we do that has to do with causality and that this is kinda a double edged sword for us as a strength and a weakness. In this regard, we are kinda a one trick pony. We don't or rather, we can't go on to higher things because causality prevents us from doing so. But it also provides structure that makes us healthy. The only real "progress" we make is almost certainly done through necessity. Even in the science field where people are essentially playing with toys. Its that entertainment value that is important to us and gives us the means to work out one thing into another. After all we are essentially just kids playing in a sandbox.
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Old 16th-April-2017, 03:33 PM   #27
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Rick wants Szechuan sauce because he wants it.

In a world without meaning purpose is driven by desire, getting Szechuan sauce isn't the meaning of Rick's existence, Rick needs no external justification, Rick wants what Rick wants because Rick wants it and he has nothing to justify to anyone, Rick is a free man.

Lol reflecting on what I wrote earlier "I desperately want what I know I can never have", the desire for meaning is the shackles of the mind's slavery and apparently I'm wearing them because I like having something to rebel against, so silly of me

My ego is still offended, but the feeling is now of ambition rather than injustice and the offence isn't so great.

I wonder what I want? I'm going to have to contemplate that...

I know what Rick wants even more than Szechuan sauce, he's lonely, he wants Morty to stare into the void, it's no fun being the only sane person in the asylum constantly having to reiterate reality to people.
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Old 17th-April-2017, 04:51 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Cognisant View Post
I wonder what I want? I'm going to have to contemplate that...
Find you happy place cog.

I know what Rick wants even more than Szechuan sauce, he's lonely, he wants Morty to stare into the void, it's no fun being the only sane person in the asylum constantly having to reiterate reality to people.
I want to cry.

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Old 21st-April-2017, 05:43 AM   #29

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Looking at my fuck-ups, and still trying to tackle this better-myself thing. That's meaning enough for the day.
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Old 21st-April-2017, 06:31 PM   #30
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Default Re: Absurdists, what do you conjure?

My overall aporoach and flow to life is to follow my momentum.

Growing up in a typical household, I did not always have an absurdist outlook. Realizing that life has no meaning feels very liberating to me but it does not really change my external behaviour because there is no reason to. As a result, I am doing pretty much what I would have expected years ago but with a different perspective.
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