Meaning of life and pursuing happiness

Meta Extentialist Experience

I am three years into a vicious workplace conflict that has caused me to have what I am calling a meta-existential crisis.

Regular existential crisis are what purpose or meaning can life have when you eventually die? But I think that is a small concern when you consider that since civilizations live and die, what purpose or meaning can individual lives have? Or whole planets, solar systems…. nothing is so bad that taking the extreme long view or biggest possible picture can’t make it worse.

I am experiencing a change in perception and sensory perceptions that I have no correlating experience for, other than the dramatic time perception shift that occurs when you think you might die during periods of actual possibility of death.

I have experienced the slowing of time as if a frame by frame advance with intermixed still scenes from my earlier life flashing before my eyes twice in my life – in both cases, I had no control over the situation (someone else was driving in one and I was drowning, being held underwater by someone thinking they were playful in the other)

At times when my life was in danger, and I was in control of the situation, I did not experience the frame by frame or life flashbacks, but rather a slightly slower than usual time, but more vivid detail of the event – several near fatal and barely avoided accidents in which I was a driver. While actual time didn’t change, my relationship to time changed, and these memories are more vivid and detailed, even though they are flashes.

I think that having a degree of control over the outcome is what makes a difference between the two experiences.

In any event, I am no longer experiencing time in a real/analog manner, but rather as variable speed and compression – life feels like a digital playback that I can alter by altering my perception, brain chemistry and by meditation.

I can’t reverse time, but I am not entirely sure that I didn’t die in November 2010 and everything from a particular date/event is my dying brain playing out an unrealizable possible future; so I regularly seek reality validation from other people is necessary to convince myself that it’s well after November 2010, and this is real.

Whatever this is and whatever real is….

So the question I have is, has anyone else experienced an existential crisis or had a collapse of your entire belief/faith system?

By faith, I am not meaning religious – but rather faith in a system you had trust in – I am basically a policy wonk who has been betrayed by the offices of authority, which, I am still to humiliated to go into.

(beware anyone with a manifesto)

Suffice to say, that my employer psychologically assaulted and took away my personal sovereignty and for several hours, I was without any civil rights – something that, as a lesbian, I am particularly sensitive to, having only had full civil rights since 2003 – when I was 35.

(when I was the ideal principle version if me)

So, I have been experiencing shifts in perception and time and these have manifest as physical as well as sensory experiences.

{as the ideal compromises – or learns to -(the to and fro wobble)}

Particularly when my mind is in an altered state by medication or blood sugar levels (also diabetic, so being sugar high makes me a bit loopy).

The physical sensations are like being a dishrag that is bent and twisted, complete with pulling, heat and twisting sensations – either as a whole body experience – and I feel compelled to turn in three or four loops when I am walking or to walk in small tight circles.

The number seven and pairs of numbers that add up to seven seem very significant for unclear reasons, with a suggestion of being phases or states.

These occur when I feel close to some kind of revelation of understanding, and it feels like some kind of truth or understanding will bubble to the top of my awareness from the depth of the experiences percolating deep in my mind, colliding and mashing until they make sense or give rise to a new understanding – often, it’s in parallel to the TV program or movie characters that feel like guides to humanity – I only watch DVD, so am selecting the programs being watched, not channel surfing – so sometimes, I feel compelled to watch particular shows, as if to be reminded of a particular revelation or understanding.

For example, Farscape, the US/Australian TV show is basically an existential crisis of the lead character who is thrown from earth into a strange universe and he has to decide who to trust, what matters and brings the universe to the brink of extinction if the parties won’t abide by what John has determined matters.

Deep Space Nine is the blue collar of STNG that comes into its Starfleet frontier to final conflict – High Noon at the Alpha-Gamma Quadrant Saloon – Quark’s That Is. Quark’s Saloon.

now, I can find a lot of information about existentialism, but nothing on what it sense sensor {sensually} and physically feels like

I think that people throughout history have had them, and what they have understood to matter and have meaning from the crisis are obvious and plain truths to anyone who wants to take a breath and think for a while.

I think that these experiences have been mis-characterized as religious experiences and are the experience behind the idea of revealed truth – rather than a crisis and self evident truth (in the context of the crisis, [at the every least,] if not the actual {as {it turns out} it happens truth as well.)

That it wasn’t enough for the person to gain an understanding and become a better person, but they or someone who heard them, sought to gain wealth and power by leveraging the obvious – work and play well with others type understanding – into a religion and give it a sheen of authority and mighty by adding “and god said so; so obey or else suffer the consequences by the god I claim told me so.”

(because seeing for yourself is the only certainty that one can be sure of…)

I think that it is these truths that are in all religions because they are truth and have been incorporated in the religions, rather than the religions based on the truth, since religion is not about truth, but consolidating power and wealth for very little work contribution to the group.

(and seeing enough to be able to understand what others see…)

In any event, I can’t stay on focus, because I cannot filter information – cognitive disinhibition – everything is meaningful and not and everything is relative and related, so nothing is.

Anyways, when I get close to the bigger, game changing understanding, the physical whole body sensations of being twisted and rung like a dishcloth, shrinks down to the sensations being scaled for just my head, and my jaw moves and cracks and I feel like the bones of my skull are shifting like tectonic plates, my vision blurs, my muscles strain and I taste blood in my mouth and my teeth ache in my jaw

I can understand that a person would interpreted these as being a religious touched by god experience, but the ideas and understanding are not out of line with reality and often affirming of ideal reality, they are organic and are my own intuitive leaps and understanding of how I would like the world to be

and how the world is not

okay that was a ratchet paradigm shift, owie owie owie

seismic skull clatter

writing this is making me experience what I am trying to describe

and maybe there’s a reason no one describes the sensations

it means that someone will phone the nice young men in the clean white coats…….

Conspiracy Theories

If all the conspiracy theories were true or all the real conspiracies were known; would knowing which were true and knowing them to be true, make any difference?

Conspiracy Theories seems to do little more than make the proponent appear as someone with inside knowledge.

Would knowing what “really” happened on 9/11 change anything?

Would it make Americans demand a new form of government? No.

Would it prevent future conspiracies? No.

Conspiracy theories of shadowy governments or agents of shadowy governments or private interest groups, be they business or religion oriented, do little more than create an industry of distraction – it consumes people to the point that casual belief that the US government killed JFK has turned 9/11 Truthers into a unified group who maintains vigils on par with the Roswell UFO Buffs.

These people spend money and time chasing shadows and not living their lives.

If what they believed was not only true, but admitted to be.

What would change? Nothing.

So there’s no sense in living your life around a conspiracy theory any more than there’s sense in living your life according to a religious theory.

You just end up not living your own life.

 

I don’t know what to believe anymore

It’s one of the most overused lines in movies and TV shows, often spoken by a character who’s really not had that big shake up, revelation or event. The characters are not often people with fragile grips on reality, so the line is often met with humour and a little disdain because it simply doesn’t ring true or very profoundly.

To truly not know what to believe anymore is to be shaken to the core, to your foundational beliefs about the world and how it operates – it means an existential crisis, a collapse of meaning and loss of values.

Living through losses – deaths of pets, friends, family, can often cause people to ask the big questions – are you really there god? What happens when you die?

Even a non-believer in any gods can wonder about death, since our brains don’t like to think of themselves as an organ and contemplate it’s functioning – but personality changes after strokes and brain injuries demonstrates that we are brain bots who are programmed to not believe we are.

Trying to think about being your brain, is like trying to force a cat to look at herself in the mirror – she doesn’t want to see that other cat, who has no scent and copies everything she does – so will struggle and shift to avoid being confronted with something that is a cat but isn’t what the cat recognizes as a cat.

In one house I lived in, I had an office that I painted lavender and painted in dark purple, outlines of cats and dogs on the walls and ceiling –I painted a cat as if it was sleeping on the top of the computer desk; so when my actual cat jumped up to that spot – her spot – she got big and furry and hissed at the intruder cat – a crude purple outline shaped like a sleeping cat – she could assign the painting on the wall a value of being a cat, but not her own reflection in the mirror.

But death is a part of life, and as distressing as it is, as devastating as the loss of loved ones is, death does not shake the meaning of life to its foundations – it can cause a person to rethink their religious beliefs – and often, the anger at the loss of a person too soon, too young, too quickly, too horribly, can make a believer angry at their god and starts them on the path towards non-belief.

Many believers cannot understand non-belief and so convince themselves that the professed non-believer is just angry at their god and simply not worshiping – because this is a common experience that is more easily relate-able than understanding, no, I do not believe there’s any deities because they are illogical in a natural universe and there’s no reason to assume the universe isn’t natural.

Existential crisis are often considered to be the crisis that one falls into when you realize your own mortality. What meaning does life have when we all die? To that I say, life has meaning  because we die, because our time is limited, we have to make the most and experience and live while we can, because you never know what day your last day is going to be.  Every year, the date slips by with less notice than any other day of the year, save your birthday and whatever holidays you observe.

However old you are, you have had as many death anniversaries as birthdays, except that you don’t get to know what day that death day is ahead of time – unless you choose a day – which I am specifically not recommending.

I find that having been shaken to my foundational core, that knowing that I will die does not cause me overmuch concern, after all, what is my death when the society that I live in was also born, exists and will eventually die out. Such is the way of civilization through conquest, through demographic change, through natural disasters.

But civilization is too big picture and inhibits functionality to consider, so life returns to is meaningfulness because it’s limited – the idea of eternal life feels like a cosmic joke too cruel to contemplate – any pleasure after a long enough time period becomes torture and any torture given enough time becomes a pleasure, so it’s only by straddling the line between pain and pleasure can either have meaning, because too much of one consistently becomes the other.

Everything can be reduced down to the cumulative moments of increased and varied sensation, the faster switching between pleasurable pain and painful pleasure, being in the moment, the now, until the sweet release of oblivion, the little death, the small sleep, the orgasm where all sensation resolves to overwhelm all senses and there is blissful oblivion perched at the peak, fleeting, until the collapse and exhaustion settles you into boneless sleep.

A dream state of dress rehearsal for events and particularly dangers and how to deal with, brain floss, flights of fancy and wishful thinking, problem solving, inspiration – dreams, unadorned and uninhibited, sometimes, more real than reality.

But when the sleeper wakes, what to make of the world? Of their place in it?

There are things we can count on – the sun will continue to rise and set; well, until it doesn’t anymore, but that’s cosmologically too far off to factor in. People will be born and others will die, good and bad things will happen, but there’s no rhyme or reason why that person will experience goodness and others will not.

We can only control what we bring to the world each day – how we act or respond to others and not be able to control how they behave towards us. Who we are and what we are capable of punching above or below our weight at a given moment, informs our reactions to the world.

That was a foundational shift for me, I previously believed in the rules of society, the workplace policies, the social norms that allowed me to expect from others, to rely on them behaving in particular ways, ways that were group focused – and that’s just not the case. I am unsure of what to believe anymore.

Everyone is self-focused and if that aligns with the group, all the easier to get people on board – but the only goldenest rule is that whoever has the gold rules.

Forgiveness II

Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.
–Anonymous

 

It is said that living well is the best revenge. But to live well, one must forgive and not carry the slings, arrows, trespasses and harms done to them.

To live well for the sake of yourself and living well – not to spite others or harbour revenge fantasies or assure yourself that Those People will eventually get theirs.

To forgive is to live without closure, to let go and be done, heedless and uncaring of the outcome for anyone but your self.

The idea of closure is a strange one to my mind – when life is anything but closed. Life is open and a mystery in many ways. We cannot know really what others think, feel or experience. We know what we observe, what they tell us, we can understand subtext and context and know when things appear just off of how they are told or explained to be.

The idea of closure connects to the idea of there being a divine and final justice – it is a religious way of thinking that life is orderly, with cause and justice.

Which is strange given that we live in a world of extremes, where most people who are born are peasants, slaves, untouchables, workers, unsung, unheard and forgotten when living memory passes. Where there is no equitable distribution of wealth, resources, opportunities, even within the same society.

Nice and bad guys alike merely finish where they do with little relevance to their disposition. Winners don’t write history so much as spin doctor it.

We live with cognitive dissonance, hypocrisy, confirmation bias and outright lies when they provide more comfort than truth. Truth is not only relative, but in fact, a distant relative to the realities that we individually live in and act as if they are true.

We operate in the world as if people are like ourselves, as if people are rational actors, as if, as if, as if, it means anything.

When the meaning of life is the meaning we give it by living.

Where we live determines much about the how we live, we live within the limitations of our time period, our geography, our education, our desires and abilities, our opportunity and our culture, within the limits of the freedom or limitations of our respective societies.