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My purpose in life

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posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 01:32 PM
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I stared down my own mortality a couple of months ago and since then I've been asking myself what the purpose of life is. What are we here for? Some people will relate their lives to their job, I'm a construction worker, I build things or I'm a school teacher, I am here to teach children. I have always related my purpose in life to my job, being a good person, retiring, enjoying my golden years, and dying. I've often felt that there must be more to life, but these last couple months I know this to be true and I am terrified of wasting my life, or missing the bigger picture of why I or even why we are here.

I live a good life, I am healthy, I have a great wife and a job I enjoy that pays the bills and allows me to live life as a middle class American. I should be content in my life and for the most part, I am, I just can't shake this feeling that I'm missing something though, and that terrifies me. Every day of my life is a routine, I go to work, I go to the gym with my wife, we eat dinner, we hang out, and we go to bed. I'm not complaining, I just feel that this can't be what we're here for. Although my job is fulfilling and I get to help people, it's man made, I do it to make money, which is also man made, I can't imagine the purpose of my life being to make money and pay bills.

If money wasn't an issue, say you had unlimited money, what would you do with your life? Do you think you would get bored and feel like no matter what you are doing, it isn't enough or that there's something else out there? Maybe that feeling is just part of being human. Maybe all life is, is a collection of experiences and people you meet and there is no higher purpose of us being here. God forbid but say tomorrow morning you die unexpectedly, would you feel like you lived your life, or would you feel like you missed something?

Thank you very much for reading this, these questions have been driving me crazy. I feel like I'm close to figuring something out, I'm close to something, maybe this thread is what I need.




posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 01:42 PM
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I have kids, and though I find myself wondering and worrying about them on a daily basis, I am under the impression that I have purpose. I thank my wife and God for that.



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: apydomis
I've considered that and I think you're right. Children do give us a purpose in life and maybe that's what I'm missing. My wife and I have been trying, just no luck yet, maybe it isn't in the cards for us, and maybe subconsciously that's why I'm searching for something else. Thank you for your reply.



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 01:50 PM
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a reply to: GordonCole

"Even if a man lives good he dies."
-ancient proverb


SnF



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 01:52 PM
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Methinks the key is to overcome the illusion of meaning. We long for some grand purpose or some divinely exquisite journey to complete us when life can be wonderful or torturous in any situation, depending on the observer.

I tend to side with the assumption that life has no meaning, metaphysical purpose is an artificial construct of our functioning in this reality, and it is utterly inconsequential whether you live what you believe is a 'great and worthwhile' life or not (aside from how it furthers ones own desires/wishes).

In various thought experiments I've parsed down the some total of experience to merely experiential perception. Any determinations made (good or bad) are merely subjective analyses and don't exist except for the frame of mind and though-forms of the observer. Thus, an individual could lead of life of exquisite ecstasy from a jail cell (theoretically) and the wealthiest person in the world a life of abject misery, merely through their ingrained perceptions of reality and their control of their own thoughts as to which aspects become the driving locomotor for everyday life.



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 01:59 PM
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I find the highest values in romantic love and career.

I am gnostically atheist and have been for 10ish years. I have struggled throughout the years looking for objective meaning, purpose, values, anything actually objective.

I got into some Sam Harris stuff for a while in that moral objectivity can exist and we can view the moral landscape utilizing historical fact and evidence to view what works and what doesn't.
But even then, this is still a form of "subjective objectivity". But now I sort of detest Harris.

For the past few years I have focused on myself. What I need to do. What I should do. How to better myself. I reject the notion that altruism is a virtue.

You pointed out your discontent in that "it's man made"

That is the beautiful part dude. The fact you belong to a species that has made this possible.
You have a wife that you are happy with. That alone is beautiful. You have someone to grow with. All the while, you have a job you enjoy to make the growth possible.
Romantic love gives a subjective purpose and meaning to our Darwinian and biological purpose of reproduction. Career allows us to utilize our skills to better yourself and your partner, if your partner in returns benefits you.

These two things are the highest value one can hold, IMO, and if you have both of those then you have achieved what millions only dream of achieving but never have the motivation or effort to get off their ass and do themselves.

Cheers and chin up



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 02:03 PM
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a reply to: Wayfarer
"Overcome the illusion of meaning", I like that alot. I don't know if I could ever reach that point, but if I could, I feel there would be much freedom in that. Perhaps there is a limit to this reality and it doesn't matter how I feel, what you see is what you get here. I guess I am just longing for something more.



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 02:06 PM
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a reply to: GordonCole

I think this is a subject that each individual must figure out on their own, but nothing wrong with asking for other opinions as that may trigger something within you.

I personally think there is something specific to work on or experience with each life. Consider that you may have had thousands of lives already but this one provides a new learning experience in some way. What that specific experience may be is anyone's guess, but I think we can feel it when we are on the proper path. When I am freely giving my time and energy towards helping others is when I feel the most aligned with some type of higher purpose. I felt that way raising 3 kids and feel that way now when I help others since the kids are all adults now. And that activity is outside of the automaton like eat-sleep-work cycle. Nothing about making money to survive seems to feel like a higher purpose to me.

You mentioned nothing about spirituality in your OP, that is a vast subject that can sometimes help one put a single life in the proper context. But also a purely individual path that may or may not be related to ones purpose in a specific life.

Bottom line is that there are potentially infinite reasons or purposes for a life. My method has been to do more of the things that feel right in the gut and avoid things that feel wrong.



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 02:12 PM
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a reply to: GordonCole

you should just consider adopting an American child from a municipality near you. I mean you could it do the od fashioned way, but you say its not progressing as you would like. OR, consider just being a foster home so that you could get the idea of what being a parent is while at the same time giving children from troubled situations a structured environment while their situation gets sorted out?? Fostering a child is not permanent, unless you want it to be.



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 02:15 PM
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a reply to: GordonCole




If money wasn't an issue, say you had unlimited money, what would you do with your life? Do you think you would get bored and feel like no matter what you are doing, it isn't enough or that there's something else out there? Maybe that feeling is just part of being human. Maybe all life is, is a collection of experiences and people you meet and there is no higher purpose of us being here. God forbid but say tomorrow morning you die unexpectedly, would you feel like you lived your life, or would you feel like you missed something?


I saw a documentary where they interviewed people that were close to dying and none of them wished they had made more money.

The themes were:
1) spend more time with family
2) travel and see more of the world
3) Cultivated some spirituality
4) got better educated
5) lived healthier lifestyle
6) done more to help others

I feel that there is worth in doing more for our family and friends, and signing up for some volunteer work. I was in a 'feeling selfish' mode for a while and joined Habitat For Humanity. It was so rewarding and I met some wonderful people.
Teaching or leading is also of value


I had an uncle that was in hospice and asked me about god one day. He was never religious/spiritual but felt and acknowledged an emptiness inside. My first thought was there were many paths to god and that spirituality has value too, as in non-formal(doctrine) approach. He asked if I believed in God and I told him of my journey, which was curiosity driven and led me through studying all the religions at college. I related most to Taoism, Native American spirituality and Buddhism, but had a Christianity foundation, with a long and worn tether I might add, but imo, god is too big for just one religion and could be considered an entity,force or creator. Our class text was: The Worlds Religions

Here is a convenient list of Various Books On Spirituality

Alright enough about the spiritual stuff, but I do think there is something to it personally and the volunteer thing is important too. We are so wired these days to be selfish, and circumstantially pushed to be at times, but I think incorporating more selflessness would bring a sense of joy to our lives.

I wish you well and would also encourage some creativity maybe, a hobby, martial arts, writing/painting etc...

peace
edit on 3pmf31272831 by waftist because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: Jupiters
Thank you very much for your post. You're right that I have been blessed with very good things and there are many people who would want what I have. I think I need to focus on myself and start doing something I find fulfillment in, I just don't know where to start. I never thought of being human as a blessing before, you're right though, I could be an animal whose sole purpose in life is to find food and reproduce.

Bluesjr, I grew up Catholic and do believe in God, I wouldn't call myself a practicing catholic by any means. I have recently been reading alot about evolution of the soul and the idea of reincarnation. I like that idea alot. I find comfort in the thought of getting another go at this thing called life. I think if I knew that I'd be back time and time again it would relieve some of the feelings of anxiety about not wasting my life. I also worry about being at a fork in the road of life, where one path is where I'm supposed to go and the other path I just keep living life, but never knowing I'm at this fork, and I miss the turn and choose the life of being comfortable because I was blind to the other path.



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 02:24 PM
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a reply to: GordonCole


I can't imagine the purpose of my life being to make money and pay bills.

You're right. Having the 'bills paid' gives you time to ponder the real questions though.


If money wasn't an issue, say you had unlimited money, what would you do with your life?

What if you didn't have any money, what would you do with your life?

The else is sooo simple most people refuse to accept it.... money aside, just treat everyone you meet wth compassion, from now on.



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 02:46 PM
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All meaning is manufactured in our minds and then projected onto external things or circumstances . There is no inherent meaning . We don't need it .



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 03:37 PM
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a reply to: GordonCole

My pleasure.

And you aren't giving yourself enough credit.
You say you are "blessed" with very good things. No, you are an individuial and utilized your merit and achieved what you desire(d). That is true fulfillment. That is virtuous.
No luck or predetermination involved, just you setting a goal of what you want and working until that goal was achieved.

My advice on the metaphysical topics of the conversation:
Do not seek answers of metaphysics. Do not find comfort in metaphysics. Find comfort in what you have and what is real and most importantly what you have earned. Seeking comfort in something after death is dehumanizing and destroys self esteem. Instead of being happy that you may possibly go to heaven or be reincarnated, be happy that you get to go home to a wife. Be happy you are alive to experience what a magnificent world we live in.
You, I, we, are not sacrificial animals.
We are individuals and our pursuit of our own happiness is the ultimate goal. If we are to say altruism is a moral virtue, we are creating a moral objective that judges our goodness on a scale of how much we can dehumanize ourself and sacrifice what makes us happy.
Be proud with what you have earned.



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 03:41 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 04:05 PM
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You sir have what is known as humanitis it is the feeling that there is something missing. Most men have it and just deal with it in different ways. It's as if there is a gaping hole in you that needs to be filled and no matter what you do it will always be there the kids help for a time but as they get older they need you less. Then one day they move out and your are once again left with that same old familiar feeling of there is something more to this that we as a species are missing out on



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 06:40 PM
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Imo, the purpose of life is to stay alive & procreate to continue the human race. We are so worried about things like how much we exercise & how healthy the food we consume is, while we ignore that 25% of the people in the world have no electricity, 60% of the people in the world have no plumbing & 10% of the people in the world are malnourished. Even the poorest in western civilization live better than the richest in the world did 150 years ago. We are spoiled & live in an era of decadence, so we don't appreciate the simpler things in life like looking for something to eat in the wild in order to stay alive.

If I had unlimited resources (trillions of dollars), I would hire the top scientists & engineers to build a spaceship in order to explore the universe.

On a more realistic level ($500k) I would buy an RV and travel the USA.



posted on Jul, 13 2017 @ 05:23 AM
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originally posted by: Wayfarer
and it is utterly inconsequential whether you live what you believe is a 'great and worthwhile' life or not..


I don't agree with that at all.

Its like saying how you live your life makes no difference. How you live affects the outcome of your life and others.




Any determinations made (good or bad) are merely subjective analyses and don't exist except for the frame of mind and though-forms of the observer.



Also rubbish.

Some aspects of life is subjective yes, but there is a 'nature'.

E.g. You don't eat you get hungry; you feel it. It is not completely subjective. There are pleasant and unpleasant feelings which are due to conditions and the nature of your being.



posted on Jul, 13 2017 @ 05:43 AM
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First, we do not exist on our own. We have not come to be on our own. Whatever you came from existed before. You are a part of nature and to that you will return. Life is bigger than you and you are a part of it.

I think just be, be your nature.

Naturally we seek happiness and satisfaction. Maybe seeking that is a worthy purpose.



posted on Jul, 13 2017 @ 08:04 AM
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a reply to: waftist

Thank you very much for your post. Have you read any of those books in that link you posted? I am an avid reader and am always looking for a book to help me grow or give me another perspective to consider. I have been thinking about doing volunteer work, I'm going to research the opportunities that are around me. Travel was second on the list of things people wished they did, I have a longing to travel, there's so many things I want to see, I just don't have the means, not yet anyways. I think that's part of what scares me, I worry I'll never be in the position to afford to see all the places I wanna see. I think if money wasn't an issue I would spend a while just traveling the world bouncing from place to place until I didn't want to anymore.

a reply to: Themaskedbeast

You nailed it man, that's exactly how I feel. Perhaps I just need to accept this feeling and just try and live the happiest can, while feeling this way.

a reply to: JBIZZ

I would love to explore the universe and I have said to my wife when I retire I want to buy an RV and just travel as far as I can, spending pockets of time here or there.
edit on 13-7-2017 by GordonCole because: (no reason given)



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