Life Sucks...

Handruin

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I hope everything is all right. I'm not understandig it either.
 

Handruin

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The order of sequence from the older post seems mixed from todays date, so I'm still a bit confused. Is today the anniversary of the parting of your assumed wife Julie? Either way, I'm sorry for your loss.
 

Howell

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Life does suck sometimes. Hopefully there are more good days than bad and the memories of the good over-shadow the memories of the bad.

Every sunrise brings new possibilities so take things one day at a time.
 

ddrueding

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I doubt good days outnumber bad in most people's lives. Fortunatly, it's part of human physiology for us to remember good times and forget unpleasant ones...otherwise we'd all be depressed all the time.
 

jtr1962

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I can count the number of really good days in my life on my fingers and toes. Besides that, I'd say general bad days outnumber general good days, at least in my life, by at least 20 to 1. And no, I'm not prone to bouts of depression for no good reason. When I say bad days, I literally mean days anyone would see as bad.
 

sechs

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I've been dying since the day that I was born. Never had a problem with it.
 

Buck

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Overall, life has been good for me. I've had stretches of bad days (sometimes lasting a year) but they're out numbered by the good days. Either that, or as Dave mentioned, my memory is so bad, that I can't remember the bad days. :D
 

Gilbo

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1.
If the immediate and direct purpose of our life is not suffering then our existence is the most ill-adapted to its purpose in the world : for it is absurd to suppose that the endless affliction of which the world is everywhere full, and which arises out of the need and distress pertaining essentially to life, should be purposeless and purely accidental. Each individual misfortune, to be sure, seems an exceptional occurence; but misfortune in general is the rule.

2.
Just as a stream flows smoothly on as long as it encounters no obstruction, so the nature of man and animal is such that we never really notice or become conscious of what is aggreable to our will; if we are to notice something, our will has to have been thwarted, has to have experienced a shock of some kind. On the other hand, all that opposes, frustrates and resists our will, that is to say all that is unpleasant and painful, impresses itself upon us instantly, directly and with great clarity. Just as we are conscious not of the healthiness of our whole body but only of the little place where the shoe pinches, so we think not of the totality of our successful activities but of some insignificant trifle or other which continues to vex us. On this fact is founded what I have often before drawn attention to : the negativity of well-being and happiness, in antithesis to the positivity of pain.

I therefore know of no greater absurdity than that absurdity which characterizes almost all metaphysical systems : that of explaining evil as something negative. For evil is precisely that which is positive, that which makes itself palpable; and good, on the other hand, i.e. all happiness and all gratification, is that which is negative, the mere abolitoin of a desire and extinction of a pain.

This is also consistent with the fact that as a rule we find pleasure much less pleasureable, pain much more painful than we expected.

A quick test of the assertion that enjoyment outweighs pain in this world, or that they are at any rate balanced, would be to compare the feelings of an animal engaged in eating another with those of the animal being eaten.

3.
The most effective consolation in every misfortune and every affliction is to observe others who are more unfortunate than we : and everyone can do this. But what does that say for the condition of the whole?

History shows us the life of nations and finds nothing to narrate but wars and tumults; the peaceful years appear only as occasional brief pauses and interludes. In just the same way the life of the individual is a constant struggle, and not merely a metaphorical one against want or boredom, but also an actual struggle against other people. He discovers adversaries everywhere, lives in continual conflict and dies with sword in hand.

4.
Not the least of the torments which plague our existence is the constant pressure of time, which never lets us so much as draw breath but pursues us all like a taskmaster with a whip. It ceases to persecute only him it has delivered over to boredom.

5.
And yet, just as our body would burst asunder if the pressure of the atmosphere were removed from it, so would the arrogance of men expand, if not to the point of bursting then to that of the most unbridled folly, indeed madness, if the pressure of want, toil, calamity, and frustration were removed from their life. One can even say that we require at all times a certain quantity of care or sorrow or want, as a ship requires ballast, in order to keep on a straight course.

Work, worry, toil, and trouble are indeed the lot of almost all men their whole life long. And yet if every desire were satisfied as soon as it arose how would men occupy their lives, how would they pass the time? Imagine this race transported to a Utopia where everything grows of its own accord and turkeys fly around ready-roasted, where lovers find one another without any delay and keep one another without any difficulty : in such a place some men would die of boredom or hang themselves, would fight and kill one another, and thus they would create for themselves more suffering than nature inflicts on them as it is. Thus for a race such as this no stage, no form of existence is suitable other than the one it already possesses.
...
...

from On the Suffering of the World by Arthur Schopenhauer.

*sigh* When I read this thread I instantly got my Schopenhauer of the shelf. If someone has written on the subject of suffering more thoroughly, insightfully, or eloquently than Schopenhauer, I have not read them. Essays and Aphorisms is a great collection of his work, and I highly recommend it for anyone and everyone who is depressed.

Reading his work is oddly liberating, despite the fact that it may not necessarily make you feel any better. It synthesizes the essential wisdom of Christianity and Buddhism, but rationally and atheistically. In fact, despite having read the Bible several times I never really understood Christianity or, for that matter Buddhism, until I read Schopenhauer. Great writer and thinker...

Oh, I should warn anyone who thinks about getting that book that the only cure that I know of for Schopenhauerian malaise is Nietzsche. The two are inextricably tied together. In fact, Nietzsche devoted his entire life to trying to prove Schopenhauer's solution wrong. So many people read Nietzsche without the context of Schopenhauer, and that's Just Wrong.

I just thought I'd contribute some light reading to cheer everybody up :).
 

Mercutio

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Christianity and Buddhism have wisdom now?

Buddhism teaches moderation and passivity. Chrisitianity is a death cult that promises invisible rewards to adherents who behave themselves. Both seem to be more useful as tools to control a population than rewarding subjects for theological study (actually, I'm not a good judge of that, since I don't think anything is a rewarding subject for theological study).

At least Nirvana might be understood as something that could be achieved in life. Score one for the rotund guy!

I personally take no comfort in philosophy. Most are too much built on largely unprovable suppositions.

At any rate, I disagree at least in part with Schopenhauer's thesis that men given means to a world without suffering would quickly end it, seeking conflict. I would say, perhaps too optimistically, that a hypothetical perfect world would be one in which all people are fulfilled. Being so, by definition, there would be no reason for real conflict. Anything less would simply not be perfect enough.
 

iGary

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Jeez. I must be the eternal optimist around here.

I'd say I have 2 or 3 bad days every couple of years, then basically a 40/60 mix of ho-hum / good days all the rest of the time.


 

Gilbo

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Mercutio said:
Christianity and Buddhism have wisdom now?

Buddhism teaches moderation and passivity. Chrisitianity is a death cult that promises invisible rewards to adherents who behave themselves. Both seem to be more useful as tools to control a population than rewarding subjects for theological study (actually, I'm not a good judge of that, since I don't think anything is a rewarding subject for theological study).
I'm about as anti-religion as they come, but Schopenhauer's solution to the "life sucks" problem is quite rational and shares some characteristics with both Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity does provide some good advice. The problem with religion in general is that the method used to declare its justice (just or not) is one that inherently instills ignorance, creedence, and blind obedience which are all extremely dangerous characteristics.

The last line of the above essay ends "... the most necessary of all things: tolerance, patience, forebearance, and charity, which each of us needs and which each of us therefore owes." In many respects Schopenhauer is Christianity/Buddhism for atheists.

Mercutio said:
I personally take no comfort in philosophy. Most are too much built on largely unprovable suppositions.
The line of philosophy that Schopenhauer began (that most people would say Nietzsche founded) is anti-metaphysical i.e. it's designed to deal with the world we can see. Philosophy is an interest few people have, but this branch of thought is far more dirty and hands-on than most.

Mercutio said:
At any rate, I disagree at least in part with Schopenhauer's thesis that men given means to a world without suffering would quickly end it, seeking conflict. I would say, perhaps too optimistically, that a hypothetical perfect world would be one in which all people are fulfilled. Being so, by definition, there would be no reason for real conflict. Anything less would simply not be perfect enough.
The problem is that the urge to dominate is inherent instinct in all social-hierarchical animals, and human beings are social-hierarchical... The domination or competitive instinct in most such animals actually trumps all other selected instincts including sex-drive, hunger, and fear of pain, because dominance has become, among social-hierarchical animals, the primary means of satisfying all those subordinate interests. This is evident in higher apes (which are particularly well-known for their viciousness) and in other social hierarchical animals like lions, horses, or wolves.

You can't take the fight out of a person without fundamentally altering their thought patterns.

Incidentally, while I probably consider Schopenhauer in my top 5 thinkers of human history, I don't think he is the be-all-and-end-all. I have few problems with his premise that human beings are born to suffer. In fact, in many ways this premise has gained significant creedence in recent time because it pairs quite well with our knowledge of the chemistry of the brain as well as our understanding of the effect of natural selection on evolution. Human beings are not designed to be happy; they're designed to survive. While I appreciate the elegance of his solution, which is essentially the one offered by Buddhism and Christianity (I know there are distinctions between the two, but overall they are only different nihilisms and closer than most people think), I don't think he full developed his thought.

Nietzsche offers a lot of excellent insights into areas Schopenhauer didn't fully explore, and comes up with an alternate solution while conceding that most people will probably be best served by Schopenhauer's solution, or an alternate nihilism like Christianity or Buddhism --in fact he notes that a religious nihilism is a more useful way of contenting/controlling people who cannot be creative. One of Nietzsche's favourite angles of attack was to demonstrate how seemingly opposite things are inextricably bound up in each other. Nietzsche capably points out that the 'negative' emotions can also be the most positive (specifically creative). Few things drive human beings to create or excel like horrible suffering.

Anyway, no matter how depressed you are, you can't get much more pessimistic than Schopenhauer, so I thought I'd share one of my personal feel better remedies.
 

Gilbo

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It's worth noting that Christians are now known more for their intolerance than their tolerance, but that's not the genuine Christian way.
 

Groltz

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It's amazing the way this post has ballooned out when we never even got an explanation from Eric as to what was bothering him.

Who's going to be first to haul Leo Buscaglia out of their arsenal of personal beliefs/dogma?
 

LOST6200

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Groltz said:
It's amazing the way this post has ballooned out when we never even got an explanation from Eric as to what was bothering him.

Eric is gone; only a decaying shell remains.
 

time

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Don't expect to get over it; just realize that it can take years and years to come to terms with it. You still have worth, even though it may not seem that way right now.

Most importantly, keep visiting here ... and go for walks in the sun.
 

i

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I think many of us here are decaying shells.

Except ddrueding. That party animal.

And well, Tannin of course. I think he's working on an Australian wildlife documentary or something these days.

And I guess I haven't given up fighting yet.

But you, LOST, wherefore art thou a decaying shell?
 

Bozo

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A good day is any day you wake up on the right side of the grass.

If you think you are having a bad day, look around, someone is bound to be having a worse day than you. And that should help you put your 'bad day' in perspective.

Bozo :mrgrn:
 

LOST6200

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Bozo said:
A good day is any day you wake up on the right side of the grass.

If you think you are having a bad day, look around, someone is bound to be having a worse day than you. And that should help you put your 'bad day' in perspective.

Bozo :mrgrn:

Over 16,000, going on 17,000 bad days. Well under 100 good days. One can do the math.
 

Platform

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Groltz said:
Bozo said:
A good day is any day you wake up on the right side of the grass.
I'd settle for waking up on the right side of the bed.

Not when you're living in a cardboard box, it's which end you rolll out of... onto the grass.

However, if you were living in a treehouse, finding yourself on the grass would likely be very bad.

 

Howell

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"The outside things of life certainly do change and often quickly, but the inside things remain. Our parents and their parents and their parents-all of us-were created by Love. Love with a capital L. And we spend our lives trying to recognize that we truly *are* lovable and capable of loving."

"There are times when explanations, no matter how reasonable, just don't seem to help."

- Mr. Fred Rogers
 

i

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Howell said:
"There are times when explanations, no matter how reasonable, just don't seem to help."

Personally, those are the most suicidal moments I experience.
 

LOST6200

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Well, I don't know what is left to tax. :?: I did the math and it seems that I owe as much on my credit cards as about 20 weeks of take-home pay. :(
 

CougTek

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LOST6200 said:
I did the math and it seems that I owe as much on my credit cards as about 20 weeks of take-home pay. :(
I did the math too. I'm not as bad as you are. My credit card is only worth 18.63 weeks of my salary. Now I know that I'm a lucky man ;-)
 

LOST6200

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At one point I had at least 80K of credit between ~10 cards, but I don't have that much anymore. Some of my cards expired because I never activated them. Anyway, I don't make 200K+ as so many IT people do.
 

CougTek

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Mercutio said:
...but how do you guys get that much CREDIT?
Partly because of the very low interest rates these days. You can get more credit and still not bust your payment ratio because the minimal (3%) monthly payment on your card(s) mostly pays capital, not interest on your debts. Since no matter how big your credit gets, due to the low interest rate, it doesn't grow fast even if you don't pay much on it, so banks are willing to give you more because according to their financial formula, you are still supposed to be able to repay it.

Having a lot of credit isn't for everyone. Many people are stressed because of the overall debt instead of focusing on their capacity to repay it. If interests climb quickly, I'll start to worry. But since you elected Bush and that he'll keep screwing the entire worldwide economy with his idiotic war on terrorism and insane expenses on ill-born military projects (anti-rocket shield comes to mind), I'm quite sure the economy won't be getting any better soon and Greenspan will have to maintain the interests at a very low level for the next few years.

You want to have access to a lot of credit, keep voting for republicans.
 

MaxBurn

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I specifically called to limit my credit card to $3500 a month. I can't think of a reason to have any more than that without getting behind in payments. One of few people that pays off the credit card every month, I am sure capitol one hates me as they don't make much money off me at all.
 

LOST6200

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Many years ago I had a good job as a technical manager overseas. Housing and auto were provided, so my credit score was great. :)
 
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