Crying over the heat death of the universe
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
04-01-2017, 07:28 AM
RE: Crying over the heat death of the universe
(02-01-2017 02:42 PM)arethosemyfeet? Wrote:  Hello... I joined here years ago but then never really did much with my membership. The intervening time has been full, though not with anything of consequence.

So. How to explain? Depressed since childhood - at least since the age of 11, probably before. Atheist since age 14 or so. I don't think atheism has made me depressed but it colours my depression.

Twenty years ago, at the age of 18, at almost exactly this time of year and in the midst of my first serious breakdown, I read A Brief History of Time. Despite being already aware of some of the concepts in it, it crystallised fears about the end of the world and the end of the universe and threw me into a state of - what? Suicidal existential angst? Which is almost impossible to talk about to most people, because the fate of the universe is too vast and distant a prospect to be thought relevant.

Two decades on, and I feel I have yet to acquire any useful perspective on this. I have read smug theists talking about the hypocrisy or cognitive dissonance inherent in the atheist worldview, saying that if any truly followed their beliefs to their logical conclusion, they would be paralysed with despair at the futility of life. Although it's not a constant state, I feel that I *am* this fictional atheist, and also feel that I'm letting the godless community and all happy and fulfilled atheists down.

All the causes I care about relate to conservation, preservation, restoration and protection. All are ultimately hopeless in terms of eventual prospects for this planet, the species and the cosmos. I have never really enjoyed life, even as quite a young child, which makes it hard to create any personal meaning without a concept of legacy. Believing that this life is all you have, and that you are fucking it up badly is pretty much the worst of all worlds.

People ask why worry about things you can't change? Because I can't change them, obviously. (I also worry about things I can change, but in a different way, yay.) I can deal with my own death but I have no idea how to deal with the deaths of all living beings, the destruction of all beauty and the death of all knowledge in the universe. It's hard, sometimes, not to see death or destruction in all things. And how can you form relationships with things that are already lost?

I don't want my childhood Christianity back. I think that this is the way that life is. I just don't know how to cope with it. I have had decades of medication and years of therapy, and I am still sitting here literally crying at the thought of everything ending in the void. Why is this so hard and why am I so stupid?


Okay.

Mate, why do you worry about this total shit?

Fuck it. Let it go. It's the past. Now is now and there is the future...

Awesome! Smile

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-01-2017, 08:45 AM
RE: Crying over the heat death of the universe
My sister is very much like you. She loves the outdoors, but fears for the planet. She is not stupid.

This will sound cold, but I see her as the secular equivalent of the religious fundamentalist. She has lost all perspective about the human species relative to the planet and universe.

My brother and I can laugh our asses off listening to Carlin’s take on plastic (Saving the Planet). However, my sister has no desire to even listen to his perspective. I recommend giving him a chance.

You also touched on change, so I think you should go with the Serenity Prayer:

God (or doG if you like), grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.


Even though you might not have a problem with an alcohol or drug user, you might want to try some Al-Anon meetings instead of a therapist. Just sit and listen, which is what I do (it is easier than sitting through Mass). They are full of friends, parents, siblings and children trying to restore some semblance of normalcy and perspective to their lives after having little or none for many, many years.

I wish you the best of luck. Perspective is the key.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Walter's post
04-01-2017, 09:37 AM
RE: Crying over the heat death of the universe
Wise words, Walt.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-01-2017, 12:36 PM
RE: Crying over the heat death of the universe
(03-01-2017 06:14 PM)arethosemyfeet? Wrote:  ...
I find positive emotions to be rare, fragile, capricious and perverse. This thread suggests that other people manage them better or at least expect to be able to. So I need more context or development in this area to be able to apply people's advice. I don't know whether I should be approaching the problem psychologically or philosophically...

How about systematically?

(03-01-2017 06:14 PM)arethosemyfeet? Wrote:  ...
It seems a bit much to ask for a precise and detailed outline of your guide to life (with diagrams and FAQs).

I got diagrams.

Start with this one:

[Image: event-management_535278.jpg]

See the "Auto Response"? That's your tears, that is.

Wink

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like DLJ's post
04-01-2017, 01:30 PM
RE: Crying over the heat death of the universe
.
.
The journey is the destination.

Where exactly were you hoping the universe would end ?
Emerald City ?
Weeping

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-01-2017, 05:40 PM
RE: Crying over the heat death of the universe
(04-01-2017 07:25 AM)bemore Wrote:  I agree that trying meditation would be beneficial. Giving yourself a break from your conscious patterns of thought.

If you do decide to begin, then try to agree to do it daily. If you joined a gym to get fit, you won't see results after your first session. Change will only happen through repetition, time and dedication. It is the same with your brain.

I'm no psychologist, however I believe your issues are deep down in your sub-conscious. That they are beyond 'rational conscious thought' and are possibly rooted as memories, feelings, images, sounds etc. There was some sensitising event, some learning in your past, that causes you to feel the way you do now. It sounds obvious, however we dont always see the wood for the trees.

Have you considered hypnotherapy? It can help greatly at helping aspects emerge and with the right therapist, reframe those aspects.

Thank you, bemore. My previous therapist claimed to be decoding my subconscious issues, but it seems (from my own observations and from discussing her techniques with others) that she was not very good at it. Classical psychoanalysis is definitely a possibility - but it is such a long, expensive and uncertain process. I have a friend receiving multiple sessions a week, and he expects his money to run out well before he is "better" (however you define that).

Hynotherapy is also a possibility, but there seem to be a lot of unscrupulous people in the profession. If I could find somebody trustworthy, I would be prepared to try.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-01-2017, 05:50 PM
RE: Crying over the heat death of the universe
(03-01-2017 07:46 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  The advice I offered has a much deeper component than your summary; it saw me through the deep anxiety I experienced when I entered recovery for my alcoholism.

Maybe it can work for you, maybe it won't. I know it worked for me.

Many apologies - I was not summarising you or equating the meanings of the two phrases. My point was that I don't know how to do either thing, and that I would do them if I could, but they don't seem like things to be willed. I respect the fact that it worked for you... I am not doubting that it *can* make the difference, or that everyone here is giving me advice that they sincerely believe.

I don't know serenity. I know resignation or numbness, but both are lacking a crucial element (maybe inner peace) which is not in my genes or experience, and I've read about it but never really seen it in the wild. It would be helpful to have a working model to observe closely.

(04-01-2017 01:26 AM)morondog Wrote:  Just... I mean, honestly I can't really get inside your head. You're telling me that there's nothing that makes you happy? I think then that your problem is less heat death of universe and more that you're depressed. In which case, get treatment.

Been depressed and suicidal a long time. Had lots of meds. They might be contributing to the anhedonia while dampening the anxiety. Had lots of therapy. I have yet to find someone able to help me. There is such a thing as treatment-resistant depression, although it is difficult to quantify when something is truly untreatable and when time, money and hope run out before a workable treatment is found.

(04-01-2017 08:45 AM)Walter Wrote:  My sister is very much like you. She loves the outdoors, but fears for the planet. She is not stupid.

This will sound cold, but I see her as the secular equivalent of the religious fundamentalist. She has lost all perspective about the human species relative to the planet and universe.

Not sure what you mean here - that I care too about the environment to the exclusion of people? Or that I place too much significance on human activity in affecting the fate of the planet and the universe?

If the former: my concerns about things being lost or destroyed relate as much to people and human activity as the the natural world. I support the preservation of the archaeological record, historic buildings, artifacts and archives, and languages and cultures. I also support the protection of civil liberties, rights to education, and individual health, wellbeing and life chances. I see the ultimate fates of humanity and of the natural world as being inextricably linked.

My job is in Children's Services. I may be terribly bad at human relationships, but that doesn't mean I disregard the species.

If the latter: that's a less personal discussion and probably belongs on another board.

Or have I doubly misunderstood?

(04-01-2017 08:45 AM)Walter Wrote:  You also touched on change, so I think you should go with the Serenity Prayer:

God (or doG if you like), grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
....
I wish you the best of luck. Perspective is the key.

I have heard this many times over many years. But it remains beyond me - in several senses. I agree that perspective is key to the difference between happiness and unhappiness, but it seems that this is more often changed by external forces than internal wrangling. That is hard to predict and arrange.

(04-01-2017 12:36 PM)DLJ Wrote:  See the "Auto Response"? That's your tears, that is.

I mentioned the tears because I hardly ever cry. When I do, I don't really know why. I don't know why some things prompt it, and other maybe worse things don't.

(04-01-2017 01:30 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The journey is the destination.

Maybe. But I've been wanting to throw myself out of the car for the last 50,000 miles. This didn't start with worrying about my own journey.

(04-01-2017 01:30 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Where exactly were you hoping the universe would end ?
Emerald City ?
Weeping

Please...

Somewhere. Anywhere. Rather than nowhere. Even back where it started.

I've lived with my own death a long time. If I had a quick, clean and reliable method, I wouldn't be here. The reasons why I remain are not my own, which probably helps to explain why I can't find personal meaning in a rented life.

My CBT therapist required me to find pleasurable activities to insert into my schedule, so that he could observe the effect on my mood. I couldn't think of anything authentic, so I had to invent some and do them for his benefit. You can give me the mantras that you live by, but unless I can actually understand them and know them and feel them and live them, they will just be another ritual for somebody else's benefit.

I apologise in advance if this is coming across badly. I don't seem able to make myself - my actual self - clear to people. And that's only the parts that are clear to me in the first place. I don't know what the right words are. I don't know how to explain what is missing. I don't know what I need to ask. I don't know what you can't tell me.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-01-2017, 06:15 PM
RE: Crying over the heat death of the universe
(04-01-2017 05:50 PM)arethosemyfeet? Wrote:  
(03-01-2017 07:46 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  The advice I offered has a much deeper component than your summary; it saw me through the deep anxiety I experienced when I entered recovery for my alcoholism.

Maybe it can work for you, maybe it won't. I know it worked for me.

Many apologies - I was not summarising you or equating the meanings of the two phrases. My point was that I don't know how to do either thing, and that I would do them if I could, but they don't seem like things to be willed. I respect the fact that it worked for you... I am not doubting that it *can* make the difference, or that everyone here is giving me advice that they sincerely believe.

I don't know serenity. I know resignation or numbness, but both are lacking a crucial element (maybe inner peace) which is not in my genes or experience, and I've read about it but never really seen it in the wild. It would be helpful to have a working model to observe closely.

(04-01-2017 01:26 AM)morondog Wrote:  Just... I mean, honestly I can't really get inside your head. You're telling me that there's nothing that makes you happy? I think then that your problem is less heat death of universe and more that you're depressed. In which case, get treatment.

Been depressed and suicidal a long time. Had lots of meds. They might be contributing to the anhedonia while dampening the anxiety. Had lots of therapy. I have yet to find someone able to help me. There is such a thing as treatment-resistant depression, although it is difficult to quantify when something is truly untreatable and when time, money and hope run out before a workable treatment is found.

(04-01-2017 08:45 AM)Walter Wrote:  My sister is very much like you. She loves the outdoors, but fears for the planet. She is not stupid.

This will sound cold, but I see her as the secular equivalent of the religious fundamentalist. She has lost all perspective about the human species relative to the planet and universe.

Not sure what you mean here - that I care too about the environment to the exclusion of people? Or that I place too much significance on human activity in affecting the fate of the planet and the universe?

If the former: my concerns about things being lost or destroyed relate as much to people and human activity as the the natural world. I support the preservation of the archaeological record, historic buildings, artifacts and archives, and languages and cultures. I also support the protection of civil liberties, rights to education, and individual health, wellbeing and life chances. I see the ultimate fates of humanity and of the natural world as being inextricably linked.

My job is in Children's Services. I may be terribly bad at human relationships, but that doesn't mean I disregard the species.

If the latter: that's a less personal discussion and probably belongs on another board.

Or have I doubly misunderstood?

(04-01-2017 08:45 AM)Walter Wrote:  You also touched on change, so I think you should go with the Serenity Prayer:

God (or doG if you like), grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
....
I wish you the best of luck. Perspective is the key.

I have heard this many times over many years. But it remains beyond me - in several senses. I agree that perspective is key to the difference between happiness and unhappiness, but it seems that this is more often changed by external forces than internal wrangling. That is hard to predict and arrange.

(04-01-2017 12:36 PM)DLJ Wrote:  See the "Auto Response"? That's your tears, that is.

I mentioned the tears because I hardly ever cry. When I do, I don't really know why. I don't know why some things prompt it, and other maybe worse things don't.

(04-01-2017 01:30 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The journey is the destination.

Maybe. But I've been wanting to throw myself out of the car for the last 50,000 miles. This didn't start with worrying about my own journey.

(04-01-2017 01:30 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Where exactly were you hoping the universe would end ?
Emerald City ?
Weeping

Please...

Somewhere. Anywhere. Rather than nowhere. Even back where it started.

I've lived with my own death a long time. If I had a quick, clean and reliable method, I wouldn't be here. The reasons why I remain are not my own, which probably helps to explain why I can't find personal meaning in a rented life.

My CBT therapist required me to find pleasurable activities to insert into my schedule, so that he could observe the effect on my mood. I couldn't think of anything authentic, so I had to invent some and do them for his benefit. You can give me the mantras that you live by, but unless I can actually understand them and know them and feel them and live them, they will just be another ritual for somebody else's benefit.

I apologise in advance if this is coming across badly. I don't seem able to make myself - my actual self - clear to people. And that's only the parts that are clear to me in the first place. I don't know what the right words are. I don't know how to explain what is missing. I don't know what I need to ask. I don't know what you can't tell me.

I don't think I have necessarily useful advice to add, but I wanted you to know I'm sad that you've been feeling so bad for such a long time. Not that that helps, but it's always distressing to understand that even with best efforts and oodles of self-understanding, people can feel so awful. We all want to think that with therapy, drugs, or the right hobby, people can get to a place of feeling better. So I'm sorry that you haven't found something that works for you.

My only suggestion, for what it's worth, is deflection/distraction. Immerse yourself in something that is extremely difficult but not much related to what makes you sad (or to your existing skill set). An example: set yourself a task like translating a major work in a language you don't yet speak or read, or building a boat, or performing a musical piece in public, or mastering some esoteric scientific field, or writing a book about some historical event, etc. The task can be arbitrary (you could make a post about it, we could suggest stuff), as long as it's going to be enormous and require a lot of effort from you. Something that will take you away from ruminating and into production. At the end of your effort, you may not feel better, but you'll have made/done something.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-01-2017, 07:18 PM
RE: Crying over the heat death of the universe
(04-01-2017 05:50 PM)arethosemyfeet? Wrote:  
(03-01-2017 07:46 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  The advice I offered has a much deeper component than your summary; it saw me through the deep anxiety I experienced when I entered recovery for my alcoholism.

Maybe it can work for you, maybe it won't. I know it worked for me.

Many apologies - I was not summarising you or equating the meanings of the two phrases. My point was that I don't know how to do either thing, and that I would do them if I could, but they don't seem like things to be willed. I respect the fact that it worked for you... I am not doubting that it *can* make the difference, or that everyone here is giving me advice that they sincerely believe.

I don't know serenity. I know resignation or numbness, but both are lacking a crucial element (maybe inner peace) which is not in my genes or experience, and I've read about it but never really seen it in the wild. It would be helpful to have a working model to observe closely.

(04-01-2017 01:26 AM)morondog Wrote:  Just... I mean, honestly I can't really get inside your head. You're telling me that there's nothing that makes you happy? I think then that your problem is less heat death of universe and more that you're depressed. In which case, get treatment.

Been depressed and suicidal a long time. Had lots of meds. They might be contributing to the anhedonia while dampening the anxiety. Had lots of therapy. I have yet to find someone able to help me. There is such a thing as treatment-resistant depression, although it is difficult to quantify when something is truly untreatable and when time, money and hope run out before a workable treatment is found.

(04-01-2017 08:45 AM)Walter Wrote:  My sister is very much like you. She loves the outdoors, but fears for the planet. She is not stupid.

This will sound cold, but I see her as the secular equivalent of the religious fundamentalist. She has lost all perspective about the human species relative to the planet and universe.

Not sure what you mean here - that I care too about the environment to the exclusion of people? Or that I place too much significance on human activity in affecting the fate of the planet and the universe?

If the former: my concerns about things being lost or destroyed relate as much to people and human activity as the the natural world. I support the preservation of the archaeological record, historic buildings, artifacts and archives, and languages and cultures. I also support the protection of civil liberties, rights to education, and individual health, wellbeing and life chances. I see the ultimate fates of humanity and of the natural world as being inextricably linked.

My job is in Children's Services. I may be terribly bad at human relationships, but that doesn't mean I disregard the species.

If the latter: that's a less personal discussion and probably belongs on another board.

Or have I doubly misunderstood?

(04-01-2017 08:45 AM)Walter Wrote:  You also touched on change, so I think you should go with the Serenity Prayer:

God (or doG if you like), grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
....
I wish you the best of luck. Perspective is the key.

I have heard this many times over many years. But it remains beyond me - in several senses. I agree that perspective is key to the difference between happiness and unhappiness, but it seems that this is more often changed by external forces than internal wrangling. That is hard to predict and arrange.

(04-01-2017 12:36 PM)DLJ Wrote:  See the "Auto Response"? That's your tears, that is.

I mentioned the tears because I hardly ever cry. When I do, I don't really know why. I don't know why some things prompt it, and other maybe worse things don't.

(04-01-2017 01:30 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The journey is the destination.

Maybe. But I've been wanting to throw myself out of the car for the last 50,000 miles. This didn't start with worrying about my own journey.

(04-01-2017 01:30 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Where exactly were you hoping the universe would end ?
Emerald City ?
Weeping

Please...

Somewhere. Anywhere. Rather than nowhere. Even back where it started.

I've lived with my own death a long time. If I had a quick, clean and reliable method, I wouldn't be here. The reasons why I remain are not my own, which probably helps to explain why I can't find personal meaning in a rented life.

My CBT therapist required me to find pleasurable activities to insert into my schedule, so that he could observe the effect on my mood. I couldn't think of anything authentic, so I had to invent some and do them for his benefit. You can give me the mantras that you live by, but unless I can actually understand them and know them and feel them and live them, they will just be another ritual for somebody else's benefit.

I apologise in advance if this is coming across badly. I don't seem able to make myself - my actual self - clear to people. And that's only the parts that are clear to me in the first place. I don't know what the right words are. I don't know how to explain what is missing. I don't know what I need to ask. I don't know what you can't tell me.

Using the "heat death" of the universe, which is only speculation, and which you will never see is some sort of displacement or substitution mechanism for being disappointed / depressed about your own life. What's wrong is not the universe. This is bizarre. It's YOU. You need to figure out what went off the rails, when and why, and turn it around, (that is if you even *want* to do that, and it doesn't actually sound like you really want to.)

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Bucky Ball's post
04-01-2017, 07:20 PM
RE: Crying over the heat death of the universe
Voltaire had it right, with "Candide". It's a quick read; give it a try.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Fireball's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: