insignificance
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12-12-2014, 09:31 AM
insignificance
It took many years to work through my lack of faith - because I wanted/needed support or confirmation of self worth. The hardest part of my realization, was that I was now just a cog in a wheel - the way I think now is that I have no relevance more than a bee pollinating flowers. I feel like we are just humans, on one planet, in one solar system. That our existence is insignificant in the big picture. I'm now more than ok with that, its actually relieving to an extent.
But.
I recently tested my hormone levels and found out that I had a high level of testosterone. Which when I looked up symptoms basically laid out exactly who I am. More muscular than most women, high competitive drive, lower voice, athletic and less empathetic. ( just some of the big ones) This has left a new empty feeling in me - like when I started searching for the truth behind faith... Is nothing just mine? I don't believe in astrology or any mystical bs - but is there science behind exactly who I am? I've somehow lost some self worth again - I know there are answers beyond my comprehension but some of those things are my best accomplishments - my marathon, my diving in south Africa with sharks, learning to fly, and then learning how to jump out of the damn thing -- all of these things just seem to be a symptom now - instead of what I thought made me strong and different. I love science and the world but how do we look at all of that and still find -- value? ( Sorry if this is dark)

Life is short and hard like a body building elf-- Blood Hound Gang
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12-12-2014, 09:56 AM
RE: insignificance
Quote:all of these things just seem to be a symptom now - instead of what I thought made me strong and different.

I'm trying to read between the lines here. Are you equating having increased testosterone levels to cheating? Such as using steroids? If so, it's not the same. YOU overcame fear and went shark diving, and YOU made the choice to put on tennis shoes each day and take each step of each mile and push yourself. That's not testosterone. Sure, increased levels may have a role in your build, but it's not all of it. Chalk it up to you're an awesome, kick ass woman.

How do I find value in myself with science? It shows me just how unique I am, there is not and will never be another me. Even if I were cloned, my clone would still be different due to interactions, environment, choices, etc.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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12-12-2014, 10:09 AM (This post was last modified: 12-12-2014 11:57 AM by Mr. Boston.)
RE: insignificance
I struggled a bit when I was first awakened to the realization that there was no God, and thus no "purpose" to our lives, at least in the traditional context most of us were raised with to believe that our purpose was to please God and that our lives could be defined by that. I was about 13 when it happened, which is horrible enough in and of itself. Most people just lose their childhood bodies for bigger, smellier, oddly-functioning ones. I lost everything I'd been led to believe in on top of all that!

I don't know if I can point to any specific science that will make you feel more "you" and less just a random collection of chemicals. But there are a few scientific concepts that helped me deal with the loss of "self" in the face of a purely material, natural existence. I wouldn't say these concepts helped me get "self" back, it was even better, they helped me realize it was all an illusion and I never truly had "self" the way I thought I had it in the first place.

1. Orders of Magnitude: I don't know if that's the correct term, I think it's primarily a math term; but when I get bummed out about being just a tiny speck in a possibly infinite universe I think about the fact that, from an atomic, molecular point of view I am a universe too. There are billions of atoms in our bodies. There are life forms beyond count alive in you from the gut microbes in your intestines, to the microscopic little critters living in your eyelashes. That might creep some people out, but I find it kind of comforting. Yes, I'm a man, an individual in the legal sense - but I'm also a rainforest of life; or maybe even a planet from the perspective of the critters. I don't know if they have anything approaching what we'd think of as consciousness, but they do jobs, they have children, they fight wars when infections enter my bloodstream.

2. Atoms from Stars: The iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our cells were all created in stars. The atoms in one fingernail came from different stars than the atoms in another fingernail. It took the universe billions of years for the atoms that make "you" to arrange themselves precisely as they are, and the atoms you have now aren't the same as those you started life with. Think of how "miraculous" it is, for lack of a better term, that of all the possible combinations of atoms in the universe, and all the possible combinations of genetic traits from your father's sperm and your mother's egg, of all the possible "people" that might have resulted, you survived conception, implantation, gestation, and birth to become the person you are. People think the process of their own creation started with the fertilization of the egg. Nope, it started with the formation of the Milky Way galaxy, it started with the big bang. Without those events "you" would not exist today. I don't know if that's "purpose" strictly-speaking, but I like the following quote (paraphrased) I think from Carl Sagan but maybe not, "You are a way for the universe to perceive itself." What if the purpose of life on planet earth, and of consciousness in general is simply that we are a part of the universe's multi-billion-year journey that is capable of perceiving that journey and the universe itself. So far as we know, earthly life is the only window the universe has to observe itself. Maybe you're less an individual person, and more a VERY briefly-surviving cosmic work of art. That's really kind of amazing. When we die, the body disintegrates and nourishes other life. Our atoms go back to the earth, and eventually will go back to the universe itself. Isn't that a whole lot BETTER than the concept of an eternity of bouncing around on clouds and playing the harp with all your dead relatives; which is by the way the BEST afterlife scenario religion has to offer, lol.

So, are you YOU? Yes, but only for the briefest little "blip" in cosmic time. You're basically on loan from the universe for now. Enjoy it.
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12-12-2014, 10:12 AM
RE: insignificance
You are what gives you value.

Yes, I agree that probably many things that we consider a product of our personality are actually the opposite - our personality is a product of these things.

Just how does that take away from value though? Quite the opposite, we are actually all doing splendidly living with what we've got to work with. All of us have to deal with disadvantages of some sort. And we all have some advantages too.

It's part of evolution - every possible combination of factors gets tried in order to evolve a better model. Some of us catch a really raw deal (birth defects etc) and some have an easier time of it. But yes, there is a purpose and value in this if you look at the big picture.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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12-12-2014, 10:13 AM
RE: insignificance
(12-12-2014 09:56 AM)Nurse Wrote:  
Quote:all of these things just seem to be a symptom now - instead of what I thought made me strong and different.

I'm trying to read between the lines here. Are you equating having increased testosterone levels to cheating? Such as using steroids? If so, it's not the same. YOU overcame fear and went shark diving, and YOU made the choice to put on tennis shoes each day and take each step of each mile and push yourself. That's not testosterone. Sure, increased levels may have a role in your build, but it's not all of it. Chalk it up to you're an awesome, kick ass woman.

How do I find value in myself with science? It shows me just how unique I am, there is not and will never be another me. Even if I were cloned, my clone would still be different due to interactions, environment, choices, etc.

Not meaning it as a nudge up or a crutch - but just an explanation of why I am who I am. An "A personality" gives me a list of my attitude and aggressive demeanor and now this is just another check list of how I am not original -

Life is short and hard like a body building elf-- Blood Hound Gang
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12-12-2014, 10:24 AM
RE: insignificance
"We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms. Most of us have the sensation that “I myself” is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body — a center which “confronts” an “external” world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion. “I came into this world.” “You must face reality.” “The conquest of nature.”

This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin."

- Alan Watts
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12-12-2014, 10:37 AM
RE: insignificance
(12-12-2014 09:31 AM)k37713 Wrote:  ...
all of these things just seem to be a symptom now - instead of what I thought made emergent properties that makes me strong and different.
...

Fixt

Thumbsup

You are the pinnacle of the universe's evolution.

We all are.

Wink

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12-12-2014, 10:39 AM
RE: insignificance
(12-12-2014 10:09 AM)Mr. Boston Wrote:  I struggled a bit when I was first awakened to the realization that there was no God, and thus no "purpose" to our lives, at least in the traditional context most of us were raised with to believe that our purpose was to please God and that our lives could be defined by that. I was about 13 when it happened, which is horrible enough in and of itself. Most people just lose their childhood bodies for bigger, smellier, oddly-functioning ones. I lost everything I'd been led to believe in on top of all that!

I don't know if I can point to any specific science that will make you feel more "you" and less just a random collection of chemicals. But there are a few scientific concepts that helped me deal with the loss of "self" in the face of a purely material, natural existence. I wouldn't say these concepts helped me get "self" back, it was even better, they helped me realize it was all an illusion and I never truly had "self" the way I thought I had it in the first place.

1. Orders of Magnitude: I don't know if that's the correct term, I think it's primarily a math term; but when I get bummed out about being just a tiny speck in a possibly infinite universe I think about the fact that, from an atomic, molecular point of view I am a universe too. There are billions of atoms in our bodies. There are life forms beyond count alive in you from the gut microbes in your intestines, to the microscopic little critters living in your eyelashes. That might creep some people out, but I find it kind of comforting. Yes, I'm a man, an individual in the legal sense - but I'm also a rainforest of life; or maybe even a planet from the perspective of the critters. I don't know if they have anything approaching what we'd think of as consciousness, but they do jobs, they have children, they fight wars when infections enter my bloodstream.

2. Atoms from Stars: The iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our cells were all created in stars. The atoms in one fingernail came from different stars than the atoms in another fingernail. It took the universe billions of years for the atoms that make "you" to arrange themselves precisely as they are, and the atoms you have now aren't the same as those you started life with. Think of how "miraculous" it is, for lack of a better term, that of all the possible combinations of atoms in the universe, and all the possible combinations of genetic traits from your father's sperm and your mother's egg, of all the possible "people" that might have resulted, you survived conception, implantation, gestation, and birth to become the person you are. People think the process of their own creation started when the fertilization of the egg. Nope, it started with the formation of the Milky Way galaxy, it started with the big bang. Without those events "you" would not exist today. I don't know if that's "purpose" strictly-speaking, but I like the following quote (paraphrased) I think from Carl Sagan but maybe not, "You are a way for the universe to perceive itself." What if the purpose of life on planet earth, and of consciousness in general is simply that we are a part of the universe's multi-billion-year journey that is capable of perceiving that journey and the universe itself. So far as we know, earthly life is the only window the universe has to observe itself. Maybe you're less an individual person, and more a VERY briefly-surviving cosmic work of art. That's really kind of amazing. When we die, the body disintegrates and nourishes other life. Our atoms go back to the earth, and eventually will go back to the universe itself. Isn't that a whole lot BETTER than the concept of an eternity of bouncing around on clouds and playing the harp with all your dead relatives; which is by the way the BEST afterlife scenario religion has to offer, lol.

So, are you YOU? Yes, but only for the briefest little "blip" in cosmic time. You're basically on loan from the universe for now. Enjoy it.

I love that I'm aware of it - that I question,( and to be honest that in it self makes me proud) but it still leaves me empty thus far. I love that I'm a working part of something bigger but I'm an egotistical ass and want something more - even tho I'm trying hard not to - I really just want to be proud at the end of the day and I think that I always look at a big-huge-picture and cant find self worth - I was just such a self centered person growing up that losing that arrogance makes me feel weak.

Life is short and hard like a body building elf-- Blood Hound Gang
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12-12-2014, 10:41 AM
RE: insignificance
(12-12-2014 10:37 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(12-12-2014 09:31 AM)k37713 Wrote:  ...
all of these things just seem to be a symptom now - instead of what I thought made emergent properties that makes me strong and different.
...

Fixt

Thumbsup

You are the pinnacle of the universe's evolution.

We all are.

Wink

thank you

Life is short and hard like a body building elf-- Blood Hound Gang
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12-12-2014, 10:55 AM
RE: insignificance
(12-12-2014 10:12 AM)Dom Wrote:  You are what gives you value.

Yes, I agree that probably many things that we consider a product of our personality are actually the opposite - our personality is a product of these things.

Just how does that take away from value though? Quite the opposite, we are actually all doing splendidly living with what we've got to work with. All of us have to deal with disadvantages of some sort. And we all have some advantages too.

It's part of evolution - every possible combination of factors gets tried in order to evolve a better model. Some of us catch a really raw deal (birth defects etc) and some have an easier time of it. But yes, there is a purpose and value in this if you look at the big picture.

I just don't want to read another list that completely describes me- maybe now this is just online therapy - but I really want to have some pride in my accomplishments instead of it being on a checklist for being "competitive" or aggressive( hyper and goal oriented not fight wise ) - ive just been so different than most of society for so long and thought it was a good thing.. - I don't want to take meds or someone to tell me what my faults are - I want to stop looking for answers- but that isn't who I am.. I know there are answers and that there is a hormone imbalance or something that makes me act and feel the way that I do - but im not looking to be "normal" I just want to have the power of knowing I am in control

Life is short and hard like a body building elf-- Blood Hound Gang
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