Meaning and Purpose, Redux

Hell, I can't even get over the basic concept of free will. The only honest thing I feel I can do is just stop and cry and scream "I don't know" to the universe. I guess that might be what I am looking for... someone who just simply admits that along with me and will join me in the search... I wouldn't mind meeting someone who's already found something to latch on to either.

As an aside...what's ironic to me is when I did that I was left with a resounding peace from the very place I started. Here
and here. This is where Kant ended his search.. "in particular Immanuel Kant's "critical" philosophy in order to carry out a reductio ad absurdum according to which all rationalism (philosophy as criticism) reduces to nihilism, and thus it should be avoided and replaced with a return to some type of faith and revelation."

Buddhist-style meditation and thinking has been helpful for dealing with this anxiety but I still have a lot of anxiety when I pause to reflect on my future and purpose. I really don't have a clue. It's almost analysis paralysis.. And it seems Neitchze was spot on:

"One such reaction to the loss of meaning is what Nietzsche calls 'passive nihilism', which he recognises in the pessimistic philosophy of Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer's doctrine, which Nietzsche also refers to as Western Buddhism, advocates a separating oneself of will and desires in order to reduce suffering. Nietzsche characterises this ascetic attitude as a "will to nothingness," whereby life turns away from itself, as there is nothing of value to be found in the world. This mowing away of all value in the world is characteristic of the nihilist, although in this, the nihilist appears to be inconsistent[31]:

A nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is that it ought not to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist. According to this view, our existence (action, suffering, willing, feeling) has no meaning: the pathos of 'in vain' is the nihilists' pathos — at the same time, as pathos, an inconsistency on the part of the nihilists."

This is certainly true, I have an overwhelming sense of peace concerning the trivialities of daily life, but it has been replaced with a singular overarching pathos - a lack of purpose.

This is where I am at now:

Nietzsche's relation to the problem of nihilism is a complex one. He approaches the problem of nihilism as a deeply personal one, stating that this problem of the modern world is a problem that has "become conscious" in him.[32] Furthermore, he emphasises both the danger of nihilism and the possibilities it offers, as seen in his statement that "I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism's] arrival. I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength!"[33] According to Nietzsche, it is only when nihilism is overcome that a culture can have a true foundation upon which to thrive. He wished to hasten its coming only so that he could also hasten its ultimate departure.[18]

He states that there is at least the possibility of another type of nihilist in the wake of Christianity's self-dissolution, one that does not stop after the destruction of all value and meaning and succumbs to the following nothingness. This alternate, 'active' nihilism on the other hand destroys to level the field for constructing something new. This form of nihilism is characterized by Nietzsche as "a sign of strength,"[34] a wilful destruction of the old values to wipe the slate clean and lay down one's own beliefs and interpretations, contrary to the passive nihilism that resigns itself with the decomposition of the old values. This wilful destruction of values and the overcoming of the condition of nihilism by the constructing of new meaning, this active nihilism could be related to what Nietzsche elsewhere calls a 'free spirit'[35] or the Übermensch from Thus Spoke Zarathustra and the Antichrist, the model of the strong individual who posits his own values and lives his life as if it were a work of art.


I have struggled and came to the same conclusion a while back. That my purpose was simply to build sandcastles in the sea shore. I could not be attached to the permanence of my efforts or creation.

I am in my battle field. I take time to play, meet others and to forget the war of ideas in my head, but I do not for one moment pretend that I have emerged on the other side victorious. I suppose it is a dark place and I haven't wanted to admit that, but the positive characterization of my place in life certainly helps me to admit this. I guess you could equate to a Christmas Truce, though I let these lighthearted periods last a little longer than a day. I don't think my spirit has a enough strength to bear a constant intellectual struggle.