Comments on “Pattern”


Of Oz The Wizard

Steve Alexander's picture

This alphabetized version of The Wizard of Oz is more structured than the original, yet less meaningful. I found obviousness of the lack of meaning very funny.

Thank you

Nicole's picture

Thank you for writing a book about this. I lost faith in a “God” about 8 years ago and have only recently accepted that I am atheist. By losing my grip on the belief that my life had a grand purpose and that someone all powerful was leading me, I discovered I had been using it to cope with the chronic anxiety and depression I had inherited from both sides of my family. I no longer had a sweet and comfortable “trust” in the greater universe, and spiralled deep into a suicidal nihilism, where the only things keeping me alive were often laziness or apathy.
Sadly, my therapist is religious, and so is very uncomfortable if I bring up any of this. So, I stopped bringing it up, and she is under the false thinking that I am getting better and recovering simply because I’ve shifted my focus to my work and making my bf happy. I had a meltdown yesterday because I made a small mistake at work, and work is one of the few things I feel I’m accomplishing right now. I searched “depression and nihilism” from my tablet today and found your book, and I am very glad I did. I am getting a lot of helpful information from this already and am looking forward to what I read next. Thanks again.

Glad it's helpful!

I am glad you are finding it helpful!

This is a work in progress… I expect to say quite a bit more about nihilism and how to overcome it, eventually. I wish I had more of it written now. Comments like yours motivate me to work harder! :-)

Eternalism and Nihilism

Joscha's picture

I am generally very impressed by your thinking, but here I am unconvinced that eternalism results from seeing too much structure in patterns. I suspect that eternalism results from a desire for deep desire for higher purpose, i.e. the need to identify with a system of meaning that reaches beyond the individual and its social group, and to serve that system. Once that need is implemented in a mind, this mind will project extrapersonal purposes into the universe. If culture fails to bind this need with a societal operating system, such as an ideology or religion, it may turn transcendental.
Nihilism in turn is not the absence of meaning, but a frustrated need for meaning. It is especially pervasive in the West because we inherit both the romantic need for a divine question that we can be the answer to, and the epistemological proof that God cannot exist in any way that would offer such liberation. The clean answer to Nihilism is not the ontological acceptance of an extrapersonal telos (just a more “nebulous” one), but the eradication of a need for higher purpose. This does lead to its own problems when taken too far, because meaningful cooperation in groups seems to require a shared telos that is in turn built on a degree of shared existential debt.

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This page is in the section Stances: responses to meaningness.

The next page in this section is Fixation and denial.

The previous page is Nebulosity.

This page’s topics are Eternalism and Meaningness.

General explanation: Meaningness is a hypertext book (in progress), plus a “metablog” that comments on it. The book begins with an appetizer. Alternatively, you might like to look at its table of contents, or some other starting points. Classification of pages by topics supplements the book and metablog structures. Terms with dotted underlining (example: meaningness) show a definition if you click on them. Pages marked with ⚒ are still under construction. Copyright ©2010–2019 David Chapman.