Random thinking: The "Way"

People need to believe in something external, there being something more to their lives. As an individual human being, you are alone in this life as you and your experiences are completely yours and unique to yourself. Realisation of this fact leads to a sense of loneliness. Trying to fill that loneliness/emptiness with something you think is meaningful is dubbed as the “way”. For many people like this it feels like they have something missing in their life that hasn’t already been filled so they look for it in life. It can be religion, politics, family, career, philosophy etc and it gives them a higher meaning/happiness/understanding of life (children, career, belief) that negates this feeling of loneliness. The people who do not have any of these are the most lost in life as they do not know their “way” and may try to fill it with things like drugs/alcohol and/or meaningless relationships/money for example because they feel they must be in a relationship and/or cannot stop taking/drinking this certain substance/get caught up in debt. They eventually become dependent on these (drugs, a shit girl/boyfriend, more debt) because they don’t fully understand their “way”/what they believe their purpose is for living in this world. No-one ever actually finds it though, they just attribute their own ideas of meaningfulness/happiness to an action/understanding of life and are thus fulfilled in believing that this is their “way”, their “purpose” for living.

Yay or Nay? Truth or bollux?

further thinking; this is also why people who do not find their “way” in life and get caught up in a shitty relationship or career (have to get married before they get too odl/need money so have to have a career) end up having a mid-life crisis as they realise that they never found their “way”. they aren’t happy living without it anymore because they realise their time is running out (they’re getting old/their children have left/they’ve finally had too much with their career) and they still haven’t managed to figure out what their “way” was yet.

yay or nay to this as well?

Haha preach on brother, preach on. These simple pleasures become very trivial and that’s why people feel a need to try and keep fulfilling their lives but inevitably it will never be fulfilled with simple pleasures. Once you have a sense of higher meaning or a “horizon of signifigance”, Charles Taylor, you life will become quite complete and you will not have to rely on simple pleasures.

I somewhat agree that people have a need to believe in something more to their lives. Allow me to be a little picky with wording. ‘Need’ tells me that humans have to believe in something else or else they die. I don’t think people need to believe in something more, cause there are people who live day-to-day without a belief of something more. Although, I have noticed that these people tend to be quite depressed. Nevertheless, I will agree with you if we can change exchange the word ‘need’ with ‘want’ in your statement. Moreover, I think that if individuality is emphasized enough then people’s wanting to believing in something more in their lives will turn inward and they will begin to believe in themselves much more. Conclusion: people’s wanting to believe in something more in their lives comes from their lack of belief in themselves. I assume that a belief in oneself causes a curiosity to learn about oneself, it’s own kind (humankind), and its environment. Merely learning about oneself may take a life time not to mention humankind or our environment.

I really liked your statement:

I always believed that when we die, we die with a personal truth of our world, people in it, and the environment in which we lived. But I don’t agree that…

Personal truth and a realization of it, for me atleast, made me incapable of loneliness cause I knew truth was inside me even if I didn’t want it to be. So I would be with the person on whom I depended on for truth no matter what, that person being myself. So I actually don’t need people in the sense of needing them to fulfill my void of loneliness which has actually given me a much different perspective on people then most, a healthier one. I look at people as they are and not what they can fulfill for me. I also correlate religion, politics, and many other things as fillers for peoples sense of loneliness.

I have the three greatest friends of all: me, myself, and I - and the great thing is that we all get into a theatre for the price of one!

I would have to say that my “way” of life is everchanging. As for purpose, to be completely honest with you I never had one, didn’t even think about it. But some life experiences forced me to look for a purpose in life where there was none and so I became quite depressed. Fortunately, I found myself again and live without a purpose for living and am quite happy. I have, however, found a purpose which I wish to devote a large part of my life to and that is the merger between humans and nature, an equalibrium…mainly drawing upon the ideas, innovations, and inspirations according to one R. Buckminster Fuller. This is not to say that it is my life’s purpose. I live to be, though being may entail not being (dying). Put another way, my way of living to be may be to sacrifice myself, kill myself, or to be killed. I have other purposes like happiness, contentment, friends, wife and kids, etc…but none of them I would label as my life’s purpose. I also don’t discount the idea of a life’s purpose, I simply don’t have one cause one hasn’t presented itself to my either to my senses or to my intuitive mind, maybe it one day will.

What’s your take?

need i.e. unless they wish to feel empty and become depressed like you mention later in your response when you were “searching” for your way. an strong “urge” to feel happy/“complete”. other people never take to think about/realise it because they have given up their own happiness/freedom in searching for the benefit of other things (children, money, lazyness, being content but not happy).

interesting but i think that the notion of looking inward for what you want seems to be a form of higher belief in the notions of philosophy with religious/theological influences (the soul, nirvanna, buddhist etc) which are two “ways” that i mention above. until you found out this “way” (your own personal unique philosophy) you say that you were a bit ‘lost’ and depressed, now you are content because you believe you know your “way”.

yeh something along the lines of that it didn’t last long enough and you wish you’d had more time to experience all of it in your lifetime, that’s why you have to make the most of it while you can

you have rejected the ideas of religious enlightenment/happiness/fulfillment and decided to go about it your own way that correlates with what you have experienced of this life/world. your own personal philosophy, your own way. as i have never had the same experiences as you i do not fully follow your philosophy and therefore your “way” is different from what i may see mine to be (as others might). the reflection of your life/experiences onto this life have created your own take on life/philosophy which has become your “way”.

yeh i think that can apply to lots of people as well, so that’s an interesting point.

exactly, as long as you never give up searching and keep your intuitive mind open, you’ll realise what it was/is one day.

Why? This seems an assumption.

Why does it lead to a sense of loneliness? This seems an assumption.

i justify this “assumption” later on in the 1st post with logic, rational thinking and evidence i have seen in my life that i believe others can agree with/understand. your assumption is also an assumption and i don’t want to get into a debate about that

because you are alone in this life. fundamental basis that uniqueness equals loneliness because your own uniqueness, experiences are something that no-one else can fully understand except yourself and therefore in terms of understanding “who” you are, you are alone. and since you are unique as an individual human being, the essence of your existence is loneliness. realisation of this will lead to a sense of loneliness (some don’t realise this though and that’s where the idea of “ignorance being bliss” comes into play which is another debate entirely)

A “fundamental basis” for being human is communication. We are social creatures. We communicate and share feelings, ideas, all sorts of things.

“Unique” does not equal “alone”. Every grain of rice is unique, but in a sack of 100,000 of them, none are alone.

Hey Crafedog,

First, I’d like to compliment you on the quality of your posts. Good stuff; keep it coming.

Second, I ought to say how much I disagree with what you’ve just said. If every human were identical, do you think that would eliminate loneliness? To live in a world in which everyone were exactly alike would be to live alone in a world; all we could do is talk to ourself. Martin Buber said that the difference between a monologue and a conversation is the “otherness,” or the moment of surprise. In order to have a conversation we must be prepared to hear surprising things; otherwise, we’re only talking to ourself.

Uniqueness does not equal loneliness. Our uniqueness is precisely what gives us an opportunity to describe our private world to someone who lives in another private world. I bother to “pour my heart out” to my wife because she is not a mirror of me. Who pours out his heart to a mirror?

Finally, Crafedog, don’t ask me why, but your post reminded me of a scene from an old Woody Allen film, Play It Again, Sam:

Woody Allen: That’s quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn’t it?

Girl in Museum: Yes it is.

Woody: What does it say to you?

Girl: It restates the negativeness of the universe, the hideous lonely emptiness of existence, nothingness, the predicament of man forced to live in a barren, godless eternity, like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void, with nothing but waste, horror, and degradation, forming a useless bleak straightjacket in a black absurd cosmos.

Woody: What are you doing Saturday night?

Girl: Committing suicide.

Woody: What about Friday night?


Hey Polemarchus

yep (but it would lead onto emptiness, see next point)

we’re here at the same problem with the understanding of the extent of uniqueness equaling loneliness (exactness can equal emptiness). this is the notion of us all being “One” (i.e. exactly alike), although i’d argue that we would all be happier (no war, fights, arguments etc), i don’t necessary agree that it would be a good thing (it’d be a lot more boring) but i do think that loneliness would be eliminated. unfortunately some might argue that this would only be replaced with a sense of emptiness (searching for uniqueness) in which we’d probably only go about figuring out what our “way” is again (and we’re back in a circle again only this time it’s more difficult when we are no longer unique).

but you have a wife. hopefully she is someone that you are very happy with and “fulfilled” with, therefore you have already found your “way”. and without your “way”/wife you might feel depressed and saddened and basically empty with a sense of loneliness had you not acquired or realised your “way” (i.e. falling in love with your wife)

yeh i can see that. i’ve got to admit though i’d never commit suicide because it would be like giving up and to be frank the world ain’t that bad or i’d have done it already. maybe for some, the “way” (i.e. that which has fulfilled them, love, career etc) is the only thing that keeps them going and if they lost that then who knows how “lost” they will be after that. with this somewhat sober/dark thought in mind make sure you tell your wife how much you love her everday and mean it everytime because you appreciate/understand how much she means to you and how “lost” you would be without her (as i hope you already do).


i never said we weren’t. we communicate and share because we want others to understand us as we have the capability to get our ideas across much clearer then a creature that is not necessary a social one/does not have the capabilities to do. we do this because we do not wish to be alone in the world and turn to others for support/love.

people seem to have taken my logic here to be a lot darker then it is intended to be.

you have contradicted your point here as a grain of rice may be unique (from a purely physical sense) but it is not a social creature as it cannot communicate and share etc with others of its kind. they have no independence in their “minds” (as they have none) so therefore they are not unique and cannot be alone (onto the concept of “One” and loneliness). without uniqueness/independence it is most likely impossible to be alone and (like i mention above) this isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Gadfly of ILP put it best when he reffered to his “way” being everchanging.
If there is a “way” in life, be it one “way” or a different “way” for each individual, it is everchanging and the loneliness, hoplessness and depression mentioned earlier from a person being “lost” stems from that person’s tendency to be stubborn and static.

Some people are driven to achieve “wealth” or “success” and some people prefer to enjoy the moment and let things come. These are the the Type A and Type B personalities. I would be described as type B, but i now realize that what i said about taking life too seriously might work for me, but others might find joy in “accomplishment” and “success”.

When people allow themselves to be malleable and fluid within life, they discover that life finds a way for them. One just has to do what they feel is necessary, whether they are type A, type B or think that personality types are b.s. And not hold themselves to other people’s “ways” or idea of “success”.

In reference and further advocation to Pope’s last post,
Bruce Lee once said: “If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo.”

I would be inclined to say that every one is unique. The paradox comes in when that is said. If we are all unique, are we not all the same because we all posess the property of uniqueness?

I also think that we all can share the same experiences, objectively speaking. However it is our subjective notions and interpretations that seperate us.

I too think people are unique, but I believe we must be careful what we mean when we say the word unique

The way your logic appears to have interpreted it, unique means that everyone is different, and in everyone being different we are all alike. Yes this is a paradox, but only at first glance. When we say people are unique in the general sense, the word is used to mean that we each have certain qualities whose singular or plural qualities will always be atleast slightly different than anyone else in the world. Put another way, no two people are exactly alike. I take this to be truth. At the same time though, there are certain qualities in which we all share to a degree of similarity that is close enough for us to understand each other, communicate, and share experiences. Uniqueness, to me, is not a property in us. It is a word we used to symbolize the fact that a person is outside the norm, but it is also used in the general sense of all people to mean we are all different (as I have already said).

Whats your take?

it’s interesting to find out that basically people are types A or types B, sometimes the both mix, in some actions, but everyone’s believes drift to more A’s or B’s way of life.
I’d say being fluid and malleable , hus B type, is very unfortunate property since it leaves one so depressed - a reed in the wind sees everything dramatized and serious.

as to the term “unique”, aren;t there many universal terms like that, (just I can’;t think of any now) that are not inherent properties, they are just needful terms to call something very general. isn;t the word “love” the same for instance?

I’d have to disagree with you. Being more inclined toward the B type personality it seems to me that As are more prone to depression. They put too much pressure on themselves and have a need to keep a tight schedule. Some people (my mother) are so far on the A type side of the scale that if the smallest thing goes wrong or they are delaid just a little bit they fall apart and can even become physically ill.

To use your analogy, lenore, which is more stressful for the reed: to fight against the force of the wind or to lay back and go with the flow (breeze)?

“Tis an ill wind that blows no minds” -Sri Syadasti

I suppose the way is the way you came, and then either you stumble your way forward, blindly or feelingly, taking a step at a time, choosing a direction which seemingly is “best” for you, however “best” means to you at that moment. You may walk in circles, down in dank dark valleys or up onto breathtaking sunshine-filled mountain tops, or meander endlessly in nondescript landscape. Whether we “need” a way or not is moot. The path you left behind was the way, and the thing you are going to do, intended or otherwise, the next moment will be the way, like it or not. The only issue is do you take control of “the Way” or let “the Way” takes control of you, as letting yourself be part of Nature and letting Nature takes its course. But if you do want to take control, the real question here is “How?”


We have to accept some things on faith, because they cannot be known. One of these is that there is something that is eternal and all encompassing. It is a mystery. Before our universe was born, there was something formless and perfect. It is serene, empty, solitary, unchanging, infinite and eternally present. It flows through all things, inside and outside, and returns to the origin of all things. It does not have a name and cannot be named, because it is no particular thing. Naming is the beginning of individual things, but it is the beginning and the end of all things. It is being and non-being. All things are born of being, but being is born of non-being. It is darkness within darkness. It is the form that contains all forms. It is a well that can be used but never used up. It is an eternal void filled with infinite possibilities. Hidden yet always present. From it springs both good and evil, and it does not take sides. It accepts all and is open to all. It is the mother of all things and yet inexhaustible. It gives birth to infinite worlds. All things are born from it, yet it does not create them. As all rivers flow to the sea, so all things return to the source. Every being in the universe is an expression of it. Every being springs forth unconscious, perfect, free, and takes on physical form. We feel its presence within us. We can use it however we like. It was never born and can never die. It has no self and is present in all beings. It is one with everything and yet detached from everything. It completes everything. It nourishes all things effortlessly, yet makes no claim on them. Since all things vanish into it, and it alone endures forever, it can be called great, but it is unaware of its greatness, and thus is truly great. Since it merges with all things and is hidden within them, it can be called humble. It does nothing, yet through it all things are done. It can’t be seen or heard or grasped. It cannot be perceived. It is smaller than the smallest particle, but contains uncountable galaxies. It is seamless and unnamable, an image without an image. It is subtle beyond all conception. It is our common source. It is where we come from and to where we will return. It is unfathomable wisdom, supreme virtue and serenity. We cannot know it, but we can be it.