The Big Questions

What do you want out of life?

Who do you want to be?

What makes you happy?

What conditions must be met for you to die satisfied?

An if you can answer those three four…

How did you figure out the answers to those questions?

I feel like if I could answer those questions truthfully, all else would follow naturally.

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  1. And when you think you have the answers, the diretions of your life completely change and you’re left standing there clueless once again.

    1. But did the things you want change, or just your situation?

      1. My state of mine, my situation, my life, my goals, my friends, everything changed.

  2. I want to experience everything I can and help those around me to experience as much as they can as well.
    I want to be real with people and I want them to know I will help when I can. How I make money doesn’t matter to me.
    Being loved and loving others makes me happy.
    Having good people around to share life with makes me content.

    by the way.. it was 4 questions….
    I didn’t have to figure them out, it’s just who I am. And let me tell you, just because you know the answer to all those questions doesn’t mean you can always acheive them. We can’t always have what we want.

  3. Il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux.

    I believe the trick is to let go of goals and desires – disappointment and dissatisfaction stem from the chasm between what we are and what we wish for. A lot of the time we think, “if only I could have this, or be that, or do the other, it would all fall into place,” and yet if by some miracle all things desired are received, the world would lose its luster, and the things achieved would soon become unsatisfactory. Plans are made, and then torn apart. The things we want change as rapidly as a thought flutters across the mind. The answers to those questions at any given point in time are as meaningless as the surface of a river; everything flows and nothing remains.

    1. The Buddhists haven’t convinced me yet

      I think about that alot. It’s a very persuasive philosophy. But then I think of the things I’ve accomplished which have left me with an enduring sense of satisfaction, and I think “hogwash!”. I’m not sure; maybe it’s just a path that some are suited for more than others. I think if I ceased to strive – even if I continued to achieve, but without that sense of striving, my life would become quite dull. I have heard it said, time and again, that we seek after things only to be unsatisfied when we finally acquire them. But after seeing that disproved so many times in my own life – after seeing the enduring satisfaction I often derive from things I have sought after and achieved – I begin to wonder if it is simply said be people who are perpetually unsatisfied.

      1. Re: The Buddhists haven’t convinced me yet

        But your questions need to be specific to a time and place for them to have any meaning at all; they are not “things” to be achieved, but ideas to be realized.

        What do you want out of life? I wanted a pony when I was six. Now I just know I don’t like horseshit. The fact that you asked about happiness implies that getting what you want would make you happy, and this is not necessarily so; discontent is inevitable, even in the sense that you must continue to strive. You are not content with the things you have, so you strive, or you are not content with complacency, and need to strive.

        Who do you want to be? Again, a question only really valuable if all things stay constant.

        What makes you happy? Many things, and they change, and will continue to change. Some things will cease to make me happy, while others will bring me happiness all through my life, but a state of total happiness (in which you have everything you could ever want) is not reachable.

        What conditions must be met for you to die satisfied? ^_^ This question seems that it is only meaningful if you die satisfied.

        Camus has interesting things to say about striving.

  4. What do you want out of life? I don’t know.

    Who do you want to be? No one else but me.

    What makes you happy? Days of sunshine, birds, babbling brooks, inner peace.

    What conditions must be met for you to die satisfied? Just someone who loves me by my side, holding my hand. God willing I’ll slip peacefully into the night when I go.

    If you could answer those questions truthfully then the insight would begin. Not so sure all else would follow naturally. If you lived in a world populated by only you, maybe it would follow naturally. The trouble is other people exist around you and affect things in your life to a degree.

  5. What do you want out of life? Plans? I want to help who I can, when I can, with whatever moments I’m given. I intend to do more studies into various therapies and have various experiences, perhaps, but those could only take place as part of the former.

    Who do you want to be? Only who I am. Living each moment. All that stuff, you see, compiles into me, not I. I is the thinker. I is what looks at each of your thoughts and plans. You cannot think of your thinker. You can not interpret that which interprets all information in your life, based on given data. There is nothing we can say to describe our consciousness. We can describe thoughts and preferences, but not the part of us that keeps track of, thinks of, and calls up these things.

    What makes you happy? Happy? Happiness is the natural state of children. Don’t confuse it with thrills. Children cry and scream, but bring them back to themselves, and they’re happy. What do you do to come home to that part of self? I can’t tell you. I know I tend to read, use various therapies, do yoga, meditate, etc. It’s not hiding – that helps no one – it’s letting go.

    What conditions must be met for you to die satisfied? *laughs* Death isn’t the end, you know. Life certainly goes on. We will be quite busy on the other side as here, but our business will be relaxed, however that makes sense. 😛 Frankly, I could die satisfied now. I have all I need. There are things I’d like to do and experience, but they’re not necessary. They’re dust in the wind, really.

    An if you can answer those three four…

    How did you figure out the answers to those questions? Introspection. Awareness. Knowing the self.

    Lemme tell you a story. I got it from Anthony DeMello’s Awareness, but apparently he got it from somewhere else. It runs thus:

    “There’s a story of a disciple who told his guru that he was going to a far place to mediate and hopefully attain enlightenment. So he sent the guru a note every six months to report the progress he was making. The first report said, “Now I understand what it means to lose the self.” The guru tore up the note and threw it in the wastepaper basket. After six months he got another report, which said, “Now I have attained sensitivity to all beings.” He tore it up. Then a third report said, “Now I understand the secret of the one and the many.” It too was torn up. And so it went on for years, until finally no reports came in. After a time the guru became curious and one day there was a traveler going to that far place. The guru said, “Why don’t you find out what happened to that fellow.” Finally, he got a note from his disciple. It said, “What does it matter?” And when the guru read that, he said “He made it! He made it! He finally got it! He got it!”

  6. order can be a bitch

    I feel like if I could answer those questions truthfully, all else would follow naturally.

    perhaps if you follow naturally, you will arrive at the answers that are true for you.

  7. What do you want out of life?
    Apotheosis. In simpler terms, I want enlightenment, not in a buddhist way, but in a human way. I want to be fulfilled, personally and spiritually.

    Who do you want to be?
    It changes often, but the important part is that as soon as I decide who I want to be I go about making myself into that person. If I want to be more social and have more friends, I go out and find them (like I did you). If I want to be a more compassionate person, I do something nice, like volunteer at a nursing home or a soup kithcen.

    What makes you happy?
    Feeling connected to people makes me happy, and being brillianty absorbed in a project makes me happy. These two are often at odds with each other. I constantly choose the former over the latter, and have made a decision to always do so.

    What conditions must be met for you to die satisfied?
    I need to know that if I have not achieved my apotheosis I at least have spent my life striving. My patron poem is Eldorado: It is about a man searching for something that nobody believes is real. Ride, boldly ride. . .

    On a more human level, I do not want to die alone.

    How did you figure out the answers to those questions?
    I guess I can’t really answer this for anyone. If I could give my gift of following my bliss to others, I would gladly do so. I just seem to have a talent for knowing myself. I’ll try. How did I figure myself out? Lots of contemplation. A serious look at my life. I aksed myself why I was so unhappy. I found the answers. I began striving to change them.

    All I can say to you is that life is an experience. Many people choose to limit their experience. Some limitations are good. I’m not particularly interested in learning what it is like to experience addiction, rape, self-destructive cycles, etc. But a lot of people limit themselves out of fear. They are afraid to be vulnerable. Afraid to do anything that would make people stop respecting them, or view them differently. They are very concerned about image control, even the ones, like you, who like to be independent and not care what other people think. That’s an image too, being independent and not vulnerable or needy.

    I guess it’s kind of scary to throw yourself out on that limb. To start doing the emotional things that scare you, but you have to.

    You can’t change anything unless you do the things that scare you, and you can’t figure out what makes you happy unless you experience something other than what you already are.

    I know we’ve had this discussion before and you’re probably tired of hearing it, but really, get out of your shell and start scaring the shit out of yourself. It will help.

  8. Who do you want to be?

    I am already that person.

    What makes you happy?

    I do.

    What conditions must be met for you to die satisfied?

    I must first learn to live satisfied.

    How did you figure out the answers to those questions?

    Once I realized that there is no more or less significance to my life than that of a stone, and that the universe is completely out of my control, I finally became free to take the path I had been looking for.

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