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Old 07-23-2008  
Len
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Default Existential Fear

For the last few years, just before going to sleep at night, I have these thoughts that I cannot believe my life is real. I think about my family and my girlfriend and it just seems like I am imagining them all; that they only exist in my mind.

It is difficult to explain...On the other hand, I also get these sudden fears that things are so very real and 3 dimensional, that I am sitting back viewing it all with my eyes but it seems like a movie.

I was out having dinner last night and I got this strange sensation that everything was completely ridiculous. We were eating this meal in a posh restaurant, people were laughing and shouting, food was being eaten and I paralleled it to a Victorian period drama where all the aristocracy were sitting round and being pompous and laughing at crap jokes, thinking how high and mighty, and civilised, they all were.

Blood was rushing to my head and it began to feel really heavy like I was going to collapse onto the table. It was like a panic attack but, for a change, I was not scared of it. It was as if the reality of the situation was too much for me and I wanted to get out of there and back to some degree of normalcy.

I know what people are going to say..dissociative personality, panic attack, blah blah. But how can things be real. How was this world created. If you start out with nothing just black space, before the universe was born, how does this create something like me. I am like a speck of dust in the cosmos, trying to make sense of my reality.

I think this may where my anxiety stems from. I am overly-sensitized to reality; things become too real that my mind cannot handle it or make sense of it. So it sends chemicals to my body and my brain saying danger, danger, danger. I need to escape but where to? Escape from reality that's where.

Just one more thing. I am not scared of death. Well, what I mean is that I AM scared of death, but I also welcome it. Like it would be an end to this strange, torturous life. My anxiety then seems ridiculous. How can I be scared of social situations or driving a car if I am not scared of death. It is like these things are worse than death because I MUST experience them as they are real. The fear and the reality are worse than the death.

Anyone else have existential thoughts?
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Old 07-23-2008  
Tab
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I can relate to this, more or less. sometimes it happens out of the blue where things seem to not make sense, like you described. Its ridiculous to think we are the only intelligent life in the universe giving how big it is. Trying to make sense of it all is a basic human desire. Thinking about it can drive you crazy too. Thats why people hold onto their religious beliefs. I'm not religious but I have a personal spiritual belief. The universe was created by an entity and everything within that universe is governed by a law, or physics. This entity doesn't interfere with anything that happens within our universe and doesn't 'punish' or 'reward' people. People control their own destiny and are free to do as they wish.
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Old 07-23-2008  
dpr
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Default Re: Existential Fear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Len
For the last few years, just before going to sleep at night, I have these thoughts that I cannot believe my life is real. I think about my family and my girlfriend and it just seems like I am imagining them all; that they only exist in my mind.

It is difficult to explain...On the other hand, I also get these sudden fears that things are so very real and 3 dimensional, that I am sitting back viewing it all with my eyes but it seems like a movie.

I was out having dinner last night and I got this strange sensation that everything was completely ridiculous. We were eating this meal in a posh restaurant, people were laughing and shouting, food was being eaten and I paralleled it to a Victorian period drama where all the aristocracy were sitting round and being pompous and laughing at crap jokes, thinking how high and mighty, and civilised, they all were.

Blood was rushing to my head and it began to feel really heavy like I was going to collapse onto the table. It was like a panic attack but, for a change, I was not scared of it. It was as if the reality of the situation was too much for me and I wanted to get out of there and back to some degree of normalcy.

I know what people are going to say..dissociative personality, panic attack, blah blah. But how can things be real. How was this world created. If you start out with nothing just black space, before the universe was born, how does this create something like me. I am like a speck of dust in the cosmos, trying to make sense of my reality.

I think this may where my anxiety stems from. I am overly-sensitized to reality; things become too real that my mind cannot handle it or make sense of it. So it sends chemicals to my body and my brain saying danger, danger, danger. I need to escape but where to? Escape from reality that's where.

Just one more thing. I am not scared of death. Well, what I mean is that I AM scared of death, but I also welcome it. Like it would be an end to this strange, torturous life. My anxiety then seems ridiculous. How can I be scared of social situations or driving a car if I am not scared of death. It is like these things are worse than death because I MUST experience them as they are real. The fear and the reality are worse than the death.

Anyone else have existential thoughts? I don't beleive in religion, so I would appreciate if people refrain from alluding to jesus, muhammad, Britney Spears or any other religious icons when replying. Unless they also had existential fears though, then it might be.
wow... first of all... i like you for writing this

second of all... i get this ALL THE TIME. mostly when out with people at social events like you. before i go to bed, it's just worrying, but sometimes some existential shit, but mostly just worrying about things that haven't happened but things that might happen, if you know what i mean.

third of all... and i firmly believe this... there is nothing wrong with you or your thoughts. the situation that you described seems ridiculous because it IS ridiculous. this whole world is completely ****ed up! i sometimes wonder if our anxiety (and other) disorders are just a byproduct of the ****ed up craziness of the world we all live in.

anyway good post, i really related to this.

i also find that weed really intensifies this, so if you don't like it then i wouldn't ever smoke weed if i were you.
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Old 07-23-2008  
Len
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I stopped smoking weed about 10 years ago. It has already gotten a hold of me. DOH!
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Old 07-23-2008  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len
I stopped smoking weed about 10 years ago. It has already gotten a hold of me. DOH!
Yeah was gonna say those thoughts used to happen to me when I smoked weed. Would forget my name and who I was.
I liked it in a way coz it was differant to the usual thought process.
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Old 07-23-2008  
Lea
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.............

Last edited by Lea; 04-01-2009 at 09:09 AM..
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Old 07-23-2008  
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I actually think like that a lot. I'm actually a Christian but still, this type of thought process is normal for me. But I actually like it =/ So I wouldn't call it fears. Looking up at the stars or the moon at night and just thinking about the universe, existence, e... you know I could go on forever describing weird emotions and feelings thinking about it all, so I'll spare you all and wont.

But I know exactly how you feel. And I too am not afraid of death and actually welcome it. Not that I have a death wish or suicidal, just... well thinking about how so many people have passed on before and how everyone will die and so will I, its something I think about a lot. The only thing I fear is like maybe the pain or the realization I'm actually dying in that moment. But it's only a lasts a little bit so not a big deal I guess. It'll be over before I know it. But actual death, meh... nope.

All of this is actually a favorite pass time as I don't really have much of a life. Everything you described, pondering existence, infinity, eternity, life, death, etc etc etc. One of the reasons Ecclesiastes is my favorite book of the Bible and ponder over as well...

But all things in moderation =/ You aren't gonna do much in life just sitting around thinking and thats one problem I struggle with. Seeing as I'm pretty social phobic, its so much easier to mope around on my time off lost in thoughts than actually trying to change.

And I've never smoked weed before... I don't think I should, I'll never stop...
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Old 07-23-2008  
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I've gone through periods where I felt a lot of that, usually lasting a couple months to a year. I don't know if it's linked to having a high level of anxiety, but I certainly can relate to the dissociation - it's like everyone else is just going about their same routines and can't see that everything (everything) is so bizarre and unexplainable. Mundane things seem so meaningless, and asking the big questions suddenly seems like the only important thing.

When I was about 17 I tried going to a therapist for OCD, and after the first visit and talking about it, I realized suddenly how ridiculous all the coping mechanisms and repetitions I did actually were. All of my ways of dealing with anxiety ceased working, and I almost immediately went into what felt like a two-week-long panic attack (I know it's physically impossible, but it's the best way to describe what it felt like). I remember just walking around completely dissociated from the world around me, thinking about every big and scary thing that comes to a 17-year-olds head and having that be my only reality.

I think part of that in the US as well is that no one talks about existence, death and dying, and other existential concerns, at least not in any major forum. We push it all to the back of our space and our collective minds, so when we actually think about it, it feels so unreal.
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Old 07-24-2008  
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In the last year or so, I've also questioned and pondered the fabric of reality. I have been able to satisfy myself to a certain extent by reading books and watching documentaries that discuss things like the building blocks of our perceivable universe, theories on what exactly consciousness is, quantum mechanics and all of it's fascinating quirks, theories on the dimensions in our universe and the infinite possibilities that the concept brings...

One of the most fascinating things I've come across recently are 'virtual particles'. Basically, in a perfect vacuum, the universe spontaneously creates particles out of literally nothing. A particle and an anti-particle are instantaneously created and they instantaneously destroy each other. There is one scenario that allows these particles to be split up so it can enter the universe as new matter. When these particles are created at the event horizon of a black hole, the anti-particle is sucked in, leaving the other half of the virtual particle in our observable universe. Matter is literally being created out of nothing!

I could go on and on. The fabric of our existence is an amazing thing. Who knows what part human life plays in it? The only thing we truly know is that we do exist, and for the time being our perception is filtered and limited by these organic vessels we call our bodies.
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Old 07-24-2008  
Lea
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Yes, matter is created of nothing. Thatīs why this world is kind of illusion. Anyway, where is yesterday? What is tomorrow? Nothing, imagination. Isnīt then the present the same? It only appears real to us... Excellent book on this toppic: Hidden teaching beyond yoga from Paul Brunton, part I and II, esp. the part I.
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