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Blackberry's avatar

Does everyone go through a philisophical, nihilism, or deep reflection stage?

Asked by Blackberry (31006points) May 16th, 2011

Is it ok to experience these things for a prolonged amount of time? Is is just a normal stage in life, or should there be some concern at some point?

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24 Answers

crisw's avatar

I think there’s a big difference between being philosophical and reflective and being nihilistic. The first is normal (although many people never do think that deeply) and, I feel, desirable. Nihilism is a different story.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m in a reflective time at present, triggered by an important anniversary. I think we all go through periods of wondering about life’s changes and mysteries. I would only worry about it, if it led to harmful behavior.

As for nihilism: every time I pick up a blank book for keeping a journal at the bookstore, I think, “Oh, another book about nihilism.”

King_Pariah's avatar

well if we do, I’ve settled with nihilism.

ucme's avatar

hmmm….. I know I do/did/will ;¬}

tinyfaery's avatar

I hope so. Even if one settles on nihilism, that’s okay. I don’t trust people who don’t think deeply.

SavoirFaire's avatar

People can mean a lot of things by “nihilistic.” If you’re talking about a general feeling of wondering what the point of everything is, or feeling like maybe life just isn’t worth it, I do think that many people go through that. They realize that they are making their bed just so they can mess it up again; or they’re working a job they don’t particularly like just so they can put food on the table and have a place to sleep—which they only need so that they can live another day working the job they don’t particularly like.

This is normal, but probably something to get over. Yes, we’re all pushing rocks up mountains just to see them roll down the other side; but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways of taking the pointlessness of the task and affirming it. If we prefer life to nothingness, even if only in virtue of a few fleeting moments, then that’s at least enough to bring some value back to our existence.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

When you say “a reflective stage”, are you talking about days, weeks, or years? I have reflective spells that last a few hours, days, or after a traumatic incident I might even feel that way for a few weeks.

Coloma's avatar

I hope so, but sadly, no.

Anyone in a self actualization phase will go through an extended period or self reflection, spiritual growth, personal growth, yes, it is healthy and normal, IF you ARE ‘normal.’ lol

I went on a huge personal/spiritual discovery journey..about 6 years total from the first stirrings to full integration.

2 of those years I completely dropped out, ( I was fortunate to be able to not work, chose to live on my savings ). It was the BEST thing I EVER did!

Sunny2's avatar

If it interferes with your doing something you would like to do, it’s a concern. I don’t think everybody goes through an introspective period. A great many people do very little thinking, period. Remember 100 is the average I.Q.

Blackberry's avatar

I know the question is pretty vague. I was just thinking of any period in ones life where they seem hindered by millions of questions, a feeling that nothing matters, constantly worrying about the future etc etc. You know, a general “Why, why why??!!” period lol.

ninjacolin's avatar

Nihilsm, as I understand it, is a essentially a fallacious conclusion about “things” in general.
If you can imagine a child who is born at first not believing in anything like a santa claus, and then his parents give him some hints and he goes to school and watches some cartoons and then he starts to believe in a santa claus.. If that child lives a little longer, eventually he will take in sufficient experiences to begin doubting the existence of Santa Claus. If the child dies (heaven forbid) before his 8th birthday however, chances are he will be dying a santa claus believer.

The point of my metaphor is, Nihilism is a rational conclusion one may come to along the path of information intake. It’s possible that you may never learn the kinds of ideas I and others have learned that seem to effectively render the Nihilistic conclusion as a fallacious conclusion.

But many have come across such understandings and I don’t see why you couldn’t either with further studies.

Coloma's avatar

@Blackberry

I see that as a positive sign, your psyche/soul/true self is wanting to grow.

Just as I see depression in an otherwise pathology free person to be another great sign of a deep and profound shift coming. :-)

The unexamined life is not worth living, unless you happen to fall into the IQ category of a Garden Slug. In which case living under a rock might be good enough for a fulfilling life. lol

Ignorance is NOT bliss, it is ignorance!

Embrace your inner stirrings, they are part of your evolutionary process! ;-)

ninjacolin's avatar

I said: “and I don’t see why you couldn’t either with further studies”

that is, with more deep thoughts and reflection. :)
I don’t think the deep thinking part ever ends. I mean, just look at this old guy talking about some other old guy who passed away. The thinking and learning won’t end until the world does and there’s a lot of happiness to be had along the way.

Coloma's avatar

It’s the darkest before the dawn. ;-)

ninjacolin's avatar

^^ lol, you gotta see this. :)

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

HeyZeus's avatar

Not sure, but I’m a Nihilist.

chewhorse's avatar

I’m confused. Are we on the right page here..?

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nihilism

(and your right, I’m new and haven’t discovered how to link correctly)

augustlan's avatar

I honestly think that anyone who does any type of deep thinking about life/people/politics/the world does go through an existential crisis at some point, and often more than once. “Ignorance is bliss” isn’t a cliche for nothing. It’s probably good for us, really, and helps us grow. On the other hand, if you’re stuck in such a phase for a very long time, it’s bound to have a negative impact on your life. At some point, you have to be able to absorb all your thoughts, and adjust to a ‘new normal’. If that doesn’t happen, it’s probably time to work on it actively, even going to therapy if necessary.

Plucky's avatar

I would hope that most people go through this at some point in their lives.

For me, it feels like I’ve always been in this stage. I never really thought of it as a stage though; it seems like it’s just part of being alive. I’m not at a point in my life where I think one way or the other (nor have I ever been). I feel that is something one cannot really know for sure. I am constantly finding new “why’s” in my existence.

ninjacolin's avatar

@augustlan said: “At some point, you have to be able to absorb all your thoughts, and adjust to a ‘new normal’. If that doesn’t happen, it’s probably time to work on it actively, even going to therapy if necessary.”

Hmm.. sure but I wonder how many psychologists would seek to argumentatively resolve a purely philosophical issue for a client. Cause I think that’s all @Blackberry‘s talking about.

augustlan's avatar

@ninjacolin It just seems to me that at some point the purely philosophical can slip into actual depression territory, you know?

ninjacolin's avatar

Actual depression is often caused by nothing more than your perspective of life; Your beliefs about how shitty the world is. If you’re convinced that life is miserable, filled with violence, sadness, and everything always go wrong all the time.. you would be in a state of depression simply as a result of the conclusions you’ve come to about the world you have to live in. If it can be proven to you, that the world isn’t as ugly as you mistakenly concluded, depression can be relieved. Your philosophy literally affects your mood. It’s a matter of having up-building answers or depressing answers.

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