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Discussion Starter #1
Who are you? What do you want? What do you like? What do you dislike?

We can't really answer these questions, yet we have beliefs about all of these things.

When we are born we know nothing and we have no opinions. We eventually figure out that we are the same species as the rest of the people in our environment and we assume we can learn about life by observing others. We think that we will learn who we are by figuring out who they are.

So we watch and we come to conclusions about what we want, like and dislike based on our observations of other people.

The most important thing to remember is that our wants are just a part of our beliefs. We really don't want anything, but we believe we want certain things. We can't explain what we are, so how would we be able to know what we want?

We have a belief of who we are based on who we believe others to be. These beliefs aren't justified, because we don't know. When we are young, we assume other people know what they are, because they act like they do, because they believe they do.

These beliefs are subconscious, for the most part, and don't get the questioning they deserve.

Unhappiness is usually best described as a feeling of incompleteness. This is not true though, because we are complete. We have been complete since we were born. Life itself is 100% complete.

Unhappiness is always due to an unfulfilled want. Of course we don't truly want something, we only believe we want something. We feel we're supposed to have something else, or things are supposed to be a different way. These are all beliefs--unjustified beliefs.

This is why we feel incomplete. We have a subconscious belief of what "complete" is. We have times when we have met our standards of completeness, and we feel fine, but if something changes, whether it be our idea of what complete is, or our perception of where we stand in relation to our idea of completeness, then we will once again feel incomplete.

Sometimes we lose our perception of ourselves by performing certain activities. These activities can become addictive, not because they make us feel especially good, but because they keep our mind occupied so that it cannot compare ourselves to our ideal selves.

Instead of distracting our minds, and instead of trying to work towards our unjustified, subconscious belief of what completeness is, it is a much better idea to remove the unnecessary beliefs.

These beliefs restrict us from being happy in certain situations, because we believe we are not supposed to be happy. All we feel is that we have a want that is unsatisfied and nothing should be enjoyed until that want is fulfilled. And just to reiterate, that want is not a true want, but a believed want, based on the belief of who you are.

All the things we believe we don't want, we can actually acquire an appreciation for those things. We are never missing out, what we're really doing is ALWAYS experiencing. As long as we are alive we are constantly experiencing something. If we remove our false wants, we can turn situations from negative to positive. Painful = a feeling of aliveness, boring = relaxing etc... The only reason these things are bad to us is we subconsciously believe things are supposed to be different; that we are supposed to be different.

Anyway, just some stuff I wanted to share. I hope it's helpful to some people.
 

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Thank you for sharing this...

It's funny because I think the media is responsible for telling us how "incomplete" we are if we don't have this car, this spouse, this experience, this candy bar...

I don't know what I want in my life...
But I'm thinking about it...
 

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Anon7, Have you seen I :heart Huckabees ?

Dustin Hoffman's character (an existential detective) tells Jason Schwartzman's character (his client):

"When you get 'the blanket thing' you can relax because everything you could ever want or be, you already have and are."

An awesome movie. And very related to the point you’re making.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for sharing this...

It's funny because I think the media is responsible for telling us how "incomplete" we are if we don't have this car, this spouse, this experience, this candy bar...

I don't know what I want in my life...
But I'm thinking about it...
You only want what you believe you want. You have a belief of who you are, and from that belief stems the belief of what you like and dislike.

The question is not "Who are we?", it's "What are we?" because asking "who" is assuming you know the answer to "what" already.

Most of the things we "want" we only want because we think we need them. If you convince yourself you don't need them, then the desire becomes a lot less.

A moment is an infinitely small amount of time. With that being true, how can one moment be better than the next? We are always in the present, and the present is always a moment. If we exist in such a small amount of time, how can we ever think things are bad? It's just what we've learned to believe.

Yes, the media has harmful messages, but we learn these beliefs from observing other people's behavior anyway.

But yeah, the truth is our wants come from our mind. And we are not our minds. Who we are is our minds, but what we are is certainly not our minds. Knowing that means knowing our wants are all false. We don't want anything, our minds want. All we need is the moment, and any moment is enough to truly satisfy us.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry for bumping my own thread, but I have to add something.

This is really how it works, I think.

Why do we feel unhappy? Because our wants/standards/expectations aren't being met.

Why do we have standards? Because we have learned that the higher your standards, the higher worth you have. That is not true of course; no matter what our standards are we have the same worth.

The main thing I wanted to add was this example:

I was washing dishes and I splashed soapy water on my shirt, and I thought, "Damn it."

Why, though? Why do I care whether my shirt is wet or dry? Why do I need to look perfect? The truth is, I don't care. I've learned that I should have higher standards than that, but there's no reason for it. We're playing pretend. That's what we're all doing.

We're basically acting. We've created characters and we're all committed to our roles that we have a hard time stepping out of character.

You don't have to have standards. You are not a worse person if you accept things as they are. You will be happier, more likable... Some people may criticize your lack of standards (which is part of the reason we've developed these standards in the first place), but that is just to make them feel like their standards are justified.

You don't have to have standards. You don't have to want.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another thing... I have very high standards for girls. I feel like since I haven't been in a relationship for so long, I have something to prove. I feel like my first girlfriend better be impressive as hell. This is obviously a bad way to think, it puts a lot of pressure when I'm talking to pretty girls and I make it into a big deal when it's not.

It's not proving something to myself, it's for other people. This is why our standards are so unnecessary... we don't even have them for ourselves. We have them to prove that we are worthy, even though there's no reason for that, AND they lead us to unhappiness most of the time... and even when our standards are met, we still aren't happy because it's a shallow/false happiness... because in the end, proving ourselves in anyway is not going to make us truly happy.
 

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I disagree. What you seem to be suggesting is we should be content with just existing. Like a house cat who is fine with having food to eat, water to drink and warm shelter to lounge around in all day. By definition, a want is not something we need, but it makes us feel good. We certainly miscalculate the value of our particular wants, but we shouldnt stop going for them because it doesnt make us as happy as we thought. It just means we need to look for something else, try other things till we find what works. This means that for us with SA, we want a normal social life----or at least what we percieve to be normal. Will it make us happy? No, socially normal people are still unhappy. But it gets us closer to being happy.

Also as a quick note, i skimmed it because its a whole lot to read so my bad if you covered this. Also watching Watchmen.
 

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I disagree. What you seem to be suggesting is we should be content with just existing. Like a house cat who is fine with having food to eat, water to drink and warm shelter to lounge around in all day. By definition, a want is not something we need, but it makes us feel good. We certainly miscalculate the value of our particular wants, but we shouldnt stop going for them because it doesnt make us as happy as we thought. It just means we need to look for something else, try other things till we find what works. This means that for us with SA, we want a normal social life----or at least what we percieve to be normal. Will it make us happy? No, socially normal people are still unhappy. But it gets us closer to being happy.

Also as a quick note, i skimmed it because its a whole lot to read so my bad if you covered this. Also watching Watchmen.
But what is the reason you want anything? Why isn't existing enough? Having no wants doesn't mean you won't experience, it means you will have no reason to not experience.
 

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I am the poster girl for this problem- thanks for sharing. Great read, really interesting points!
 
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