The Desire to Not Exist
The article is a theoretical piece.
The article explores the nature of the desire to not exist and its psychological origins. It discusses the ideas of philosophers such as Dostoyevsky, Albert Camus, Soren Kierkegaard, Jacques Lacan, and Arthur Schopenhauer, as well as their influence on pop culture works such as Neon Genesis Evangelion. It also analyzes the role of shame, desire, and the "big other" in the experience of the desire to not exist.
Main topics: nature of the desire to not exist, psychological origins, philosophical influences, shame, desire, the "big other."
Secondary topics: Dostoyevsky, Albert Camus, Soren Kierkegaard, Jacques Lacan, Arthur Schopenhauer, Neon Genesis Evangelion, sensory deprivation, the self. Keywords: cognitive dissonance, eternity, individuality, suffering, human instrumentality project, rejection, shame.
- The Desire to Not Exist:
- What it is
- Why it's rarely discussed
- The nature of our existence desires and how we interpret the existence of others
- The debate about the existence of God in Dostoyevsky's novel 'The Brothers Karamazov'
- What it is
- Why it's unique
- Contradictory hope of continuing to live while wanting to not exist
- Cognitive dissonance and prohibition leading to fantasy
- Kierkegaard's argument about the torment of the desire to not exist
- Simulated perceptions of eternity and suffering during the total cease fire of time
- Schopenhauer's idea of individuality and suffering
- Zela's human instrumentality project to destroy boundaries of egos and allow for total harmony
- The role of desire and shame in the show
- Shinji's conflict with his desire to not exist and his importance in the show
- Learning to create out of the void that we yearn to return to
- Deciding for ourselves how we feel about our desires
- Understanding that everything in life is in a constant state of becoming
- Trusting in the actual people in our lives and accepting the potential pains of desire
- Moving beyond the desire to not exist
The Desire to Not Exist: A Psychological and Philosophical Exploration
The desire to not exist is a common but often unspoken yearning to magically disappear from the world without sadness, violence, or death. This desire is unique because it is not a logical set of beliefs but a complex psychological wish. The people who long for nothingness do not want death but to experience non-existence, a state of cognitive dissonance where one contradicts their belief in the characteristics of life. They may still want to live, but desire contradictory hope to continue their life in a way that does not exist.
This essay delves into several works of literature and philosophy that explore the idea of the desire to not exist. In Fyodor Dostoevsky's book 'The Brothers Karamazov', the monk and the atheist have a debate about the existence of God and the nature of our existence. Albert Camus argues in 'The Myth of Sisyphus' that choosing suicide answers the fundamental question of philosophy. The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard's book 'The Sickness Unto Death' presents the torment of the desire to not exist as the hopelessness of not being able to die. 'Neon Genesis Evangelion' anime series portrays the characters' struggle with the pain of becoming close to another person.
The Burden of Desire
Jacques LaCroix argues that our desires form in response to our separation from others, with desire presupposing other desires and craving recognition. The burden of desire can easily result in pain, including the desire to not exist, contributing to feelings of shame and leading to despair over having a self. The solution proposed is to understand that everything in life is in a constant state of becoming and to accept the possibility that even the absurd is possible. Accepting that friction will always exist between what others want and what we want is necessary to risk being accepted and moving beyond the desire to not exist. This process helps to carve out opportunities for acceptance, even if they do not always agree with our desires.
The article discusses the desire to not exist and its implications on our understanding of existence, human desires, and the concept of nothingness. It delves into how cognitive dissonance and the prohibition of achieving nothingness might lead to a paradoxical hope of continuing to exist. The article also examines philosophical works, such as Schopenhauer's and Kierkegaard's, and how they contribute to our understanding of the desire to not exist, as well as references to media, such as the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion.
One area of knowledge that complements this information is psychology. The article touches on certain aspects of psychology, such as cognitive dissonance and shame, but could benefit from a deeper exploration of how these and other psychological processes contribute to the desire to not exist. Additionally, the connection between the desire to not exist and mental illness could also be further explored.
The author of the article missed discussing the potential cultural and societal influences on the desire to not exist. For instance, some cultures may value self-sacrifice over individual desires, which could lead to feelings of shame and the desire to not exist. Furthermore, societal factors such as poverty, discrimination, and lack of access to mental healthcare could exacerbate these feelings.
One contradiction in the article is the argument that individuals who desire to not exist do not want to die, but rather experience non-existence. However, the desire for non-existence can be seen as a type of death wish. Additionally, the article argues that individuals desire to not exist as a way to exert their freedom, but the freedom to non-exist contradicts the freedom to exist.
Question 1: What is the desire to not exist and how is it unique?
The desire to not exist is the yearning to magically disappear, preferably in a way that doesn't require any sadness, violence or death. What makes it unique is that what these individuals desire is not death but to experience non-experience.
"Furthermore, not everyone who longs for nothingness thinks existence is entirely unbearable. To not want to die but also wanting to simply not exist implies a contradictory hope that one might continue to go on living."
Question 2: What is Kierkegaard's argument about the torment of the desire to not exist?
Kierkegaard's argument is that the torment of the desire to not exist is the hopelessness of not even being able to die. Hence, the desire to disappear will consume them in an act that Kierkegaard calls despair.
"Kierkegaard's argument is that the torment of the desire to not exist is the hopelessness of not even being able to die. Death means an end to life, a perceived nothingness. Though not a sickness that will literally end in death, once a more horrifying reality than death is encountered, one will wish they could die. When even this last respite is taken from them, the desire to disappear will consume them in an act that Kierkegaard calls despair."
Question 3: What does the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion portrays about individuality and suffering?
The anime Neon Genesis Evangelion portrays that the individual will of the self is a pointless striving with no end. Schopenhauer argues that as long as human beings exist separately from one another, there will be suffering. This dilemma is portrayed countless times in Evangelion as the main cast of characters repeatedly struggled to deal with the pain inherent to the process of becoming close to another person.
"Schopenhauer describes the way individuality can cause suffering. He argues that the world is made up of will and representation while the total universe is, in fact, one thing operating in unity. Human beings each have their own will, distinct from that of the universe and each other, causing them to have their own unique perspectives, longings, and pains. Deschopenhauer, as long as human beings exist separately from one another, there will be suffering."
Question 4: What is the solution proposed by the author for those who suffer from the desire to not exist?
The author proposes that part of the solution is learning to decide for ourselves how we feel about our desires and what causes them. Instead of presenting ourselves to be judged by a jury of our own conjuring, we must understand that everything in this life is in the constant state of becoming. We must accept that friction will always exist between what our loved ones want and what we want, but if we trust them, we can take the risk to be accepted ourselves. By accepting the potential pains of desire, we'll already have made steps towards accepting ourselves and moved beyond the desire to not exist.
"Accept that and you can take the risk to be accepted yourself. In taking that risk and accepting the potential pains of desire, you'll already have made steps towards accepting yourself and moved beyond the desire to not exist."
Quiz 1: Understanding the Desire to Not Exist
- a. It is about the way people wish they had never been born.
- b. It is about somebody's self-destructive fantasies.
- c. It is about the yearning to magically disappear.
- d. It is about the desire to experience death. correct answer: c
- a. God must be evil for introducing us to a cruel world.
- b. Life is about a cruel angel's thesis.
- c. Paradise after this life is just a taunt.
- d. Both a and c. correct answer: d
- a. Hopelessness of not being able to die.
- b. The self remains immutable during eternity.
- c. Both a and b.
- d. None of the above. correct answer: c
Question 1: What is the uniqueness of the desire to not exist?
Question 2: What is the key message from Dostoyevsky's novel, The Brothers Karamazov?
Question 3: According to Kierkegaard, what causes the torment of the desire to not exist?
Quiz 2: Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Desire to Not Exist
- a. The world is made up of will and representation.
- b. Human beings each have their will distinct from the universe and each other.
- c. Suffering arises from our wants because our wants can only stem from an initial dissatisfaction.
- d. All of the above. correct answer: d
- a. The project to destroy the boundaries of our egos and allow for total harmony.
- b. The project to create giant robots to fight otherworldly entities referred to as Angels.
- c. The project to eliminate individuality to prevent suffering.
- d. The project to create a perfect society without any poverty or inequality. correct answer: a
- a. Our desires form in response to our separation from others.
- b. Desire comes from our best guess as to what the big other lacks or desires.
- c. All desire craves recognition.
- d. All of the above. correct answer: d
Question 1: What is the key message from Arthur Schopenhauer's book, The World as Will and Representation?
Question 2: What is the Human Instrumentality Project in Neon Genesis Evangelion?
Question 3: What is the key message from Jacques Lacan's theory of desire?
Quiz 3: Overcoming the Desire to Not Exist
- a. Eternity.
- b. Distance.
- c. Nothingness.
- d. Shame. correct answer: c
- a. Eliminate desires to experience freedom and peace.
- b. Accept the potential pains of desire and take the risk to be accepted.
- c. Trust in the big other to decide what is acceptable for us.
- d. Repeat the same mistakes and desire the same things. correct answer: b
- a. The torment of the desire to not exist is the hopelessness of not even being able to die.
- b. One will wish they could die when even this last respite is taken from them.
- c. Our desires constitute a fundamental part of the self.
- Recognize and accept your desires, even if they may be seen as unpopular or unacceptable by others. This can lead to self-acceptance and a healthier understanding of one's own identity.
- Understand that the desire to not exist is not the same as the desire for death. It is a complex psychological wish to experience non-existence, often stemming from a need for freedom or a response to external rejection.
- Build meaningful connections with others and try to understand their wants and needs while communicating your own. This can help alleviate feelings of shame and isolation.
- Remember that life is in a constant state of becoming, and it is possible to push forward and carve out opportunities for acceptance and growth.
- Experiment with practices such as meditation or sensory deprivation to gain a better understanding of one's desires and find a sense of peace with existence.
The best tip to include in daily life would be to recognize and accept your desires. This can have a profound impact on one's mental health, leading to self-acceptance and a healthier understanding of one's identity. By allowing oneself to acknowledge and understand their desires, they can develop a greater sense of self-awareness and move towards accepting themselves, despite the expectations of others. This can lead to a more fulfilling life and stronger connections with others.
Question 1: What is the nuclear option for desire?
Question 2: What is the solution proposed in the video?
Question 3: What is the key message from Kierkegaard's book, The Sickness Unto Death?