Existencial crisis.


#1

Yep. That’s it. How do you experience/get through existencial crisis?

I took a nice trip to another state near home and on my way back it hit me some sort of disgusting melancholic feeling. When I was a kid I used to feel pretty down at the end of travels, at the end of days and that used to keep me awake at nights as I developed insomnia. It was a constant reminder that time passes by, that everything is going to end and eventually, dissapear. How do you get through your dark times?

Oh, but here is a nice picture I took at the trip, I love cathedrals:


#2

As a 4w5 it’s my default. I remember as a kid growing up that I wouldn’t fall asleep knowing that I was going to die some day. Not a normal thought for a 4 year old! :blush:


#3

Haha, yes I know. I go through the same as a 4 year old. Although I’ve been told that I had trouble sleeping since I was a toddler. But then I spent my insomia thinking about it.


#4

Yeah, I did that too. Also worried about my parents dying, since they were so old (from a 4-year old’s perspective) I thought they could die any day!


#5

Is this normal for Ni doms to have such thoughts so young? I talked to one of my coworkers (in his late 60s) about this and he said it stuck with him throughout a whole weekend. He thought it was so odd that such a young kid was having such thoughts.


#6

I don’t know if it’s normal, but I did too. I had a cousin who died in an accident when I was about 4 and remember being really upset. Not just being sad or missing him, but being really angry that if something like that can happen unexpectedly how the hell can you ever plan anything.


#7

Yeah same here. I remember my mom explaining that eventually she would DIE and go to heaven. The heaven part didn’t make me feel any better. I just heard “die.”

Was just talking to my wife about this existential feeling not too long ago. That “world is meaningless” feeling. It doesn’t even feel like a feeling. It makes me wish for a feeling…even anger or shame would do wonders for me in that moment.


#8

I suspect it is normal for Ni-dominant types to start thinking like this at a young age. It’s around ages 3 to 5 (assuming typical development) that the ego begins to form and young children start to individuate away from their primary caregivers.

Since the dominant function is closely tied to our personal ego and sense of self, I assume that it must also start to coalesce and separate away from the primitive Id at this stage of early childhood.

So it’s perhaps no coincidence that many INJs start to have existential thoughts and intuitions at ages 3 to 5, as this is when our dominant introverted intuition function comes on line. Just a theory of mine, but it seems to match up nicely with our shared self-experiences.


#9

And did anyone else start to have “religious” thoughts at this age? Questions about God and creation and life after death, for example?


#10

Found the thread! I don’t remember having religious thoughts exactly, although I was raised Presbyterian. I do remember around age six starting to think that each year was a bit less “sweet” than the last- a feeling like something precious was slipping away that could never be reclaimed, an innocence lost. I remember having intense religious feelings around age thirteen. I was very preoccupied with having a mystical religious experience. I wanted to hear God like Joan of Arc, or having a burning-bush-type experience. Alas it never came and I found this greatly distressing. I discarded my religious searching around age twenty.


#11

As far as I read, it is normal for Ni dominants because of the pattern-oriented perception, and I remember that in some article said that INFJs have existencial crisis everyday.

I had some, first of I questioned why God was so power driven and why should we fear him. Then I started thinking about if God had the shape described in religious sources. I finally came to believe in the spiritual side of human in a Junguian way, more about archetypes.

By the way, I’ve been typed as an ENFJ in here, and I feel comfortable and okay with it. Anyway, I wonder if this existencial crisis had to do with me havimg a heavy scorpio influence on my astral chart as well as a heavy introverted sagittarius influence too. Or I might be mistyped, or simply have a wrong view about this whole Ni-Fi-existencial crisis deal.


#12

My first experience with church was around age 4. I think a neighbor invited my siblings and me to go. The discussion in Sunday school was about heaven. I remember telling my mom afterward that I was going to kill myself so that I could go to heaven because all you needed to get there was (1) to believe, and (2) to die. I had spent enough time on earth and was ready to move on! Everyone else could join me once they were ready. After asking me how I planned to kill myself (kitchen knife to the heart) my mom got scared and told me that you can’t go to heaven by killing yourself. Why didn’t the Sunday school teacher tell us that!? The next week there was a discussion in class about suicide, and then we never went back to that church.


#13

Yes, but it was more about questioning religion. I questioned biblical inconsistencies out loud more than a few times to my parents and church teachers. Not out of a rebellious sense, but just out of confusion. But giving up faith to risk going to hell scared the shit out of me. I used to think when kids became adults they were perfect and had things figured out so…they must know what their talking about right? No. So I started creating my own map of understanding that was more in line with what I thought was actually possible before completely giving up.


#14

If you’re afraid of dying, then fear will probably kill you long before you die.

Use the existentialist solution.


#15

Amazing insight, and totally makes sense! Thank you!

Pretty much for me. Not like existential depression by any means, but just thoughts.

“Living in fear is not living at all.”


#16

I read in an INTJ blog that the same goes for INTJs, so yes, that seems to be a tendency.

What do you mean by this? I’m not afraid to die since everyone is going to die. I used to overcome this by figuring out that, if we have death for sure, then we should live life to the fullest now that we can. Anyway, if we die we die (oh jeez) and I don’t believe in an afterlife and even if it exists, after dying there is not much we can do about death anymore, right?


#17

Pretty much. Existentialism is the position that life is basically meaningless other than the meaning we give it ourselves; this can lead to nihilism or be very empowering. I think Ni users create an internal schism because seeing patterns and meaning in everything leads to a sense that life is deterministic, yet it’s undeniable that the universe has a crazy chaotic element always underlying it. The paradox is that surrendering to the unknowable can unleash all sorts of synchronicities.

Ok, as long as I don’t have to be happy and have fun all the time. For me, to the fullest can include being brooding and melancholy, looking up at grand, old cathedrals and thinking how dull and insignificant we are. Bring on the rain.


#18

Oh sure. The fullest means the whole human experience, including the lows.


#19

Absolutely!

Look at it this way: without the darkness, light would be meaningless. In other words, how can we know joy and happiness unless we’ve also experienced pain and sadness?


#20

I always tell people I HOPE there isn’t an afterlife, I’m trying to escape this life force cycle. Most of the time they’re taken aback. It’s crazy how much people don’t want to introspect at all.