advertisement
Question
Posted by: Frusty | 2005/12/14

Life vs Existence

If you live life to the fullest, yet you lead an unfulfilled existence, are you living or merely existing? What is the definition of life and existence? Is there a difference?

Okay, so I am chatty and have lots going on in my head today - sue me.

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Existing is the baseline of life. Living is when you include the value-added portions avaliable with the package. Nobody lives without existing, but many people exist, without living.
And it's not necessarily frustrating that perfectio is unattainable --- if we achieved it, that could be very boring. Perfection is like the stars, something to navigate by, not something to reach. That's why life is always Work In Progress

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

20
Our users say:
Posted by: Frusty | 2005/12/14

True, ..., I am a perfectionist to the nth degree in whatever I do, but with regards to myself, I do not want to be perfect, merely human, and as you say, strive every day to be the best human I can be.

I must admit though, I am not as bad as I used to be with the perfectionist business. I used to drive myself crazy. I have learnt to let things slide a little.

Reply to Frusty
Posted by: figured it out | 2005/12/14

Well said "..."! Brilliant.

Reply to figured it out
Posted by: ... | 2005/12/14

Eish... Frusty... trying to obtain perfection is a sure fire way of making yourself feel as though you're an underachiever........ rather strive for excellence.... and if that is too hard... then strive to be the best you can be! :) But I somehow think you do that already!........

Reply to ...
Posted by: Deubel | 2005/12/14

If you merely exist you are wasting your time here on earth.

By doing something worthwhile for other people (not yourself) you truly live.

Reply to Deubel
Posted by: Frusty | 2005/12/14

Okay, I'll let you have this one, FIO. But it is a fine time to be telling me that perfection is unobtainable!

Reply to Frusty
Posted by: figured it out | 2005/12/14

You exist whether you like it or not.

Fulfilment is a measure of how you exist. Ideally we need to have all spheres of our lives fulfilled ot have the perfect life, but heck, who has that?

So just because one element is not complete, does that mean our lives regress to mere existence? No. It just means we're on a different step above mere existence.

The more elements are fulfilled, the higher up the ladder we are to wards to the ideal life. The ideal life is the impossible objective, it is perfection which is unattainable. So knowing we cant achieve perfection stops us from being like a crazed dog chasing its own tail that it'll never catch. So lets chase other things we can catch, chase other things that'll satisfy our needs as best as they can be satified.

Life can be fulfilling without being perfect.

Reply to figured it out
Posted by: Delene | 2005/12/14

reckon the homeless will feel more alive than the ritch boytjie with lotsa posessions.
Me & my husband see many homeless people. They seek shelter at the tavern. And they are in general very very happy people.

Reply to Delene
Posted by: ME | 2005/12/14

try this if you dare.

Ask any homeless person who has no posessions or anything that question, but be sure that person is being sincere.

answer tommorow.

Reply to ME
Posted by: ... | 2005/12/14

humans are very complex... so it's a very personal issue about whether you lived or existed... there could be someone out there who is merely existing (in another's opinion), but who in themself is perfectly content... or who is making a personal effort which is greater than another at living HIS life to the fullest........there is no unique answer to this, which applies to every person.

Reply to ...
Posted by: Delene | 2005/12/14

Oh I often say to people, stop to just exist & start LIVING!!!!!!
You can exist without living.

To be alive is such an experience. It beautiful!!!

Reply to Delene
Posted by: Frusty | 2005/12/14

I hear what you are saying, FIO, but surely a passion for life and/or whatever you do, cannot be fulfilling. We are programmed as humans to want our lives to be complete in all speres. We are a complex being made up of various layers, and surely if only one of more of those layers are not fulfilled then we are merely existing? Striving to complete ourselves is also a passion which each and every one of us attempts to do until the day we die, but that does not make us fulfilled and whole as people. Do we all remain unfulfilled until the day we no longer exist?

Reply to Frusty
Posted by: Tango | 2005/12/14

I think it also depends on what fullfills you. A bed ridden person can also feel fullfilled. A very wealthy beautiful person can be terribly unfullfilled. It very subjective. The thing that fullfills me the most is making a positive difference to people around me. If I feel I have not achieved that for a couple of days I feel I have just existed!

Reply to Tango
Posted by: ASP | 2005/12/14

Hmmm, let me try this one... LOL

First I think we need to ask ourselfs "What is a fullfilled existance ?" and " What does it mean ?" and "What is our purpose ?"

Existance is merely the fact that we are here (maybe as a human race) and I would decribe life as a unit in which we would measure our existance.

Does this even make sence?





Reply to ASP
Posted by: Pencil | 2005/12/14

I think.............(in my humble opinion...) that existing = living without happiness, dragging through each day. living = being happy, existing on a deeper level than just day to day dullness...

Reply to Pencil
Posted by: Carol | 2005/12/14

Existing is the way we live at the moment I would say , get up rush to work, stress at work , rush home make supper , watch TV sleep .... That is no life tho.

Now hopefully our move is going to change that, and we are going to start living IE taking time to look at the sky , work in the garden , go for walks , play with the dogs . Now to me THAT is life ... being able to enjoy the little things around me.

Im chatty today too .. I finish up tomorrow , MY OCPD boss can now terrorise someone else .

Reply to Carol
Posted by: figured it out | 2005/12/14

If you do not exist, you cannot have life, and vice versa. Okay, so thats on a philosophical level.

But to get to a meaning that is less specific, by life I assume you mean quality, and by existence I assume you mean just living, just being alive.

Lets say existence is the reality of being an entity in the universe, and life is the way you express your existence. So irrespective of your quality of life, you do just exist. The quality of your life determines for you whether or not the existence is worth it.

A full life means doing so many things with your life that make it worth it, but everything that contributes to your full life has a priority value. You can live a full llife by licking stamps all day, hardly fulfilling! Similarly, you can be a person in love, but have nothing else, and that can also be unfulfilling.

The key is to balance your life with things that make it full, adding to your identity, but also things that pay attention to your emotions, your needs like love, laughter, excitment etc. We need all thse things to take a life from being full to being fulfilling.

If life is not fulfilling, then is it worth it? Does that then just become mere existence. Hmmm.. probably. Thats why there are so many sad, depressed, empty people out there all looking for something.

That something is passion, because passion fires up your heart, your soul, your spirit, makes you want to wake up each day etc. Passion makes life fulfilling. And passion is not what everyone thinks it is. Its not wild sex, or wild love, or anything romantic like that. It is a love for life, which you express in the things that drive you. A computer geek is passionate, the person who gets a thrill from collecting stamps is passionate, Einstein was passionate. Passion is an expression of our souls in whatever outlet works for us, be it stamps, computers, or inventing things. And with it comes love.

Thats what turns a full life into a fulfilled life.

Reply to figured it out
Posted by: ... | 2005/12/14

lol... i responded... but I don't even think I fully understand the question!!!......... :)

Reply to ...
Posted by: Frusty | 2005/12/14

I would be interested to hear what ... , FIO and a few others have to say as well.

Reply to Frusty
Posted by: ... | 2005/12/14

if you are existing... you are living... merely existing is a choice of living your life.... we all have life... we all live it in different ways... so if your choice is merely to keep your physical life going then you are still living your life.....

Reply to ...
Posted by: ASP | 2005/12/14

Very interesting question Frusty. I would love to see what CS has to say about it.

Reply to ASP

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement