Is it acceptable to live a passive life? | INFJ Forum

Is it acceptable to live a passive life?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Gaze, Jul 10, 2014.

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  1. Gaze

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    Our world moves at the speed of life, and most everyone is judged by how quickly they are able to fit into the new fast paced dynamic and busy-ness associated with the modern "productive" ethic of the world. As a result, it seems people are given the message that it's not ok to live a quiet or passive life. You must be doing something, somewhere outside, almost at all times to be "seen" as living or developing or growing. Our world seems less receptive or supportive of anyone's right to be passive. People who live a passive life are considered lazy and unproductive. The belief is you should be doing something and you must be seen doing it is also a related phenomenon.

    So, what do you think of this trend in shunning passive living in today's world? Good or bad?
     
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  2. Switchgirl

    Switchgirl ON and OFF mode

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    Hmmm, well we're all different. I don't believe it's right to judge others if they choose to live a passive life.

    The term "passive life" in itself is a bit general.. There are plenty of monks living what society may consider a "passive life" but it is a life full of soul-enriching fulfilment. On the other hand, there are individuals whom exhibit depressive tendencies. Their passive life may consist of them laying in bed all day without motivation to do anything. People tend to correlate it with laziness, which is why it is viewed so negatively.

    Personally, I think a lot of people would benefit by taking a bit more time to relax in life. I think a lot of us work much more than necessary. While on their death bed, does one really want to look back on their entire life and regret how the amount of time they spent doing work they hated? (This depends on the type of profession, of course). It's your live, and you've only got one. Use it wisely~ :)
     
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    #2 Switchgirl, Jul 10, 2014
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  3. sassafras

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    Some people are naturally go-getting and ambitious. Others are naturally peaceful and content with little. I think a lot of misery in this world comes from struggling with what you want versus what you think you should want. Life is too short to live it for other people. When you come to the end, you realize that all your experiences, all your memories, all your moments of happiness and sadness and stress and peace all are things that belong to you. Regrets happen to everyone, but at the end of the day, I think most people would be more satisfied in living an authentic life.

    That being said, there's a difference between living a low-key lifestyle and living a stagnate, lazy life. As long as you're taking responsibility for yourself and occasionally pushing your boundaries in order to learn and grow, there's absolutely nothing wrong with not attempting to be a superhuman go-getter.
     
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  4. ThomasJ79

    ThomasJ79 Pondering

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    I think it depends. I used to be much more focused on getting things done, but I have found that I much more value things like living in the moment, contemplating, solving problems, etc. The thing is that once you are aware that you are being swept up into the whole 24/7 mentality, you can do little things to counter it and then choose to be proactive when you want to or find it necessary. Many people aren't aware that they would be much less stressed if they learned to control their level of assertiveness and learn to say no more often to people. Saying: "No, I'm too busy right now, but if I have time later I will" has been very useful in controlling the stress I was absorbing in my life.

    With that said, there are people that prefer to live that fast paced life style. What I see when I look around are people that are overstimulated, overworked, and overstressed, but many of these people wouldn't describe their experience like that. Not only that, but they will criticize you for not being like them. Taking time to solve a problem or complete a task may get you to be judged as slow or incompetent. But oh well to those people. I think they're missing out, but that is my own subjectivity.
     
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  5. Cornerstone

    Cornerstone Well-known member

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    I think you have to be passive to most things. It's impossible not to be.
    There's no right and wrong about that...just too much shit going on/down.
    I know people who have been through a lot and have come full circle.
    For them, if they have closure, desiring as much leisure as possible is understandable.
    If one is avoiding their personal struggle or preventing it from unfolding by way of constant self-distraction, it is still their choice, but they have no-one but themselves to blame if there is always a lingering emptiness inside.
     
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  6. LucyJr

    LucyJr Well-known member

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    I don't think passivity is good. We can take this word in a broader sense to mean a passivity toward life in general, not just with respect to action, which usualy leads to depression.
    Aristotle made the distinction between active life and contemplative life. He said both these kind of lifes have their advantages and particularities. On the one hand, a active life is good for the development of virtues and happiness as the goal, because virtues are habits of actions, thus in one sense, it is very true that without action one can not be a virtuous person, and therefore he can not be happy, because virtues leads to happiness.

    On the other hand, Aristotle argued in favor of contemplative life as a prim mean, and secondly a life of activity, but in the shaddow of the contemplative life.
    But very few people are able to live and enjoy a contemplative life. The only ones that naturaly enjoy contemplation are INTJs and INFJs, because they have Introverted Intuition, which to Aristotle meant "contemplative intelligence", and he defined as the highest form of intelligence.(I know, controversy time, but this is what Aristotle argued).

    Aristotle (who was a INTJ), said that contemplation is a activity of reason, found not in action, but in reason itself, and pleasurable in itself, not for something else outside of it. As a INFJ, I can testify this is true: the best moments I had was when in quiet contemplation, when I would just think contemplatively at something, or anything, with a very authentic feeling of satisfaction and joy inside myself. Of course, this doesn't happen all the time, but very rarely, when I don't have any "wordly" worry, and I can peacefuly contemplate.
    I am not talking about beng "dreamy" or "dreaminess" here. That is different from contemplation, very very different.


    So if we take passivity to mean contemplation, then yes, there can not be anything bad in it. After all, isn't this what a philosopher does, he quietly contemplates and observes anything, enjoying that he discover things which few people know? Knowledge is the treasure of the philosopher.
    But still, even a life of contemplation only, without action, is not good, as Aristotle warned. This is because the development of virtues are to be found in the habits of action, and virtues lead to happiness, conform to Aristotle. Because virtues are paths to which morality is expressed, and morality is just action, in one sense.
     
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  7. Faye

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    I think the speed of life in our culture is the biggest problem, if not the only real problem, that we face. We move too fast, try to do too much, and heap expectations on people- all without really considering the ramifications of living such a busy life.

    I think that it is largely a result of materialistic consumerism. To make people good consumers, you have to get them all wrapped up in their own ego. A busy life usually involves spending a large amount of money. There is not much you can do for free anymore.

    Also, a lot of people make themselves overly busy on purpose as a means to stave off depression. Many people are just miserable and want others to be as miserable as they are. It gives them confirmation that there is nothing wrong with their lives when they see others making the same decisions.
     
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  8. LucyJr

    LucyJr Well-known member

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    This question I think can be relatively answerd to each cognitive type.

    For example, ESTJs, ENTJs and ISTJs are pretty much hard Te users (INTJs could be also, but they are more contemplative usualy), and Te means concerted action. Not just mindless action, but action done from deliberate choice, with the end of choice being a specific purpose, done according trough some specific means, that are ultimately the principle of action itself. To a Te user, action is like some kind of logic. They see the principles of action in very complex ways, done for very complex purposes. Moreover, usualy Te users, especially ESTJ and ISTJ can become virtuous people, and many of them really do develop habits of virtues, like generosity, courage, kindness. They have what Aristotle called "practical wisdom", or "prudence" which is intrinsically tied to virtue.

    And practical wisdom is very important, because "A sign of this is that we call men prudent in a particular matter when they can rightly conclude what is useful for a determined good end in things that do not belong to art. Therefore, a man will be absolutely prudent who gives advice about the whole of life." (Aristotle, Ethics 6, Prudence)

    That's why, it can be said with a certain truthiness, that Te users, like ESTJs and ISTJs, or sometimes ENTJs and INTJs, have this habit of prudence naturaly in them, and prudence or practical wisdom is always concerned with purposeful action toward the end of human good.

    So again, it can be said that purposeful action leads to human goods, for the happiness of people, of oneself and of friends.
     
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  9. rachelbaker99

    rachelbaker99 Regular Poster

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    I think all that matters is that you are doing things for your own reasons and not anyone else's.
     
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  10. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    it's all relative really, one person's active life is another's passive, one moment in your life will be more engaging than another. i believe downtimes are natural, not to be compulsively filled with activity. unless that's what you want, then by all means, do it.
     
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  11. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    I think people don't know what they're doing. They get acclimated.

    Ever been rollerskating for hours, and then you stop, take the skates off, and your balance feels all weird for a couple minutes? Or been on a boat for a long time, then when you're off the boat you have to get your land legs back?

    It's like that. It's hard to know what you're in after you get used to it. You just keep going and won't notice except by contrast. So they really think they should be doing something and can't see why they shouldn't, because that's what people always do.
     
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  12. muir

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    I'm a believer in 'degrowth' (decroissance): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrowth

    I think humanity needs to slow down and chill out

    I think we'll see an increase in 'off grid' living and 'permaculture' and 'localism' as we see people pushing back against the hectic march towards something called 'progress' and i'm trying to move in that direction myself to try and live a simpler life based around the seasons and the land

    I think people are also realising the importance of community and of doing things that bring you into the moment

    It's like we learned things over thousands of years and then forgot them in the space of about 100 years and now we are having to learn them again
     
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  13. ruji

    ruji Well-known member

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    Another way of looking at this is, you are getting old. Imagine how this aspect will effect important things like employment.
     
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  14. ruji

    ruji Well-known member

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    We're orbiting around these corporate black holes, faster and faster. We need employment, and we are pretty much subjected to slavery under those who suck in all the planet's resources/money/power.
     
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  15. the

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    Acceptable to whom? And how passive are we talking?
     
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  16. OP
    Gaze

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    explain?
     
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  17. OP
    Gaze

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    societal acceptance and low visible productivity, fast paced movement of the world, anything opposed to frenetic pace of constant activity.
     
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  18. ruji

    ruji Well-known member

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    Older people are less employable, but the reason in this particular context is they are too rigid to adapt.
     
  19. La Sagna

    La Sagna Trying to become a butterfly

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    Wow, really? How old are we talking about? This is not my observation of the people I have dealt with.
     
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  20. OP
    Gaze

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    The other thing which came to mind when I was considering this issue, is the tendency to see anyone who is not "producing" as a burden on society. although we say we value everyone's right to live the life they choose, we still place an inordinate amount of pressure on anyone who is not working for a living or example, or we place their value as lower than everyone else if they are not doing more to be more ambitious or earn the respect of peers by engaging in social activity, for example. we also value visible work, meaning if no one sees you doing it, it didn't happen. So, although someone made the point that contemplation is an form of activity which is respected in the life long devotion of priests or nuns, it is considered a sign of inactivity, and non-work. In other words, our world values physical activity more in some sense because it's something we can see people doing. If we don't them performing the activity, we sometimes assume they are being productive. So, even if their is activity, if it's not visible activity, we see it almost as less valid as work.
     
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    #20 Gaze, Jul 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
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