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March 9, 2006

Feeling Infinite

Infinite: A Collage
By: Christine Schmitt
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Infinite: A Song
Written and Performed By:
Jessica Steinbauer
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Many believe that feeling infinite is a quintessential part of growing up. In the Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie feels infinite when he connects with his first real friends. Why do you believe the feeling of belongingness has to power to create such strong emotions? Have you ever felt infinite? How so? DId it have any major impact on defining you as a person?

Posted by at March 9, 2006 1:19 PM | The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Comments

I think each of us experiences the feeling of being infinite and a belonging to a larger spiritual collective at one point in our adolescence. It's like realizing for the first time that we are not the center of our universe, but are a participants in moments of being. Those moments or realizations engage us so powerfully, often triggering deep emotional response. One of my first memories of this was looking at the stars on a clear summer night, high a hillside farm in mid-Wisconsin. Notions of place and space have converged since - changing perspective, impacting my view of the world as a small but important agent of change.

Posted by: Mary F. Wright at March 9, 2006 3:50 PM

I believe that each and everyone one of us feels infinite at some point in life. Sometimes people grow out of it, or come to a realization, while others don't. I know I use to feel infinite when I was in elementary school, when everything seemed to be "perfect." I felt this way until I lost my Nana. All of a sudden my world was no longer perfect. I think that the same basic idea happens to Charlie. He feels infinite when he starts making friends and haning out with the same crowd time and time again. They make him feel wanted, needed, and loved. Up until the point where they all steer away from Charlie, everything seems to be "perfect" After Charlie spends a little time away from his friends, I think he comes to realize that life is not always perfect and that many obstacles are thrown at us daily to make us and shape us into the people we are suppose to become. With out these obstacles and with out feeling infinite, life would probably be a lot more simple, which in a sense would be nice, but boring.

Posted by: Ashley Haines at March 22, 2006 12:13 PM

I feel that we all have our own personal moments of feeling infinite and maybe even our own definitions of it. For Charlie, his moment of feeling infinite happened when he had developed new friendships. He felt that these people cared about him. When you feel like you belong whether with your family or friends, it's an unexplainable feeling. That's maybe why Charlie explained it as "feeling infinite." Your friends did help in defining who I am and have had a large impact in my life. They are there for you in good and bad times.

Posted by: Dorie Craker at March 22, 2006 5:28 PM

I think that each of us at some point or another feel infinite in our lives. I think feeling this sense of insecurity and alone does play a rold in molding who we become. I think that feeling out of place in life for a short period of our lives only helps us to beome stronger, more independent individuals. Of course we all want to feel like we belong to somone or something and I'm sure most of us do. These people and things we belong to also mold us into who we are becoming. They give us a sense of worth and the emotion that comes along with each of them can be both painful and joyful, just like Charlie's scenarios in this book. There are many things in this world that define who we are, but we have to be happy with ourselves and the individuals we are before we can share with others.

Posted by: Ashley Baker at March 22, 2006 9:14 PM

I guess I wouldn’t say the feeling of belongingness creates strong emotions; I believe it is more of interaction with others that really creates strong emotions. It is possible that you may feel intensely the opposite depending upon the interaction you have with people, the feeling of not belong and create equally strong emotions. I believe in Charlie’s case that this is the first time he has really experienced friendship, maybe ever, but as strong as this. He, Patrick, and Sam share a bond that Charlie has never had, even in his family. The first time you experience anything of this magnitude (first real friendship, first love, etcetera) it creates strong emotional ties to those people.

There have been a few times, mostly since I came to UMD that I felt infinite. It happens mostly when I am alone; I often find myself reflecting on life and my place in this world and I realize how much there really is going on and my impact.
Another time I was doing the same thing, but talking to a good friend about myself and how I have changed and how much there is out there for me in the world. I often find myself wanting a piece of everything, even though I know it isn’t possible. The self-reflections help me understand the person I was, the person I am and the person I want to become. Knowing myself keeps me grounded, and opens me to new experiences to help me become the person I want to be.

Posted by: Kristin Wahlund at March 23, 2006 11:56 AM

I agree with the others that at some point in ones life they feel infinite. It may be something so simple such as listening to a great song and connecting with it. It may be when you are with someone that you really love and feeling on the same level with them. When Charlie feels infinite when he connects with his friends shows that he has finally found a true happiness. He has never had that before. Someone with a lot of friends would take that for granted, but not Charlie. He feels happy to have a couple close friends. I think that feeling infinite is something that everyone should experience. I think that it feels like true perfection, soemthing that no one can take away.

Posted by: Kristin Bochler at March 23, 2006 12:36 PM

I think that the feeling of belongingness has the power to create strong emotions for may different reasons. However, I think that the emotions people expereience are different for everybody, depending on the person and the situation. For instance, if you are part of a group of friends, you have your spot in the group and feel needed to make it "complete". IF you are on a sports team, you feel needed because your team members and coach praise and complement you for your good work. I think we are built to need and want to feel the sense of belongingness; therefore, when we feel needed we naturally experience strong emotions.

I have felt infinite when talking with a close friend and feeling as though she knew/understood me better than I do. I also felt infinite many times while I driving by myself and listen to a great song. Those are the times I can clear my head and think about what I want out of life or anything that has been on my mind.

I don't feel that these times infinite times in my life have defined me as a person. However,I do think these infinite moments have influenced me to never take life for granted because I take these moments are very special to me.

Posted by: Anne Jarrett at March 23, 2006 1:03 PM

I think that the feeling of belongingness has the power to create strong emotions for may different reasons. However, I think that the emotions people expereience are different for everybody, depending on the person and the situation. For instance, if you are part of a group of friends, you have your spot in the group and feel needed to make it "complete". IF you are on a sports team, you feel needed because your team members and coach praise and complement you for your good work. I think we are built to need and want to feel the sense of belongingness; therefore, when we feel needed we naturally experience strong emotions.

I have felt infinite when talking with a close friend and feeling as though she knew/understood me better than I do. I also felt infinite many times while I driving by myself and listen to a great song. Those are the times I can clear my head and think about what I want out of life or anything that has been on my mind.

I don't feel that these times infinite times in my life have defined me as a person. However,I do think these infinite moments have influenced me to never take life for granted because I take these moments are very special to me.

Posted by: Anne Jarrett at March 23, 2006 1:04 PM

Belonging is what adolescents want most, whether it is at school with their friends or at home with family. They will go to extreme lengths to find a sense of this. Strong emotions arise in the search for belongingess as well as once it has been attained. People of all ages will go to great lengths to fit in. They may change themselves to do this or they may have to search for a long time to find people with whom they feel they belong. After such a struggle, it is a wonderful feeling to feel like you belong. The body finally feels safe and comfortable and so it lets go of everything that's been held up inside. This usually comes out in an outburst of overwhelming emotions, sometimes feelings of infinity.
I feel infinite when I am with my family. I know they will accept me no matter what and love me unconditionally. This is an amazing feeling and it makes me feel like I can do anything I set my mind on. Their love and support has definitely shaped me to be the person I am today.

Posted by: Jessica Engle at March 23, 2006 1:44 PM

I don't think that feeling infinite has to always be about feeling like you belong to friends or even people at all, even though in Charlie's case it did. I could say my moments of feeling infinite had to do with feeling like I was really living and that I 'belong' to this world in which we live in. The feeling of being infinite, I believe, may be brought on by the relationship/s you have with a person/people but I think the feeling is an independent one. It makes you, as an individual, feel great. I think that the times when you feel infinite are the times when you are really "IN IT" (quoting from Garden State). It happens when everything in your life seems okay, and you are just there, living in the present. And everything is really up to you. And you can do anything you want. Because you are a part of this world.

An experience like this keeps popping up in my mind. It happened almost a year ago when I was studying abroad in Sweden, so it was fairly recent. I was sitting at a bus stop waiting for the bus- a normal everyday thing. I was bored sitting there and had been staring across the street. Then I realized what I was looking at- A red traditional Swedish house with a white picket fence. I was overcome with... something. I was overcome with this new realization that I am in Sweden... and it was OK. I mean it wasn't a big deal anymore. It's just me, sitting in Sweden, waiting for a bus. Like everyone else. Just trying to LIVE. I understood that you can move to a place with unknown things and people and still LIVE. Once you get settled it's like everything is just... regular again.

I think that feeling infinite also comes along at the times when you feel most comfortable. Like me, feeling comfortable in Sweden, Charlie feels comfortable with his friends. Charlie isn't used to feeling comfortable with friends (since he hasn't had many) but when he does, he feels great. And me, I usually don't feel comfortable when I am in places that aren't familiar, and that's why being in Sweden and feeling so normal was such a great feeling. I think this is why people have such different experiences of feeling infinite.

Posted by: Amanda Davey at March 26, 2006 11:57 PM

I think that we feel infinite when we "belong" because we feel accepted and are allowed to be ourselves. People who feel infinite are confident and know who they truly are. Sometimes I feel as though people let little insecurities or bad experiences get in the way of being their true self around others. Sometimes it is appropriate to be shy or reserved, but you should never really hide who you are. In Charlie's case, he has had some bad experiences, and has certain insecurities about himself. If a person can work past these instances or insecurities, you can show your true self and may enjoy the wonderful experiences or people that come into your life. I feel bad for people who feel insecure and do not feel infinite. I think that being infinite is being unique. Uniqueness is what creates such an interesting life! I hope that people can find their true self and enjoy life along with me and others. I know this is not easy for some people, so that is why it is important for infinite people to open up to others and spread the great enjoment of life to others!

Posted by: Beth Sorensen at March 27, 2006 5:19 PM

I have felt infinite in the same setting as Charlie did. When I was with my friends and we were all happy I felt infinite. I believe that feeling infinite means you are truely happy nothing can break you down. What exactly it takes to get to this happy state may change from person to person however when you do feel infinite it is the greatest feeling in the world!

Posted by: Molly Reppe at April 28, 2006 1:39 PM

Feeling loved or wanted by another individual brings out the strongest positive emotions possible. Charlie must be so excited that he has people around him that are interested in him considering he has not really talked to many people at school. I have felt infinite before, I don't really want to talk about it though. Sorry class.

Posted by: Brandon Tuttle at April 30, 2006 2:44 PM

Sometimes, being shy may be good to some people. But I also believe that one should know how to be confident in any situation. We don't need to be reserved all the time. We should express our feelings, ideas, and our true self to others.

Knowing how to be confident in any situation is advantageous. It can always be useful during times when you need to open up, speak up, or express yourself.

Posted by: How to be Confident at September 5, 2007 2:25 PM

unbound
limitless
free and absolutly complete with the feeling that is inexplicable
"Welcome to Infinity"

you know the feeling and its not just from this book it is around all the time its burned in your memories and its different for everybody
the tweaks that make humans great
greatest feeling one can ever experience and if you have friends that understand and talk about it in the loft with glass walls from midnight to dawn then you have got it.
purest form of perfection we can reach

Posted by: Lenny Carlucci at May 1, 2008 9:34 PM

i love this question and this discussion about feeling infinite. meditation and conscious connection has the ability to take you beyond an egoic experienced of this feeing to the real deal, and it's the connection to the love that you are... to all that is.

Posted by: life coach lori at November 21, 2010 2:57 PM

Hmmmm - I'm not sure if we are the center?

Posted by: Life Coaching Resource at March 18, 2011 1:13 PM

First of all I would like you to know that I am NOT a Chivas fan but i don't hate them. I have no problem with them,unless they are playing against Pumas, and I even prefer them better than I do America.=]] But Sanchez won't pick all of these Chivas players. It's too much. I think he will pick Carlos Salcido,Gonzalo Pineda, and maybe Omar Bravo. I'm not too sure on Omar because of his performance in the World Cup. It wasn't what I thought it would be.Araujo is simply too young and doesn't have enough experience in La Seleccion Mexicana. Alberto Medina also had a good chance of being called up, he is going through a great moment right now. Morales might be called up but he is getting kind of old. Bofo won't be called up because he spends most of his time on the floor whining instead of playing. Maza also has a good chance of being called up.I think that it is a good idea that Chivas will be the base of the team because they are ranked 23 in the world according to FIFA.

Posted by: Edmundo Pfotenhauer at April 14, 2011 8:36 AM