Existential Angst

Serenity in Grey

Serenity in Grey

ALONG THE SNAKE RIVER, ID—As all the assumptions you’ve made over the years about yourself start to be seen as just stories—as they start to fall away—a deep feeling of existential angst can overcome you.

What is the meaning of your life when everything is seen as temporary, where nothing is permanent, where even the “you” you thought you were is seen as an illusion?

Practically everyone goes through a period of existential angst at some point in their lives, it’s not just limited to spiritual seekers. Most go through a period of depression, “What’s the point of anything? I’m just going to die someday.” They’ll mentally suffer for a period of time, mope about for a bit, then they’ll promptly repress it and go out and find themselves a new car (or job, or spouse, or zip code).

They don’t address their angst, they just cover it up.

Fortunately, if you’ve followed this blog long enough, you know the solution:

Meaning is just an idea that exists only in your mind. Meaninglessness is also just an idea that exists only in your mind.

Both are just concepts—illusions—that exist only in your head.

The only reality is what is happening right here and right now. This moment is all there is.

From some advice I gave Michelle earlier today:

What I suggest when you are feeling the angst is basically Zen’s mindfulness or Tolle’s Now (mixed in with a little mysticism): Focus on what is around you right now. Focus on what you are doing. Anything you focus on (not mental crap), fill it with the Love/Light of Radiance and notice how this connects you with the object. Feel the intimacy with it. Feel how it becomes a part of you, much the way when you touch something, that object becomes a part of you at the point of touch.

Meaninglessness is of the MIND. Physical things are of Reality.

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2 thoughts on “Existential Angst

  1. If I may, I offer a different viewpoint upon which existential angst is sent packing. As a spiritual being we are not our body, we are essentially a nothingness in this universe of material objects, but we have infinite potential. The existential angst comes about when we have no purpose (purpose being defined as Creative Play with a high degree of interest). A person with a purpose is without existential angst. Without a purpose we sit and sit and sit, slowly approaching nothingness which starts to approximate our native state, and then cometh the existential angst. One can say “I shall sit completely still and live in every moment for the next year”. But one then completely missed out on a year of creative play and came away with nothing but flat buttocks.

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