Angst means fear or anxiety (anguish is its Latinate equivalent, and anxious, anxiety are of similar origin). The word angst was introduced into English from the Danish, Norwegian and Dutch word angst and the German word Angst. It is attested since the 19th century in English translations of the works of Kierkegaard and Freud. It is used in English to describe an intense feeling of apprehension, anxiety, or inner turmoil.
In German, the technical terminology of psychology and philosophy distinguishes between Angst and Furcht in that Furcht is a negative anticipation regarding a concrete threat, while Angst is a non-directional and unmotivated emotion. In common language, however, Angst is the normal word for “fear”, while Furcht is an elevated synonym.
In other languages having the meaning of the Latin word pavor for “fear”, the derived words differ in meaning, e.g. as in the French anxiété and peur. The word Angst has existed since the 8th century, from the Proto-Indo-European root*anghu-, “restraint” from which Old High German angust developed. It is pre-cognate with the Latin angustia, “tensity, tightness” and angor, “choking, clogging”; compare to the Ancient Greek ἄγχω (ankho) “strangle”.
I am one who counts myself a part of Generation X. As such, perhaps I have had a generational predisposition toward “Angst”. In so many of the cultural endeavours & thoughts of my generation – not to mention the Philosophies I studied at University – this idea of “Angst” has predominated. From the Grunge music I listened to, to the philosophical ideas of the Existentialists – this idea coursed through my final years of formal education.
So am I filled with Angst?
Do you take me as a scarecrow?
Do I not yearn to fly?
Crucified and stuffed with straw, condemned to live a lie
from Dirge For A Mutinous Philosopher
The image of a lonely Scarecrow protecting a farmer’s field is an archetype most of us can envision instantly. There they stand, lonely & protective – yet ultimately powerless. As Captain Vulpine says in his amazing song: “condemned to live a lie”
“Et bien, tuer toutes les Philosophes!”
(Well then, kill all the Philosophers!)
There was once a golden age of thought when men & women would ask those deeper & more meaningful questions. Those most important questions that seem vital to our very existence. Various discussions would follow & Individuals would share their ideas & their experiences – hoping to find Truth.
That is what it is all about in the end.
“Is our technology changing what it means to be human that much?
This is a question without a definitive answer … so far. Futurists claim we are already cyborgs (we have glasses and pacemakers and use Google instead of memorizing things) and are going to keep changing, while leading sociologists of technology like Sherry Turkle point out that this often has more in common with malnutrition than evolution: just as eating junk food will keep us alive but not make us healthy, social networking and modern media are a cheap substitute that doesn’t really fulfill our needs as human beings.
New Existentialist Eugene Taylor has suggested that trying to deliberately “advance” the human species has been tried many times before, and always failed. “
This is from a very interesting article on the subject. Well worth the read.
What are your thoughts on how technology is changing human society & the actions/thoughts of Individuals? Do you think Empathy is something we can teach, or are (as the author suggests) times of solitude also important to help humanize ourselves? Let me know your thoughts in the comment space below.
Though the snow has only recently melted, I desire to see green hills & trees. Spring is starting to arrive & with it comes the new hope for the year. While at New Years we often make resolutions, to me – it seems easier to have a sense of hope & energy to achieve your goals in the springtime. With new life budding all around us, undertaking new endeavours feels good. So dust off your list of goals & zero in on one of them. Something you want to achieve before the Summer Solstice. Something that will move you along your existential path. Something that will be fulfilling.
I have already chosen mine. I want to complete the final stages of production for my recently recorded album. That is my goal this spring.
What is your goal? What would you like to achieve before the start of summer? Leave me a comment below & inspire the rest of the world.
Until next time, Blessed Be.
Have you ever sat near a waterfall, closed your eyes and just listened. What do you see in your mind’s eye? What does the rushing water instill into your consciousness? Does the mist wash your soul as it washes your body? Have you ever felt the eyes of a sprite upon you as the power of the water rushes forth over the gorge? Have you ever stood under that torrent & exalted in the power of the water as it showered down upon you? Have you ever plunged deep into the vortex at the base of the waterfall, envelloped in the power & the primal feeling of being completely surrounded by this amazing elemental manifestation? Have you ever pondered the mysticism of the Waterfall, the Gorge & the River and how they are beautiful Symbols of our own journeys along our existential pathways?
Do you remember, in Back To The Future 2 where Marty McFly rides that hoverboard? Remember how you thought: how cool is that? And you know how you feel every time you watch a sci-fi movie & see vehicles & other mundane items hovering over the ground. I always think: man, that would be just awesome if we could develop that sort of technology.
Well guess what: We Have The Technology.
My best friend e-mailed me a link to an American company that has been developing this technology. I watched some videos & was blown away. Yes, I know this technology is in its infancy. But the mere fact that a working prototype hoverboard has been developed is amazing. And this company, Hendo, wants people to help them develop the concept further. Watch this video & see what I mean:
You can find out more on their website: Hendo Hover And if you have any comments of your own, just leave them in the handy form below.
As a westener, I do not know much about Hindu mythology or the history of India. It is a subject I have been curious about for some time. Until recently, I have never taken any opportunities to research this ancient culture. But that all changed when I heard about Dwarka. Continue reading
Now up here we celebrate Thanksgiving a month before our American Cousins – mostly because by the time November comes, so has the snow. As such, Thanksgiving for us Canuks is on Monday & it is a great time to get together with friends, family & acquaintances in order to celebrate the gratitude we all feel for what we have achieved.
What am I grateful for? My family – including my lovely wife & growing son. My health (tho, I am fighting an autumn cold at the moment). All the things I have learned thus far in this lifetime. My friends (who inspire me & keep me on the right path to my goals). And last – but not least – the opportunities I have been given to better myself & progress along my Individual Existential Path.
Thank you everyone for helping me along my way. I hope in some small way, I too have helped you along your own Individual Existential Path.
What are you grateful for? What would you like to give thanks for? Let me know using the comment section below. Or simply tell me about something you’ve learned in the past year that has allowed you to progress.
Until next time,