Condemned To Be Free

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Leave a comment below & share with us what meaning you have given your life today.

Angst

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.[1][2][3] 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.[4]

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.[5] It is pre-cognate with the Latin angustia, “tensity, tightness” and angor, “choking, clogging”; compare to the Ancient Greek ἄγχω (ankho) “strangle”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angst

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?

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Knowing What You Want…

“We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact.”

– Jean Paul Sartre

About a week or so ago I posted some Sartre quotes & promised to share my thoughts on this famous Existentialist’s words.  The above quote has always sparked deep ideas in my mind.  Let me expand on some of my thoughts…

We are born, creatures in this existence, with endless Possibility laid out before us.  Anything & everything is Possible.  All it takes is for us to decide – to Choose what we want.  Yet the problem is we rarely know what we want.  Sure, we are told a lot of things as we grow up & experience the world around us.  Our parents, our teachers, our friends & society in general tell us all about the good life & what we should expect & want out of it.  Yet do any of these things Truly equate with what we want as Individuals?

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Sartre Quotes

“We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards.”

“We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact.”

And of course, his most famous:

“Hell is other people.”

Got me thinking today… stay tuned for my thoughts on such fancies…

Existentialism For The 21st Century

“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.

The Onset Of Spring…

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.

Thanksgiving…

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,
Blessed Be…