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…