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Existentialism
starry_echoes
I found this on a website about existential depression, and it resonated so deeply with me I wanted to post it here. here's the website: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~parkx032/CY-HOPE.html


PSYCHOLOGICAL DESPAIR
EXISTENTIAL DESPAIR
1. Hopelessness of a definite situation;
impossibility of a specific task.
1. Total hopelessness;
all efforts futile.
2. Understandable cause or source
in the objective world.
2. No objective cause;
existentially disclosed from within.
3. We eventually accept the loss or
defeat; reconstruction possible.
3. Permanent hopelessness;
no reconstruction possible.
4. Independent, separate,
isolatable difficulties.
4. Pervasive, comprehensive
hopelessness.
5. We can accept the inevitable
and focus on other values.
5. We cannot overcome it,
only conceal it or embrace it.

II. TRYING TO SWIM AGAINST THE CURRENT OF DESPAIR.

Generally, we can cope with psychological despair.
When one dream fails, threatening to throw us into existential despair,
we pull back from the edge, stabilizing our boat.
If we engage ourselves once again in happy, successful activities,
we can ride over the waves on the River of Despair.

When a little existential despair leaks into the boat,
we look around for an easy explanation of why we feel bad.
We divert our attention from our Existential Malaise
—without completely noticing what we are doing,
since to bail too fast means we acknowledge a serious leak.

Our usual way of dwelling on the River of Existential Despair
denies the underlying reality, the undercurrent of despair.
Walking the deck of our boat, we might occasionally feel off-balance,
but we have not yet toppled into fathomless despair.
By concentration on interesting, practical, even successful projects,
we might ignore the despairing current beneath our feet.

The more we notice our despair, the deeper we become.
We can empathize with others in the same boat.
We no longer attempt to cheer the other passengers with optimistic small-talk.
Openly admitting the reality of our common Existential Predicament
makes us deeper, more sensitive persons of spirit.

Often it is difficult to distinguish the waves from the river.
For instance, the death of a close friend might cause us to feel hopeless
both because we could do nothing to prevent the death
and because it opens up the total hopelessness of our own doom.
Such a tragedy is good reason for depression and despair,
but if it throws us into the River of Existential Despair,
perhaps the cold water merely awakens us to our true Predicament.

If we want to obscure the comprehensive despair of our lives,
we can divide our time into many small tasks.
If we lose ourselves among the daily chores on board,
we can ignore the overall meaninglessness and hopelessness of life.
We can "live one day at a time", focusing on what we can achieve today,
leaving in obscurity our haunting awareness of ultimate hopelessness.
________(*end of quote from website)
 I feel more...connected the to nature of life, I suppose, since I have entered into the "existential river" as it is described here. But this awareness-awareness that our lives are meaningless, of my own mortality, and our ultimate aloneness (because we are separate from each other, and no matter how close we get to another person, there is still a gap between our understanding of one another)-isn't something that can be fixed with a few antidepressants and talk therapy. I don't know that I would want to "fix" it. I'm grateful to have woken up from focusing on trivial matters, I guess, but now the problem is that everything feels trivial. Nothing seems worth doing; life doesn't feel worth living. If life is short and meaningless and full of hardship and suffering, and nothing, not even our continued existence tomorrow to experience this suffering, is certain, and death is the only thing waiting at the end of it, what is the point? 

sigh...I might come back and add more to this entry later. I have some other quotes on existentialism and existential crisis I might post, too. (for my own reference; it's not like I have any friends in real life or on this site)..(or am ever going to, with depressing entries like this one)

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