What is Existential Angst? And why are some more prone to it than others? (NO GLIB ANSWERS...EXPOUND!)?

PLEASE NO SMART-@SS ANSWERS. BE REAL...TRY AT LEAST.

Is existential angst self-obsession or legitimate angst? Is it feeling sorry for oneself or questioning the status quo of life and looking for more meaning? Why are some people more prone to it than others who don't seemed worried/in wonder of their role or destiny in life at all?

And then, if you get that far. How does one get out of it? Move past worrying about destiny and being and then to the next step of living with that awareness?

Update:

I am loving these answers!! Thank you all thus far...especially the ones that really thought about it and went off!! I am getting a little clearer from some of the comments already but will keep it open just a bit longer to see what else pops up!

thanks! Good thinking folks!

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Existential angst is the anxiety of the possibly meaninglessness of existence. Is it legitimate or self-obsessive? I would have to say that depends on the degree to which it is taken. Some questioning of meaning and tradition is a good thing, but a person who suffers because the meaning of life is not spelled out in the sky in large golden letters is taking it too far. If one uses it as a legitimate platform to question the assumptions and existence of their life, I would take it as a positive thing. If instead of using their existential angst to rebuild a stronger self with a more defensible outlook on life, they wallow in self-pity and depression, they are probably approaching the issue from the wrong angle. Whether somebody experiences existential angst or not, and the degree to which they experience it depends largely on the experiences they have encountered in life. I believe that somebody who lives comfortably, never hears any challenges to their worldview, nevers hears any contrary opinions, and never has any experience causing them to question their assumptions would not be too likely to have existential angst. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you look at it a different way) this is very rare. Almost everybody at some point in their life encounters a problem which their personal philosophy has trouble resolving. I think that people not feeling existential angst are probably those on opposite ends of the spectrum: they have either never been exposed to the "real" world and have never wondered about their prupose, or they have thought about the issue extensively and resolved it to their satisfaction. How to get out of existential angst? There are a lot of answers. I think Heidegger would say to become an authentic self - do that which is true your self. Nietzsche would say to live your life aesthetically, not worrying about tradition, but instead seeing your life as an artwork. Buddhism says to recognize that the idea of a self separated from the world and others is a dangerous illusion, an illusion which causes existential angst. Me personally, not that i have resolved the meaning of my own existence, I would say to find a community which shares your values and interests because humans get personal value from social interaction and meaning from tradition. Also to recognize that having a meaning prescribed to you (as most people seem to want) is actually a worse option than choosing your own meaning. Every moment that you spend worrying about your existence is one less moment to be enjoying that existence, so act.

    UPDATE: i was a little sloppy with my heidegger answer, he would say to be authentic, which to him means being in the world and caring for the world.

    Source(s): philosophy classes
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    • nomad76506 years agoReport

      and like a game character, I grow, I can become special / level up. And have fun doing things again and again, can be boring to some but happy to some, and like some games, characters die. That's it. :) The question is did I enjoyed playing the game? oh yeah!

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  • radel
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Existential Angst

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  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    What is Existential Angst? And why are some more prone to it than others? (NO GLIB ANSWERS...EXPOUND!)?

    PLEASE NO SMART-@SS ANSWERS. BE REAL...TRY AT LEAST.

    Is existential angst self-obsession or legitimate angst? Is it feeling sorry for oneself or questioning the status quo of life and looking for more meaning? Why are some people more prone to it than others who don't seemed worried/in...

    Source(s): existential angst prone glib answers expound: https://tinyurl.im/e/what-is-existential-angst-and...
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Certainly there exists a full spectrum of responses to the curiosty of life's meaning. On one end of that spectrum could be Existential, ie life has no meaning. It simply is because you perceive it to be; If there is a meaning to life, it too, existentially, must exist only because you percieve it. To ponder the order of existence or your place in it is simply recreational. Just like solving sudokus, some people enjoy the pondering more than others. (This does not include those whose intellect simply precludes philosophical ponderings.) While not familiar with the term Existential Angst, I presume it is both legitamate and obsessive in your case. Legitimate because it is unavoidable, and obsessive because you percieve it to be.

    I would not say "get out of it"! Explore the curiosity of life's mission or lack thereof.... fearlessly. Accept that you can never know, and pursue the best course.

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  • 3 years ago

    Existential Dread

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  • 1 decade ago

    We are accustomed to experiencing purpose in our lives. Everything around us has a purpose. The oven, chair, clock, computer, house, phone, and even the animals seems to serve each others purpose in the balance of life. But what about us, and our purpose? Within the span of a 70-80 year old life, at some point, there is a question asked about self purpose. For some that question looms for their whole life. For others, this craving is satisfied.

    Is this feeling legitimate? If I were to say “No” then that would imply a lack of hope. If you have hope for eternal truth then the desire to search it out will never leave. So instead of the pain in angst, consider the hope of truth and the resolution between yourself and that truth.

    Now your last question is actually a VERY good one. Because it implies that you recognize the responsibility of knowing the truth. Once you have found the truth you must live with your relationship to that truth. If your life is not in harmony with the truth then YOU must be the one to change, as the truth will not. So perhaps the first step in the journey is, understanding that you must be willing to change. Once the pain of change has occurred however, the world is discovered again, as if you are looking through a new window of beliefs. The experience is not terrifying but liberating.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I guess, when you start doubting the value of your existence in this world, and it seems pointless to go on, then you are experimenting Existential Angst. People with poor self esteem are more prone to suffer from it, since they are getting the wrong feed back from within. How you get out of it? Be kind to others, and every time you see gratitude or love in their eyes you will know how important YOU are, because you have made a difference in their lives.

    Source(s): personal opinion
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  • 6 years ago

    Seems that everyone comes to a point of existential realization/evaluation of where one realistically IS as relating to the issues that are truly dearest and closest to the 'real me'. It is a moment of angst for me as I recognize my irresponsibility in helping to form the matters most dear to me as being less that I wanted them to be. It is angst to me for I cannot reprint that picture or replace it with the vision I held at my beginning. Best I can tell, it seems closer to self pity at that moment because the only thing unchanged in this moment of angst (compared to my last moment of angst) is the vision of expectation that I hold. And my angst is that I have performed no better since the last moment resulting in the reality being further from the vision.

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  • 6 years ago

    It is quite difficult to describe. It is, I would say, in the category of the Ineffable ; perhaps, and perhaps only, because it has not been sufficiently studied. I am a sturdy believer in God. In spite of This, believers are more prone than others to undergo profound, and even cataclysmic bouts of unbelief. Faith, of course, always wins out - in the end. But will you endure the test ? Blaise Pascal, a great physicist, and inventor

    of the calculator in the 17th Century ( if I'm not mistaken ) in his book of recollections " Pensees " ( Thoughts ) writes this : ' Man is the only ever-moving creature which craves intensely for a place where he can halt and say - this place is mine. Yet, when he seems to have found the spot, and tranquil sit back to relax...the ground opens up beneath him and he is thrown irremmisibly into the void. ' Pascal left Mathematics for religion - or better said, spirituality - and was, by Nature one of the Great Mystics.

    I myself am about to turn 65, my health is better than what could be expected ( physical and mental )

    though the course of life has subjected both to the relentless breaking of huge waves on rock within a quite treacherous harbor. I, like St. Paul, have enjoyed having everything, and also been exposed to having nearly nothing of things we consider basic to life.

    Yet I now know in my flesh, the partial end of my existence - my physical death - is not that very very far off. At best 25 years ? Al ready some of my faculties are wearing slowly off. Memory, eyesight, sexual power, possessions, true and meaningful relationships I now have to contemplate in a much wiser way, and they're non too easy to find. The main things - or Values - that gave meaning to my life..i.e.: the quests for Justice, Freedom, Equality ( that is, the Main Courses that give our lives direction ) haven't truly and really changed much for the better since I was a teen.

    I will share a comparison : each REAL courageous man who's ever lived will tell you - Courage is not the absence of fear, that would be temerity ( a fool's choice ), true courage is to not be paralyzed by the obvious need to fear, and act in spite of it resolutely and effectively.

    So, though I believe in God, from whom I came, and to Whom I'll return after my demise, I do fear death ;

    do fear the cancellations of my natural, God-given strengths, virtues and potencies.

    And I do believe this is why, when the sun goes down ( more or less ) I have bouts not only with existential angst, but also with existential dread.

    My solutions ? Simple. They follow what's been taught. Pray. Pray. Pray. Understand your situation. The Oracle at Delphi said to Socrates, " Know Yourself " That way out of ignorance is also the one fabulous cure. Seek to know what you are going through. Understand it. Pray some more. And stay the course. Like when we're teens - I am a boomer, and was a flower-child, a hippie...we thought we were on the verge of returning to Paradise. But then, the walls came tumbling down around us, and even then, for us romantics, the romantic music changed, now saying : " I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden..." So, conclusion - existential angst IS and exists...and it will most likely hit you like a ton of bricks at a given moment...and Yet, Yes, yet...you can and should get the upper hand of it. It is going tobe one of your very last trials and tribulations.

    Joe

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  • 1 decade ago

    I have no idea what existential angst is, but if you're wondering about the meaning of life, get yourself "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. I'm reading it right now, a good study book on what life is all about.

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