The Dichotomy Of Life & Our Existential Angst:
When our minds and hearts can’t put a finger on our deepest insecurities, a feeling called the existential angst is born. Unlike many of our seemingly fleeting emotions like sadness, hate and hurt, this feeling seems to linger around longer. It shows up as deep anxiety when we’re faced with uncertainty, and makes us battle our instincts and our intellect with gusto.
Arthur Schopenhauer, a philosopher, wrote, ‘Man is the only animal which causes pain to others with no other objective than causing pain… No animal ever torments another for the sake of tormenting: but man does so, and it is this which constitutes the diabolical nature which is far worse than the merely bestial’.
And that’s to say that for no apparent reason, we humans, choose to complicate our lives with purposefully inflicting suffering. One minute we’re reveling in food, entertainment and gossip, the next hour, we’re dwelling in life’s deepest mysteries, “Why are we here, what’s our purpose?” And these aha moments can even occur in the 4 boring seconds before the next Netflix recommendation starts playing.
We self-inflict ourselves with this pain of undercutting our existence and leading ourselves from our extraordinary selves into our own shadows. Even when we’re recognized for our merits and our mastery, we highlight everything else that’s wrong with our existence. We don’t necessarily “stop our minds” from ruminating all the demerits of society and its misgivings. 50,000 homes on our street are not on fire, but the one shown burning on the news channel or Twitter is enough to drive us into despair.
For those of us who become invariable seekers of the meaning of life, we can empower ourselves with the knowledge of who we truly are. We can quell the deep pain of our existential angst by understanding our strengths and our short comings.
Meditation And The Tool Of Mindfulness:
Meditation is an essential vehicle to arrive at a state of mindful existence, savoring each moment of life. To not worry about the past and be anxious of the future. To just be here and be open to possibilities in the now.
By now, you must have heard of all the benefits of practicing meditation. But just like how your body doesn’t change if you don’t hit the gym, reading and listening about meditation is just not the same as doing it. You have to experience it and be part of the transformation.
Once you keep practicing, there is no need of turn on the light on again and again. The light will always be there. Just observe that silence. This will become a force of your nature. Like the ultimate truth that is always present without ambivalence.
The internal noise that our mind generates, the actions, reactions, the muses, the worries, the anxieties, in the meditative mode you let all go. You will learn to forgive yourself and others. You will find joy in the smallest things in the world that has slowed down just for you to enjoy them.
We will continue to have many sorrows. There will be a day, when you cannot share your achievements after losing your parents; but I am talking about the joy, that something we can cultivate while living in the moment. And meditation has taught me that this moment is good. It’s just for me to hold and enjoy!
Somewhere along the way, I let the words that I heard in my childhood get away, “You can be anything you want to be.” I often hear them come back to me when I still everything else around me. My teachers have taught me to recall and hold onto the meditative state. I am also encouraged to write down how I feel after I open my eyes.
I am more attentive, more able to perceive my fellow earth dwellers’ emotions and understand that they are just like me juggling very many things on a daily basis and still striving for a singular goal of making this world a great place to live in. My heart is filled with light for everyone. And the recognition of my potential has given me a sense of purpose in life.
Let’s start our journey with the first step of reconciliation. No matter, how long we live, there will be always that soul crushing insecurity inside of us. There will be lost causes, no real answers for somethings, and at some point, we will have to stop “figuring it all out”.
But we can always use little acts of momentum to propel ourselves forwards. Some days will still be strangely pointless and mundane. But, real life is supposed to be like that and it has been like that for a long time, and because people are not able to bear the silence that’s so deafening, they are busying themselves to distraction. Is your phone numbing the pain of your existential angst? It’s time to check (that thought).
What if meditation or mindfulness is not the answer for the deep pain of existential angst? Why not let your spirit be unknown. Let the excitement of your quest be alive. And attend every party where people are gathering in groups to get quiet. Meditation does not have to be a solitary practice. Now go delve in that suspended stillness. That bliss?! It’s pure mental!