Feb. 15, 2019

Existential Angst of a Captive Man

From The Novelist Portent by Johnny E. Mahaffey (author's profile)


Johnny E. Mahaffey
The Novelist Portent
January 21, 2019


The very word, "anxiety (German Angst), has a ... crucial role in the work of the 20th-century German philosopher Martin Heidegger; anxiety leads to the individual's confrontation with nothingness and with the impossibility of finding ultimate justification for the choices he or she must make." (1)

We make our own present, as I've said before.

This is a view of most existentialist -- that we don't exactly have a fixed, predestined path, but instead, carve our own path out in Time with free will. The choice to succeed, or fail, can be in our hands at any given moment, and we are rarely aware of these pivotal moments while in the moment (their present). It's not until they pass, that we usually realize the significance of them. That drink taken, or not taken, the smoke left unsmoked, or the car that stayed in the driveway that night. The mate rejected, the lover jilted, tossed aside for another, or ... seen for who they really are, and pushed aside in common sense. Lots and lots of "what ifs", and we can't live a life of what ifs.

Choice is inescapable.

Just as consequences of our actions will always lie in wait; and, it is BECAUSE we choose our own path, that we must take full responsibility for the risk we did (or did not) take, for the results (or lack of), and for the punishment, or the shit that hits the fan -- the fan WE put there, started, and loaded up for the toss.

Soren Kierkegaard, wrote in his journal: "I must find a truth that is true for me ... the idea for which I can live or die."

In a potential pivotal moment, we have to pause, if we can, and weigh our choice wisely ... as it may very well shape the rest of our life, or the lives of others. To remember, it's not all about us, THAT is the hardest lesson ... with all angst aside.


1. Microsoft, Encarta, Reference Library 2002


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