On Anxiety Part I

Sometimes ago, I asked myself various questions which none could answer. I always wondered, for once I believed that we were thrown down from the heavens. The first I asked was, who is God? I thought of every possibility, in every way I could, I imagined, but nothing came out of it. Some say he's in heaven but I thought, heaven is too large a place for just one person and then I pictured him as being very laaarge with his legs on earth, being invisible. This was all while I was little. As I grew, I learnt that he resides in our hearts. But it could not be definite anyway because he is not a human being. He is the being. He is the Omni. He is existence itself, he started being so that mere thought must be disrespectful if you're quite knowledgeable.

Hello, my beautiful esteemed readers online, most especially my expecting, I hope I haven't been resented. I had an ongoing project for a while and now I'm back. I keep learning and unlearning everyday, we all do. And as for me, I write only when I get motivated up to the point of holding a pen and when I do, I get the best results. If you are new, you may want to read on my topics of self actualization, self realization and pain.

So dear readers, here's a question for you. Have you ever questioned your existence or ever got to a point of touching infinity? 
That's what I'm here for, that courage.

So what is anxiety? 

Anxiety is a state of worry and according to Paul Tillich in his 'The Courage to Be', anxiety is the existential awareness of non-being.
Paul Tillich, in his courage to be, which I guess my blog 'readers' would have an idea of, shares solutions for this anxiety. Other solutions have also been brought to ground by other philosophers but that of Tillich really gives an unquestionable answer you see.

This is anxiety based on what the future holds. I'll not really call it a fear of the unknown because according to the theologian, fear has a definite object. This anxiety is called the 'natural anxiety'. 
There are three types of anxiety according to Paul Tillich.
>The anxiety of fate and death
>Anxiety of guilt and condemnation
>Anxiety of emptiness and meaninglessness
 I'll start with the second type of anxiety taught by the theologian.

This is the moral anxiety of guilt and condemnation. 
Have you really lived up to your ideal? 
You lack guilt when you are willing to take your life without doubt or questions. 

Back to depression now, one moment you aren't scared of death, you just want to kill yourself. You just want to be free, right? Then ask yourself this question, with a blank and soulless expression: 
Who even cares. We're really just walking meat sacks in the world with no purpose. It does not matter whether it is I who kills myself or someone does it, death is still going to reach me anyways, we'll just wait here for death to come. Everything in life is meaningless and everyone will inevitably betray you and emotions do nothing but hinder us. From now on, I am eliminating all emotions from my brain and forming no close relationships with anyone. 

Now ask yourself this question:
 But have I really lived that I wish to die. Do I feel fulfilled? Have I really lived that I wish to die? What should I expect after death? Hell? Freedom? Heaven?
This is guilt.

This brings me to the concept of stoicism. Now what is stoicism? 

Stoicism is a way of life and philosophy focused on nature, courage and wisdom.
It teaches us to focus on the things we can control, like our thoughts, emotions, and actions, while also accepting the things we cannot. 
It makes me remember the saying, 'simplicity is a virtue'.

You know, if this type of anxiety, fate and death was the only one, death would be the way out of despair. These stoics give us the courage to be confident in death but that is limited to the mortal death. Courage is the strength of mind. It's in you. God himself has not given us the spirit of fear but that of sound mind.

The stoics are more rational in their approach to courage. Courage is a virtue. You rationalize your problems and your problems are all limited to that which you can see or hear. Yes, for my Marcus, who as my blog 'readers' know, is my philosopher boyfriend. 
For him, life is a battlefield and it has to be conquered. 

So what is the highest limit that could hold one down? 

The stoics live because you first live to avoid the fear of death and the future. This limit is fear. You should be able to face your fear of fear, to fight it. To not use the word pessimistic, I'd use realistic, which the stoics are, is what makes them really interesting. It's the courage to agree with, rationalize with and acknowledge death. You do not have to be a philosopher to be stoic.

You believe in the worst. It's going to happen. If life has a meaning then death does but that is when we fight. For the stoics, life is a death process and we are all waiting for death.
This is why Tillich now goes further, beyond the stoics and adds theological matters, a purpose - a light - a solution to anxiety. 

So what's the true meaning of life if you just sit around waiting for your world to end?

If you do not know the meaning of death, how'd you know the meaning of life? This is where the stoic theory ends. Death is the end and how you do so matters.

Even the solution of salvation which Spinoza put forward was rejected because the stoics saw this as resignation. Self affirmation and acceptance was resignation to fate.

According to Tillich, the anxiety of fate is conquered by the self-affirmation of the individual as an infinitely significant micro-cosmic representation of the universe. 

He believes that without the world, he does not stand alone because he is aware and believes that the world itself is in him because he is human. The world goes but he is eternal.

Life is meaningless without our passions. How do you fill the void in you? Wholehearted living, that is, living 'in spite of', having the courage to be by becoming eternal. And this brings me to the concept of authenticity.

Authenticity means totality. When you live wholehearted, you possess the courage to be vulnerable. This is a state of being someone who can be responsible for who you are. It is showing up and owning your story wholeheartedly, being the reason for both good and bad which befalls you. It is acknowledging that guilt, that shame, and owning it, taking responsibility, approaching the worst that could come. It is writing your own story and not living based solely on what others say and think. It's living for oneself and not walking on eggshells to save one's reputation. It's not turning fifty and saying because I'm fifty, I cannot read fairy tales anymore, I'm too old for that.
Find a cause to live for, it's a sort of integrity to the self. It is knowing who you are and owning it. It's like doing your best job, knowing what works best for you and going for it wholeheartedly. The moral goal is purpose for oneself.
For the 'existentialists', it is freedom. I can expantiate on that when next I meet you, soon.

Back to the anxiety of emptiness and meaninglessness, I'll also mention the concept of depression,

So what is DEPRESSION?

It is a state of mind whereby one feels powerless. It is a state of meaninglessness. It is an inner conflict between you and your whole essence. It is a state of internal crisis. 
In short, 
the road to depression is anxiety.

Your worth not in any of your material possessions. You determine your own worth by living up to your ideals and being who you really are regardless, in spite of. You do not have to become something less to be who you really are. These possessions will not solve your problems of existential dread. I've told you about this in my topic of pain.

According to Tillich, you do not fear what you have no idea about so this anxiety isn't fear but expectation. This anxiety is also not about the things outside of you.

Anyone who does not see the vanity of the world is very vain himself. So who does not see it, apart from young people whose lives are all noise, diversions and thoughts for the future? But take away their diversion and you will see them bored to extinction. They will feel their nullity without recognizing it, for nothing could be more wretched than to be intolerably depressed as soon as one is reduced to introspection with no means of diversion.
- Blaise Pascal

The world could block you from fulfilling your life purpose. And what is the world? Knowledge of the world which leads to bigotry, fascism and all sorts of stoic attitudes. 
In all this, 
when you love one, you hate the other. 
And is that really wholehearted living? Is it?
It's also the same as sacrificing oneself to find meaning. You do not have to sacrifice your forever to feel fulfilled. 
And because you live, you must act. It's Tillich's meaning of participant - The courage to be as a part. It's the we-self. It's being assigned to a group or society or club, anything that has to do with being a part of.

We all need to find connection, don't we? 
We self-affirm by being part of a collective, for example, love and friendship, wanting to be identified. How will you be identified if you're like everybody else? But now my question now is why don't we stick to being ourselves while finding connections, just in order to find the truest connections? Or later, one might change and the other would leave. 
This regret you feel when don't feel fulfilled is this guilt and condemnation. Condemnation has to be the question of what will be the end of me if I don't live like I'm supposed to, even after death. 

You are empty without engaging in self-affirmation. This self affirmation is not selfish. Without the self, the world would not be this world. When you live life tendering to your worldly needs, getting worried about how you'll survive, what you'll eat, drink, isn't all that enough for one to fall into depression? 

But when you live just like the number zero, stress free, hopeful with faith, (partly) just like a stoic, doesn't that make a difference? You feel light, powerful, eternal. The body ends here but the soul lives in a state of immortality as Socrates teaches in his 'Dialogue'.

In terms of meaninglessness, we are all gifted. I've written about self-actualization and self-realization. We make meaning for ourselves. Living is not engaging in repression of any sort. Life would be meangingless without our passions.
The opposite of depression is purpose. If you're alone, without any form of connection, you'd think of your life, death and hell, all leading to depression.

Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.
- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

In the little moments you feel this joy, you know that it's in you and you're taking it beyond here. That is Tillich's courage. You know you are worth it. You meditate and you feel it. You feel yourself levitating. You promote true Christian values such as charity, mercy, pity, honesty, unselfishness, love and you feel it. You get creative and you feel it. In essence, you do not have to face or fight death to live. You just have to know. It's the courage to know. According to Aristotle, true courage is knowledge. 


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