What is existentialism and what is an existentialist crisis?

121 views

What is existentialism and what is an existentialist crisis?

In: Other

Existentialism – realizing you are in control of your own reality

Existential crisis – realizing you didn’t realize just how deeply you are in control of your own reality until now

So, an existential crisis is basically the feelings of dread that occur when we ask ourselves “Does our existence have any real meaning?” or “Is there any purpose to my existence?” or “Does my existence have any value?” (or, in even simpler terms “Why am I here? Does it really even matter what I do?”)

The thing about those questions is that there really isn’t a definitive, or even objective answer. Some folks just suppress the question, deny the whole line of inquiry, and try to move on. Some folks turn to outside sources for answers; religion is a common place to find answers to those questions, though there are some secular, social traditions that can apply as well.

Existentialism is a branch of philosophy that tries to answer those questions not with spiritual advice or social terms, but to suggest that the answer to those questions is something that *each individual* needs to determine *for themselves*. The meaning of your life is whatever meaning *you, personally* assign to it. As a result, this philosophy holds that we’re all free-willed, and responsible for our own choices and actions as well.