Our Existential Predicament:
Loneliness, Depression, Anxiety & Death

by James Park


Outline for Afterword:

Obstacles to Existential Freedom

I. INTELLECTUAL PROBLEMS

II. PRIOR COMMITMENTS

A. Work.
B. Family.
C. Possessions.
III. SPIRITLESSNESS
Ways to Expand Our Spirits
A. Written Meditation—A Journal of Spirit.
B. Spirit-Stimulating Books.
C. Small Groups of People Discussing the Life of the Spirit.
D. Letters about Matters of Spirit.
E. Individual Conversation and Sharing with other Persons of Spirit.
IV. INABILITY TO SURRENDER
A. Pride, Defiance, Self-Reliance.
B. Double-Mindedness, Incompleteness of Decision.
C. Making Merely Verbal Movements.
D. Existentially Surrendering
Surrender is Not Defeat
V. BELIEVING THAT WE ARE ALREADY EXISTENTIALLY FREE

Seven Conditions Sometimes Confused with Existential Freedom

A. Happiness.
B. Commitment to Human Betterment.
C. 'Responding' to Existential Freedom Before We Have it.
D. Accommodating our Existential Predicament.
E. Authentic Existence.
F. Religious Feelings.
G. Mind Control.
VI. PSYCHOLOGICAL OBSTACLES TO EXISTENTIAL FREEDOM
A. Interpersonal Bitterness.
B. Holding a Grudge.
C. Love of Psychological Trauma.
D. Self-Hatred.
E. Fear of Change.
F. Lack of Full Selfhood.
REPRISE


Afterword

Obstacles to Existential Freedom

    We now approach the end of our journey thru our Existential Predicament.
We have sought to comprehend the deepest truth of our existence,
using any images that can illuminate our dark problem:
We have passed thru the echoing well of loneliness,
the black goo of depression, the disorientation of absurdity,
the challenge of meaninglessness and the Existential Void,
the dark terror of anxiety, the internal splitting of fragmentation,
the suffering of guilt, the confrontation with death,
the river of despair, and the imbalance of insecurity.

    In each of these chapters, we have explored the existential dimension,
differentiating it as clearly as possible from its psychological twin.
And we have examined our ways of responding to our Existential Dilemma,
our ways of coping with it, and our ways of attempting to free ourselves from it.

    If we have set our hearts on freedom from absurdity, emptiness, etc.
but have encountered problems in making the necessary inward changes,
we can now look more closely at some of these obstacles.

    Having proceeded this far in the pilgrimage to Existential Freedom,
we are already passionately seeking release from loneliness and despair.
When we ask ourselves "Who am I?",
we answer that we are persons seeking release from our Existential Malaise.
Of course, we may express this life-thrust in many different ways,
but only if our existential quest has become central to our identity
(and not just a part-time interest or occasional curiosity)
will a path toward completeness and hope open before us.

    We may seek out others involved in the same struggle.
Perhaps in discussion with other sensitive and inward persons
we will finally discover the posture-of-being
that permits us to become Existentially Free.

    If we personally know people who are joyful, peaceful, and fulfilled,
Existential Freedom may seem more possible for us.
But ultimately we must undertake our own search for Existential Freedom.
We must make the necessary inward movements for ourselves.
And the decisive break-thru will probably come
only after we have tried several methods that don't work.

    Even tho each of us makes a solitary journey,
perhaps the following pages will put into intelligible form
some of the obscure and difficult hindrances we encounter
in our quests for freedom from existential hollowness, alienation, and guilt.
Perhaps greater clarity about our obstacles to Existential Freedom
will help us overcome whatever hindrances have been standing in our way
and help us to create the posture-of-being
that will enable us to become inwardly peaceful, whole, and secure.

276  OUR EXISTENTIAL PREDICAMENT: LONELINESS, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, & DEATH


<>
    All of these obstacles to Existential Freedom
are worked out in great detail in this final section of Our Existential Predicament.
The Afterword is 34 pages long.
Go to the publisher's website for full details: www.existentialbooks.com.


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