Existential Crisis

photo by PhotoXpress.com

Most of my friends and people that I know have been undergoing some sort of crisis in their lives, all differ in extent and nature.  Some contracted an illness, while others are broke, coupled with a heap of financial obligations. Many have difficulties in their relationships with loved ones, partners and co-workers, and some are just plain bored and clueless about their lives. Whereas others are quite doutbful about their personal potentials and paralyzed of making the right move, others wallow on deep depressive episodes that result into the same personal paralysis. Nonetheless, whatever reasons they have, all of them tell the same story. Any crisis triggers a host of difficult emotions often labeled as negative, and there is a futile search for the feeling of contentment and happiness amidst dissatisfaction and frustration. Either one resists or evades whatever that causes a crisis.

I just thought yesterday if these crises are spiritual in nature. Apparently, I just discovered that while spirituality encompasses many aspects of our humanity, crises under this term may be easily categorized as religious or God-oriented, which is a limited way of seeing them. Definitely, crises these people endure are not spiritually driven, but more so of an internal inquiry that taps into the very existence of personal consciousness. Therefore, these crises are existential in nature. There is a deep desire to rediscover one’s existence in the Universe, as it is juxtaposed with both macrocosmic and microcosmic experience.

We are all stepping on the mud of mixed crises. The dilemma of understanding them has gone more complicated, since they are all blended into such state that it is impossible for anyone to trace either  their individual nature nor their distinct source. Even how they affect our rationality is quite blurred, knowing that these crises grow into an unidentifiable entity that would exasperate even the most precise of possible solutions.

Love is never about the imbalance of just seeing the positive and rejecting the negative. Our true response to existential crisis is to find the equilibrium of these two polarities that create the very energy that makes us alive.

But why do crises occur? And how can they be understood? How to respond to them and address the issues that make and surround them? Let us first understand that there are no such thing as “crises”. The myriad of crises in our lives are just little details of a much bigger sphere of crisis we can call the existential crisis. This answers our first question. Existential crisis shows that whatever causes any problems, troubles, conflicts, and any perversions in our lives all but stem from the most profound space of our existence. This space is the undifferentiated entity of our awareness that buffers us into collective ignorance and forgetfulness, leading to a collective suffering.  This is the irony we abhor. Existential crisis occurs by the virtue of our human existence, and unless we die, this crisis remains a reliable fact and an indispensible truth.

photo by PhotoXpress.com

Existential crisis is not meant to be analyzed or solved. We have no goal to achieve this, yet in this collective arising of little crises our aim and response is to remember our inner awareness. That before any solution, there is a crisis. We begin to recognize it. Didn’t the Buddha expound on this truth long before we arrived on this lifetime? One cannot deny the first great truth: life is suffering. This is the basic of existential crisis. It is inescapable and cannot be fought against. To reclaim our power to understand  any crisis helps us to dissolve the power of Existential crisis over us.

Existential crisis can either be personal or global, but the lines are now blurred. Only by its emotional impact and gravity of attention upon us can we only see and identify its magnitude if they are either too personal or too global. Existential crisis can create a series of life crises and problems, which, as we emotionally react towards them, remind us again back to their very source. We become aware of our mere existence and our consciousness explodes into fireworks of questions. Why me? Why this problem? Why do problems come one after the other?  How can I end these problems?

I am no different than anyone I know who undergo crises in life, who finds the way to ultimately understand the universality of existential crisis. My experience of existential crisis has led me to get into its deeper core. Our many problems, troubles, hardships and tribulations that make us see again our puny existence is essentially an emergent pathway that redirects our attention to the vast meaning and existence of Love. In the moment of crisis we begin to respond by  feeling our suffering, asking questions, seeking answers and intending solutions. These dynamics are not simply refuge of our human weakness. They all bring us to a deeper wisdom—Love is never about the imbalance of just seeing the positive and rejecting the negative. Our true response to existential crisis is to find the equilibrium of these two polarities that create the very energy that makes us alive.

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