Friday, February 19, 2010

Existential Crisis

Hermetic life is calling you from the mountaintop.

- A reply from an old friend.

The mind fears what it cannot grasp. It assumes. Its perception drives the body to new lows of frailty; it desires isolation - a slow and sullen withdrawal from the outside world. We cannot do anything to contain its disbelief. Days pass when the body wishes to curl up in bed and do nothing. The lips dare not to speak; the eyes are finding pleasure looking up into the blue sky and see nothing. Its like an overwhelming disinterest descends. The mind denies, but its there - whenever dread burns the skin. Its looming presence, ignored by the demands of living keeps the body alive. Yet the mind intervenes. It reasserts its worries during long hours of sleep; in the prayers it whispers every night; in the assuring hugs it seeks from loved ones.

We convey this thought to express our refusal to wither. To bring vitality back by reclaiming our old routines, by watching countless reruns of cartoons on cable, by trying to live a simulated life because ours seem too irredeemable to be fixed. We hang on a balance because we wish to prevail.

And we know this is just a phase. Life goes on after this introspection.

So if ever you wonder why the troubling silence appears to carry an arctic spell, it is just me wrestling my own demons.

A cognitive dissonance is taking place.

*An existential crisis is a stage of development at which an individual questions the very foundations of their life: whether their life has any meaning, purpose or value; whether their parents, teachers, and loved ones truly act in their best interest; whether the values they have been taught have any merit; and whether their religious upbringing may or may not be founded in reality.

*Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The "ideas" or "cognitions" in question may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one's behavior, and facts.