Do you feel stressed? Do you have this experience of stress because you feel that you must ‘use’ life to it’s maximum, yet the time just seem to be slipping away from you? Do you feel like life is moving away day by day and no matter how much you try to retain the time, be effective with it, and do the most; it just streams downwards, days becomes weeks, weeks becomes months, and months years, and so it goes through the years?
I define this type of experience that is described above as ‘existential anxiety’ – which is basically the understanding and realization that life on earth is limited in time – though instead of seeing that as a fact it becomes a point of conflict. For me the conflict exists within my desire to do and achieve things, versus the point of not being able to do so (aka death). Thus, the misalignment that exists here, and that is the cause of this existential anxiety, is the point of me defining myself according to what I want to do and achieve – instead of walking in this world but not being OF this world.
For example, one of the points that I want to manifest in my life is to become a lawyer; now this is a point that takes a lot of effort, and patience to bring into physical manifestation – many years of work. In order to walk this point you’ve to dedicate yourself – though this hasn’t really been the issue – instead the conflict has arisen in relation to me wanting to do other things with my life as well – not only lawyering. And because the point of creating a career takes up lots of space in my schedule, it becomes difficult to make time for other goals that I also wish to have manifest in my life.
Thus, conflict ensues, a conflict that has it’s roots in the unrealistic mindset of “I want/can to do everything!” – because obviously: This mindset of “I want/can to do everything” is NOT in alignment with physical reality and time – because in this world you do have a certain amount of time, and with it you can only do a set amount of things. Hence you can’t do everything you want to do, you must make some DECISIONS and then prioritize your time – and within that come to peace with the fact that you will unavoidably “miss out” on other life paths that you could’ve taken.
So, life as it’s currently set-up forces you to make decisions, to decide on a hand, and play that hand – now – this is unavoidable – and due to the nature of time you can’t play with more cards than what the rules allow – you are forced to make a decision. This is reality – THOUGH – the real question is – must we react to this reality? Must we exist within this experience of existential anxiety? Do we have to run around chasing time for us to be able to do as much as possible, and constantly feel conflicted about not doing enough?
The answer is NO – and here I will give the solution and key that we can live to transcend existential anxiety: The solution is to in our daily lives walk according to the words/phrase “be in this world but not of this world” – so, what does this phrase imply?
Well, it means that we walk in this world, we make our decisions, select our path, and our direction, and we create our reality to be a certain way – where for example I will probably experience my reality in the role of a lawyer – BUT – this role, this position, the life I lead – it doesn’t define ME – it doesn’t limit ME – instead I stand with myself, in breath, and in every moment I make sure that I express myself, which is something that I can do everywhere regardless of what circumstance or situation I find myself in. This point of expression isn’t limited to my circumstances – because expression is WHO I AM.
Thus the key is to walk, and participate in this system, yet understand that what we do in this world can’t ever define the entirety of WHO WE ARE as beings – for a moment we play a role, and go into a position, and we live out a certain life – even still – WE ARE HERE – and regardless of what I do, the most important relationship that I have to tend to and direct will be that with myself – and this will not change REGARDLESS of where I am – the questions I ask myself will always be the same: Who am I? Where am I? Where am I going? Why am I? – And these can only be answered effectively one moment at a time through me being self-honest with myself.
To summarize: Existential anxiety is something we create through defining ourselves according to what we do, and believing that we have to limit ourselves as being dependent on what job we have, what purpose we’ve given to ourselves, and what general direction we’ve decided to walk into – but the truth is that – we don’t have to limit ourselves. We can walk, and be IN this world but not OF this world – meaning that we walk this lifetime within the understanding the physical reality has certain unavoidably limitations – yet we don’t accept and allow these limitations to define who we are as beings, and how we exist within ourselves, and how we create our relationship with ourselves.