Support group for philosophic anxiety

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
It is not about existential angst. The feeling that our life may be meaningless. I don't mind meaningless. There's so much beauty in life, birds singing, a forest, a river flowing through it, the bugs in the earth. I love life so much that I don't want to damage it. This is where the pain starts.

Submitted: April 11, 2015

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Submitted: April 11, 2015

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It is not about existential angst.  The feeling that our life may be meaningless.  I don't mind meaningless.  There's so much beauty in life, birds singing, a forest, a river flowing through it, the bugs in the earth.  I love life so much that I don't want to damage it.  This is where the pain starts.  Why do we keep hurting life?  Why do we spiral towards environmental disaster?  What would it take to stop the spiraling?  We can't know the answer but one thing is clear:  Until we live sustainably, there is no hope of getting out of it.  

We are using many times the resources we could use sustainably.  Not some of us.  All of us.  All of those who live in the developed world.  How about those who live on a dollar a day?  Maybe they live sustainably.  How about the next generation?  Who doesn't want a western lifestyle?  Or else a large family?  So let's get together and figure out how we can use less.  Agree to have smaller families.  Become vegan.

This is the pain.  This isn't the anxiety yet.  The anxiety comes later.  The anxiety comes when we look at what we do for a living.  We build things or we sell things.  We serve people who build things or sell things.  We teach people to build or sell things.  We help people who are sick or poor or needy so that they can go on building or selling.  Maybe they are old, close to dying.  They'll be paying us with money they earned from building or selling things, or teaching or helping people.  Maybe we are paid from taxes or charity, or any other form of money people contribute to the common good, out of the money they make by building or selling or teaching or helping.  

What's difficult isn't giving up luxury.  That's easy.  The difficult part is our profession.  Any profession has its values.  We work hard to achieve those values.  We climb the ladder of success.  Except that every one of those ladders rests on building or selling or teaching or helping.  We can't pull away that ladder without tumbling down from whichever status we have achieved in life.  Worse, any suggestion of pulling away that ladder from another person will make that person into a mortal enemy.  That's where the real anxiety starts.  That's why we rather watch the world disintegrate than do something about it.

There is a saying that if something can't continue it won't.  Eventually disasters will come.  Maybe they have started coming.  There will be groups of people who think they have figured things out.  They have beliefs.  They rest their ladders on those beliefs.  The ladders of belief are not supported through professions that build or sell or teach or help.  The ladders of belief rest on the assurance that the believing group knows more than others.  There is only one way to prove beliefs and it is conflict.

The people who suffer from philosophic anxiety are not sick.  Their disorder is a regrettable inability to wear blinders.


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