Irvin Yalom is a master of existential psychotherapy. I have always been drawn to philosophy and studied it as one of only three subjects in high school. I was totally intrigued by the deep and meaningful questions. Why was I here? What was the meaning of it all? Was it all even real? What was real?
I think this kind of questioning is a normal developmental phase during our teenage years as we solidify our place in the world and develop our self-image. However, I do think these questions plague some people more than others. I was one of them, and I still am.
For me these questions have never been fully resolved. Over the years they have been discussed, become clearer at times and at other times seemed more elusive than ever.
For Yalom, despair is part of the human condition. As we look closer at ourselves, eventually we will find a kind of existential despair. I know I have experienced this, have you? Is this despair always present and we go about our lives distracting ourselves from this ever-present despair?
Depressing as this all sounds, for me it allows so much more of my experience as a human. It NORMALISES depression, angst, struggle and anxiety. Without belittling any of these things, it says… yes, all of these things are part of our very existence.
I would love to know your thoughts about this.