Existential Angst

From Sophie’s World: A Novel on the History of Philosophy

Sophie [after studying Bishop George Burkeley]: “I am scared that nothing is real.”
Alberto Knox: “That’s called existential angst, or dread, and is as a rule only a stage on the way to new consciousness.”

Morpheus, The Matrix

“What is ‘real’? How do you define ‘real’? If you mean what we can taste, smell, hear and feel then what’s ‘real’ is nothing more than electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”

Merriam-Websters Dictionary entry on “real”

“1: of or relating to fixed, permanent, or immovable things;
2a: not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory

Anyone else ever been through existential angst as you combat the possible reality that life, as you know it, doesn’t really exist?

What could be more real than life, as most people understand it?

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  • lacey

    i totally relate to Sophie. i think i have said something like that a few times here recently, and i also think i have spoken of related angst with more than a couple friends… ha.

    i’m not sure how to answer your question. sometimes i find myself believing all that *is* real is life in the here and now, yet that never seems satisfactory as i find that so much of life is composed of broken attempts at wholeness. sure some of these attempts are wonderful and life-giving, but usually it seems there is something… else… that i want/need. here’s to finding it :) and if i may ask, what are your thoughts?

  • Jeffrey

    lace, i know you can relate ;-) . i’m with you, sometimes this physical world seems like the be-all, end-all, but deep down i know that these things are only shadows of a greater and more real reality (or existence, if you prefer)–and no, i don’t mean “heaven” or another other “place”–i mean a whole other reality all together.

    as for answering my own question, well, haven’t you learned that it’s not beneficial for me to do so (as it relates to you and i) in this forum? ;-) ha ha.

    i’d love to talk about it soon…