“Mere Anxiety is the source of everything.”– Martin Heidegger.
It’s a common saying, “man is a social animal”. We partly and essentially need other’s recognition to map our human existence (willingly or unwillingly). With the current COVID situation, mental health has been quite a central focus, and why wouldn’t it be, for the fast-paced, “digitally progressive” world we live in. The moment we talk about mental health issues, our old friend “anxiety” comes into the picture.
Speaking of anxiety, recently I read about German philosopher Martin Heidegger. In one of his thesis, he gives a very interesting twist to anxiety. He doesn’t take it as the usual subjective psychological aspect but places it as the very mood which reveals or discloses our human existence. It is the only mood that brings us face-to-face with the world’s reality or with our “authentic selves” as he calls.
What I was particularly interested in was this “authentic self”. How authentic are we? Are we authentic at all? Lately, I’ve noticed that we live in a world where hypocrisy plays a significant role. We have people who come up and say that they’ll be there, giving free advice or merely sharing helpline numbers, but the actuality is quite different, very different in fact.
How many of us have genuinely struck a real conversation? And are we sensitive towards these issues? When I put up these questions, I am asking the majority.
For me, authenticity is moments when we are most at home with ourselves, and I know, as finite beings, it’s not possible to be that way all the time. But unfortunately, we are so caught up in our quotidian lives that it’s difficult to be ourselves and reach out to people, what we so easily preach.
The lockdown made me realise that I am not as close and connected to people as I thought I was (my experience). But when I come to think of it, the root cause is that much of the information has been passed along without ourselves being wrapped in it.
Aren’t we in need of a reflective perspective to be in touch with our authentic selves, creating a world where we are sensitive? Or do we just let our lives pass away in the much “idle talk”?