Existential Angst

April 8th, 2013 | By

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I’m continuing my journey of reading the great books of the western world. I’ve also been recording a new EP at the same time. One of the songs I just finished is called “Existential.”

I love existentialism. What’s not to love? It’s individualistic, passionate and authentic. It refuses to rely on society, authorities or tradition to find the meaning of one’s individual life. Currently, I’ve been reading a couple of books on the list by Jean-Paul Sartre, who was one of the main existential thinkers.

I relate to almost everything he writes about. In his book, Nausea, the main character, Antoine, has basically spent his entire life running around the globe trying to capture what the meaning of his individual existence is. Nobody can tell him. He manages to do a lot of things and have a lot of adventures over a 10 year period, but it all seems fleeting. He’s restless as he continues to search for something that has deeper roots.

I’ve been in the same boat many times. I’m still on it. Being an existentially-minded person ain’t easy, but, for some people it’s inescapable. I think  a lot of artists are existential-type folks. We create art as an exercise in uncovering what the meaning of our existence is.

Speaking of artists, Genis Carreras designed the above image. He has an amazing collection of designs that represent philosophical movements. I can’t get enough of them.

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