I am in a relatively neutral state, with nothing to be happy or sad about,
I become conscious of a baseline but constant feeling of angst, appearing as
bursts of anguished awareness and thereby defining me as an individual. The
feeling is, of course, an unpleasant one, welling up like saliva in my mouth, a
low-grade nausea of sorts. Probing deeper, I find that
it is related to my being limited to my body, there being a despair at not being
able to concretize this existence of mine and living it ‘inside out’, as it
were, combined with a sense of being incomplete and,
therefore, not in
command of anything. When I look back in time, I come to the conclusion that I
have already secreted my past out and it is no longer within me and gazing into
the future also,
I encounter the same inaccessibility, the same exteriority, the same opacity
multiplied infinite times owing to the infinite possibilities out there . I see
myself reduced to the infinitesimal present moment, converting the future into
the past feverishly through a nihilating movement in a sort of total but painful
freedom—a ‘liberum arbitrium’ of sorts.
Sartre has defined this anguish as arising out of the gratuitous facticity of
the ‘being-for itself’, i.e., the utter meaninglessness of my own self .
Everything is ‘de trop’, just there, for nothing. There are similar beings
‘out there’, outside of myself, the ‘beings-for-others’ who in the
solitary confines of their existence encounter a similar feeling yet cannot
reach out to me. Additionally, according to Sartre, there is this
‘being-in-itself’, the world of objects, that exists completely in itself,
impenetrable to the other two states of being, yet defining their existence.
This is curiously similar to the Samkhya Philosophy of Kapil at least to a
certain extent. Kapil believes in a multitude of ‘Purushas’, supremely
isolated like the being-for-itself and the beings-for-others, and the opaque ‘Prakriti’,
of course the being-in-itself. However, further on the two philosophies become
totally divergent. Sartre, Camus and others of their school of thought, believe
in an atheist existentialism wherein there is no escape from this gratuitousness
whatsoever. Kapil's philosophy though also atheistic at least offers some relief
for these poor purushas in the form of 'Kaivalya'!
a ‘leap of faith’ here as Kierkegaard puts it. ‘Being’ is only one, at
once immanent and transcendent, permeating,
and coextensive with everything out there and yet beyond-- call it Para-Brahmn,
Shunyata, Para-Bhairava, or whatever. Multiple ‘moments’ in this Being get
coloured by certain groups of tendencies, the ‘Vasanas’, and thereby arise
various individuals in their own worlds of objects, conscious because of the
underlying life-giving ‘drops’ of Being yet painfully inadequate due to
their misplaced identities, not aware of this underlying Unity .I perceive
myself separate from other individual consciousnesses and,
therefore, in constant dread of the ‘other’;
totally incomplete yet trying to fill my emptiness with something or the other
knowing deep down that I am bound to fail. The angst continues… .
… Till the ‘I’ bursts and loses itself into the infinite Being!!