“The existential vacuum is a widespread phenomenon of the twentieth century. THis is understandable; it may be due to a twofold loss which man has had to undergo since he became a truly human being. At the beginning of human history, man lost some of the basic animal instincts in which an animals’s behavior is imbedded and by which it is secured. Such security, like Paradise, is closed to man forever; man has to make choices. In addition to this, however, man has suffered another loss in his more recent development in as much as thee traditions which buttressed his behavior are now rapidly diminishing. No instinct tells him what he has to do, and no tradition tells him what he ought to do; sometimes he does not even know what he wishes to do. Instead, he either wishes to do what other people do (conformism) or he does what other people wish him to do (totalitarianism).
A statistical survey recently revealed that among my European students, 25 percent showed a more-or-less marked degree of existential vacuum. Among my American students it was not 25 but 60 percent.”
And I bet it's higher now! It's crazy to me when I hear all of this gobldygood (how the heck do you spell that?!) He goes on to talk about people getting bored and how that 'is becoming more serious' and I'm know I'm pretty out of touch with things, but I remember seeing that pretty prevalently in college. Think about it; how many times did you see the person at the head of your class or pull out an amazing project/painting/presentation and the thought pops into your head that they're just so smart or creative or whatever.
Yea, maybe they are, but maybe you're in THEIR class. God gave them life and they know what to do with it. Maybe they're just talented =) Either way, every time I keep reading his book, Man's Search for Meaning I keep coming around to motivation. Where's it come from? Does it matter if it's inside or out? A loved one or your God [one and the same? =)]. Here's a shorter mind bender from a few pages earlier.
"It is, therefore, up to the patient to decide wether he should interpret his life task as being responsible to society or to his own conscience." pg10
I feel lucky in that regard, but it did take me a while to figure it out. For me, my conscious is clear (Jesus is my boi!) and points clearly to a social meaning; which is where my thoughts immediately began. This is an overarching statement I think because the meaning of your life can change if you're suddenly attacked by ninjas. It might affect how you deal with them....but it can and does change throughout your life. I think =)