Existential Dread, and Overcoming an Existential Crisis

It’s natural to have moments – even in the course of a generally happy, mostly fulfilling life – where we question our meaning, value, and purpose. This "existential dread" sometimes culminates in an "existential crisis." Today Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson consider how we can confront these basic questions with acceptance and curiosity, and find the meaning and purpose that can help us live good lives.

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Key Topics:

0:00 Introduction

2:35 Meaning and purpose as the basis for Existentialism

5:20 Four basic issues of existence

7:00 Practical reasons for exploring Existentialism

10:50 Forrest’s childhood acceptance of death.

12:00 Four approaches to confronting existential frailty

13:45 Rick’s orientation to existential dread and its three psychological challenges

15:45 Rick’s personal experience confronting ambivalence and asking the point of living

20:25 Confronting an existential crisis as a catapult into a meaningful life

22:45 Morbid preoccupation as avoidance and self-ing

23:45 The three major whys of living: pleasure, service, and learning

26:10 What death can teach us about living a good life

31:30 Waves and water - resting in gratitude for life and it’s inevitable ending

36:15 Humor in the space of emptiness between living things

39:10 Natural fear vs. anticipatory dread

43:10 Finding your why when familiar structures break down

48:35 Recap and front porch meditation

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