I ponder why mental health as a topic has become so prominent in our experiential awareness, concern and vocabulary.
From a philosophical perspective, it seems sensible. For, the prominent 20th century philosophy was existentialism, and thus is based in the preponderant existential anxiety.
However, aside from the more obvious considerations where history makes sense in light of current issues, and the issues make sense from historical sense, could something else be happening?
Is it that we as human beings are becoming more aware of our situation?
Or could it be that we are but filling out the meaning that has been given us?
Irony and history
The most substantial philosophical component of modern existence is irony. From a leading edge philosophical standpoint, Everything that we understand as knowledge falls into a weighted selective bias that we call subjectivity. Subjectivity, for a term, is that aspect of existence that rejects the truth of knowledge, of our situation, for the sake of having a real world, reality.
This then is known as phenomenological meaning, and it constitutes the epistemological position of any knowledge that is able to be posited and thus known. This was not a condition of all knowledge through history, rather, it is the particular condition by which and in which we are able to know anything presently.
Hence, the issues of our day of what constitutes the legitimacy for truth and the political polemics that do not seem to be resolvable through open critical discourse. All modern knowledge is ironic, when you begin to think about it openly, critically, and honestly.
High Functioning Anxiety
It would seem, then, that what we see and experience in ourselves to say that someone might ‘suffer’ from high anxiety and yet still be able to function well, could be just that we are expected to deal with life in this way. We function as we are supposed to, yet education brings about a self reflection that is epistemologically informed by rejection of what is true of ourselves as a de facto modern agent. We find this is Jean Paul Sartre. That is, faced with brute existence and the meaningless found therein, we revolt from it an assert our free will to create meaning.
It could very well be, though, that we are this way — anxious, as a society but as well an an individual — because we have been told how to see and understand ourselves and this manner thus fulfills its teleology, and we find thus a mental health pandemic and according ‘solutions’ to the ‘problem’.
Further, it may well be that Sartre, and his ilk, were wrong ethically, and from the Kierkegaardian standpoint in which those 20th century philosopher so uncritically saw themselves. They read our situation and perpetuated it, justified it, as opposed to taking a critical view of it. The problem with 20th century existential ism is that it posits that the universe is meaningless and that human beings are the ones that make meaning. This is the seminal statement of modern ideology and why we must say that to live in the modern world is to live as problem.￼￼￼
The essential and unavoidable problem can be stated as this: To say that existence has no meaning, and thus it is incumbent upon human beings to create for themselves purpose and meaning, is to say that purpose and meaning is nothing.
In other words, the formulation is incorrect.
Perhaps it is some sort of intuitive understanding that the method by which we are understanding ourselves in the universe is incorrect which constitutes the anxiety we know so well.
How could anyone have confidence in the meaning that they are making if amidst this meaning making the underlying knowledge of such activity is that it is pointless, useless, and means nothing? ￼￼￼
And yet, the modern problem can be extended to be formulated as such:
in so much as I might become aware of this paradox, my anxiety is only increased, and I am compelled to do more things to distract myself from this dreadful condition of knowing.￼￼￼
Truth versus Reality as a question of method Versus meaning￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
Rather than asking how to solve our anxiety and accorded social issues, The more effective question as to overcoming this self-justifying anxious philosophical reflection of society (ideology and spirituality) could thus be to ask how could this be the case. Why in the sense of logistics as opposed to why as is what is the historical cause.
In other words, The short of it is:￼
Are you able to understand your situation as a truth instead of a product ?
What do you say?