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The Existential Moment: Existential Given—Meaninglessness

“To be or not to be, that is the question.” The legendary words are rather trite today. Their perceptiveness drained with time and abuse. Nonetheless, pain, suffering, and death do permeate life. At a basic level, it’s all absurd. And suicide is a perfectly rational consideration. Shakespeare understood. In an absurd world, meaning makes life worth living. It answers the

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The Existential Moment: Existential Givens—Freedom

This problem shows the power of a mental set, an unconscious predisposition to approach a problem in a particular way based on experience and habit. A mental set exemplifies the limitations experience puts on choice. However, the past is simply one of several limitations placed on our freedom.

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The Existential Moment: Existential Givens—Death

A picture is worth a thousand words.  At Eternity’s Gate by Vincent van Gogh conveys the overwhelming weight of grief.  However, the title brings home the meaning of the work and, more surprisingly, the hope in the subject of the painting, death. Western art depicts death through numerous symbols and scenes:  skeletons, skulls, scythes, apocalyptic scenes, the superhuman, the demonic,

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The Existential Moment: The Cosmological

According to Existential-Humanistic Therapy theory, the fourth and final element of the Four Dimensions of Therapeutic Encounter is The Cosmological. In particular, four paradoxical givens comprise the Cosmological:  the wish to live and the inevitability of

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