We in our age are faced with a strange paradox.
Never before have we had so much information in bits and pieces flooded upon us by radio and television and satellite, yet never before have we had so little inner certainty about our own being.
The more objective truth increases, the more our inner certitude decreases.
Our fantastically increased technical power, and each forward step in technology is experienced by many as a new push toward our possible annihilation.
Nietzsche was strangely prophetic when he said,
We live in a period of atomic chaos…the terrible apparition…the Nation State…and the hunt for happiness will never be greater than when it must be caught between today and tomorrow; because the day after tomorrow all hunting time may have come to an end altogether.
Sensing this, and despairing of ever finding meaning in life, people these days seize on the many ways of dulling their awareness by apathy, by psychic numbing, or by hedonism.
Others, especially young people, elect in alarming and increasing numbers to escape their own being by suicide.
The Discovery of Being: Writings in Existential Psychology
Rollo May (April 21, 1909 – October 22, 1994) was an American existential psychologist and author of the influential book Love and Will (1969).
He is often associated with humanistic psychology and existentialist philosophy, and alongside Viktor Frankl, was a major proponent of existential psychotherapy.
The philosopher and theologian Paul Tillich was a close friend who had a significant influence on his work.
As well as Love and Will, May‘s works include The Meaning of Anxiety (1950, revised 1977) and, titled in honor of Tillich‘s The Courage to Be, The Courage to Create (1975).
In The Discovery of Being: Writings in Existential Psychology (1983) May draws on others’ perspectives, including Freud‘s, to go into more detail on existential psychotherapy.
Another topic May examines is how Psychoanalyses and Existentialism may have come from similar areas of thinking. There is attention paid to searching for stability with strong feelings of anxiety.