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Rollo May

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celynne villanueva

on 14 March 2014

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Transcript of Rollo May

Arise when people denies their potentialities
Rollo May
Tenets of Existentialism
The Role of Nonbeing or Nothingness
is the state of the person in the struggle against what would destroy his or her sense of meaningful being
Born in Ada, Ohio
Had four brothers and a sister
Sister was schizophrenic
Described family life as unhappy
Disliked his mother
"bitchy-kitty on wheels
Had two failed marriages
Started college at Michigan State and completed undergraduate degree at Oberlin College in Ohio (1932)
Attended a summer institute in Vienna by Adler in 1932
Experienced a "nervous breakdown"
"the rules, principles, values by which I used to work and live simply did not suffice anymore"
"what is the meaning of my life?"
May decided to "listen to my inner voice".
Existence takes precedent over essence
People search for truth and meaning
Human experience without explanatory or theoretical concepts
The study of being and reality
1. The process of becoming

2. Personal responsibility for choices

3. Particularly influenced by Kierkegaard and Heidegger

Emphasized balance between freedom and responsibility

Concerned with both person and the person's experience
Basic Ideas of Existentialism
To emerge or become
Is a process and is associated with growth and change
Is static and suggests a product
Signifies stagnation and finality, the product instead of the process
People are both thinking and active beings and must search for truth and meaning by living active and authentic lives
Each of us is responsible for who we are and what we become
People have an equal degree of freedom (possibility of changing) and responsibility
Authentic experience takes precedent over artificial explanations
Theories dehumanize people
Retaining our own individuality against pressure to do otherwise
the basic unity of a person and their environment (world)
includes their body
many people suffer from anxiety and despair brought on by their alienation from themselves and/or from their world
Technology and progress help promote this
Experienced by all
is the "illness of our time" and occurs on three levels

One's relationship with the natural world or environment around us
includes things that would exist without our awareness (natural law of our world)
- Biological drives, needs, and instincts (hunger)
- Natural phenomena (birth and death)
must learn to live in and adjust to changes to the world
Our relationship with other people and the meanings given to those relationships
Need to treat people as people not things
One's relationship with one self and how we interpret things based on self
to be aware of one self as human being and tograsp who we are as we relate to the world of things and to the world of people
not restricted to our inner , subjective world but includes one's subjected reactions to the world at large ( the chair I am sitting in and what it means to me)
Being in the world necessitates an awarenesof self as a living, emerging being.
This awareness, in turn, leads to the dread of not being (nonbeing or nothingness)
The awareness of death enhances one's sense of living
- "Forfeiting one's identity is a descent into non-being - the death of the meanings important to the self. To grasp what it means to exist, one needs to grasp the fact that one might not exist"
Life becomes real, vivid, and flavorful only when one confronts the possibility of nothingness
- To not confront leads to unhealthy behaviors i.e. addictions, promiscuity, conformity to societal standards, etc.
People experience anxiety when:
they are aware of the possibility of their nonbeing
they are aware that they are free to make choices
Two Types of Anxiety
1. Normal Anxiety
2. Neurotic Anxiety
Due to choices and changes that occur around them
Attempts to escape normal anxiety
Fail to accurately perceive the needs of fellow human
Remain oblivious to their dependence on their natural world
Types of Guilt
Normal Guilt
I see myself as one who can choose or fail to choose
Neurotic Guilt
Results from neurotic anxiety, not taking risks
Levels of Neurotic Guilt
Separation Guilt
- related to Umwelt
- Sense of alienation and separation from the natural world
Alienation from Others
- Associad with Mitwelt
- Failure to understand fully our fellow man and meet others needs
- We only see people through our eyes not theirs and can never perfectly judge their needs
Alienation from Self
- Denials of our potentialities or our failure to fulfill them
Taking delight in the presence of other people and affirming that person's value as much aas one's own
Types of Love
Physiological need and biological function that can be satisfied through sexual intercourse or some other release of sexual tension
Has become mechanized, depersonalized sexual activity that is devoid of caring, love, passion, relatedness, and joy
Types of Love
The psychological desire to establish a lasting union and delight with our partner
Based on care and tenderness
Has a dark side (Daimonic)
- We open ourselves up to the possibility of grief, sorrow, disappointment and loss
- We also face the possibility of losing ourselves (the possibility of death and nonbeing)
Type of Love
Intimate, nonsexual friendship between people
" Philia does not require that we do anything for the beloved except accept him, be with him, and enjoy him. It is friendship in the simplest, most direct terms."
Types of Love
Love devoted to the welfare of others
Associated with compassion, empathy, and caring which is the foundation of all the other forms of love
Determine how we act
Adequate values (healthy individualism) allow us to:
Deal effectively with the world
Commit to a course of action
Form meaningful and deep relationships
Become future oriented
Full transcript