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Anxiety Rollo Mays Discovery of Being

Anxiety: Rollo May’s “Discovery of Being”
It seems as though every Sociologist creates his or her own definition of Anxiety. Each definition of Anxiety being ghastly different, however, tying back to three common situations: Fear, Encounters with primary groups, secondary groups, and the public, and Anxiety towards Self-Growth. In analyzing Rollo May’s “The Discovery of Being,” we find that May incorporates many different definitions of these situations from other Sociologists, as well as ties in many of his own thoughts and ideas. Also at times, May disregards strongly other Sociologist’s views on these situations, creating an interesting and unique view of society and Psychology. In this analysis of “The Discovery of Being,” we will examine May’s particular definitions and thoughts on Anxiety and Being, Anxiety and Encounter, and Anxiety and Self-Growth.
Early in the book, May touches on his views of Anxiety, he discusses Anxiety as being something that does not arise from a fear of “lack of libidinal satisfactions or security,” but rather out of fear of our own powers, and any pertaining conflicts. He discusses this as a present day problem, which has been significantly influenced by society and present societal goals. Libidinal satisfactions are so easily encountered in our day that it becomes hard to avoid them. The prevalent Anxiety is found upon self-reflection and our own realizations of what we actually can do, but for some reason neglect to do so. Our constant outlook to go further in society than our neighbor is tied to our Anxiety of Being and Non-Being.
May looks closely at the concept of Being, and notes at one point that “Being” is a participle, also meaning in the process of “being something.” An individual’s Being is constantly changing throughout life, never reaching a set point. More specifically, May defines Being as an individual’s pattern of potentialities. Anxiety arises when these potentialities gro…

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