Filmmaker - Musician - Photographer

The existential null....

This is the guy at dinner parties who is well versed in existentialism.I am just going to come right out and say this:  I think the word "existential" is bull s--t.

I don't know what "existential" means.  I've looked up the definition numerous times and I still don't know what it means.  I have asked people - SMART people - to use it in a sentence, but even if they are able to (they usually aren't), I remain at a loss. 

Call it irrational contempt, disdain, or what have you, but I don't think "existential" is a word that needs to exist.  Let's investigate.

 

ex·is·ten·tial

[eg-zi-sten-shuh l, ek-si-]
adjective
1.
pertaining to existence.
2.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of existentialism:   an existential hero.


We don't need a word to pertain to the existence of anything in the first place.  What I mean is this:  The simple fact that you are referring to something means it exists.  Be it in fiction, our imaginations, or in real life pertaining to something means that it exists in some form.  Given the example presented in the definition above, we can understand "an existential hero" to mean "a hero that exists".  Why not just say "the hero" or "a hero"?

This is your hipster friend that consciously uses the word "existential" to impress the panties off of women.I'll be the first to admit, however, that using "existential" in a conversation makes one feel and sound smarter.  Next time you're at a dinner party (dinner party discussions generate a habitat where "existentialism" flourishes), wait for someone to insert the word in their statement and see what happens to the social tone of the discussion.  I think to myself, "Surely, this individual is well read and has, at some point in their life, climbed a mountain in Tibet to commune with monks."
Tell me which of these statements sound more intelligent:

The truth is that God could be a squirrel.  Believing that defines how much we don't know.

...or

The existential truth is that, for all we know, God could be a squirrel.  Existentialism of this nature defines the unknown.

Both are ridiculous statements.  Both mean the exact same thing.  It's just that the latter sounds more thoughtful than the other.

Sit on this for a while.  Try playing around with "existential" and "existentialism".  I think it's fun to practice using it to give profound meaning to statements that make no sense.  Then again, perhaps this is all just existential bull shit that I'm feeding you because I'm not man enough to admit that I don't have the mental chops to converse with adults.

Who knows?  It's all philosophical.