Identité Anxieté Modernité
Unlike fear, which has a targeted object - a fear of heights or snakes for example - anxiety has no object. It is the fear of nothingness or no-thingness. Being thrown into the world, we experience anxiety firstly as a fear of our own no-thing-ness, and secondly, as a fear that upon death we will cease being. As a response to this corresponding anxiety, we can embrace freedom, despair, or tradition, a likely middle ground of trying to shore up identity with the bookends ritual and routine.
However, with its shrinking, off-the-shelf traditions, modernity questions profane routine, sacred ritual/religion, and other distractions that are created and reinforced by culture. When the questioning in search of greater freedom is perceived as too intense by too many, a traditional reaction often ensues, and in some cases a frightfully fundamentalist one, as Paris knows all too well. Adventurously thrown into the future’s unknown, while yearning, paradoxically, for the secure traditions of the past - through the lens of Paris, arguably one can get a predictive and perhaps ominous snapshot of the world’s choice/fate.