The emotion Buddhists call samvega
March 6, 2002 1:14 PM Subscribe
The emotion Buddhists call samvega is hard to translate because it covers three clusters of feelings at once: "the oppressive sense of shock, dismay, and alienation that come with realizing the futility and meaninglessness of life as it's normally lived; a chastening sense of our own complacency and foolishness in having let ourselves live so blindly; and an anxious sense of urgency in trying to find a way out of the meaningless cycle." Not being a Buddhist, I can't say I have any more faith in pasada than in prozac. But I and many people I've known have experienced a complex emotion like this one, so it's interesting to know that this concept has been around for so long.
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