Volume 13, 2018
The Basic Character of Existential Experience
The paper offers an insight into existential experience as a synthesis of the phenomenology of life situations and their conceptual structuring and understanding. Existential experience appears as a personal story of being, in the course of which a person clarifies the key values, as well as a form of reconciliation with existence, of continuous listening to life, of spiritual awakening, and overcoming anxiety. In the paper, the understanding of the existential experience as the phenomenon of individual existence and personal development is complemented by the socio-cultural context of its formation. The cultural-historical type of existential experience is taken as a combination of reified existential experiences. Existential experience, acquiring the linguistic and symbolic form in communication, becomes a socio-cultural phenomenon and is included into a cultural tradition due to its interpretation and practical following its behavioral patterns. Existential experience is also defined as an experience of the problematic existence; it covers the situations of conscious personal choice, which is inseparably connected with doubt. It is the experience of overcoming the spiritual dissatisfaction that changes the life world and personal attitude to oneself and represents an indicator of existential quest.