chapter  1
The Existential Quest for Meaning
Pages 8

We might call this existential paradox, which we are the condition of individuality within finitude. Man has a symbolic identity that brings him sharply out of nature. He is a symbolic self, a creature with a name, life history. He is a creator with a mind that sorts out to speculate about atoms or infinity, who can place himself imaginatively as a point in space, and contemplate amusedly his own planet. This immense expansion, dexterity, self confidence, gives to man the status of a small god as the Renaissance thinkers knew. Yet, at the same time the thinkers also knew, Man is a worm and food for worms. This is the paradox, he is out of nature, and hopelessly in it. He is dual, up in the stars, yet housed in a heart pumping, breath grasping body that once belonged to a fish and

still bares the gill marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshly encasing that is alien to him in many ways. The strangest and most repugnant would be that it aches and bleed, one day decay and die.