Eros, Thanatos, and the Awakening of Oistros: Being in Love With Life and “Our” World

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This article is based on a presentation for the symposium on “Existential Reflections on Love, Its Complexities, Meanings, and Possibilities” held at the 2018 American Psychological Association conference in San Francisco, California. The article highlights the value of the concept of Oistros both for therapy and for the way in which we live our lives. It offers a definition of Oistros and explores the conditions, namely Eros and Thanatos, that serve to bring forth and sustain this way of being. A discussion of the function of Oistros and its relevance to living life well is offered to illustrate its potential primacy as an existential concept.

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