This type of crisis – the gradual falling apart of our lives – is just as comprehensive and yet still mysterious. It is all the more powerful and frightening precisely because we have not been able to clearly identify what, exactly, has gone wrong. A single momentous event has at least the advantage of us being able to clearly see it, and possibly work through to a solution. It is also one that does not have to necessarily affect other aspects of our lives, though the resolution of it may cast a much wider influence. The sustained and unrelenting pressure of minor daily catastrophes, on the other hand, can eat away at the rotten core of our lives unnoticed until the unbearable point when it precipitates a wholesale collapse.
What has been fatally undermined is the way we see the world and the way we live our lives, yet a successful or even compromise alternative is often not presented to us. The shattering of that illusion of control, that belief in our ability to affect and direct the course of current external events, is extremely painful. When we are in pain, we tend to panic, thus multiplying the issues and amplifying the effect until we are quite helplessly lost, standing alone in Dante’s dark forest, assailed by beasts.