where the individual is in a state of social isolation
Being In The World, Not Of The World
Cathedrale De Rousen
We do not do what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are -- that is the fact.
Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned
on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself,
with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
Never have I thought that I was the happy possessor of a "talent"; my sole concern has been to save myself by work
According to Kierkegaard there is a difference between knowledge that is not fully integrated, a sort of outward knowledge,
and the integrated knowledge, in which, in a sense, there is no difference between body and soul, theory and practice.
This difference presents itself clearly in the books of many ecologists, who try to explain the whole human existence
from the perspective of the evolution. What especially makes you critical of their natural science point of view is the lack
of reference to the subject, the co-inventor of the whole view of the world. It's as if the concept-inventing subject doesn't
exist, as if cosmos itself speaks directly to these ecologists enabling them to use phrases like "the viewpoint of the
stars". There is a lack of responsibility in this attitude that is annoying and frightening: maybe the root of many of
the ills of the world lies hidden in that self-obliterating stand?
Kierkegaard provides us with the philosophical
tools to critizise such a viewpont, as he goes a long way to smother the concept of objective truth. Under his scrutiny science,
modernity, the foundations of the world, turn into something clumsy and homemade, looking like the loot of a conqueror, speculative
images that are full of inconsistencies and flaws.
Modern ecology, when looked at along the lines of the Kierkegaard
philosophy turns out to be such a contradiction: it will be nothing but a sham to itself as long as it is incapable of housing
man. One ecologist (Rolf Edberg) tells us: "Ecology is the science describing how all living creatures interact with
their surroundings . . . it is a way of describing the totality of existence . . . a cosmic biologic total view that includes
everything from atoms to galaxes". But it doesn't include man and it never will, because man cannot be put into a scheme
or made part of objective knowledge in that way. To use the words "all living creatures" is nothing but self-deception,
a trick of a conjurer.
This is one of the main points Kierkegaard makes as I see it: The more objective knowledge
becomes the less room it has for man. The fully objective knowledge excludes man from life itself, makes of the subject a
mere nothingness that confuses himself with cosmos and the totality, with the pictures of his own making. Man stabs himself
in the heart with his own speculations. But that is well-known to all who have studied the philosophy of Kierkegaard.
Nobody will ever be able to say: this is the truth, that is to establish it objectively in the world. But truth nevertheless
It is always the case that when the Christian looks back, he is looking for forgiveness of sins.
- Karl Barth
The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
The sesasons send their ruins as they go, For in spring the narciss shows its head Nor withers till the rose has
flamed to red, And in autumn purple violets blow, And the slim crocus stirs the winter snow; Wherefore yon
leafless trees will bloom again And this gray land grow green with summer rain And send up cowslips for some boy
But what of life whose bitter hungry sea Flows at our heels,and gloom of sunless night Covers
the days which never more return? Ambition,love and all the thoughts that burn We all lose too soon,and only find
delight In withered husks of some dead memory
When a serious man is young and is introduced to the 'art of inquiry',
he is taught the tools of reason. Logic and the ability to ask the correct questions, and the reliance upon reason to arrive
at conclusions, become paramount. One's hubris grows with advancement in these skills and unbeknown, to him, one day you think
you have arrived. You say to yourself that if proof and evidence is not available for you to know; then, it can't exist. You
base your entire life and intellectual decisions upon this foundation that you deem is on solid bedrock. But the older you
get and the more worldly experience that one in thrust into, the closer you come to an understanding of wisdom that there
is more sand under your feet than rock. These doubts are really natural and should not be feared. Its the sign of true growth.
This same development applies to the political realm, as well. But the social consequences of this new understand
stems from the intellectual process, and only follows when the philosophy is aware of the Truth of the universe. Therefore,
I submit that from an existential perspective, that the only knowledge we have of the universe is through our consciousness
of awareness, but that these 'realities' of that universe, exists quite separate from one's own thoughts and cognizant understandings.
It took many years of resistance to the humiliation of my own self image to accept the limitations of my own mind
to fully grasp and accept an existence of immutable truths that lie outside my own consciousness. The point is, reason is
but the way one seeks knowledge, but knowledge is a comprehension of a world outside our own limited ability to think or know.
That is where faith comes in, for this limitation that each of us are afflicted with, is overcome through revealed intervention.
This is the very aspect that causes the logical mind so much anguish. It defies your reason, and as any proud man, one resists
to admit that you are not capable, alone, to overcome any obstacle. Well, the truth is; one cannot achieve this understand
without the help from a higher power. So many people of a philosophical persuasion fight this conflict all their lives. That
is the failure of Rand and especially Sartre. For her credit, Rand had a very positive view of the abilities on mankind to
achieve a meaningful life; while Sartre is more a product of his time and his war experience. His journey down the road of
Communism is not a failure of the existential method, but his inability to go beyond reason.
That leap of faith
is the most important step one will ever make. I made it, and as Frost would say: 'It made all the difference'.
day I face another void and look into the abyss. Most people would not admit this, but I have no problem with acknowledging
that the world, in its present state, is absurd and that man alone will never correct the evils in the world and in his nature.
I know not if a existence after this life is real, but will gladly accept the promise that through grace it may be made available
to me. Not for anything that I have or will do to earn it, but that through the love and generosity of our Creator that He
may forgive me for all the failing of my behavior. For in the end, the only truth choice we are able to make, is the one to
believe or to ignore the promise. Now I known this approach is outside the normal inquiry methods of the Philosophy discipline.
But I view Philosophy (and especially the existential approach) as but a part of the understanding process. That's why I refer
to it as the 'art of inquiry'.
I can't guarantee that I have been blessed with all the answers. But I can assure
you that I ask many of the correct questions.
I would urge you to consider the merits of being an 'existentialist',
for you may well come to accept it as a valid method into the continual search for understanding. But Existentialism becomes
a false system if one accept Nietzsche and that we can all become 'gods'. That is the one area, namely; blasphemy that I would
never cross. Our lives are gifts that have been presented to us, without our consent or request. I know not the full purpose
of that journey, but the condition of our common fate is the same for each of us. My ultimate goal has never been to be happy.
Happiness is not something to avoid, but it is not a valid goal in itself. Evil is the present state of this world, and our
existence is condemned to struggle against those 'Principalities of Darkness'. Our firm desire should be that justice and
the rule of our supreme creator will become our reward, because of His love for each of us. So we seek to know more of those
Truths that exist, and have been revealed to us. Yes, that is a belief; not reached solely through reason. Its a leap that
each can make if you ask to enter.
Existentialism Philosophy Blog
"It is very little time that I have gained, then is the whole struggle vanished at once, and I can rest in halls
of roses and endlessly talk to my Jesus." - epithet on Soren's grave
Marcel is founded in the Christian faith without the baggage of the institutional structures. His notion of the 'Mystery'
as a gift is central to accepting the leap from reason. This 'ontological mystery' offers the hope that is so wanting when
compared to Sartre.
"Doctrines are not God: they are only a kind of map. But the map is based on the experience of hundreds of people
who really were in touch with God--experiences compared with which any thrills or pious feelings you or I are likely to get
on our own way are very elementary and very confused. And secondly, if you want to get any further, you must use the map...
[This] is just why a vague religion--all about feeling God in nature, and so on--is so attractive. It is all thrills and no
work; like watching the waves from the beach. But you will not get to Newfoundland by studying the Atlantic that way, and
you will not get eternal life by simply feeling the presence of God in flowers or music. Neither will you get anywhere by
looking at maps without going to sea. Nor will you be very safe if you go to sea without a map."
According to Mr Jacob's interpretation, the 'philosophe' is correct on personal accountability,
but I disagree on both conclusions. I content that man's state of nature was pure, but that traditional Judeo-Christian teaching
of Original Sin is real, and is the correct explanation for our, subsequent; fallen nature. We see in Rousseau the origin
of Sartre, and both within me . . . While you envision your mentor, Voltaire; as the symbol of rational knowledge. With that
being said, why is your school of believer's so intent on refusing to allow for my 'right to speak out' on those views that
have been the bases for Western 'Civilization' ? Could that 'someone else' actually be 'the forces of darkness'? Or is this
possibility, outside the abilities of rational thought to consider?