Existing

To exist. Come forward. Show oneself.

   

A lot of people think they can live without ever thinking about where they’re heading. They think it’s enough to act, work and be without reflecting. You get up in the morning, eat breakfast, go to work, shop for grocery, cook dinner, watch TV, go to bed, get up in the morning, eat breakfast, go on vacation, renovate the house, watch a movie, meet friends, go to bed, get up again in the morning and that’s all there is. That’s not what Søren Kierkegaard thinks though. It’s not like he had an opinion about people’s choices on everyday living and lifestyles, his own evereday life and lifestyle wasn’t particularly exciting. If you replace working with reading abd writing, film with theatre, renovating with decorating, vacation with walking – well, there you have a pretty good description over how Søren’s everyday life looked like. But the thing is, he was convinced that it’s not enough to just fix your outer surrounding and materialistic stuff. No matter the life you lead, quiet or adventurous, satisfactory or inconvenient; one day you’ll still end up asking yourself ”Why? Why am I alive? What’s the meaning?”

It’s natural and inevitable. Just like the physical body grows and evolves by it’s own force, our inner self wants to grow and evolve too, and takes in mor and more of reality. The search for meaning is in our nature.

Søren pondered, in the spirit of Platon, that a human isn’t a chair. A chair doesn’t need anything to be satisfied. Someone designs it, puts it together and then it just stands there being a chair. Move it around, put it upside down, toss it out the window – doesn’t matter. A chair doesn’t reflect upon it’s situation, doesn’t want anything, doesn’t evolve – it is, and always will be, a piece of furniture. Sme thing goes for trees, houses, kitchen ware, etc.

A human on the other hand, is not a constant like the chair. The human is a process. The human registers, reacts, acts and changes with life. She is in the making – today she’s one way, another time she’s someone else… and she can’t ever stop wondering and being curious about this someone else, about those future editions of herself. Maybe that’s what triggers this search for the meaning of life? There’s this curious and never ending wonder between now and later, between me today and me tomorrow, that just makes us… inquisitive.

   

Søren studies himself, observes his friends and acquaintances in Copenhagen and makes a shit ton of notes in his many journals – a jumble of thoughts, feelings, theories, observations, tales and allegories. With time, he finally think he’s figured out how it works, what conditions are required, what choices that needs to be made, what actions a human needs to do to go forth in their growth. 

Kierkegaard found that the individual passed through three stages on the way to becoming a true self: aesthetic stage, authentic/ethical stage, and spiritual stage. Each of these ”stages on life’s way” represents competing views on life and as such potentially conflicts with one another. 

He also found that within each of these stages – there are three sub-stages.

  

My little Kierkegaard series… To be continued!

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