To the same degree as the subjective thinker is concrete, to the same degree his form must also be concretely dialectical. But just as he himself is not a poet, not an ethicist, not a dialectician, so also his form is none of these directly. His form must first and last be related to existence, and in this regard he must have at his disposal the poetic, the ethical, the dialectical, the religious. Subordinate character, setting, etc. The setting is not the fairyland of the imagination, where poetry produces consummation, nor is the setting laid in England, and historical accuracy is not a concern.
The setting is inwardness in existing as a human being; the concretion is the relation of the existence-categories to one another. Historical accuracy and historical actuality are breadth. Some interpret the imperative to define oneself as meaning that anyone can wish to be anything. However, an existentialist philosopher would say such a wish constitutes an inauthentic existence — what Sartre would call ' bad faith '.
Instead, the phrase should be taken to say that people are 1 defined only insofar as they act and 2 that they are responsible for their actions. For example, someone who acts cruelly towards other people is, by that act, defined as a cruel person. Furthermore, by this action of cruelty, such persons are themselves responsible for their new identity cruel persons. This is as opposed to their genes, or human nature , bearing the blame. As Sartre says in his lecture Existentialism is a Humanism : " The more positive, therapeutic aspect of this is also implied: a person can choose to act in a different way, and to be a good person instead of a cruel person.
Sartre's definition of existentialism was based on Heidegger's magnum opus Being and Time. In the correspondence with Jean Beaufret later published as the Letter on Humanism , Heidegger implies that Sartre misunderstood him for his own purposes of subjectivism, and that he did not mean that actions take precedence over being so long as those actions were not reflected upon. The notion of the absurd contains the idea that there is no meaning in the world beyond what meaning we give it.
This meaninglessness also encompasses the amorality or "unfairness" of the world. This conceptualization can be highlighted in the way it opposes the traditional Abrahamic religious perspective, which establishes that life's purpose is about the fulfillment of God's commandments. To live the life of the absurd means rejecting a life that finds or pursues specific meaning for man's existence since there is nothing to be discovered.
According to Albert Camus, the world or the human being is not in itself absurd. The concept only emerges through the juxtaposition of the two, where life becomes absurd due to the incompatibility between human beings and the world they inhabit. These are considered absurd since they issue from human freedom, undermining their foundation outside of themselves. The notion of the absurd in existentialism contrasts with the claim that "bad things don't happen to good people"; to the world, metaphorically speaking, there is no such thing as a good person or a bad person; what happens happens, and it may just as well happen to a "good" person as to a "bad" person.
The notion of the Absurd has been prominent in literature throughout history. It is in relation to the concept of the devastating awareness of meaninglessness that Albert Camus claimed that "there is only one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide" in his The Myth of Sisyphus. Although "prescriptions" against the possibly deleterious consequences of these kinds of encounters vary, from Kierkegaard's religious "stage" to Camus' insistence on persevering in spite of absurdity, the concern with helping people avoid living their lives in ways that put them in the perpetual danger of having everything meaningful break down is common to most existentialist philosophers.
The possibility of having everything meaningful break down poses a threat of quietism , which is inherently against the existentialist philosophy.source url
The ultimate hero of absurdism lives without meaning and faces suicide without succumbing to it. Facticity is a concept defined by Sartre in Being and Nothingness as the in-itself , which delineates for humans the modalities of being and not being. This can be more easily understood when considering facticity in relation to the temporal dimension of our past: one's past is what one is, in the sense that it co-constitutes oneself.
However, to say that one is only one's past would be to ignore a significant part of reality the present and the future , while saying that one's past is only what one was, would entirely detach it from oneself now. A denial of one's own concrete past constitutes an inauthentic lifestyle, and the same goes for all other kinds of facticity having a human body—e. Facticity is both a limitation and a condition of freedom. It is a limitation in that a large part of one's facticity consists of things one could not have chosen birthplace, etc.
However, even though one's facticity is "set in stone" as being past, for instance , it cannot determine a person: the value ascribed to one's facticity is still ascribed to it freely by that person. As an example, consider two men, one of whom has no memory of his past and the other who remembers everything. They both have committed many crimes, but the first man, knowing nothing about this, leads a rather normal life while the second man, feeling trapped by his own past, continues a life of crime, blaming his own past for "trapping" him in this life.
There is nothing essential about his committing crimes, but he ascribes this meaning to his past. However, to disregard one's facticity when, in the continual process of self-making, one projects oneself into the future, that would be to put oneself in denial of oneself, and thus would be inauthentic. In other words, the origin of one's projection must still be one's facticity, though in the mode of not being it essentially. An example of one focusing solely on one's possible projects without reflecting on one's current facticity:  if one continually thinks about future possibilities related to being rich e.
In this example, considering both facticity and transcendence, an authentic mode of being would be considering future projects that might improve one's current finances e. Another aspect of facticity is that it entails angst , both in the sense that freedom "produces" angst when limited by facticity, and in the sense that the lack of the possibility of having facticity to "step in" for one to take responsibility for something one has done, also produces angst.
Another aspect of existential freedom is that one can change one's values. Thus, one is responsible for one's values, regardless of society's values. The focus on freedom in existentialism is related to the limits of the responsibility one bears, as a result of one's freedom: the relationship between freedom and responsibility is one of interdependency, and a clarification of freedom also clarifies that for which one is responsible. Many noted existentialist writers consider the theme of authentic existence important.
Authentic existence involves the idea that one has to "create oneself" and then live in accordance with this self. What is meant by authenticity is that in acting, one should act as oneself, not as "one's acts" or as "one's genes" or any other essence requires. The authentic act is one that is in accordance with one's freedom.
As a condition of freedom is facticity, this includes one's facticity, but not to the degree that this facticity can in any way determine one's transcendent choices in the sense that one could then blame one's background [facticity] for making the choice one made [chosen project, from one's transcendence]. The role of facticity in relation to authenticity involves letting one's actual values come into play when one makes a choice instead of, like Kierkegaard's Aesthete, "choosing" randomly , so that one also takes responsibility for the act instead of choosing either-or without allowing the options to have different values.
In contrast to this, the inauthentic is the denial to live in accordance with one's freedom. This can take many forms, from pretending choices are meaningless or random, through convincing oneself that some form of determinism is true, to a sort of "mimicry" where one acts as "one should". How "one should" act is often determined by an image one has, of how one such as oneself say, a bank manager, lion tamer, prostitute, etc. In Being and Nothingness , Sartre relates an example of a " waiter " in bad faith : he merely takes part in the "act" of being a typical waiter, albeit very convincingly.
The Other when written with a capital "O" is a concept more properly belonging to phenomenology and its account of intersubjectivity. However, the concept has seen widespread use in existentialist writings, and the conclusions drawn from it differ slightly from the phenomenological accounts. The experience of the Other is the experience of another free subject who inhabits the same world as a person does. In its most basic form, it is this experience of the Other that constitutes intersubjectivity and objectivity.
To clarify, when one experiences someone else, and this Other person experiences the world the same world that a person experiences —only from "over there"—the world itself is constituted as objective in that it is something that is "there" as identical for both of the subjects; a person experiences the other person as experiencing the same things. This experience of the Other's look is what is termed the Look sometimes the Gaze.
While this experience, in its basic phenomenological sense, constitutes the world as objective, and oneself as objectively existing subjectivity one experiences oneself as seen in the Other's Look in precisely the same way that one experiences the Other as seen by him, as subjectivity , in existentialism, it also acts as a kind of limitation of freedom.
This is because the Look tends to objectify what it sees. As such, when one experiences oneself in the Look, one doesn't experience oneself as nothing no thing , but as something. Sartre's own example of a man peeping at someone through a keyhole can help clarify this: at first, this man is entirely caught up in the situation he is in; he is in a pre-reflexive state where his entire consciousness is directed at what goes on in the room. Suddenly, he hears a creaking floorboard behind him, and he becomes aware of himself as seen by the Other.
He is thus filled with shame for he perceives himself as he would perceive someone else doing what he was doing, as a Peeping Tom. For Sartre, this phenomenological experience of shame establishes a proof for the existence of other minds and defeats the problem of solipsism. For the conscious state of shame to be experienced, one has to become aware of oneself as an object of another look, proving a priori, that other minds exist. Another characteristic feature of the Look is that no Other really needs to have been there: It is quite possible that the creaking floorboard was nothing but the movement of an old house; the Look is not some kind of mystical telepathic experience of the actual way the other sees one there may also have been someone there, but he could have not noticed that the person was there.
It is only one's perception of the way another might perceive him. It is generally held to be a negative feeling arising from the experience of human freedom and responsibility. The archetypical example is the experience one has when standing on a cliff where one not only fears falling off it, but also dreads the possibility of throwing oneself off. In this experience that "nothing is holding me back", one senses the lack of anything that predetermines one to either throw oneself off or to stand still, and one experiences one's own freedom. Angst, according to the modern existentialist, Adam Fong , is the sudden realization of a lack of meaning, often while one completes a task that initially seems to have intrinsic meaning.
It can also be seen in relation to the previous point how angst is before nothing, and this is what sets it apart from fear that has an object. While in the case of fear, one can take definitive measures to remove the object of fear, in the case of angst, no such "constructive" measures are possible. The use of the word "nothing" in this context relates both to the inherent insecurity about the consequences of one's actions, and to the fact that, in experiencing freedom as angst, one also realizes that one is fully responsible for these consequences.
There is nothing in people genetically, for instance that acts in their stead—that they can blame if something goes wrong. Therefore, not every choice is perceived as having dreadful possible consequences and, it can be claimed, human lives would be unbearable if every choice facilitated dread. However, this doesn't change the fact that freedom remains a condition of every action.
Despair, in existentialism, is generally defined as a loss of hope. If a person is invested in being a particular thing, such as a bus driver or an upstanding citizen, and then finds their being-thing compromised, they would normally be found in a state of despair—a hopeless state. For example, a singer who loses the ability to sing may despair if they have nothing else to fall back on—nothing to rely on for their identity. They find themselves unable to be what defined their being.
What sets the existentialist notion of despair apart from the conventional definition is that existentialist despair is a state one is in even when they are not overtly in despair. So long as a person's identity depends on qualities that can crumble, they are in perpetual despair—and as there is, in Sartrean terms, no human essence found in conventional reality on which to constitute the individual's sense of identity, despair is a universal human condition.
When the God-forsaken worldliness of earthly life shuts itself in complacency, the confined air develops poison, the moment gets stuck and stands still, the prospect is lost, a need is felt for a refreshing, enlivening breeze to cleanse the air and dispel the poisonous vapors lest we suffocate in worldliness. Lovingly to hope all things is the opposite of despairingly to hope nothing at all. Love hopes all things—yet is never put to shame. To relate oneself expectantly to the possibility of the good is to hope.
To relate oneself expectantly to the possibility of evil is to fear. By the decision to choose hope one decides infinitely more than it seems, because it is an eternal decision. Existentialists oppose definitions of human beings as primarily rational, and, therefore, oppose positivism and rationalism.
Existentialism asserts that people actually make decisions based on subjective meaning rather than pure rationality. The rejection of reason as the source of meaning is a common theme of existentialist thought, as is the focus on the feelings of anxiety and dread that we feel in the face of our own radical freedom and our awareness of death. Kierkegaard advocated rationality as a means to interact with the objective world e.
Like Kierkegaard, Sartre saw problems with rationality, calling it a form of "bad faith", an attempt by the self to impose structure on a world of phenomena—"the Other"—that is fundamentally irrational and random. According to Sartre, rationality and other forms of bad faith hinder people from finding meaning in freedom.
To try to suppress their feelings of anxiety and dread, people confine themselves within everyday experience, Sartre asserts, thereby relinquishing their freedom and acquiescing to being possessed in one form or another by "the Look" of "the Other" i. An existentialist reading of the Bible would demand that the reader recognize that they are an existing subject studying the words more as a recollection of events. Such a reader is not obligated to follow the commandments as if an external agent is forcing these commandments upon them, but as though they are inside them and guiding them from inside.
This is the task Kierkegaard takes up when he asks: "Who has the more difficult task: the teacher who lectures on earnest things a meteor's distance from everyday life—or the learner who should put it to use? Although nihilism and existentialism are distinct philosophies, they are often confused with one another as both are rooted in the human experience of anguish and confusion stemming from the apparent meaninglessness of a world in which humans are compelled to find or create meaning.
Existentialist philosophers often stress the importance of Angst as signifying the absolute lack of any objective ground for action, a move that is often reduced to a moral or an existential nihilism. A pervasive theme in the works of existentialist philosophy, however, is to persist through encounters with the absurd, as seen in Camus ' The Myth of Sisyphus "One must imagine Sisyphus happy" ,  and it is only very rarely that existentialist philosophers dismiss morality or one's self-created meaning: Kierkegaard regained a sort of morality in the religious although he wouldn't himself agree that it was ethical; the religious suspends the ethical , and Sartre 's final words in Being and Nothingness are "All these questions, which refer us to a pure and not an accessory or impure reflection, can find their reply only on the ethical plane.
We shall devote to them a future work. They focused on subjective human experience rather than the objective truths of mathematics and science, which they believed were too detached or observational to truly get at the human experience. Like Pascal , they were interested in people's quiet struggle with the apparent meaninglessness of life and the use of diversion to escape from boredom. Unlike Pascal, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche also considered the role of making free choices, particularly regarding fundamental values and beliefs, and how such choices change the nature and identity of the chooser.
Nietzsche's idealized individual invents his own values and creates the very terms they excel under. By contrast, Kierkegaard, opposed to the level of abstraction in Hegel, and not nearly as hostile actually welcoming to Christianity as Nietzsche, argues through a pseudonym that the objective certainty of religious truths specifically Christian is not only impossible, but even founded on logical paradoxes. Yet he continues to imply that a leap of faith is a possible means for an individual to reach a higher stage of existence that transcends and contains both an aesthetic and ethical value of life.
Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were also precursors to other intellectual movements, including postmodernism , and various strands of psychotherapy. However, Kierkegaard believed that individuals should live in accordance with their thinking. The first important literary author also important to existentialism was the Russian Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Jean-Paul Sartre , in his book on existentialism Existentialism is a Humanism , quoted Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov as an example of existential crisis.
Sartre attributes Ivan Karamazov's claim, "If God did not exist, everything would be permitted"  to Dostoyevsky himself, though this quote does not appear in the novel. Dimitri mentions his conversations with Rakitin in which the idea that "Then, if He doesn't exist, man is king of the earth, of the universe" allowing the inference contained in Sartre's attribution to remain a valid idea contested within the novel. In the first decades of the 20th century, a number of philosophers and writers explored existentialist ideas.
The Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo , in his book The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Nations , emphasized the life of "flesh and bone" as opposed to that of abstract rationalism. Unamuno rejected systematic philosophy in favor of the individual's quest for faith. He retained a sense of the tragic, even absurd nature of the quest, symbolized by his enduring interest in Cervantes ' fictional character Don Quixote. A novelist, poet and dramatist as well as philosophy professor at the University of Salamanca, Unamuno wrote a short story about a priest's crisis of faith, Saint Manuel the Good, Martyr , which has been collected in anthologies of existentialist fiction.
Another Spanish thinker, Ortega y Gasset , writing in , held that human existence must always be defined as the individual person combined with the concrete circumstances of his life: " Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia " "I am myself and my circumstances". Sartre likewise believed that human existence is not an abstract matter, but is always situated " en situation ".
Although Martin Buber wrote his major philosophical works in German, and studied and taught at the Universities of Berlin and Frankfurt , he stands apart from the mainstream of German philosophy. Born into a Jewish family in Vienna in , he was also a scholar of Jewish culture and involved at various times in Zionism and Hasidism.
In , he moved permanently to Jerusalem. His best-known philosophical work was the short book I and Thou , published in For Buber, the fundamental fact of human existence, too readily overlooked by scientific rationalism and abstract philosophical thought, is "man with man", a dialogue that takes place in the so-called "sphere of between" "das Zwischenmenschliche". Two Russian thinkers, Lev Shestov and Nikolai Berdyaev , became well known as existentialist thinkers during their post-Revolutionary exiles in Paris. Shestov, born into a Ukrainian-Jewish family in Kiev, had launched an attack on rationalism and systematization in philosophy as early as in his book of aphorisms All Things Are Possible.
Berdyaev, also from Kiev but with a background in the Eastern Orthodox Church, drew a radical distinction between the world of spirit and the everyday world of objects. Human freedom, for Berdyaev, is rooted in the realm of spirit, a realm independent of scientific notions of causation. To the extent the individual human being lives in the objective world, he is estranged from authentic spiritual freedom. Gabriel Marcel , long before coining the term "existentialism", introduced important existentialist themes to a French audience in his early essay "Existence and Objectivity" and in his Metaphysical Journal Harmony, for Marcel, was to be sought through "secondary reflection", a "dialogical" rather than "dialectical" approach to the world, characterized by "wonder and astonishment" and open to the "presence" of other people and of God rather than merely to "information" about them.
For Marcel, such presence implied more than simply being there as one thing might be in the presence of another thing ; it connoted "extravagant" availability, and the willingness to put oneself at the disposal of the other. Marcel contrasted secondary reflection with abstract, scientific-technical primary reflection , which he associated with the activity of the abstract Cartesian ego. For Marcel, philosophy was a concrete activity undertaken by a sensing, feeling human being incarnate—embodied—in a concrete world. In Germany, the psychologist and philosopher Karl Jaspers —who later described existentialism as a "phantom" created by the public  —called his own thought, heavily influenced by Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Existenzphilosophie.
For Jaspers, " Existenz -philosophy is the way of thought by means of which man seeks to become himself This way of thought does not cognize objects, but elucidates and makes actual the being of the thinker". Jaspers, a professor at the University of Heidelberg , was acquainted with Martin Heidegger , who held a professorship at Marburg before acceding to Husserl's chair at Freiburg in They held many philosophical discussions, but later became estranged over Heidegger's support of National Socialism Nazism.
They shared an admiration for Kierkegaard,  and in the s, Heidegger lectured extensively on Nietzsche. Nevertheless, the extent to which Heidegger should be considered an existentialist is debatable. In Being and Time he presented a method of rooting philosophical explanations in human existence Dasein to be analysed in terms of existential categories existentiale ; and this has led many commentators to treat him as an important figure in the existentialist movement. Following the Second World War, existentialism became a well-known and significant philosophical and cultural movement, mainly through the public prominence of two French writers, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus , who wrote best-selling novels, plays and widely read journalism as well as theoretical texts.
Sartre dealt with existentialist themes in his novel Nausea and the short stories in his collection The Wall , and had published his treatise on existentialism, Being and Nothingness , in , but it was in the two years following the liberation of Paris from the German occupying forces that he and his close associates—Camus, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and others—became internationally famous as the leading figures of a movement known as existentialism. Beauvoir wrote that "not a week passed without the newspapers discussing us";  existentialism became "the first media craze of the postwar era.
By the end of , Camus' earlier fiction and plays had been reprinted, his new play Caligula had been performed and his novel The Plague published; the first two novels of Sartre's The Roads to Freedom trilogy had appeared, as had Beauvoir's novel The Blood of Others. Works by Camus and Sartre were already appearing in foreign editions. The Paris-based existentialists had become famous. Sartre had traveled to Germany in to study the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger ,  and he included critical comments on their work in his major treatise Being and Nothingness.
Heidegger read Sartre's work and was initially impressed, commenting: "Here for the first time I encountered an independent thinker who, from the foundations up, has experienced the area out of which I think. Your work shows such an immediate comprehension of my philosophy as I have never before encountered. In the s, Sartre attempted to reconcile existentialism and Marxism in his work Critique of Dialectical Reason.
A major theme throughout his writings was freedom and responsibility. Camus was a friend of Sartre, until their falling-out, and wrote several works with existential themes including The Rebel , Summer in Algiers , The Myth of Sisyphus , and The Stranger , the latter being "considered—to what would have been Camus's irritation—the exemplary existentialist novel. In the titular book, Camus uses the analogy of the Greek myth of Sisyphus to demonstrate the futility of existence.
In the myth, Sisyphus is condemned for eternity to roll a rock up a hill, but when he reaches the summit, the rock will roll to the bottom again. Camus believes that this existence is pointless but that Sisyphus ultimately finds meaning and purpose in his task, simply by continually applying himself to it. The first half of the book contains an extended rebuttal of what Camus took to be existentialist philosophy in the works of Kierkegaard, Shestov, Heidegger, and Jaspers.
Simone de Beauvoir , an important existentialist who spent much of her life as Sartre's partner, wrote about feminist and existentialist ethics in her works, including The Second Sex and The Ethics of Ambiguity. Although often overlooked due to her relationship with Sartre,  de Beauvoir integrated existentialism with other forms of thinking such as feminism, unheard of at the time, resulting in alienation from fellow writers such as Camus. Paul Tillich , an important existentialist theologian following Kierkegaard and Karl Barth , applied existentialist concepts to Christian theology , and helped introduce existential theology to the general public.
His seminal work The Courage to Be follows Kierkegaard's analysis of anxiety and life's absurdity, but puts forward the thesis that modern humans must, via God, achieve selfhood in spite of life's absurdity. Rudolf Bultmann used Kierkegaard's and Heidegger's philosophy of existence to demythologize Christianity by interpreting Christian mythical concepts into existentialist concepts.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty , an existential phenomenologist , was for a time a companion of Sartre. Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception was recognized as a major statement of French existentialism. However, in later years they were to disagree irreparably, dividing many existentialists such as de Beauvoir,  who sided with Sartre.
Colin Wilson , an English writer, published his study The Outsider in , initially to critical acclaim. In this book and others e. Introduction to the New Existentialism , he attempted to reinvigorate what he perceived as a pessimistic philosophy and bring it to a wider audience. He was not, however, academically trained, and his work was attacked by professional philosophers for lack of rigor and critical standards. Stanley Kubrick 's anti-war film Paths of Glory "illustrates, and even illuminates The film examines existentialist ethics, such as the issue of whether objectivity is possible and the "problem of authenticity ".
Neon Genesis Evangelion is a Japanese science fiction animation series created by the anime studio Gainax and was both directed and written by Hideaki Anno. This, in turn, leads him to a better understanding of humanity. Existential perspectives are also found in modern literature to varying degrees, especially since the s. Jean-Paul Sartre's novel Nausea  was "steeped in Existential ideas", and is considered an accessible way of grasping his philosophical stance.
Eliot , Herman Hesse , Luigi Pirandello ,       Ralph Ellison ,     and Jack Kerouac , composed literature or poetry that contained, to varying degrees, elements of existential or proto-existential thought. The philosophy's influence even reached pulp literature shortly after the turn of the 20th century, as seen in the existential disparity witnessed in Man's lack of control of his fate in the works of H.
Dick , Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut , Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and Formless Meanderings by Bharath Srinivasan  all distort the line between reality and appearance while simultaneously espousing existential themes.
Existentialism - Wikipedia
Jean-Paul Sartre wrote No Exit in , an existentialist play originally published in French as Huis Clos meaning In Camera or "behind closed doors" , which is the source of the popular quote, "Hell is other people. The play begins with a Valet leading a man into a room that the audience soon realizes is in hell. Eventually he is joined by two women.
After their entry, the Valet leaves and the door is shut and locked. All three expect to be tortured, but no torturer arrives. Instead, they realize they are there to torture each other, which they do effectively by probing each other's sins, desires, and unpleasant memories. Existentialist themes are displayed in the Theatre of the Absurd , notably in Samuel Beckett 's Waiting for Godot , in which two men divert themselves while they wait expectantly for someone or something named Godot who never arrives.
They claim Godot is an acquaintance, but in fact, hardly know him, admitting they would not recognize him if they saw him. Samuel Beckett, once asked who or what Godot is, replied, "If I knew, I would have said so in the play. The play examines questions such as death, the meaning of human existence and the place of God in human existence. Comparisons have also been drawn to Samuel Beckett 's Waiting For Godot , for the presence of two central characters who appear almost as two halves of a single character.
Many plot features are similar as well: the characters pass time by playing Questions , impersonating other characters, and interrupting each other or remaining silent for long periods of time. The two characters are portrayed as two clowns or fools in a world beyond their understanding. They stumble through philosophical arguments while not realizing the implications, and muse on the irrationality and randomness of the world. Jean Anouilh 's Antigone also presents arguments founded on existentialist ideas.
Produced under Nazi censorship, the play is purposefully ambiguous with regards to the rejection of authority represented by Antigone and the acceptance of it represented by Creon. The parallels to the French Resistance and the Nazi occupation have been drawn. Antigone rejects life as desperately meaningless but without affirmatively choosing a noble death. The crux of the play is the lengthy dialogue concerning the nature of power, fate, and choice, during which Antigone says that she is, " Esslin noted that many of these playwrights demonstrated the philosophy better than did the plays by Sartre and Camus.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844—1900)
Though most of such playwrights, subsequently labeled "Absurdist" based on Esslin's book , denied affiliations with existentialism and were often staunchly anti-philosophical for example Ionesco often claimed he identified more with 'Pataphysics or with Surrealism than with existentialism , the playwrights are often linked to existentialism based on Esslin's observation. A major offshoot of existentialism as a philosophy is existentialist psychology and psychoanalysis, which first crystallized in the work of Otto Rank , Freud's closest associate for 20 years.
A later figure was Viktor Frankl , who briefly met Freud as a young man. The existentialists would also influence social psychology , antipositivist micro- sociology , symbolic interactionism , and post-structuralism , with the work of thinkers such as Georg Simmel  and Michel Foucault. Foucault was a great reader of Kierkegaard even though he almost never refers this author, who nonetheless had for him an importance as secret as it was decisive. An early contributor to existentialist psychology in the United States was Rollo May , who was strongly influenced by Kierkegaard and Otto Rank.
One of the most prolific writers on techniques and theory of existentialist psychology in the USA is Irvin D. Yalom states that. Aside from their reaction against Freud's mechanistic, deterministic model of the mind and their assumption of a phenomenological approach in therapy, the existentialist analysts have little in common and have never been regarded as a cohesive ideological school. Gebsattel, Roland Kuhn, G. Caruso, F. Buytendijk, G. Bally and Victor Frankl—were almost entirely unknown to the American psychotherapeutic community until Rollo May's highly influential book Existence —and especially his introductory essay—introduced their work into this country.
A more recent contributor to the development of a European version of existentialist psychotherapy is the British-based Emmy van Deurzen. Anxiety's importance in existentialism makes it a popular topic in psychotherapy. Therapists often offer existentialist philosophy as an explanation for anxiety. The assertion is that anxiety is manifested of an individual's complete freedom to decide, and complete responsibility for the outcome of such decisions. Psychotherapists using an existentialist approach believe that a patient can harness his anxiety and use it constructively.
As a midlife woman, in , at the brink of suicide, I found the world of dreams, meditation, and then in — , I learned about the colonization of psychic space. I had to dig very very deep. Far deeper than my family and often myself, were comfortable with. I had to excavate deep beneath the patriarchal beliefs I grew up with. My purpose with writing this post is to question what lies, historically, beneath the belief in an angry male god of creation. It is a strong belief layered with bedrock over the Great Mother birthing All.
Suffering is. I cannot recommend more highly deep study of the pre-patriarchal, pre-Greek myth of Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth. Her stories and Hymns from Sumer. The Sumerian woman springs to mind. The bleeding woman who touched the hem of the cloak of The Christ. Christ, Available to us now are the painstaking excavations detailed by authors such as Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer Excavating old beliefs that no longer serve the highest good is excruciating work.
The myth of Inanna lived and lives me still. I knew it not. Now, I am an old woman. I no longer feel the patriarchy has any power over life. My deepest journey into the depths of psyche began with the descent and landing, a dream December I call to question every single belief that categorizes the Other as somehow lesser than or evil. I am a radical feminist. I believe we must tear the patriarchy within ourselves up by the roots, radii … the hierarchy must give way to a creation spirituality, to birthing a new consciousness.
The earth is scorched by the forever sun shining sky religions. Go deep. Go deeper. Go deep down into the earth and heal from with the very darkness. For it is in the deep good soil that the green of the soul springs forth. From the womb of the Great Mother. I deal with this topic in my novel, Secret Lives, in Chapter 6, where young Janie has her first period.
The chapter ends with a menarche ritual. Milly sighed. Adam and Eve? How their god punishes them for disobeying him when all Eve was doing was obeying the Goddess? Well, She was manifesting in the serpent, and the serpent is one of Her sacred animals. She speaks to them on Her behalf. I read about that. Curiosity is good. Well, except for those nights you spied on your brothers.
Yes, Daddy and I know about that. Anyway, their god gets angry and tells them that from now on, women will have babies in pain. Some people think that story is true, that women are doomed to suffer. Would have been in the Garden of Eden to report it? Somebody from Channel 4?
She just listened. Wherever you want to go. How about that? To pagan, the idea of being punished for giving life and more ancient giving your life in giving birth is frankly, revolting. Sometimes labour of any kind is painful. Harvesting after planting is hard work and you are blessed for your labour by the outcome. Pain is just as much a part of life as feeling joy and the birthing process has both, hopefully.
Since animals feel pain in the birthing process too, it is illogical to think that God would punish them for non-exitant sin. Like Liked by 2 people. Stacia, I hope you will put this discussion in a larger context and clarify the assumptions leading you to think Christian women should consider this particular text when thining about their own birthing processes. Are you arguing that everything the Bible says should be listened to and followed, including statements that men can have more than one wife and own slaves and concubines?
Or is this passage to be listened to but not the others? I think many Christian and Jewish women would simply say that this text is sexist and the traditions must move on. Carol raises what is, perhaps, the central point here: the Christian response to the Old Testament. I have not been a Christian for too many years to count, but as a child and adolescent I thought a good deal about these things. Christ really lived, really died, and really rose again, in real time: after Christ, time is both literally and mystically different from before: everything changes, not simply the present and the future, but the past as well.
Christ said: I come with a New Law. While deeply versed in traditional Jewish teaching, he made it clear that, where there was a conflict between tradition the teaching we find in the Old Testament and the message he preached, then the old lessons should be rejected in favour of the new.
People would have remained pagan or Jewish. But they became Christians, they embraced the New Law. What, otherwise, would have been the point of the Incarnation in the first place? Not a single woman is involved in this. But the women remain loyal throughout the whole terrible business. But this takes us into the argument for women priests which must keep for another time. Back to women, Jesus, and gynaecology. We might want to remember the story of the woman with the issue of blood. This event is profoundly important for Chrisistian women. In traditional Jewish society, menstruation made a woman unclean.
It still does. She was polluted and polluting. She was dirty. She had to keep apart while bleeding. Her menses were a source of shame and humiliation for herself and disgust to others. This poor woman had been bleeding a long time. Can you imagine the shame, the despair? The sheer inconvenience she would not, for example, have been permitted to cook for her husband, or share his bed. Now, had Jesus been a strict follower of the old law he would have turned on the woman and exercrated her for daring to come anywhere near him. But this is the New Law. He commends her faith, and sends her away healed.
Now, would anyone care to quote me where Jesus says that women should suffer pain simply because the Goddess has conferrred upon them and upon them alone the sacred right to bring new life in to the world? Blessings, June. Hi Carol, You bring up an interesting point. When I teach my childbirth education or anything else I teach, in fact , I say up front that there are things that I believe make the birth experience best for ME naturally, at home, with a midwife.
So I see my job as simply being a provider of additional information and let each couple decide what they want to do based on this new acquisition of knowledge. If they are aware of the existing risks and benefits of a certain medication and decide that they want to take it anyway, then I respect that decision as long as it is well-informed.
I see this post in a similar light. Religion, faith, and the interpretation of Scripture are all very personal things. Each person must decide what is right for them, what speaks to them, and how their Creator moves in and through their lives. But when I had a number of people come to me and question me on this particular passage probably because I have studied Scripture and work with birthing women, so it seemed like a natural question to ask…?
What women and men decide to do with this addition information remains, to me, a personal decision, and I leave each person to do with it what they will. Personally, I think the argument for pain as punishment is bunk, but again—that is my own belief. Each person must make their own journey.
British History Timeline
Hope that helps put my effort in context. Firstly, you need to realise that the Bible is the literal Word of God. God says so in the Bible itself. Secondly, there is nowhere in the Bible where God says a Man can have more than 1 wife. Could you please show me the scripture to validate your assertion as true. If you cannot find the scripture relating to that, then the premise of your argument is false, and can therefore not be relied upon. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 1 Timothy And his wives turned away his heart. The right of the firstborn is his. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. And the second and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died.
And he took fourteen wives and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. I just have to say that I am uncomfortable with positive comparisons of Christianity to Judaism and even with positive comparisons of the New Testament to the Hebrew Bible. The story is in the Hebrew Bible but it is not nearly as central in Judaism as it is in Christianity. Boys are taken behind the screen to be presented at baptism to God, girls are not.
Hi, Carol, and thank you for your response. It was certainly not my intention to compare Christianity positively to Judaism or Islam. My point was to try and show ways in which it might be possible for women to accept Christ without necessarily taking on all that jehovah stuff — as I believe it is. From my own perspective, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all one as bad as the other in their treatment of women, and I want no truck with any of them. Jesus never showed any contempt or loathing toward women, but, on the contrary, encouraged their faith, learning and ministry.
In my own spirituality, I prefer a relationship with a deity who comes to me as a woman, like myself. And while I suspect that the attempt to rescue Christianity or Judaism or Islam from its brutal woman-hating past and present is doomed, it may just be that Christianity will yet survive in a new, radically feminised form. Please note that there is a difference between Religion and Christianity. The hallmark or cornerstone of Religion is idolatory e. Catholics praying through Mary and believing in water baptism. Lutherans believing that water baptism brings you to heaven.
Bhuddist believing that they are their own God and believing that cows are holy and Muslims asserting that God does not have a son which directly contradicts scripture relating to the Godhead The Father, The Son and the Holy Ghost. So Allah cannot be a Christian God who is signified by the Godhead but an idol.
Conversely, a Christian is someone who can tell you how to go to heaven when you die. John This is what Christians believe in. That we agree with God that we are all sinners as God has declared us and that the wages of sin is death. And that Jesus Christ was crucified, died and He was buried. Has risen from death after 3 days in order to save us sinners from everlasting death in hell and everlasting torment away from his face eternally.
So, if you accept that you are a sinner and accept and believe that Jesus Christ died for you to save you from everlasting torment in hell, you are a Christian and on your way to heaven. Salvation is a gift from God and man does not have to do anything except to believe. We go to heaven not by our own righteousness but by accepting the gift that God gave us. Not to leave out Hinduism — there are hundreds of Hindu goddesses worshipped and celebrated in temples all over India today.
Yet menstruating women are not allowed to enter a Hindu temple. Women are not allowed to chant and recite one of the most important Hindu mantras — the Gayatri mantra, named after the Goddess Gayatri. I also believe that there is a continuing need to explore and explain the real original, intended and literal meaning in the Scriptures. A seemingly minor misinterpretation can give a totally different understanding.
For example, according to Christian interpretation, the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden is an apple, despite the fact that there is no scriptural evidence to suggest this.
Jewish Rabbinical scholars still debate, if the tree of knowledge was a pomegranate or fig tree. This is pretty remarkable, considering, that both pomegranates and figs are the symbols of ancient Goddesses and also menstruation. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. This suggests to the reader that contact with menstruating women is dangerous. If Jesus, felt power going out of him, what chances would ordinary mortal men have after contact with a menstruating woman?
This may include anyone from someone with in-growing toenail, to a person to terminal illness. Most women with menstrual problems would find it rather humiliating to go into details in a crowd. Please note that scripture interprets itself. There is nowhere in the Bible where it says that the tree in the middle of the garden was an apple or a pomegrenade or any fruit at all. The Bible does not say what fruit it is.
The problem with interpreting the Bible is that humans will always want to read their own minds into the Bible. Also remember that there were 2 trees in the Garden of Eden, the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil and the tree of Life, which is also spoken of in the Book of Revelation. That is why Adam and Eve were banished from the garden because if they then ate from the tree of life, they would then live for ever.
Interpreting the Bible assumes that God wanted to say something other than what He said in the Bible. The English dictionary defines study as the following:. The devotion of time and attention to gaining knowledge of an academic subject, especially by means of books 2. A detailed investigation and analysis of a subject or situation. Also, it is important to take heed of what version of the Bible you use. I would stay clear from the NIV by all means for the following reasons:. So What? There is no antecedent in the context!
The statement does NOT make sense! Not if you believe the virgin birth! See also Luke The NIV does the same in John , , and Just a very small sample of what is removed from the NIV:. Growing up I believed in the religious doctrine my family present to me, and I embraced all that I could understand.
As my spiritual growth deepened, I learned that my religious up bring was male dominated, and I was expected to assist in the alienation of myself as a women, and accept being the sub-class.
I find it my responsibility as a women to debunk as many man made myths as humanly possible, by countering with truth. I will tell you the most painful part of the delivery of my three children, Was the intrusive detached manner in which I was treated and expected to participate in. I was not allowed to listen to what my baby or my body as it was trying to tell me what to do. I know my story is not uncommon. We need to collectively agree to share as much of the truth about the female human as possible. We can all see the positive changes for women that have come about by simple implementing the truth.
Peace Gina Manichia. Please note that God is a man Jesus Christ is a man. Angels are men. Demons the fallen angels are men too. There is no record in the Bible of all the above being women. And God created a man and a woman in his own image. And explicitly gave them different roles. Also, there is nowhere in the Bible where it is claimed that women are inferior to men.
Therefore, this can only be human philosophy. It really boggles my mind to see how most women particularly feminists, relegate themselves to the lower echelons of life on this earth by rejecting themselves as worthy beings in this world and corrupt the scriptures to make their point that they are not worthy. If you think deeper and differently about this, you will notice the following:. God Jesus Christ , came to this world through a woman, Mary. An honour that not even men were afforded by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Yet, many women see themselves as inferior to men. There is nowhere in the Bible where God claims that women are inferior. If that was the case, why would God choose to come to this world through a woman. Having an opportunity as a woman, to deliver the Messiah, who will save billions of people if they believe, is surely an honour of the highest regard. Through a woman, came God onto this world with the sole purpose of saving billions of people from hell. A man is commanded to leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife.
Over and above, Adam was commanded to till the land and support his wife and family. With a fleshly mind, it amounts to some sort of slavery where a man should apply himself to making sure that her wife is comfortable and taken care of. This shows how God sees women, as very special, to an extent where they have men working for them to support them.
If it were me, I would really appreciate the kind gesture from God. That I am not obliged to support myself, but have someone to work for me. Its only Kings and Queens that have such a luxury bestowed upon them. The role of women in the Bible is explicitly clear. The Nation of Israel was raised and nurtured by women. If it were not for women, Israel would not have been what it was in Biblical times. This shows how critical the role of women was and it still is in this world. Women raise children, therefore raising Nations around the world. This is not a minuscule task, raising a nation is a task that is far beyond men in capability, let alone the wisdom to carry it out.
It is a monstrosity of a task that men cannot even imagine and comprehend. You cannot leave that task to any other body but a woman. No man can ever be able to carry out that successfully. It is your choice as a woman however, to choose what role you want to play. You can either choose to play your role, or another role whatsoever. But that does not change the role that women are supposed to be playing. I am a year old man and I have become a feminist. Unless women and mothers can mitigate the frequent male insanity, there is no future for mankind — because today the finger of unstable males hovers over the nuclear launch button.
So, dear women on this site, press forward, demand power sharing. You have more friends and supporters among sane men than you might realize. God bless. A blessing for Sigurd : may the Goddess keep you in grace and love, and bless and watch over you and all those dear to you. This is the God I know. And then Genesis tries to tell us that this same God punishes Eve and billions of future women because she was seeking the knowledge of good and evil….??? When we know as A FACT that Jesus, the christian churches and theologians have for years struggled to define exactly in detail all aspects of good and evil???
There is something seriously wrong here and I have to wonder who is this purported God of genesis? It is almost an insult to the christian God we know, almost a blasphemy. Is it about time to retire that story to where it belongs , namely to years before Christ and re-write it in the light of what we know today about God, the universe and the salvation story? Sonia, for the Children of the Book, and especially for Christians, this is the problem in a nutshell.
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