Existentialism is a complex philosophy that over the years has been changed, distorted and re-written until it basically does not exist as a viable philosophy for human-kind, 2006. Certainly Kierkegaard and Nietzsche had their own brand of the "truth" and yet agreed on many of the same points. . . even though they never met one another. They both felt that complete and total awareness of the act of simply existing for the sake of nothing else other than to exist was what life was about. A "Me" existence where the things that surround us and are a part of our every day lives.. . . where we live, eat and make love, mean nothing in respect to whom we are. Although most of us believe that we can aptly define ourselves, even that is not who we truly are. It is simply what we perceive ourselves to be. Only in those random times of acting on the spur of the moment- throwing a pen across the room in frustration, screaming when we are frightened, or sighing at a sunset's beauty, are we perfectly in the true existentialist state. We can see it in nature and use it as a metaphor, as I have done in much of my own work. A tree stands for the good of the universe, it takes and receives from the air, but the tree is only a tree because it happens to be there. Put into the context when related to human-kind, if one is doing something that that they feel that they "should" do, rather than something that they "would" do, they will never be at ease with their own existence. However, in performing this particular act , should they be completely at one with what they are doing, even if it is a "should act, " then the reverse is true. It is basically a matter of accurately processing ones own actions and feeling at peace with them.
When two people first fall in love, there is no one else in the world but just the two of them. They are completely one with the other. Lovers will often say that they never existed before, until they met this person. There is no one else in the room, not another thing occupying their own spatial existence. There is only the two of them, hence---soul mate. The question is this. Would one be in an existentialist state of love if the other was not?
When this ideology is looked at through the bottom of a coke bottle , or through the eyes of a writer, it can be formulated on the sense of first and third person, and will fall someplace in the middle, combining the two.
Meditation can bring about a complete existential world where there is nothing but what the meditator is doing.bliss follows
How does this play into life after death? Kierkegaard believed in it, Nietzsche did not. We no longer exist in the physical world, which is acceptable as an existentialist may believe, we never truly could feel at home in a world that is constantly sabotaging our will to simply exist for the world is constantly throwing in too many physical obstacles that deter and blur our human need to just be.
So, in the end, I submit that we go back into the essence of existentialism , look at it a bit less myopically and take from it what we can.
copyright 2006, Janet K. Brennan Aka jb Stillwater, author and poetSend us your comments on this article