An Intellectual Struggle: Existentialism

They say a formal education means nothing when you don’t know who you are as a person. I have spoken in the past of religions (Christianity mainly) but there is a world of other religion and philosophy out there that may or may not define you as of current. Spirituality and understanding of the self are two very human things that shouldn’t be pushed away for logic or lack thereof. Accordingly, we all have been designed to desire relationship with a God or deity. There is a reason those who are incredibly broken and are undeserving are the ones who run straight to the prospect of a God.

Another existentialist philosopher, Nietzsche, is pictured above meshed with Overbeck. (photo by quapan)

Another existentialist philosopher, Nietzsche, is pictured above meshed with Overbeck. (photo by quapan)

 

In any sense, we are still drawn to ourselves. After all, who knows us better than we do? Our every thought is apparent to us – although we may not be aware of the root of the issue, as I discussed is the main point to change habit in my past post entitled, “The Power of Habit: A Review.” There is, a title for this internal struggle to find ourselves in the big scheme of things.

Thoughts have ran through my head as I am sure it has ran through yours, since we are all a broken peoples regardless of whether or not we see it (all religions agree): what is my purpose here, what is my calling, who am I, what do I stand for, what is my placement in this world, or perhaps even the more morbid of the questions, why is this life even worth living?

Existentialism is, as according to stanford.edu, an intellectual phenomenon, literary phenomenon, as well as a philosophical phenomenon. Existentialism essentially says, “Yes, I understand science, religion, and moral as well as every other aspect of life – but it is simply a way of understanding that we, as humans, can not be fully understood by those means.” Basically, they claim that one methodology can not constitute reasoning for all human beings.

Those who identify with the prospect of existentialism, as it is now defined for you, must understand that it is an inner search for a truth of human existence. For if we do not know what we exist for, how could we understand, really, anything else? Often, existentialism has been claimed as founded by a man named Soren Kierkegaard, who accordingly wrote of the prospect of existentialistic philosophy, introducing it to the world.

There are, in fact, nonreligious and religious aspects of existentialism. As quoted from about.com, “The two [aspects] disagreed on the existence of God and the nature of religion, but they did agree on other matters. For example, they agreed that traditional philosophy and theology had become too remote from normal human life to be of much use.”

It is a scary thought to not know where you are in the world, what your purpose is, or what to live for. Though many of us can live in comfortability with the way the world is – others can not and must eventually question their lives in what is known as an existential crisis.

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