The Existentialist’s Survival Guide – Living Authentically (Gordon Marino on AOM Podcast)
Soren Kierkegaard – Danish theologian, Christian, philosopher, and considered the father of existentialist philosophy. Born in Cophehagan 1810 died 1855.
- One of his main ideas involves risk. Not to venture or not to risk is to take the biggest risk of life.
- Believes anxiety is the greatest teacher – today, it’s a symptom and needs to be medicated or removed.
- Life is an ongoing process (not I have been saved by grace I can do whatever) but rather working out your salvation through fear and trembling
- We are vulnerable – “one drink can lead to alcoholism”
- If you don’t feel anxiety you are spiritless – anxiety is about our spiritual potential. Why try to escape anxiety because this leads us to being a fuller person and full of faith.
- The solution to anxiety is to sit with it, recognizes it can be dangerous but leads to the three selves
- Concrete self – who you are now
- Ideal Self – who you want to become - get into med school, make the A, win the beauty
- True Self – self you were born to be – Child of God
Depression today – not against medication but our threshold for pain, feeling, living life on life’s terms is necessary. Human predicaments that impact us all have been turned into pathologies – illnesses or a condition. It is normal to feel down.
Despair or depression – depression turns into despair when you have given up on the project or given up on the human condition.
- Happiness had some to do with luck and fortune but was passing. Kierkegaard believed more in the disconnect between who you are and who you should be – his idea of less self-help, workshops or ethics but rather the need for a true identity in Christ.
- SK felt that procrastination was our greatest moral danger. Leading yourself to believe that the “right way” is the easy way…. This notion leads to moral compromise and dangerous decision making.
“Knight of Faith” – the individual who has placed complete faith in himself through God and can act freely and independently from the world. The 19th-century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaardvicariously discusses the knight of faith in several of his pseudonymic works (Constantin Constantius), with the most in-depth and detailed critique exposited in Fear and Trembling and in Repetition.
Authentic Living – SK
- Kierkegaard did not use this term but used “True Self”
- Self you are born to be – God’s design for your true self fits perfectly with your strengths, talents and abilities.
- Destiny is not to “follow” our passions but to refine and practice the “passion” God has placed within us.
Person without Guile – at home in their skin. Jesus said Nathaniel is a person without guile. Guile – the quality at being good at deceiving people in a clever way. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no guile.”
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus told Nathanael in John 1:51, “you will see 'heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending on' the Son of Man.”
Friedrich Nietzsche – born 1844 – critique of truth, faith and religion. Theory of master-slave morality and aesthetic affirmation of existence in response to the “death of God” and the crisis of nihilism (philosophical pessimism about the nature of human life).
FN was a desperate humanist and believed in the creative powers of the individual to overcome social, cultural and moral contexts in pursuit of new values and aesthetic health. He drew inspiration from Richard Wagner (composer – Ring Cycle).
- Believed in nothing matters – Nihilism – “The last man” the ultimate couch potato
- Also believes that anxiety and risk is worth it – (perhaps because there is nothing else to live for - BP)
Authentic Living – FN
- Act of self-creation – a sovereign individual. Create your own path – John Mayer
- Do what you feel – Anthony Robbins approach – strike your pose.
- Rise above the crowd, self-discipline but an act of creating your way
Living Dangerously –
- Both SK and FN believe that dangerous living and taking chances lead to a fuller life.
- Anniversary of D-Day – 1944 Eisenhower said most of you men will not be coming back - Normandy