Condemned To Be Free

jean-paul-sartre - JPEG

Leave a comment below & share with us what meaning you have given your life today.

Angst

Angst means fear or anxiety (anguish is its Latinate equivalent, and anxious, anxiety are of similar origin). The word angst was introduced into English from the Danish, Norwegian and Dutch word angst and the German word Angst. It is attested since the 19th century in English translations of the works of Kierkegaard and Freud.[1][2][3] It is used in English to describe an intense feeling of apprehension, anxiety, or inner turmoil.

In German, the technical terminology of psychology and philosophy distinguishes between Angst and Furcht in that Furcht is a negative anticipation regarding a concrete threat, while Angst is a non-directional and unmotivated emotion. In common language, however, Angst is the normal word for “fear”, while Furcht is an elevated synonym.[4]

In other languages having the meaning of the Latin word pavor for “fear”, the derived words differ in meaning, e.g. as in the French anxiété and peur. The word Angst has existed since the 8th century, from the Proto-Indo-European root*anghu-, “restraint” from which Old High German angust developed.[5] It is pre-cognate with the Latin angustia, “tensity, tightness” and angor, “choking, clogging”; compare to the Ancient Greek ἄγχω (ankho) “strangle”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angst

I am one who counts myself a part of Generation X.  As such, perhaps I have had a generational predisposition toward “Angst”.  In so many of the cultural endeavours & thoughts of my generation – not to mention the Philosophies I studied at University – this idea of “Angst” has predominated.  From the Grunge music I listened to, to the philosophical ideas of the Existentialists – this idea coursed through my final years of formal education.

So am I filled with Angst?

Continue reading

Knowing What You Want…

“We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact.”

– Jean Paul Sartre

About a week or so ago I posted some Sartre quotes & promised to share my thoughts on this famous Existentialist’s words.  The above quote has always sparked deep ideas in my mind.  Let me expand on some of my thoughts…

We are born, creatures in this existence, with endless Possibility laid out before us.  Anything & everything is Possible.  All it takes is for us to decide – to Choose what we want.  Yet the problem is we rarely know what we want.  Sure, we are told a lot of things as we grow up & experience the world around us.  Our parents, our teachers, our friends & society in general tell us all about the good life & what we should expect & want out of it.  Yet do any of these things Truly equate with what we want as Individuals?

Continue reading

Sartre Quotes

“We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards.”

“We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact.”

And of course, his most famous:

“Hell is other people.”

Got me thinking today… stay tuned for my thoughts on such fancies…

Here’s a Choice: Read This!

jean-paul-sartre-1947 - 1000x1000px JPEGJean-Paul Sartre… the great novelist, playwright, philosopher & existentialist. Perhaps the most influential thinker of the 20th century.  His philosophical ideas changed the way we think of the world & changed the way philosophy is undertaken. One of my favourite non-philosophical quotes from him is this:

“If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I am still waiting, it’s all been to seduce  women basically.”

I love that.  He says he wasn’t really interested in changing the world with his ideas – he simply wanted to seduce women.  You have to love the French.

Yet in all seriousness, his ideas have changed how we look at the world.  One of the fundamental ideas of his philosophy is The Constraint Of Freedom.  He explains this idea masterfully in his greatest work: Being & Nothingness.  The idea is simply this: that we as human beings have been given free will to Choose anything we please – except for one thing.  We have no Choice but to Choose.  Let me illustrate this idea for you.

Imagine you are walking along a path and you come to a fork in the road.  You have before you four choices.  You can either go left, go right, return the way you came or stop moving altogether.  No matter what you do, you are forced to Choose something.  Even if you Choose to do nothing (to stop moving), you are still making a Choice!

Sartre summed up his idea of Individual Freedom like this: “Freedom is what you do with what has been done to you.”  Basically, the world throws situations at you and every moment you have to Choose how you are going to react to each situation.  In essence, you have no Choice but to Choose.

Constrained by our own freedom.

It seems like an obvious thing at face value.  But it has a profound effect on how an Individual sees the world when we are consciously thinking of our Constraint of Freedom.

What sort of Choices do you make & how do you deal with what life throws at you?  Choose to leave me a comment below & let’s all start having an amazing discussion on this topic.

If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I’m still waiting, it’s all been to seduce women basically.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jeanpaul_sartre.html#3hIzeJFufs4pDWwk.99
If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I’m still waiting, it’s all been to seduce women basically.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jeanpaul_sartre.html#3hIzeJFufs4pDWwk.99
If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I’m still waiting, it’s all been to seduce women basically.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jeanpaul_sartre.html#3hIzeJFufs4pDWwk.99