Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Authentic Life

The Authentic Life

“The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard defines dread as the knowledge of what you must do to prove you’re free, even if it will destroy you. His example is Adam in the Garden of Eden, happy and content until God shows him the Tree of Knowledge and says, “Don’t eat this.” Now Adam is no longer free. There is one rule he can break, he must break, to prove his freedom, even if it destroys him. Kierkegaard says the moment we are forbidden to do something, we will do it. It is inevitable.

Monkey think, monkey do.

According to Kierkegaard, the person who allows the law to control his life, who says the possible isn’t possible because it is illegal, is leading an inauthentic life.

As Kierkegaard would say, every time we see what’s possible, we make it happen. We make it inevitable.

What’s coming is a million new reasons not to live your life. You can deny your possibility to succeed and blame it on something else. You can fight against everything… everything you pretend keeps you down. You can live Kierkegaard’s inauthentic life. Or you can make what Kierkegaard called your Leap of Faith, where you stop living as a reaction to circumstances and start living as a force for what you say should be.

What’s coming is a million reasons to go ahead.”

Monkey think, Monkey do. Stranger Than Fiction – Chuck Palahniuk.

Breaking laws to prove you’re free. Jumping the fence that says ‘no trespassing’ because you can. If something is possible does that necessarily mean inevitable? Tricky. Man has always challenged what is said to be impossible. What man can not do, he seeks out ways to defy and succeeds by challenging the rules to obtain freedom from restrictions.

If you think this endorses you to just go out and break any law, willy-nilly, then you’ve missed the point. Question why the law is there to begin with and comprehend why you have an opposition to it. Use your mind, not your reaction. Understand why you choose to break the law before breaking it. Unmanageable anarchy is not complete freedom. Riots are dangerous, created without order or purpose. Masses are a contained manifestation challenging the system. Rules are meant to be challenged and broken. This is why the constitution is amendable. Every system is flawed. Even the founding fathers knew that when they created this one. Dare to change, because you can. All revolutions start with a basic conviction behind them. Find it. Develop it. Represent it. Stand for what you love. Sacrifice yourself, doing it.

With everything, the roles can be reversed to benefit another side. Kierkegaard’s principle has negative connotations as well that I will not discuss in an avoidance of endorsing such things. Not that it will make them any less inevitable. That is the point isn’t it? Does what I put out there have the possibility of becoming certain? Does writing about a man with a gun shooting people, put the idea into action? Or making movie about a man dressed as a bat fighting crime dictate that there should be vigilante justice? Terrorism, Domestic violence, Hate crimes, Pedophiles, AIDS, Drugs, Muggings, Shootings, Rapes, etc. are often the by-products of imagination. Does this mean books and movies are bad? Fahrenheit 451… anyone?

Is this where society is? Afraid to live because something ‘might’ happen that we don’t want. Anti-theft devices are created to deter, instead they promote stealing to evolve to solve the problem. This same idea can be applied to weapons and wars. We want to know what will happen next so we can stop it if it isn’t what is ideal. I call this the “QUICK! Shoot it and kill it, before it attacks us first” mentality. If this is how we are thinking, then we are truly only working against ourselves. Use your mind not your reaction. Once we stop dreading the inevitable and let it happen, then we are free and most of the time it won’t destroy us. Just have to be willing to let it.


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