Existentialism is philosophy that talks about how isolated and unique an individual can feel in an environment that is indifferent or hostile to him. It emphasizes the fact that the existence of humans is impossible to explain, and thus encourages the freedom of choice and stresses that people should take responsibility for their actions. Existentialism emphasizes the need to embrace human existence as the sole way to get the meaning of life since God or any other supreme force exists. It stresses that when humans practice their personal choice and freedom, then they can conquer certain challenges in life such as inevitable death and suffering. Existentialism should be viewed as a way of life and not as a philosophy. Human beings are the basis of the explanation of existentialism. Humans today exist biologically, they interact with other people and depend on each other for daily survival; they also have a relationship with themselves, and with various spiritual values. In society today, it is possible for existentialism to be incorporated. People should not just depend on the normal teachings of religion or the laws that are written down and are expected to be followed by everyone. The decisions made by people should depend only on their personal way of thinking and not on some norm or fear of being questioned by other people. It is in this regard that this paper seeks to explore on existentialism. It argues that existentialism can be incorporated into the day to day reality of a person living in our society. Furthermore, it will also look into what aspects of life can be compromised.
Human beings are the basis of the psychotherapy of existentialism. Existentialism as a way of life incorporates the fact that people should focus solely on their duty in the world. Humankind is a term that means that human beings have the ability to use their senses and come up with ideas that are of positive influence to the society today. Humans are beings that are continuously working hard, changing in various aspects, and evolving. Once an individual becomes aware of the anxiety surrounding his life, he can realize his personal abilities and discover that they are free to act in whatever way they see right.
The major idea of existentialism as a way of life is that the existence of humans is on its own in some way. The recognition of this concept is known as anguish or anxiety. Anxiety, in this case, has two significant implications. Most existentialists emphasize the importance of feelings or emotions. This is related to their lifestyle of being less connected to the cultural, political, and intellectual world and stress more on separate or individual human existence. This concept of mood is explained by existentialist philosophers, Heidegger and Kierkegaard. The idea of anxiety as meaning the human existence standing on its own without depending on moral values or other forms of existence is the second implication. Humans should be rational beings and depend on their thinking for reality.
The general understanding of an existentialist on the human nature is that people should be motivating to do certain actions by their personal passion and consciousness. It is the choice of an individual to practice his right to freedom in a way that he retains his view of existence as a free human being and as a facticity. This will help the individual to comprehend clearly the choice that is originally represented by his entire life and hence about the attributes that are projected. To obtain such kind of understanding, an individual needs to live his life and stay away from the traps of the norm or self-deceit. Such as option of authenticity for the human existence is a representation of the view of the universe at large in the single existence of people.
The issue of authenticity and in-authenticity should not be regarded. People often to consider materials such as artifacts or dressing as authentic or inauthentic according to how other people view these things. Authenticity is defined by the fact that something conforms to reality and the values of human existence. The decisions made by an individual should not be covered under a circle of authenticity or in-authenticity. A person is free to make a decision according to their opinion and should be allowed to be themselves every time in their daily existence in society.
Many people today hide under the umbrella of religion as a way to escape from the responsibility of making their decisions and coming up with personal values that determine their way of life. For instance, religion expects people to obey their elders regardless of the situation. The value of obedience is seen as the right way of life for everyone who believes in religion. The consequence for breaking the commandment of obedience is as harsh as the wrongdoers will end up dying at a young age. This causes people to act according to the commandments of religion for fear of the consequences. However, people at a personal level have different views on the obedience of elders. Existentialism allows people to make personal decisions to help them live freely without fear of any consequence. Today, existentialism can be applied in the reality of individuals since the many people do the wrong according to religious values with fear. If people were given the freedom to choose what to do without following any general values, then they would live a life with no stress or fear of any consequences.
Existentialism is a practice of essence where people have the freedom of becoming. It stresses that people can make choices today and tomorrow change their mind and come up with other decisions. People should stop making excuses when things go against their will. Existentialism allows people to continue creating themselves or becoming as it gives them freedom throughout their lifetime. In situations such as when a person fails to pass a test, and he gives excuses of not having enough time to study, such a person is said to deceive himself about his freedom which is termed as bad faith.' Such a person should be open-minded and realize that he can change his schedule and set aside ample time for studying to pass his next test.
According to Martin Heidegger, a German philosopher, the normal behavior of people today when either a relative or a friend dies is that people forget about their work and ignore their daily needs and concerns, and instead emphasize on activities they had previously ignored. Martin states that the meaning of the daily existence of humans should be linked with the time factor. He states in his book, Being, and Time that humans are temporal beings and the world they are born into existed a long time before they did with its culture and religion, with a history that was already written. For human beings to make the world sensible and meaningful to them, they tend to engage in actions that have existed from the past. People, for instance, build houses, set up families, and study to get a career since they believe in future before them. However, all these efforts are stopped the moment a person dies regardless of whether the person had completed his projects or not. According to Heidegger, people live an inauthentic life as they focus mostly on their pastimes and fail to consider the outermost ends of their existence and projects. For people to lead an authentic way of life, they need to focus their lives on the horizon of their deaths (Schmidt 87).
Soren Kierkegaard also stresses on the fact that the media is playing a major in the inauthentic living of people today. This is because the media acts as an agency for intervention as it blocks the peoples way to experiencing the truth in life. The culture practiced and believed by the multitude leads to people losing their personal significance, which according to Kierkegaard is known as leveling. He states that most people come up with opinions based on what they hear or see from the news. This affects the authenticity of individuals as they fail to come up with their opinions without being influenced by others (Soren 187).
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