Ignorance of Despair

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The human self is found in the dialectical relationship between the two contradictory aspects of our existence. We exist as an interplay of subjectivity and objectivity, the I and the me. The I is the infinite, eternal essence of our soul that exists in a world of endless universals and possibilities. The me is the finite, temporal being called a human. It is a particular, which can only be described in universals. The self exists in a different level. It is the “relation relating to itself” (Keirkegaard 43). The human cannot be said to be any one of the characteristics listed above. It is the synthesis of all these aspects. We are each our own unique interplay and the self is the relation of this unique interplay to itself. However, we can never be our full self in the eyes of God, which is one cause of the inescapable human experience of despair. Despair is an inherent aspect of existence as a human being for several reasons. The first of which being that a person can never be a whole, unified self due to it being composed of a set of contradictions. The dialectical nature of the parts means that the union can never be complete despite the self stemming from the very relations that hold them together. To be fully oneself would mean that no contradictions could exist. A person could only be fully a subject or fully an object. However, God is the only being that is solely subjective and to be fully objective would mean that the object would have no concept of its own existence and therefore, would not be a self. Despair is the result of this paradox. We despair that we cannot fully actualize the ideal that our nature creates. Despair also results due to the fact that we cannot claim to be causa sui. We are not the creators ... ... middle of paper ... ...nges to life like buying a fancy new car or marrying a new young wife. They are scared that they have limited their possibilities too much and hope to feel better about themselves by improving their false selves, while still unaware of the true causes of their despair. Despair is the quality that makes us different from every other being. It shows that we are unique creatures with the ability for self-reflection. Despair is present in humans at all points of our existence. Despair, therefore, has a very significant influence on our life depending on how we approach it. The ignorance of despair is a form of despair because it takes us farther from knowing the true self. It manifests itself in the unintentional attempt to escape our true self, which is seen in lifestyle choices and general attitudes toward the meaning of life and the factors affecting our existence.

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