The Sufferings of a Rational Being in the mind of Soren Kierkegaard I. Prologue. In what would be characteristically seen as intrinsically manifested throughout the areas of existentialism, this idea of suffering, its components, as well as its distinctiveness on the part of the feebleness of human life becomes a common and usual conception for Kierkegaard, so as not to be considered. The philosopher who has sparked the notion of existentialism, as he had subjugated into the depths of human emotion and pain while attuning to the experience of the obstinate human existence, Kierkegaard would be a philosopher that has indeed rightly come to the connection of what underlies beneath the core of human frailty and suffering.
By this so, I have come to regard the notion with what a suffering being in the facticity of existing could portray, and that amidst all the concepts of understanding which would cause this, man would still participate of the misery and despair that are quite partly inept of what his being is.This is quite a vague notion to underlie but understanding Kierkegaard and his description of angst as a conception that man is indeed trapped into the misery of life; the understanding of the cause of his being would illuminate the ideas presented. In which case, Kierkegaard meaningly construes the agony of despair with the being that man is, which he himself views as being locked into the pressures of his vindictive existence.
II. despair, as the sickness unto death. The notion of despair becomes unseemingly the principal lot to which Kierkegaard expresses his outlook on the desolate existence of man.This concept, which manifestly recognizes Kierkegaard as an existentialist, proceeds from a basic understanding that despair is an attribute that is inherent in man, a concept which introduces him to be a predestined being. Literally, the phrase Despair is the sickness unto death connotes an illness of which outcome would be death, as death is doubtless the last phase in a sickness and yet for Kierkegaard it would not appear to be the last thing .
As, he connotes in the strictest sense, the last things being death itself, but death only the last thing, which makes despair precisely the final thing for man. Hence, despair becomes the sickness unto death. Kierkegaard notes this in bodily sickness, but far from being true, death only succumbs to the end of the body, meaning to say to die from a bodily death. On the contrary, despair is a sickness wherein there is no bodily death but eternal death, since the torment of despair is not being able to die.As such, the sickness unto death becomes an expression of not dying. It is like a terminal sickness where the only hope to get rid of it is to die, and while in despair, gets rid of the only cure, of not being able to die, hence suffering eternal bodily torment.
There is no hope of cure, the hopelessness of not being to derived the pleasure of dying is like death being dead itself. The danger of which says Kierkegaard, despair clings to you even more terrible than that of bodily death. For Kierkegaard, dying means that it is all over, but dying the death means to live to experience death; and if for a single instant this experience is possible, it is tantamount to experiencing it forever.Despair becomes an eternal sickness that the self loses its capability of dying in the same sense that the body dies of sickness. An impossibility, wherein what happens is that the dying of despair transforms itself constantly into living thing. It is precisely self-consuming, that you cannot do anything else but to despair itself go deeper and deeper into impotent self-consumation. The fact that despairing cannot consume the body is the reason why the self-gnawing pain is eternal since the comfort of ridding oneself of despair cannot be attained. In contrast, a despairing man can only despair about himself.
He hopes to achieve the end of his despair but is powerless to do so since his own anxiety over the despair that consumes him. And the fact that he cannot get rid of the self which causes this despair makes him a hapless being. For Kierkegaard, to get rid of the self which causes this despair is quite impossible enough and to get rid of it would be in despair also since the self is connected to the body. The body cannot live without a self thereby making the self-indestructible hence the eternity of despair is a torment to be experienced by the self. Thus it is that despair, this eternal sickness in the self that is the sickness unto death.The eternal sickness cannot be relieved even by death itself, and even if it were possible the situation would still be in despair for it is connected to the self. And by the self, the despairer would have no place to go except to despair itself, since to have a self, to be a self, is the greatest concession made to man, but at the same time eternitys to be relinquished upon him. III.
The anatomy of suffering. The despair as we have known is made manifest by Kierkegaards foundation as his basis for the eternal torment faced by man, that he himself cannot deny his despair over himself. And what more he is powerless over this.Now, Kierkegaards concept of human suffering is in the fact a basic connection over the said basis for his ground as an existentialist, meaning to say that he overwhelmingly attaches the self over to despair, he gives in to this notion and throws away the key for self-deliverance.
This context however in the anatomy of human suffering, may also contain some light in it since Kierkegaard wishes to expound the paradigm of suffering with connection to mans place in the world. Unlike the contention for despair, this however may have a religious prescience to the matter that equally is as compelling as his forethought of despair. Kierkegaard sets forth in the anatomy of suffering with the urgency of hope, though I will give this loose connection a more brief analysis in the next part of the paper, I wish to start of with a positive introspection with Kierkegaard having been known to have an outlook which is in direly connected with misery and anxiety. Kierkegaard sets forth in this perspective with a dialectic of suffering, in this case it is assessed as an aesthetic category. A person, living in this so called aesthetic stage should perceive suffering to be a rotatory condition, which is tandem of both an infliction of pain and also by a surfeit of pleasure.In this instance, Kiekegaard upholds an ethical and religious scheme in determining the forms of suffering that attend to all human life.
Earthly suffering which he connotes as the active human suffering we know, cannot be neglected and so thus be a weighted arrangement for the conception of ethico-religious advancement. It is closely associated to freedom, as Kierkegaard saying; a person who holds to a difficult position out of ethical conviction can escape the opposition and hatred of others simply by giving in to their demands for conformity. Such position may be heartily received back into the group, but nonetheless chooses to hold to his or her position and consequently chooses this avoidable suffering that is taken to the service of the good . Such notion, Kierkegaard argues is believably noble in deed as long as there is conviction in the stand that a person takes. The willing to do good, is also given concordance as an aspect in the midst of avoidable and unavoidable suffering.This is expressed in the book Purity of the Heart, saying the readiness of the person to will the good in truth and the disposition and to let go of double mindedness and the consolations of temporality .
In this case, one shifts from the mundane and earthly resources and moves into a more enduring manifestation of the goodness of human suffering. At this point rather, Kierkegaards position is that suffering can be reunited with freedom and so it could be chosen. The suffering or (passio) he says cannot be sheer passivity alone but it should come into contact with courage and resistance (both Mod and Modstand quite respectively) so as to confront the disease of acting in avoidable suffering . His understanding however, was that how can a person survive the debilitating and numbing effects of suffering itself when the situation comes that it only belingers a harsh judgmental mood for a person and renders him to mental frustration. The difficulty in this sense is that person has to deal with the situation that may even ultimately lead in hopelessness. In which case, Kierkegaard response to this only suggests that even in the midst of powerlessness, one cannot be charged as the victim for in choosing to endure the suffering, one should be still committed to the good .By this, it could only propose that in so doing, the person is always in charge of his moral obligations and what he chooses should be based on what should be morally correct.
In the book of Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard in a way expresses Abrahams earthly hope for Isaac as being given up, but nonetheless shows a sense of eternal hope beyond the calculations of his understanding . Abraham befalls in this sense to be overridden by madness caused by the great love to his son that it becomes clearer his suffering becomes a hatred for oneself. In the end, Kierkegaard stands up in the tradition that sees it as an educative formulation, which he connotes as a part of Gods upbringing.
What makes it so distinctive however, is that the understanding for this educational upbringing sees earthly suffering as a tool for character development.He describes how one, when gets involved with God, the greater the difficulties that lie ahead. This would come into connection that life itself becomes a school God made for suffering, He grants a test to those whom he see worthy to be adjudged as a faithful follower and furnishes them with suffering and anxiety as his guide. In anyway, Kierkegaard views them both as a recognizance that God love puts a test to human suffering. He attaches a brand that Gods love may be more than just being pampered and cuddled, he views this as a way a master treats his donkey, beating it up when it goes in the wrong direction. In a way, Kierkegaard wishes to justify against a religious narcissism, which projects of a comforting-Father figure that delivers one from earthly difficulties.He seeks to eliminate the dangers conceiving a wrong notion of God and that, suffering places an illegitimate notion placed upon man.
With this in resolution, Kierkegaard only addresses Christian hope in the midst of human suffering. …