How must I live?

150 years ago, a slight Danish man, the philosopher, Kierkegaard, asked this question in response to what he saw then was a crisis of meaning in the world. He saw that great ways of thought and also the religious way of seeing the world were no longer relevant enough to prevent many people from slipping into despair. ‘Why am I here? What am I for? And how should I live?’ became questions that he puzzled over. His answer was to become a true person of faith, an authentic person who says ‘yes’ to the world, someone who lives a kind of heroic life. I can’t disagree with him. And his ‘yes’ to life can also be found in Molly Bloom’s words at the end of James Joyce’s Ulysses. It can also be found in Nietzsche’s work, who was trying to assert a new way of living for human beings. It is not easy to get to this ‘yes’, and it is not some rose-tinted view of life. It is much deeper than that.

What strikes me is that we sometimes need another to ‘stand in’ for us until we can find our feet, and say ‘yes’ to life in all its complexity and difficulty. Especially at some points in our lives more than others. I think of it as the work of the psychotherapist too, not as some kind of technical expert, but as someone who can ‘stand in’ for a while until you find your own way.

64 thoughts on “How must I live?”

  1. Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me just as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, nonetheless I genuinely thought youd have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could possibly fix if you werent too busy searching for attention.

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