May 5, 2008
Existentialist at Heart
Colleen's Moment by Jessica Perry
Existentialism - A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s acts."The Existentialist Primer"
I have long been fascinated by the interplay between Psychology, Buddhism, and Existentialism. Different aspects of these philosophies guide me in almost equal measure at any given time. This intermingling of ideas has been rattling around in my head again until I had to find a way to get it out. Since it is more than a little difficult to paint or draw Existentialism, I chose some quotes to share that struck a chord with me. I hope you like them, too.
"Our greatest challenge today...is to couple conviction with doubt. By conviction, I mean some pragmatically developed faith, trust, or centeredness; and by doubt I mean openness to the ongoing changeability, mystery, and fallibility of the conviction."~ Kirk Schneider, 1999, The Paradoxical Self, p. 7
"Good art wounds as well as delights. It must, because our defenses against the truth are wound so tightly around us. But as art chips away at our defenses, it also opens us to healing potentialities that transcend intellectual games and ego-preserving strategies."~ Rollo May, 1985, My Quest for Beauty, p. 172
"Integrity is unity of the personality; it implies being brutally honest with ourselves about our intentionality. Since intentionality is inextricably bound up with the daimonic, this is never an easy, nor always pleasant pursuit. But being willing to admit our daimonic tendencies - to know them consciously and to wisely oversee them - brings with it the invaluable blessing of freedom, vigor, inner strength, and self-acceptance."~ Stephen A. Diamond, 1996, Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic, p. 233.
"But thus I counsel you, my friends: Mistrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful. They are people of a low sort and stock; the hangman and the bloodhound look out of their faces. Mistrust all who talk much of their justice! Verily, their souls lack more than honey. And when they call themselves the good and the just, do not forget that they would be pharisees, if only they had - power. ~ Nietzsche, 1892/1966, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (W. Kaufmann, Trans.), p. 100
"What makes us most human is not whether we are or are not biologically driven and determined beings; but, rather, how we respond to this relative truth. The conscious choices we make in related to the dynamic, psychobiological forces of the daimonic define our humanity." ~ Stephen A. Diamond, 1996, Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic, p. 179