Saturday, June 12, 2010

Becoming a 'self', according to Kierkegaard...

The following sections are from George Pattison's The Philosophy of Kierkegaard:

"I can never turn around and say of myself, 'Now I have become the human being I had it in me to become'. Why not? Because, as long as we live in time, who or what we are is still open to revision and change. I may 'be' the great leader of a nation but then, in my dying breath, betray that nation to its enemies. Our end can never be had other than in what Kierkegaard calls the mode of 'anticipation'. My 'actuality' then, is not the actuality of a fully realized potential. It is itself a process of actualization whose end is not yet given.

...[P]layful self-discovery is entirely positive, as long as we understand that it is just a play and that a moment comes when we have to move from possibility to actuality... Why? Because we are in danger of responding to the demands of actuality by allowing ourselves to atrophy in the domain of possibility. We resist 'getting real' and want to remain perpetual adolescents, unable to take responsibility, unable to commit to a clear and consistent existential task, unable, in the last resort, to be anything... a life frozen in possibility, a life that, so to speak, remains in the theatre - remains the life of a spectator - when it should be getting out into the world of action."

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