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Kierkegaard statue, Royal Library Garden, Copenhagen. The chapter on the cultivation of dissatisfaction, for example, takes us into the discussion on Abraham and Isaac in Fear and Trembling , confronting us with our own temptation to comfortable thinking and the fear that we may censor our own thoughts. But I suspect the School of Life wants these life lessons to strengthen our fragile selves in a world where we must make our own meaning. We have come to prefer pre-packaged wisdom to extreme solutions.

But Kierkegaard would say that we just lack courage to make the leap of faith. Read more reviews by James. Read more… […]. Click here to cancel reply.

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Explore the latest social science book reviews by academics and experts. Marx believed that only the objective mattered and that agonizing over individual concerns was unimportant. Kierkegaard disagreed and thought that any reformation that was not fundamentally aware that every single individual needed to be reformed was an illusion.

He felt that the spiritual life of the individual was being stifled by communal political and religious illusions.

Impressions and Lessons from Kierkegaard Exhibit at Haus am Waldsee | Rhea Boyden

Kierkegaard commenced an attack on the church and felt that Christianity which originally had intended every man to be an individual had been transformed by human meddling into exactly the opposite. He saw that the modern state was secular through and through and a church tied to it was a big mistake.

But the more I read about him the more I like him because I relate to his life choices. Kierkegaard stated that one can really only become an individual by action and decision. Choice is everything and you become who you are based purely on the individual choices you make.

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I have been accused of being far too subjective in my writing at times and that I should really not talk about myself so much but should be more objective. It may be completely egotistical, but that is impossible for me. I have always taken my own emotions and feelings about something as a starting point for my writing and that is not likely to change. This is how Kierkegaard lived too. He wrote and published nine books about the possibilities of human existence using various pseudonyms, but his starting point was in writing about himself.

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Initially he had to justify why he had broken off his engagement to the young Regina Olsen, which had caused much scandal, and why he had dedicated himself to the writing life instead. He was faced with two major choices: get married and have an honorable yet modest happiness, or live the life of a writer and be a poet of the spiritual life, an outsider. Kierkegaard decided not to marry as he believed that the unmarried person could venture more in the world of the spirit than the married person. I relate to Kierkegaard because I have made similar choices.

I also chose to leave a stable relationship which provided material security and a modest happiness to lead the solitary life of a writer. I knew that the relationship was stifling my individuality and I have not been in a steady relationship since I terminated it 5 years ago. I have dated since, but have chosen the life of a solitary writer. Am I content with this choice? For the most part I am. Naturally, it is hard to see more and more of my friends getting married and having children, but if that was a choice I really wanted to make then I would have made it.

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I feel at this point the writing life chose me as much as I chose it, so here I am, as always, sitting alone in my Berlin apartment, reading and writing. I am most fulfilled when I look deeply into my soul and ask myself while writing the question posed by Aristotle: How I should live? Very likely not. I can very easily find connections between the work of David Foster Wallace and the philosophy of Kierkegaard. David Foster Wallace hanged himself five years ago which was a tragic loss to the literary world.

I would love to know what his thoughts are on modern social media and Facebook interactions.

I may not know what he thinks of Facebook, but I have read enough about what he thinks of bourgeois hypocrisy and how he completely makes fun of the herding mentality in our culture, the same herding that Kierkegaard so despised and criticized. In the story Foster Wallace writes:. To me, this is Kierkegaardian through and through. It is critical of religious herding and of bourgeois hypocrisy. David Foster Wallace railed against bourgeois life in his many writings and will always be remembered for his genius and insane sense of humour. Another piece in the aesthete section of the exhibition was by Belgian artist Tom Hillewaere whose minimalist work exists in the moment and metaphorically shows us the impossibility of mapping out a certain future, try as we may.

His piece showed a felt tip pen attached to a balloon with fans aimed at it to make it float around the place randomly while the felt tip pen draws an undetermined path on a raised platform. Ghostly music enhances the melancholy of the exhibit.

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Another piece in the aesthete section was by Dutch artist IEPE and the anonymous crew who poured buckets of coloured paint all over Rosenthaler Platz in Berlin Mitte and then filmed it while cars drove through it covering their wheels in paint. This is the point where people will say that I am a bourgeois prude and I am too regimented and lack spontaneity and I am one of the stricter ethical people who thinks too much about right and wrong.

I have enough people I can mentor and support without having my own children. Among the other exhibits in the ethicist part was a rotating mechanical shadow play of light that was shaped like a church and was covered in lace. It was a piece by Danish Artist Kirstine Roepsdorf. There was also an exhibit that dealt with the Breivik massacre in Norway which, from what I gathered, showed the firm commitment that the families of the victims had to their political party, despite the tragedy. I found this to be a bit of an overstatement and quite a controversial thing to have in an exhibition to prove political commitment.

I did not spend a lot of time pondering it and I have no further comment on it, as xenophobia is such a large issue that I dare not delve into. I identify with both. I may not be married and I may not go to church, but I am committed to my writing and to maintaining sobriety after many years of heavy drinking which was a part my hedonistic aesthetic lifestyle. I also value consistency and routine and am not by nature such a spontaneous person. I am very punctual and like order on many levels, but I am also very chaotic, dramatic, sensual and in need of culture enrichment constantly to make my life worth living.

Kierkegaard acknowledged that to truly live the life of the ethicist you have to commit to something and there is a certain tragedy in commitment with the multitude of choices we have today. She hopes to marry and is having a hard time getting him to commit. I have moaned about men too, but I also have to acknowledge that I am also a bit of a commitment phobe. I have not committed myself to a steady relationship the past few years and, I suppose, I must admit, it is because I have not really wanted it. I have played more with the idea or fantasy of a relationship with long drawn out involved chats on Facebook with unavailable men who live in other countries.

The seducer gains sensuous pleasure not so much from the act of the seduction itself but rather from engineering the possibility of seduction. Here you will find insights from his greatest works. The Life Lessons series from The School of Life takes a great thinker and highlights those ideas most relevant to ordinary, everyday dilemmas. These books emphasize ways in which wise voices from the past have urgently important and inspiring things to tell us.