Threatened by the Instant

by phil on Wednesday Jun 4, 2003 6:01 PM
Sartre, existentialism

One of the problems, or rather features, of complete freedom is being constantly "threatened by the instant." I use quotes on this phase to vaguely borrow from Sartre. Basically, the point I'm trying to make is that when you unhinge yourself from guiding habits and things you're used to, such as your current religion, family, friends, school, work, etc...when you place the responsibility for everything's continuing persistence on your own freely chosen effort, then your only solace is faith in your own consistency. But consistency is still something you can switch on and off instantly given the circumstances. This type of mentality destroys the security one takes in a guaranteed trajectory for one's life. But, do people ever have guaranteed trajectories? I see people being guided by various forces outside their control and then they retroactively take pride in how much they did to move their lives in that particular direction. I think those that become aware of this dilemma are then quickly supplied by convenient defense mechanisms. These defenses are embodied in phrases like, "everything happens for a reason" "your part is to be what you'll be" "it's god's way" and other beliefs in things like fate and destiny.

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