I read ‘Either/Or’ and various Kierkegaard when I was at school and got really into it. Oli and I used to rush to the library after our philosophy class in order to look up some of the theories that our teacher had talked about. I also read Nietzsche too. What I found fascinating is that many of us live in society and are bound by societies rules and modes of action. I began to challenge these rules and to think more liberally about rules and laws. I realized very early that living a purely hedonistic or anarchic life would only cause me problems. I found that becoming aware of your personal freedom, one only realizes what one can’t do. However, I have lived my life challenging perceptions which are just accepted by some people. Indeed, there seems to be a collective conscious book of laws that even bridges across from culture to culture. I challenge these.
The thought that humans are basically alone in the world is very negative. And, I don’t agree. Existential therapists feel that it is are connection with others that makes are lives bearable. So, we are not alone. Existential therapist would disagree with me there, and say that the search for meaning and contentment must come from inside rather than from others. I disagree with this fundamentally. However. in Albert Camus’ ‘L’Etranger’, the protagonist (hero/anti-hero) does reject his pre-existing theories on human existence and morality, and invents his own, subjective modus vivendi.
Subjectivity is at the heart of this philosophy. The concept of the ‘good life’ is something that I have had in the back of my mind since I learnt about this philosophy at school. It means that one is prepared and has the courage to lead one’s own life and take responsibility for the consequences. One creates meanings for one’s self. By creating and asking questions; by building and enjoying one’s own-crafted adventure, one is happy in fulfilling one’s own personalized potential.
During existential therapy, clients are encouraged to feel that their lives our coincidental and attention is focussed on the present. One begins to have a more dissociative idea about one choices in life, and one becomes freer to make choices. By accepting that one has no destiny, the idea is that one may become more accepting about life and the freedom of choice.