Life Is Not A Problem To Be Solved

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“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Søren Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855) known as the “father of existentialism,” was a Danish poet, theologian,
and author who emerged during the Danish “golden age” of intellectual and artistic activity. His work comprises an inexplicable variety of different points of view and subject matter, including theology, psychology, literary criticism, devotional literature and fiction.

Although he did not use the term “existentialism,” his philosophical belief laid the bricks to the existentialist movement, being that each individual is solely responsible for giving meaning to life and living it the best that he/she can. He put emphasis on the experience of the individual instead of the traditional systematic or academic philosophies, which he considered to be too abstract and remote from authentic human experience.

Existentialism is built on the construct that we live in an irrational universe, and that there is no purpose or explanation at the core of existence. The reason for its irrationality is the absence of God or any other transcendent force. Thus, the only way to conquer this nothingness and to still live a full life is through embracing existence. As the quote above suggests, Kierkegaard argued that the meaning of life is not to be “solved” but to be experienced.

As the renowned philosopher and poet T.S Eliot metaphorically remarked, “You are the music while the music lasts.” Kierkegaard strived for an eventful life with his intellectual brilliance that influenced spawned a legion of existential writers and philosophers from different periods and origin, despite his early death at age 42.

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