Thursday, February 8, 2007
On Kierkegaard's Stages of Life
On Kierkegaard's Stages of Life: And hence, Kierkegaard states that life is a series of stages! From birth to adolescence, man is mostly in a state of relative unconsciousness. He is ignorant of the consequences associated with his actions. He is inexperienced. He is juvenile. However, as man enters adolescence and continues to grow, he slowly becomes aware of his existence as a Self. A Self is a free spirit with the ability to create. This ability to create constitutes art and it is art which separates man from his otherwise self-imposed triviality. Man then becomes aware of his appearance and how and why it will change over the course of his life. This period of realization can otherwise be called the aesthetic stage, and as such, it's the most inauthentic form of self-awareness. Many people never make it beyond the aesthetic stage because appearance is the most central element of their existence in this world. As for the people who conquer their aesthetic preoccupations, they will proceed on to the ethical stage. This stage is marked by holy matrimony or the conscious giving away of oneself to another in the form of an all-encompassing love. The final stage of life is one of Faith. Few people enter the true Faith stage because it entails holding oneself up to the scrutiny of God just prior to death.