by James Park
Outline for Afterword:
Obstacles to Existential Freedom
I. INTELLECTUAL PROBLEMS
II. PRIOR COMMITMENTS
A. Work.III. SPIRITLESSNESS
Ways to Expand Our Spirits
A. Written Meditation—A Journal of Spirit.IV. INABILITY TO SURRENDER
B. Spirit-Stimulating Books.
C. Small Groups of People Discussing the Life of the Spirit.
D. Letters about Matters of Spirit.
E. Individual Conversation and Sharing with other Persons of Spirit.
A. Pride, Defiance, Self-Reliance.
B. Double-Mindedness, Incompleteness of Decision.
C. Making Merely Verbal Movements.
D. Existentially Surrendering
Surrender is Not DefeatV. BELIEVING THAT WE ARE ALREADY EXISTENTIALLY FREE
Seven Conditions Sometimes Confused with Existential Freedom
A. Happiness.VI. PSYCHOLOGICAL OBSTACLES TO EXISTENTIAL FREEDOM
B. Commitment to Human Betterment.
C. 'Responding' to Existential Freedom Before We Have it.
D. Accommodating our Existential Predicament.
E. Authentic Existence.
F. Religious Feelings.
G. Mind Control.
A. Interpersonal Bitterness.REPRISE
B. Holding a Grudge.
C. Love of Psychological Trauma.
E. Fear of Change.
F. Lack of Full Selfhood.
In each of these chapters,
we have explored the existential dimension,
differentiating it as clearly as possible from its psychological twin.
And we have examined our ways of responding to our Existential Dilemma,
our ways of coping with it, and our ways of attempting to free ourselves from it.
If we have set our hearts
on freedom from absurdity, emptiness, etc.
but have encountered problems in making the necessary inward changes,
we can now look more closely at some of these obstacles.
Having proceeded this far
in the pilgrimage to Existential Freedom,
we are already passionately seeking release from loneliness and despair.
When we ask ourselves "Who am I?",
we answer that we are persons seeking release from our Existential Malaise.
Of course, we may express this life-thrust in many different ways,
but only if our existential quest has become central to our identity
(and not just a part-time interest or occasional curiosity)
will a path toward completeness and hope open before us.
We may seek out others
involved in the same struggle.
Perhaps in discussion with other sensitive and inward persons
we will finally discover the posture-of-being
that permits us to become Existentially Free.
If we personally know people
who are joyful, peaceful, and fulfilled,
Existential Freedom may seem more possible for us.
But ultimately we must undertake our own search for Existential Freedom.
We must make the necessary inward movements for ourselves.
And the decisive break-thru will probably come
only after we have tried several methods that don't work.
Even tho each of us makes
a solitary journey,
perhaps the following pages will put into intelligible form
some of the obscure and difficult hindrances we encounter
in our quests for freedom from existential hollowness, alienation, and guilt.
Perhaps greater clarity about our obstacles to Existential Freedom
will help us overcome whatever hindrances have been standing in our way
and help us to create the posture-of-being
that will enable us to become inwardly peaceful, whole, and secure.
OUR EXISTENTIAL PREDICAMENT: LONELINESS, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, & DEATH
Return to the EXISTENTIALISM page.
Return to the beginning of this home page:
An Existential Philosopher's Museum.