Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘woody allen’

Existentialism, in Brief

“Lovely Daughter” Megan defines existentialism as such: existence precedes essence; essence is created by man and man alone. This definition led to a very deep conversation about faith, one that included my “Better 95%”  Beth.

I wrote about faith extensively elsewhere http://skyvisioncenters.com/blog/?p=98. My understanding of existentialism is quite a bit darker than Megan’s, seeing as it came from the study of Sartre, Camus, Becket et al. The existentialist of my learning views each day on this earth as comprising nothing but pain. Each day brings a simple question, to withstand the pain or end it. Rather bleak, and rather bereft of any faith whatsoever.

Megan’s existentialist is a much more hopeful creature, one who can have faith of some sort. This existentialist would live quite comfortably with the type of faith that Beth has quietly espoused for many years. It’s a faith that believes in an innate goodness. One that seeks a tie-in with the essential cooperative balance of our planet, not unlike that which was/is practiced by the original settlers of North America. It’s a faith that leaves room for the possibility of an all-knowing, all-seeing deity, even a creator. But it’s a faith that does not require one, either.

I am basically a caricature of a lapsed Catholic, no longer terribly faithful to the church of my youth, but still holding on to some of its faith. At some point, whether you are looking infinitely into the future or attempting to look back to the beginning of time, without faith of some sort those explorations are a “Straight Trip to Madness.”

Or, as Woody Allen once said, “I don’t believe in an afterlife. But just in case, I’m bringing along a change of underwear.”