Family in an existentialistic view

You can attack the idea of marriage and family from different points of view. You can do it from the point of st. Augustin, as I did with the posting of faith, hope and love. You can do it in a Platonic view, as I did in my writings on the dialogue Meno, or you can do it in an existentialistic view. That is Kierkegaard.

Kierkegaard was a little special, because he never really married. He had this life long infatuation with this beautiful girl Regine. In a very Goethiean way, that is artistically in love with someone he could not get, he saw love and marriage as an ideal that was unattainable.

But, at the other hand, the attainableness is different in real life. I mean, we have to be married and get kids, right.

Kierkegaard is really the psychological Christian philosopher. He talks about angst and focuses a lot on the inner mechanisms of the soul.

This is good in a modern world, because psychology is all over. But I also think, that this is really the problem of the modern world. We listen too much to psychology, and too little to philosophy. Kierkegaard is a bridge in this regard.

Basically he aims, as all theologians, for love. But opposed to psychologists, he believes that there is a G-d beneath the equation. So, all he sees in his analysis of the mind is always with the aim of reaching spiritual fulfillment.

One of the principles that really made sense to me, reading Kierkegaard, was his ideas of barriers. A lot of us are living in shells. These shells are due to mistreatment, and are really scars. If we grow up in a very harsh environment, as we do here in Scandinavia, we get calloused and retract into ourselves. This leaves us egoistic and uncaring.

This coldness we give on to our children, and we end up in a cycle of harshness and toughness.

This may be good in war, but in family matters it is not good. This is why we need to be open.

Openess is an ability to live without our psychological defenses up all the time. But, then again, to be open in a family, you also need to be careful with your wife. Because how can she remain open, if you do not respect her?

This leads to idea of respect as a ground virtue of marriage. As Løgstrup also say; we carry each other. If I choose to step aside and do my own thing, my wife will fall. If she and I choose to carry each other, sacrifice ourselves in the process, helping each other, work as one, then life will work in the end.

It is, in a Scandinavian perspective at least, an eternal fight for sustenance and joy. A difficult thing i a cold country, but what we have to do nonetheless. The salvation here lies in sacrifice for your loved ones. Carry your kids and your wife on your broad shoulders. Shelter them when the rain comes, and build a safe house for them to life in, and then you may call yourself a man.

G-d bless the wisdom of Kierkegaard.

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