The Reality of the Aesthetical Ethical and Religious Lifestyles 2 Essay

Submitted By colli614
Words: 1951
Pages: 8

The Reality of the Aesthetical, Ethical, and Religious Lifestyle

Søren Kierkegaard indirectly authors three different essays detailing the aspects of the aesthetic, ethical, and religious lifestyles of humans using multiple pseudonyms. The purpose of using false names was primarily for the reason to separate his life from the lives he was writing about; however, it is quite clear that he is using his own life experiences to depict the advantages and shortcomings of each lifestyle. In the first essay, Kierkegaard depicts the life of the aesthetic human as one that primarily focuses on the personal and sensory experiences. Then, Kierkegaard comically attempts to discredit the argument for the aesthetic life in his second essay in which he deals will the ethical life of a human, and by default he depicts this life by explaining how man should live a socially and morally proper life. In the last and third essay, Kierkegaard trumps both of the previous arguments of the best life to lead by depicting the life of the religious human as the most fulfilling because it is the only possible escape from the unhappiness seen in the lives of the aesthetical and the ethical humans. Some critics like to discredit the work of Kierkegaard because they see the numerous amount of pseudonyms used is his writing as evidence to his insanity, but perhaps there is a method to his madness. Kierkegaard wrote the first part of the first essay under the pseudonym “A” and the second part of the essay under the pseudonym “Johannes Climacus” where he explains that the aesthetic finds its greatest admiration and fulfillment in the arts and in love. However, their ability to maximize their enjoyment in these areas solely depends on their ability to innovate their own imagination. As a result, the aesthetic man considers the unlimited imagination of the human mind as the most useful instrument in obtaining aesthetic pleasure in world that really doesn’t have any predesigned meaning. In the beginning of the essay, A claimed all men are boring and furthered this point by saying, “Should one wish to attain the maximum momentum, even to the point of almost endangering the driving power, one need only say to oneself: Boredom is the root of all evil. Strange that boredom, in itself so staid and stolid, should have such power to set in motion. The influence it exerts is altogether magical, except that it is not the influence of attraction, but of repulsion,” (A, Pg. 22). A was so boldly making the point that boredom is the cause of the human condition not being stimulated, either physically or mentally. As a result, the aesthetic man is driven so profusely to maximize his aesthetic pleasure. To obtain aesthetic pleasure, the aesthetic human must have a clear understanding of the art of wonder, which A labels as “the rotation method.” The rotation method is the process of making a choice and then eventually becoming dissatisfied with your choice as a result of boredom, so the aesthetic man begins to wonder and regret what would have taken place if they had chosen differently. The solution to this mind-numbing conundrum according to A is the principle of limitation, which A characterizes as, “…the only saving principle in the world, “ (A, Pg. 25). “The more you limit yourself, the more fertile you become in invention, “ (A, Pg.25), and thus the reason is revealed as to why the wonder of imagination is so vital to the aesthetic soul. A went so far as to suggest that when receiving mail, one should leave it unattended for three days because the pleasure of wonder far exceeds the pleasure to be experienced if the letter was opened immediately upon being received. In theory, I can relate to the pricelessness of wonder and the credibility of self-limitation in order to experience the greatest satisfaction. Similar to the principle of limitation, Schrödinger’s Cat is a revolutionary theory and I have taken multiple opportunities to practice it.…