Existentialism: Do You Exist?
By: Francisco Dosal
An existentialist is an individual who exists naturally and not through what religion and government considers right and civilized. It emphasizes an individual should not make decisions based from legislative institutions, governmental laws or religious’ beliefs. These forms of organizations have established what is morally and ethically correct. And in following their views we are granted freedom and promised a holy land for one’s cooperates. An existentialist does not live civil in accordance to any legislative institution for rewards. Instead, one is honest and living accordingly to their authentic institution. In hopes a more natural world would arise. Sadly, this remains a vision and dream as individuals continue to exist through the fundamentals of a foreign legislative institution. Living through the idea of what another thinks is an ideal life is, is not living at all. One’s calling will never be discovered. For example, one cannot discover one’s essence if the individual exists through the laws of a government and not the laws within. The moment an individual is exposed and influenced by any legislative institution, one becomes factitious rather than human. So break away! Live through what is within and live what is essential to the heart! But along the journey, as an existentialist, one must be responsible for the actions and the repercussions that follow after one’s genuine nature. A definition for existentialism is as followed, “opposed to rationalism and empiricism, that stresses the individual’s unique position as a self-determining agent responsible for the authenticity of his or her choices,” “existentialism.” So why does one not commit more natural actions? Actions not based on a church’s or government’s morality? In the end, we fear responsibility and turn to a guide. A guide that one eventual fears by disregarding all that is within. And so, by vanquishing our ideals one is preventing the universe from evolving forward into whatever it is naturally meant to become. An existentialist believes that preventing an individual from committing natural actions, whether good or bad, prevents the universe from becoming its true natural state of being. One must not fear the actions their bones want to perform. One must not hold back the words the tongue desires to speak. One must not fear the essence within! For a life lived with fear is denying existence itself. Live the morals that guide you or take responsibility for an unnatural factitious world. Live what is righteous within and encourage others to do the same. For laws do not and should not create mankind’s ideal on what an ethical life is. Instead, mankind creates its own. And as an individual exists naturally throughout life, the law will also grow naturally. So mankind should not fear a factitious legislative institutions. Instead, one should guide it so that we may see a more natural growing society.
So, the question is: what is an unnatural legislative institution? As mankind first rose to its feet, naturally some sort of legislative institution was established to keep peace. Groups of individuals created simple laws in order to keep mankind safe from injustice. Sadly, these legislative institutions eventually become tainted by the forces of greed and control. So should civilizations create legislative institutions if in the end they are poisoned? In today’s society, mankind fears their legislative institution. An individual can look into any religious or into any form of government and will notice regulations of laws that command an individual on how to exist rationally in an irrational world. Christianity, Catholicism, Islamism, Judaism, and every other religious organization that has taken form in this world, has many purposes in our society. One, of course, is to guide an individual throughout life with what they declare is morally correct. These morals and ethics are not suggested to any individual. Instead, are rather implanted through fear, a tool proven powerful throughout history. Morals and ethics should not be forcefully bolted into an individual’s mind. An ethic is obtained as an individual experiences life and sees what ethics best fits their character. For example, one individual believes it is right to take food from others in order to provide for a family as opposed to an individual who works for food. Neither is wrong nor right. They simply have lived differently and as one should, live by what is believed necessary. Therefore, it is clear many have different views on what is ethically correct. A definition for ethics follows, “moral principles that governs a person’s behaviors” “Ethics.” So one is the ruler of conscience. An individual’s ethics are not to be forced unto life by another force. Ethics must be created by one’s personal law and like any law, some eventually must be re-written or abolished. Like the individual who stole for food no longer sees it ethical and now gained a job or the individual who worked for food may see it is easier to steal. Mankind would constantly be moving, learning, and adapting, if the fear of punishment would not interfere.
The fear of a higher being has kept an individual from properly existing in the universe. Fear, throughout human history, has kept society from naturally growing from what it is, into to what it could become. Fear itself keeps an individual from establishing individuality and authenticity. It keeps an individual from following their conscience. Sartre states, “As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become” (Sartre). An existentialist cannot exist in the liking of an unnatural institution. An individual must establish what they claims to be rational decisions, despite fear of punishment. Until then, an individual is not natural but rather spurious, making one a nonexistent being. To exist in this universe an individual acts upon ones natural instinct, never applying the laws of any government or religion into their lives. One simply acts. As Sartre explains in his speech, Existentialism is Humanism, “Man will only attain existence when he is what he purposes to be” (Sartre). An individual who lives and interacts through the perspective of legislative institutions does not have an honest conscience. Instead, the conscience mind that one carries within is the offspring of laws governed by greed and control. No longer does a society of conscience men create laws, but instead are now being molded by their very own creation. Man has indeed been created in the image of God. Sadly, a God created by unconscious men. An individual should abide to only one God. And that is the God that dwells within. In the end no law can be sacred but the laws one abides by. No institution should be created for it will be tainted as others drink from it. So live naturally and exist.
To exist in any universe one must interact others as they do the same. So the question is: what does it mean to exist in this world? A definition for existing follows, “Be found, especially in a particular place or situation” “Exist.” It means to be found in a society, found in a particular place in the world, and be present in a particular part in history. But how can anyone be found in a society, in a particular place in the world, or present in any part of history when individual’s existence resembles another? To exist, an individual must prove the presence of someone or something. In order to do so, the something or someone must be found in a particular place in the universe. If an individual was enforced to wear a mask produced by the legislative branch it lived by, no individual would ever be discovered. One would look just as similar to the rest. Most individuals in today’s society exist in the image of a legislative institution, disguising one true essence with that of a religious or governmental mask. Therefore, individuality does not exist and nor does mankind. An individual must exist without a mask, manufactured by a legislative institutions. And so an individual must take the mask off and proudly declare their existence. They keep an individual from finding one’s nature and pursuing one’s individuality and discovering one’s ethics of laws. Anyone or anything that exists naturally does not abide by the nature assigned to be considered right. Instead, they exist in whatever fashion and in whatever purpose they purpose. As Sartre explains in his lecture, Existentialism is Humanism, “Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself” (Sartre). An individual should not exist in a fashion that does not fit comfortable. There is no right way to live, there is no right law to live by, and there is no right legislative institution to base one’s ethics. There are only an individual’s instincts to act upon that allow one to live naturally, and then can an individual truly exist. A member of the existentialist movement, Friedrich Nietzsche says, “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist” (Nietzsche). Nietzsche explained that there is no right and correct way to live. And it is true. The right way, the correct way, and the righteous way of living cannot be found. Therefore it does not exist. One moment in history legislative institution establish a law as righteous, yet years later it is declared horrific and unhuman. For example: In 1619 the first African was brought to America and enslaved by force. It was believes slavery was righteous and the only way America could grow economically. The greed for money and power cause the American government to create an unnatural law that declared slaves as property and nothing more. It was not until 1865 that the Thirteen Amendment declared slavery wrong and a horrific idea. One cannot exist by blindly accepting what a legislative institution considers is right and correct for they do not nor will ever know.
So live freely. Start by breath and walking in your own fashion. Grow confidence in your convictions just as others in the past did. Jesus Christ, Leonardo Da Vinci, John Lock, Albert Einstein, Marin Luther King, and others for example did not exist through what their institutions declared as the right and correct way to exist. Jesus Christ broke out and spoke his truth. Leonardo Da Vinci was the first to practice and document anatomy, knowing the practice was illegal. Through the belief of John Locke’s natural born rights; he influenced the American Revolution against Parliament. Albert Einstein broke away from traditional physics and gave birth to modern physics. Martin Luther King went against his government, demanded justice, and sought to bring forth a brighter future. All these individuals, and others, brought forth change through their nature and not through the nature of their legislative institution at the time. Human existence cannot advance forward without breaking the laws of expired and or manipulated legislative institutions. So break free and change the world by simply living in the fashion desired and whatever the outcome one must remember to take full responsibly of the repercussions that follow.
Existentialism finally explains that whatever the outcome is in the decision made from natural or unnatural being, one must now take full responsibility for one’s actions. Through existentialism, the individual is held responsible for their action, whether good, bad, genuine, or not, one must take full responsibility for its outcome. Whatever is caused due to the existence of the individuals, one is responsible. One must understand that the actions of an individual do not simply occur and vanish the moment one walks away from the scene. An individual must realize that existing in any way fashions mankind. So it is best to exist honest and natural. Just as John Locke’s fashion of natural born rights, fashioned mankind and influenced the American Revolution. He must take the responsibility that his beliefs caused the deaths of lives during the American Revolution.
Good, evil, right, and wrong are words and nothing more. The universe is neither good nor evil, it simply is. The universe simply is and so goes for a human being. Whatever an individual chooses to live by, one must live it passionately and take responsibility for its repercussion. Because, society does not change, and mankind does not simply adapt. It is the actions of an individual that causes society to become what it is.
Ethics. Dictionary.com. Web. 5 December 2012.
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Nietzsche, Friedrich. Brianyquites.com. Web. 5 December 2012.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. Existentialism is Humanism. World Publishing Company. 1956. Print.