These days, we all share a little more in common with Albert Camus and Franz Kafka than we may realize.
World events of the past decade have wrought considerable pain and discomfort on people the world over. There have been terrorist attacks, wars, financial turmoil, shootings, robberies, one natural disaster after another and outbreaks of disease.
No wonder we’re all a bit wracked. Philosophers call it an existential crisis.
From this calamity develops a sense of doubt; where the logic of our very existence is challenged. The pain we feel makes us wonder, “Why am I even here?” The existential crisis is a deep introspection of self-worth that is driven by a traumatic event or some other similar causal factor.
Nietzsche and Camus
These great thinkers knew this rocky terrain well.
Camus’ father died during World War I when he was 1-year-old. He was raised in extreme poverty in Algeria by his nearly deaf mother who had few options for earning reasonable wages. That left them to live with a dying grandmother and paralyzed uncle. And you thought you had it bad.
Kafka was born into a Jewish family in Prague in the late 1800s. This was not a good time to be a Jew in Eastern Europe and Kafka’s father was verbally abusive at home. Kafka suffered from a hypersensitivity to noise; was a hypochondriac; and fought bouts of manic tendencies. Not so hard to understand why the term “Kafkaesque” arose in relation to the surreal scenes described in his writing.
Given that context, it’s no wonder we share a bit in common with two of Existentialism’s Hall of Famers. But it will get better.
After all, “That, which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” Nietzsche said that – another existentialist.
Roderick Campbell’s life centers around a personal philosophy of “Do what you do if you can be proud of it.” He believes in personal responsibility and optimism. Roderick is also an expert in Bakken formation, Bakken Companies and anything related to Bakken and Oil.
Originally posted on October 21, 2011 @ 2:31 am