.. IV. Despair as Hopelessness.
Christian hope and expectation, which Kierkegaard profusely emanates from a Christian standpoint, becomes his philosophy in having to deal with the concept of suffering. And while he gives a brief introspection into what action this situation should employ, Kierkegaard only manifest his impulse of which hope should facilitate in the areas of Christian suffering and anxiety. In the sickness unto death, Kierkegaard sees despair as a disequilibrium, and in this case, hopelessness takes over . For when we think of despair, we think of it as a loss of possibility; a lack of prospects and a closed future, which is precisely the context of what Kierkegaard sees as absolute angst.
In this case, it is the angst that envelopes a person such as that he becomes closed to hope. But going further, Kierkegaard aforementions a much greater angst and in this case, it totally conceives the person of complete hopelessness, he now calls it the despair of the infinite or of possibility. In this type of despair, one conceives of an exaggeration of the infinite and the possible into a form of complete and unutterable despair that the imagination becomes so unrelated to concrete life. In the emotional sphere, one may be too involved with his sentiments, lost in his abstractions and giving up in useless knowledge. Thus, the despairer in this case, considers an abrupt form of life that he has and in which case suicide maybe an attempt to end the sufferings of the person.
The self-deception that maybe involved here is that one flees from the possibility of hope simply because one has no use for it, and the undertaking becomes easier to decipate upon the anxiety itself. But what Kierkegaard, acknowledges here is that fixing one persons anxiety can only lead to a much deeper form of anxiety, that a person sinks into. He regards that we need not continue with this form of despair since it would sink ones will into a greater form of despair and that is, not to will ones self to be open to possibility. The passive collapse and self-hatred or the conscious self-defiance, is only a rejection of what a person is called before God.
Kierkegaard calls for faith in this case, as he said, faith in the self is willing to be oneself and in which it rests transparently with God, for the opposite of sin [of despair] is not virtue but faith . In this case what Kierkegaard sees as despair consuming man can only be made contrary through belief in God the infinite and possibility of change. V. The Dialectic of Christian Hope. Soren Kierkegaard has always thought of despair and anxiety as parcel of the Christian context of suffering.
He understood this in a way in which suffering that is undergone by man, is a cleansing process and much more, an itinerary that is consented by God. Kierkegaard approves of Gods consent in human suffering, he gives it prior significance in the introspection of human life as well as value in terms of understanding, to a degree to which it contains a moral and religious esteem. In this case, his descriptions of suffering can be compared and connected to the Christians view, by which the conception of hope is also clearly manifested. For this reason, Kierkegaards description of hope and suffering is sketched out in a way wherein dialectical distinctions are only proven Christian suffering and hope are precisely distinctively Christian.
So far, as we have looked into the ideas of hope and despair, that in turn are quite traverse conceptions, they are like parallel sides on the area of human suffering and yet while they seem distinct, they are also entirely connected to one another. This in regard, which is depicted in human suffering is both indicatively present. Given only reason, that they are however either actively or passive in attendance, belingers the notion that one of them should dominate the other. But yet, in conditions of active presence they both constitute the occurrence in human suffering. Kierkegaard in the dialectics of Christian suffering and hope views a manner that astonishingly brings about a fresh incentive into Christian life.
He, Kierkegaard elucidates hope as the foster-mother of Christian life . In this way, he wishes to imply that despair and anxiety has the history of Christian hope behind it. In which case, the dialectic of hope is variably seen in four parts, these in which Kierkegaard mentions into four stages; the first one being the origins of hope in youthfulness, as directed towards earthly temporal expectations, which following disappointment, and also at the same time despair in possible forms. The second stage, which is not an outright, conscious, despair, arises when one becomes sensible, then would be the supportive calculation of understanding.
We stumble on Kierkegaards analysis of hope here as an examination of calculation. He reviews this as sagacity and shrewdness in forms of despairing hopelessness . And as we have seen him inquisitive into the Sickness unto Death, which says the despair of finitude and of necessity may include an unconscious resignation, and in which case one should give up youthful hopes, reins in expectations, and calculates probabilities . Kierkegaard would want to show that hopelessness is also indeed a part of the act of hoping, this may appear vague, but the fact that hopelessness is connected into the act itself imbibes the idea that it is parcel of what usually does when somebody hopes for something. But this in fact strains hope, Kierkegaard says, yet not utterly diminishes it. Hope itself cannot be defeated but only run down , it is like a quiet form of despair wherein the despairer continues to absorb all the anxieties but not equally to fall down himself.
What is important, Kierkegaard recognizes is that hope should be kept alive, and this is what the Christian interpretation of hope is all about. Kierkegaard does not advocate irrational hope against what is probable, he does not believe in going against all the odds, whatever the circumstances are, but he realistically grants that hope as long as it is the earthly hope can be subjected to the calculations of probability. And furthermore, earthly hopes can be tenacious in a spiritually destructive way. The third stage of the dialectic of hope meanwhile is closely associated with the second stage, which bases upon the supportive calculation of understanding.
The problem however is posed in the third stage, in this case it is because any earthly hopes are subject to defeat and hidden despair. This in fact touches on what I have discussed a moment ago, earthly hopes are in fact constantly being barraged by anxieties and other desolations, it could be affected so much to the point that hopelessness takes over it. In the journal entries on the dialectic of hope, Kierkegaard poses a question; how can hope be saved? This question actually came in unanswered but the possibility of gaining hope continually is being aware that hope is constant. This brings us about to the last and final stage of dialectic hope, which is eternal hope.
Eternal hope may sound to be specifically sharp and contrasting to the conception of earthly hope, but it is quite similar in the sense that it is in the sphere of Christian hope. For Kierkegaard, salvation is, humanly speaking utterly impossible, but for God everything becomes possible. In this case, Kierkegaard mentions; whereas experience is calculative, shrewd, and aware of the odds, leading to diminished hopes or else, hopes pinned on the earthly alone, there opens up an eternal hope, a hope which is not based on experience or calculations of sagacity. Here, Kierkegaard takes two opposite frames in order to understand life, on one frame, it discusses about hope, it is a hoping against hope by virtue of the absurd; and not in the sense of an irrational earthly hope, but a hope in spite of a realistic appraisal of the odds against earthly hope .
The other, which deals about the frame of experience, are both internally opposed. In contrast, Kierkegaard uses the idea of the concept of the eternal hope to open up a possibility, relieving the pressures of finitude and necessity that threatens to suffocate a person; second hope is future-oriented, as we have seen, without having to giving up ones past or recollection. Thirdly, hope is object-oriented, grounded not on earthly calculation, which can be supremely realistic, but puts forward God as He alone is the source of possibility. And lastly, eternal hope, brings about a person beyond the resignation of sagacity or despair, in this case while restraining ones hopes or giving up hope altogether, hope is opened into broader prospects. VI. Epilogue.
Kierkegaards conception about the problematic stature of mans situation in the world, as well as the emotional thrust of being able to grasp the melancholy of human existence opted him to find refuge in the sagacity of Christian hope and the possibility of God. Kierkegaard, in his philosophy of finding the essence of mans despair, as well as its connection to human activity made his works purposive as well as significant in the areas of human distress and suffering. In this case, which his works are basically existential in nature is what I also myself find being into, that is, a being-existent in the world, is groping into a similar situation. For we are indeed placed in a cradle where anxiety and despair are but a common notion to all who experience the misery of life. The angst that Kierkegaard depicts in this experience is what exists as a part of being able to cope up with lifes agony, a part of muddling through with the necessities that it expects of us to accomplish while we are still confused and dreary of our situation. And while this is something more to undertake like a gargantuan task of uncovering the truth, the whole process only shakes up our faith and belief in hope as well as the infinite possibilities that is God.
Bibliography Bibliography and related texts. o Existentialism and Theism; Kierkegaards Contribution to Existentialism. o David J. Gouwens; Kierkegaard as a Religious Thinker. o The Purity of Heart; Upbuilding Discourses at Various Spirits. o Soren Kierkegaard; Fear and Trembling.
o Soren Kierkegaard; Despair is the Sickness Unto Death. o The Sickness Unto Death; Existentialism and Theism; Kierkegaards Contribution of Existentialism. o The Anatomy of Suffering; Becoming Christian II; Kierkegaard as a Religious Thinker. o Despair as Hopelessness; Kierkegaard as a Religious Thinker. o The Dialectic of Hope; Kierkegaard as a Religious Thinker.