Memes for Kierkegaard. Protocol #4

All meme content is original and created by Emma Paulini ~ format from imgflip

In regard to the Genesis story of creation of man, Kierkegaard claims that Adam generated anxiety when he was prohibited from eating the apple in the Garden of Eden. Being told he couldn’t eat the apple gave rise to the possibility of freedom to choose to eat it. With an instruction or request comes the option to disobey, which provides a breeding ground for anxiety. In this manner, Kierkegaard argues that anxiety precedes original sin—Adam had the choice to disobey God before he even conceived of good and evil, which were consequences of the action.
Kierkegaard describes anxiety as the dizziness of freedom. If you are looking into the abyss of possibility, anxiety is the reaction to the endlessness of options. Anxiety is both attraction and repulsion—the opportunity to take advantage of a choice is equally as inviting as the strength of fear for multitude of possibilities one can act on.
Finishing the semester and having the freedom to do as you please without classes, homework, or tests sounds like the ideal life, right? Well, as Kierkegaard says, anxiety knows “how to attack his suspect in his weakest moment” (154). I’ve found that working within a schedule and matching pace with the semester keep my mind busy with firm goals to accomplish and dates to look forward to. But sudden swaths of free time, while initially a relief, can turn into existential anxiety fests in which I feel the pressure to plan my future NOW and enact plans for how to best use the current time. The myriad of possibilities sometimes spur decision paralysis. I want to use my time as effectively as possible, but this can easily spiral into simply pondering what’s top priority and analyzing the best course of action instead of actually taking action…
Today we usually assign anxiety as a symptom stemming from a clash of external and internal worries and other major factors. But Kierkegaard suggests that anxiety is hardwired into the human experience. Since humans are complex beings (not angels or demons with straightforward purposes), we harbor a lot of anxiety. Too much anxiety can be debilitating and not enough can cause you to become lackadaisical, but if you learn how to be anxious well, Kierkegaard believes we become more self-aware and gain insight into personal responsibility.

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