Existence and the Human Situation
IN the chapter which treated of Kierkegaard's disjunction between the state of existence and the realm of pure Being, the conclusion was reached that he sees pure Being as an ontologically sound realm in itself, provided only that man realizes that he cannot pretend to live in such a realm. However, the state in which man does live, that of existence, receives its characteristic tension from the fact that he somehow has to relate himself to eternity (which is pure Being), a need which raises many problems. The purpose of this chapter is to show that many of the characteristically Kierkegaardian analyses of emotional complexes are derived from the human necessity to come to terms with pure Being or eternity and that without the positing of such an ontologically traditional framework, no such tensions can arise.
It might be well to begin by an attempt to understand the major emphasis on emotion that is central to Kierkegaard's writing. Traditionally, emotions have been rather suspect in the halls of academic philosophy, the feeling being that they somehow endanger the rational, objective purpose of philosophic analysis. Thus, for instance, Swenson points out1____________________