Day 2437, Existentialism.

Daily picture

We get born empty
slowly filed by what overflows in others

and then we see
one day
imagined in our mind

Jean-Paul Sartre

Existentialism is a Humanism

Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself. There is no human nature since there is no God to conceive of it. Man is not only that which he conceives himself to be, but also that which he wills himself to be, and since he conceives of himself only after he exist, just as he wills himself to be after being thrown into existence, man is nothing other than what he makes of himself. This is the first principle of Existentialism.


4 thoughts on “Day 2437, Existentialism.

  1. What if we are all ‘God bits’ and all, together ‘we’ constitute God? All sentient beings and perhaps all we perceive to be insentient included, as well? Pantheism, I guess.

    The idea that rises up more than any ism, these days, is to question the existentialist definition as stated by Sartre, above. What if man did not really create any of it, ultimately? What if man (the individual and from there the collective) was born into his circumstance and only believes he is in command? Not really fatalism… as there is choice at a mundane level. But more…simply “Zen”. Beyond question and thought?

    No answers. And, (ha!) still thinking here!

    I enjoyed your photo and poem. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it.
      God bits you say… I think it is reasonable to leave the idea God out of it. I personally didn’t grew up with a religion so you would exclude me and your definition of God might differ from the thousands of other definitions of what God is. But I understand where you are going with your pantheism, God is kinda missing there too. But I don’t know why we need to fill in the gab with all kinds of ideas. Can we not except that we are here with no reason, just stardust temporary filling up space…. in the endless space.

      Sartre’s idea sounds good in my ears but I interpret it in my own way and I know that these interpretations can change over the years. In this light I think that he means with: “man is nothing else but what he makes of himself,” the fact that through our thinking we create a narrative or world for ourselves. Animals might make an internal world, where food can be found for instance but we humans can also wonder why food is there. Without purpose we evolved in this direction and this extra brain capacity gave us more or les a world where we can wonder about it and not just live in.

      As you might know, we are not really in control of our thinking. Thoughts come and go and sometimes we lead and other times we just think we are. In control is not something I would give myself as a description, it is also bount to the culture you live in. There are enough cultures where the idea of control over your life is foreign.

      Sartre also writes about the human and not so much about the individual. If he says that “he conceives himself” he doesn’t mean, in my opinion, that the individual actively conceives or makes up himself. It is more of a feature we humans have that we do that. It like saying that you breathe, yes you as a human does breath but you as an individual is not actively bussy with breathing, it just happens. That’s the same, in some sense, with the thinking and willing we do.

      I have more to say but I’ve written enough… thanks for your remarks, it was nice to write down some of my thoughts in response.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Although I never intend the word God to be taken in a religious context, it is almost always taken that way. It’s a tired habit. We grasp at words to make the ineffable, effable. Silly, but all of my favorite poetry results from this urge. So that alone makes it worthwhile.

        Liked by 1 person

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