Monday, November 6, 2017

...the intolerable necessity......


I have a remarkable power to self-consciously ask myself what I ought to do.  I can answer by my own powers of reason and then follow through in action, for one reason or another.  Simply being so constituted, I count as my own, as responsible for my chosen actions.
     My behavior then isn't just a simple reflex reaction, part of the impersonal causal order of scientific study;  it's my behavior, my free action.  I've chosen my conduct, anew, despite what has come before in my history, whoever I've been before this present moment.  And for Sartre, I am in this way responsible for myself.  "For human reality, to be is to choose oneself."  I choose myself, in the totality of each choice I make.  Whatever might come to me "either from the outside or from within," I have to decide what to "receive or accept," and "without any help whatsoever" I am "entirely abandoned to the intolerable necessity of making myself to be - down to the slightest detail."

-Aaron James, Surfing With Sartre:  An Aquatic Inquiry Into A Life Of Meaning

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