the epicurean explorer

anonymous asked:

can you recommend a book that could help someone through a crisis of faith? a nothing to live for type of deal? ty

Are you dealing with a spiritual crisis or an existential one? I was brought up an atheist and my understanding of religious beliefs is very limited to say the least… but in the latter case you have come to the right place. Three ideas [all of them written by their authors after a huge faith crisis in their lives, & curiously connected to religion – although they perfectly allow for a secular interpretation]

 * Soren Kierkegaard’s The Sickness Unto Death: [”This is the hot incitement or the cold fire in despair, this incessantly inward gnawing, deeper and deeper in impotent self-consumption.”] Kierkegaard calls ‘The Sickness Unto Death’ or Despair a mental state in which individuals feel discomfort (basically disphoria) with their own identity, either because they despise themselves and want to extinguish into nothingness or because they feel they are not outwardly reflecting their true selves and torment themselves over their inability to fulfill their ego ideals. Ultimately despair is overcomed by accepting one’s identity and situation (and it’s all connected to Christianity because accepting yourself is accepting who God intended you to be, &c &c)

 * Lev Tolstoy’s A Confession: [ “If God does not exist, since death is inevitable, what is the meaning of life?.”] Tolstoy anatomizes his own existential crisis, finding himself in a meaningless world in which the certainty of death prevents him to enjoy what is left of his life. He hesitates between committing suicide – which he feels unable to do – or continuing to live in anxiety until he dies of a natural death; he also explores Epicureanism and obliviousness, but concludes that after having become conscious of the reality of death there is no going back. He ultimately finds solace in religion and/or the religious instinct of humankind.

 * TS Eliot’s The Four Quartets: (In case you are into really elusive  - and beautiful - Modernist poetry ~) [”We only live, only suspire / Consumed by either fire or fire.”]  Unlike his pessimistic and apocalyptic worldview in The Waste Land, The Four Quartets attempts to reconcile man with reality, the modern world, the divine, &c. The conclusion of the fourth ‘quartet’, Little Gidding, seems to be that suffering and ecstasy rely on each other, that spritual suffering is necessary for a spiritual rebirth.

I really hope it helps - ♛