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Why Do People Breathe? (Three Stages of Life According to Kierkegaard)

Updated on August 31, 2019

Of Course, People Breathe to Live!

'Why do we breathe?' is a simple question, but 'why do we live?' is absolutely not. Each of us, human beings, is inhaling and exhaling the same gases, but we have different names; is living in the same world, but we have different purposes.

A person may be living to put a smile on his/her folks' faces, while another may be living for his own; some would want to sit on the throne and bathe in gold, some would stay at the land of average, and explore life.

What Is The Reason To Live?

What really is the reason why people live? Most says that we, human beings, exist in this world to live in our truest form. But how do we define true self?

Søren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher, once proposed that a person must pass through three stages to be in his/her true self. The three stages are as follows:

Three Stages of Life to Achieve True Self

The Aesthetic. Kierkegaard said that a man will strive the road that ends to the greatest pleasure he longs. Different experiences will be gained in this first stage of life in terms of achieving his true self.

The Ethical. After living in pleasure, it is time for a man to consider if what he does, or what makes him happy has a huge impact to the other members of society. A man thinks about others' emotions and goods.

The Religious. A man builds up, and deepen his spiritual beliefs and practices. His connection to his religion becomes clearer and more valuable, as the spiritual teachings are embedded in his soul.

Those are the three stages, and we are to witness the conflict between them, the conflicts in our lives, and have a vision in every aspect of life.

People Breathe for a Purpose

You breathe to choose whether you stay in Aesthetic stage and be happy, work for humanity in Ethical stage, speak the words of your religion in Religious stage, or create a new stage, if you want! -- Your own wheel is in your hands. If you want to drive fast, go; if you want to steer the wheel to the way that's never been passed by, then go. Each of us holds his own wheel differently from another, but always remember, never hit anyone.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Mark Noblesmith


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