[PDF] ✪ The Courage to Be By Paul Tillich – Horse-zine.co.uk

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10 thoughts on “The Courage to Be

  1. says:

    I first started reading this book because I want answers to the existential angst that plagues me and others aware of the implications of post modern ideas I don t mean to say that I wanted an alternative to post modernism I don t believe that is any realistic than saying that I want an alternative to turning 32, for that s just wishful thinking I m not a post modernist, for I am not merely a product of my culture, but I am influenced by my culture If I m being honest with myself, there is simply no escaping thinking in part like a post modernist, for I am steeped in a post modern era of thought and practice It doesn t help to revert to modernist fact finding when immersed in a society that is exploring the cognitive foundation of what we call objective reality but people attempt this regressive tactic nonetheless because it s a familiar place But the past is dead and done it is worn into a deep rut, and a new path must be found We must confess, though disheartened, that facts don t find nearly as much as they don t find Enter post modernism.Tillich starts by differentiating between fear and anxiety Fear is a manifestation of universal, existential anxiety and as a leaf and not a root, fear can be directly dealt with than anxiety The individual fears are embodiments that can be avoided, resisted, opposed and even eliminated while the root of fear anxiety is really the ever present awareness of non being that constantly hovers This anxiety cannot be removed, and is a necessary part of self preservation self affirmation which adds to one s valuation of life This principle of ineradicable anxiety is one of most difficult parts of this book to make peace with didn t I start reading to do exactly that decrease anxiety But Tillich reveals that just as torture can be accepted at the hand of a trusted physician, so existential anxiety can be courageously endured because of a deeper realization that affirms one s sense of purpose and identity This truth is revealed in the last quarter of the book.There are three basic forms of anxiety anxiety about death non being which ultimately subsumes the other two , anxiety about meaninglessness an empty life , and condemnation guilt about a wrong life One can deal practically with fears, but anxiety no matter which sort must ultimately be accepted into one s ultimate sense of self worth and one s right to BE again, self affirmation This is what the author refers to as taking it fears, doubts, anxiety into oneself In spite of anxiety, one can still do what must be done, and can remain confident that God is still holding them This is the confidence of Being COURAGE that gives one the strength to stare down non being in its many forms.This courage, however, does not always come easy, nor or is always immediately apparent when it does arrive Courage can be partly obstructed by one s lack of realization that confidence in one s own being can take place only as an ancillary to the deeper confidence in what Tillich calls being itself , viz God Pre mature courage often evidences itself as courage to be as a part collectivism , or courage to be as oneself individualistic existentialism the former missing out on a belief in self, the later missing out on a belief in the world.I can certainly say that I comprehend our existential predicament a bit clearly after reading this book Never have I read a work that so faithfully scrutinized our ontology as if it were under a microscope, but did not abandon the soul under the microscope to wriggle and die In the words of the psychologist Carl Jung, our author has stood and stared into face of the monster of the maternal abyss, and has not been mesmerized by its power, but has overcome This understanding of the source of our anxiety and fear can help bring a renewed determination to renew the fight, and to be hopeful and courageous even when all hope seems lost It brings new meaning to the idea that while one is alive, there is still confidence to believe that one is meant to be alive In the words of Robert Browning, This world s no blot for us nor blank it means intensely, and means good And to find its meaning is my meat and drink.

  2. says:

    Interesting how as I read through and of the so called great authors I find an underlying pattern and message that is repeated over and over again These are men and women who have journeyed deep into the darkness of the their own soul and have survived to tell the rest of us about it To let us know that the alienation we feel is not ours alone, but of all mankind when our cultural, religious, philosophical and societal safe guards have all failed When we stand naked and vulnerable in the presence of the vast and impersonal universe Lo, how small is man, how insignificant our lives, and yet when we are able to pierce through this veil of solitude with the courage to just be, then we realize we are not separate but part of this Universe, we are not alienated, but literally children of the stars.

  3. says:

    If I were to try to describe to someone my faith, I would call myself a Tillichian than a Christian Unfortunately, nobody knows who Tillich is outside on PLU, so I need to say liberal, non literal, existentialist Protestant instead.

  4. says:

    I put this book in league with Dennis Brutus who I also adore and his poem Stubborn Hope Tillich is easy to read, even when he is doing the background philosophy work I read Tillich when I feel discouraged or disheartened He makes me feel like the mundane struggles of life have meaning.

  5. says:

    One of the most important books I have read It suggests a clear division between psychopathological anxiety and existential anxiety It reflects the ancient wisdom that the full self must live with the full and certain knowledge of the abyss and meaninglessness, and that to be acceptable to oneself in the fullest sense of human potential one must first learn to love and tolerate one s own wretchedness.

  6. says:

    Although Tillich s writing can seem frustratingly academic, the ideas he presents are extremely relevant He provides a historical framework on the philosophy of courage from Plato to Spinoza and then uses that platform to posit his own reasoning as a religious philosophic Give this some time to sink in It s worth it.Do not read this unless you have some momentum going already.

  7. says:

    This book is related to Tillich s Dynamic of Faith while the Faith is defined as in a state of being ultimately concerned Faith is not religion, and this book is not about searching for a form of religious practice It is certainly not explicitly promoting Christianity as the conduit for faith Instead, it is about Courage and To Be in the ontological sense The Courage to Be is the operative mode of faith in Tillich sense Both courage and to be are used in philosophic and theological sense, far from their common day usage Much of the challenge of reading this book is to remind oneself that common words such as courage , to be , being nonbeing , anxiety and existential having much tighter philosophic meanings First, what is Courage Starting with soldierly fortitude, Tillich moved on to the Stoic s courage through control by reason and wisdom, then the self affirmational Christian courage through Spinoza But modern world has changed what conditions that challenged one s courage from the random fate and destiny of Homer and Seneca s time to the retrenching of traditional modes of faith in the advance of science and secularism Courage is the living mode for a life ultimately concerned, a state of being instead of a state of mind or a mood It is the most vital and stable trait of a person s life Perhaps it is best to imagine a life that is not courageous the negation of one s fear through submerging into a social whole, the negation of one s doubts through distraction created by entertainment or activities, and the negation of creative despair through noncreative, empty personal piety Courage is engagement in spite of something repellant, fearful, doubtful and uncertain To Be is difficult to pin down at my first read The concept is expounded in lengthy segments in philosophical and theological sense To be confronts the anxiety of non being, a negation of one s self in the vast and likely uncaring universe Existentialism is heavily discussed and differentiated Can we say Tillich is proposing a Christian Existentialism, solving the problem through Courage instead of Nietzsche s Will to Power However much of the discussion on existential anxiety is lost on me, I infer the to be is associated with the mode of being engaged in self affirmation, through both as a part of something and as an individual This mode of being is actively aware of the uncertainty and doubt in one s own life, the constant destruction of non being inherent in the individual instead of the universal Self Affirmation refuses to be submerged into unburdening one s own anxiety into conventional piety or institutional ideals such as Nationalism or Democracy I must read this book again additional notesI found most of the concept difficult to digest fully At this stage, I am holding on to certain literary figures and charactered that have exhibited what I consider Courage In the recent television show True Detective , we encounter another in the character of Rust Cohle The fact that Cohle exhibits Stoicism coincides with the starting point of Tillich s definition of courage through the Stoics such as Marcus Aurelius and Seneca Courage of the Stoic is a different type from Fortitude, a soldierly virtue Instead, Courage is the control of reason and self affirmation, taking in doubt and anxiety into itself Cohle acts upon his reason while refuses to ease his doubt and anxiety through other social and personal means such as his college Hart does Cohle has no delusion of human nature, yet he orients his whole being toward something of infinitely meaning, despite having no visible allegiance to any Ideals He is a true Stoic, courage with resignation Maybe Hamlet is the first character exhibiting Courage to Be, courage despite of his intense reasoning through fogs of uncertainty, doubts and non being On the other hand, Camus s Meursault in The Stranger is not courageous in the Tillich sense since he is devoid of any subjectivity Tillich pointed out that Meursault holds no relationship of self versus his world, no act is meaningful The Stranger is estranged from all aspects of human conscious life, hence his courage in front of death does not count page 133 In the War and Peace, Prince Andrei Bolkonsky instead of Pierre Bezukhof exhibits the centered, grounded courage instead of the transitory enlightenment experienced by the latter Andrei Bolkonsky is closer to Tillich s Courage to Be as he moved on from a pure resignation to a state of creative through his actions in the battlefield.

  8. says:

    Grinnell College s Psychology Department was oriented towards laboratory work I, being a vegetarian, couldn t participate in much of it Fortunately, the theoretical side of the field was being handled by the new Religious Studies Department which had a number of psychotherapists as adjuncts and instructors in addition to philosophically inclined senior faculty My interest in any case was with questions of meaning, those kinds of psychological problems which everyone has or should have at least had I read Tillich s The Courage to Be in RELST296 Existentialism along with some Victor Frankl, J.P Sartre, Dostoevsky and Nietszche my favorite self help author.

  9. says:

    This is one hell of a book, compadres I don t think I ve ever read something that so concisely and incisively describes the history of man s existential anxieties and the ways he s tried to deaden or cure them It d be wildly impressive simply as an overview, but the fact Tillich s own commentary is so eloquent and straight for the jugular makes it doubly so If you spend any time worrying and wondering about the situation we humans have found ourselves in, I really think you owe it to yourself to give this a read.

  10. says:

    I found this book to be a little repetitive and too academic in its tone For the subject matter, I d rather read Rollo May, who happened to be a friend of Tillich s His writing is accessible.

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