Kierkegaard’s Stages of Life Explained
People undergo different stages in their life. The paper has discussed Kierkegaard’s three stages of life, namely aesthetics, moral, and spiritual phases, with three colleagues aged 21, 33, and 56. I then asked them to identify the stage they were in as I noted the various insights about the stage. The 21-year-old revealed that he was in the aesthetics stage while the 33-year-old colleague claimed to be in the ethical age. The 56-year-old person confirmed that she was in the religious stage. From their insights, I noted that age influenced their responses and perceptions about their stage in life-based on Kierkegaard’s theory.
From the context of Kierkegaard’s description of the different stages of life, the phases are influenced by the need to combat monotony, nervousness, and desolation. Individuals are apprehensive and fed up in case they do not experience intellectual or physical motivation. Therefore, psychologically healthy people seek various mechanisms for averting monotony. Any conflict between religious and ethical duties causes anxiety. For one to be happy, he or she has to avoid anxiety. However, after escaping anxiety, people face yet another big challenge in the form of tension that occurs between infinite and finite aspects of life. This situation creates desolation, which must be avoided. The only way to evade it is to have total commitment and faith in God. However, Kierkegaard thinks that this strategy does not just involve attending church.
I look forward to completing my education. I also enjoy partying and spending a good time with friends. My 21-year-old colleague does not want to miss such good times with friends, including me, especially when we are done with classes. We enthusiastically talk about the things we want to do after finishing schooling. We think about how we will enjoy life. From Kierkegaard’s theory, these plans are an attempt to increase our pleasures, which he argues are mechanisms for avoiding boredom. Therefore, my colleague and I are in the first stage of life.
My 33-year-old friend claims that nothing is as good as touching the lives of disadvantaged people. He provides insight that he is particularly moved when he sees people living in harmony. From Kierkegaard’s presumption, this observation suggests that the respondent is made happy by promoting social welfare rather than pursuing personal gains. Therefore, he is in the ethical stage. The third respondent believes that life is well spent when one does what is Godly by obeying what God commands people to do without questioning. Asked why people should not question, she replies that God supersedes any power of reasoning, proof, and human logic. Similar to Kierkegaard’s hypothesis, this response shows a high commitment to God. Hence, she is in the third stage of life.