The Cruel Dilemma of Life

Two people who certainly deserve a seat at the table to discuss the nature of our joint existence and to help us find a solution to our common problems are Feuerbach and Freud.

Both of them offer the thought that human existence can be seen as a “cruel dilemma giving rise to deep “feeling(s) of dependency”.

Noted philosopher, Peter Byrne explains:

On the one hand the human mind recognizes that it faces in nature a world which it cannot wholly control, on the other its desires and needs drive it to seek satisfaction from this same nature, so that nature is at once independent of the self and yet the self is deeply dependent on it  (italics mine).

Freud, of course, gave his own, unique perspective on this issue by suggesting that the human child has a previous dilemma involving his/her parents.

During the stages of infancy and childhood, the child is protected from the outside world to a degree and, in any event, the parents act as a filter of sorts between the child and the world at large.  They act as protectors (or non-protectors) and providers (or non-providers) for the desires and needs of the child.

But not all of the desires, needs and wants of the child are met (and should not be met, though the child does not understand this yet).

Therefore, the human child develops a self that has an “estrangement-dependency” relationship with the world but mitigated through and identified with his or her parents.


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Tears of the Desert Warrior by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers.  All rights reserved.
Footnotes and references included in the original manuscript.