Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. Everything has been figured out, except how to live. One always dies too soon or too late. And yet, life is there, finished. The line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life. There is only one day left, always starting over. It is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk. We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are, that is the fact. When you live alone you no longer know what it is to tell a story: the plausible disappears at the same time as the friends. You let events flow by too.Suddenly you see people appear who speak and then go away; you plunge into stories of which you can't make head or tail. You'd make a terrible witness. It is true that people who live in society have learned how to see themselves in mirrors as they appear to their friends. Luckily, I only have a few...

Dr Shaw is a lecturer in Further Education at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk. She also offers philosophy courses at the School of Continuing Education, Lifelong learning, at the University of Liverpool. In 2015, she has completed her Doctorate in philosophy with a focus on existentialism, the equilibrium doctrine and narrative. She has worked as a teacher of English and Comparative literature and Philosophy at The American University in Cairo, Egypt where she also obtained her BA (Hons). Dr Shaw has an MA in Philosophy and Literature from the University of East Anglia where she also taught on a number of humanities subjects. Whilst working in North Wales in Further education, she gained a PGCE aimed at teaching in FE and HE sectors. Dr Shaw moved to Liverpool in 2010 where she now resides.

Interests: Existentialism, Narrative, Comparative Literature, Feminist Thought, Public Speaking, Arab Existentialism, Philosophy of Education, Art, Music, Film and Theatre, Greek Mythology, Existential counsellor and psychotherapist.


Friday, 26 November 2010

Reflections of a Day

Life....just a funny thing. One day you are on top of the world, the other you are alone...all by yourself. Does it scare me? perhaps, does it scare you? it should. Who wouldn't be scared of loneliness? Scared of the moment of reflection? Rene Descartes says leave all, leave the world and welcome a life of solitude, a life full of reflection, reject all distractions, embrace yourself. "Turn an inward eye on itself" Emerson says. But can we? Can You? Are we content with solitude? How can one reject what makes us whole? Can we reject love? I've always wondered. Love of the family, the parents, the partner, the son/daughter, or the friend. Once I was in an empty secluded place- call it the countryside if you wish- nature, animals, mountains and hills. All the time in the world to reflect. Time to see everything as they really are. But I was afraid. Sartre says "Hell is other people", do we agree? Are we afraid to see that all our present actions affect our future? Afraid to see that those we call friends will only be there for a short time. How long would it take a person to show his true colors to the other? People are usually surrounded by crowds and yet feel lonely. I have always wondered what many philosophers would say if they lived in our world today. Have we let them down, I wonder... Have we destroyed their works by our misunderstanding, naivety and greed for fame. Destroyed every word and every page. Has Socrates died for nothing? I have lately been hearing talks that refute the every essence of philosophy. He said this and she said that, but who is the judge in this game? What is Philosophy? A question that persists. I wonder if people know how much a word loses its meaning when it is repeatedly talked about and unfortunately misunderstood. Is it a medium of free expression, an ability to argue endlessly, an expression of thought & ideas, or is it the love of wisdom as the books say? In today's world philosophy is a "tool" to crush the other to nothing to prove dominance, to claim fame and to feel superior. The unfortunate person will have to work hard with sweat and extreme effort to prove himself worthy of the other and suddenly, get caught in a vicious circle where he grows his own claws, joins the crowd and find his next victim....

*Image:    John Picton:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/arthurjohnpicton/


  1. I think we have to find our own 'philsophy' to live by, we change all of the time, our circumstances, our needs.
    I try to live my life in an honest caring way, do no harm to anyone and hope that others will treat me in the same manner.
    What we were content with years ago would probably not make us happy now, loneliness can be isolation, we need to love and be loved.
    I often reflect on my life and who I am, I am basically the same person but I have also changed, I have grown and adjusted to accept my new life situations and no doubt will again in the future.
    xoxoxo ♡

  2. "Can we reject love?"
    I like this question because it makes me think of the cartoon with Buggs bunny and the Abominable Snow man, who when seeing Buggs grabs and and shouts, "My own little bunny rabbit! I will hug him, and love him, and call him Geoge!" All the while squeezing the life out of the rabbit, but well intentioned of course!
    I have rabbits, and they don't like to be squeezed, but I admit that even I have a hard time resisiting the urge to hug them when I feed them in the morning.
    I've also been in relationships where the love being offered to me can be suffocating, or devoid of affection...neither of which are the kinds of love that satisfy me.
    It's heartbreaking to be in a place where there is no love to be found, as well as in a place where the love is big overbearing hugs when what one needs is tender and meaningful conversations.
    Ultimately I think it's about finding the right balance for each of us...rejecting what doesn't feel right, yet being thankful for all the different kinds of love in our lives.

    I enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing it~