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.


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Would I want to LIVE again?

A question that has been the highlight of some debates is whether one would or would not live again. The possibilities are 1. we die and go to either heaven or hell (hence we live again) OR 2. we die and nothing happens! Opps...All hopes gone

Well, no one really asks the "subject", the person, what he/she really wants. Do "I" Shereen want to live again? Frankly, no. One shot in life is more than enough to mess it up or succeed. Well really, whatever we do in life is "temporal", nothing lasts since life IS changing and the show must go on. When one messes up or succeeds, there is always a time when things will either get better or get worse for those who succeed. It is like a wheel of fortune, circular, one day is yours, one day is against you. Nothing is for certain and nothing lasts for long.

The principle then of living a life that has no end, no finite point, is scary to me. I would rather believe that when death comes, life will stop and nothing will carry on than know that there is still another "after life" or another form of existence where I have a duty towards or a role to play. Or do I?!

My belief is this: I live a life that will eventually at some point in time come to an end. If I do find that there is life after death, or wait in vain in my grave for a judgement day for an opportunity to reunite with those loved ones (at least that is what I was told as a child), maybe then and only then- if I go to heaven or hell, I will have no way  of communicating this back to anyone. We are all passengers on the same train or boat of mystery. The destination is unknown for us all, even to those who claim they know, they fail. So please please please, let us just live and stop worrying about the "other" life. Is it that we are so unsatisfied with what we got that we seek another? Is it that we wish for a "better" world? An "after life" where all our wishes are fulfilled or where we are at "peace". We come out of one complex question with many more complex questions that we will be unable to answer or shed light on. Maybe then too, in the after life, in some form, we wouldn't be satisfied.... It seems that the worry for many people I guess is the fear that there IS nothing.

I say, "even if there is nothing, at least you gave THIS life your best shot! Stop worrying and instead, LIVE!"

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