Anxiety. The Endless Possibility.

Consider a few of thoughts from Kierkegaard on the nature of anxiety. In his work The Concept of Anxiety Søren Kierkegaard argues anxiety to be the "entrapment in the infinitude of possibilities." A) take a moment to see how beautiful that is; B) take a moment to consider how profound that is. In a nutshell, the Danish philosopher anchors anxiety not in the superficial possibilities of choosing a myriad of things, but in the notion that every choice could lead the person to choosing sin--and not just sin, but multiple venues to sin. This idea, if left unattended and theorized in the mind, has a high probability to send the self into the "dizziness"--as Kierkegaard calls it--of anxiety.

So what then should we do? The Dane's proposal? Inwardness. He wrote, "inwardness is precisely the fountain that springs up into eternal life..." In other words, we shouldn't fall into the lie that the real is the "here and now". In Kierkegaard's perception, the present is solely a moment of transition; a point that proves the passing from past to future. This is meant to signify that most people live their lives either in the past (which propagates feelings like shame and sadness) or the future (which can propagate fear and anxiety). And so, he offers a solution: the inwardness. It's here that the self bypasses the falseness of the past and future, and--given that the present is only an adjective of transition--moves inward, away from the linear timeline that "entraps" us in anxiety, and alternatively moving toward something able to engage the transcendental.

Ok, time to paraphrase... Anxiety is real. It's everywhere. A way to see how broken our world is is in the fact that our own personal stories can easily (and constantly) make us anxious, and stressed, and afraid, and ashamed, and sad. Kierkegaard's concept of anxiety here is one that can extend to all of these emotions. So, we have to mentally move somewhere else... to another timeline if you will. While we physically live in a linear (horizontal) timeline, our soul has immediate access to God outside of that timeline (like a vertical one of sorts). It's through the latter that we might recenter our soul, despite how our story is progressing, and in that, bypass anxiety.

*photo credit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Søren_Kierkegaard