Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Loving the World

In one translation's Was Abraham Ethically Defensible in Keeping Silent About his Purpose?, Kierkegaard explains concealment in terms of marriage. A girl conceals her love for a man other than her betrothed, the betrothed man conceals his love for another. Because of this neither of them gain the happiness of giving their hand to the one they truly love. As a result, a "remarkable higher unity" is forgone. Kierkegaard goes on to write that aesthetics, a courteous and sentimental science makes everything possible for the lovers. "...In spite of the fact that they did not even get time to sleep over their resolution, aesthetics treats them nevertheless as if they had courageously fought for their resolution during many years...for aesthetics does not trouble itself greatly about time..."(62).
I see Kierkegaard's use of these examples as an illustration of his aesthetic view of the situation of concealment and of the world. He is courageous enough to believe in a "remarkable higher unity", or a higher understanding of faith and God. The aesthetic view turns ethics into an enemy of the experience of the sentimental concept of reality. His example, through his aesthetic (romantic) perspective looks like the tragic ideal of relationship. Instead of thinking of a relationship between a man and woman practically (a man and woman being united for economic and felial reasons), he upholds relationship founded in romantic love as the ultimate goal, regardless of time.
This example helps me understand his view of the Abraham story. He does not look at the biblical narrative in a practical way, but in a courteous, sentimental and romantic light. He sees the story aesthetically rather than ethically, therefore taking every aspect as a reality based in love and the romantic view of the universe. This seems to be an important aspect of faith; that one can see the world through eyes that look beyond ethics and see events, relationships and being in general aesthetically (lovingly).

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