Commitment and Existential crisis

Commitment and Existential crisis

The term commitment defines our existence as interdependent in nature. We may think that we exist independently, but there are so many beings or non-beings around us which are accountable for our existence. Even our freedom is dependent on the conditions of freedom of others. If society is free, we are more likely to enjoy expressions of freedom. On the other hand, if we are restricting the freedom of others, then most likely our freedom is also getting controlled. For example, if parents restrict the freedom of their child, then it’s more likely that they are undergoing uncontrolled thought conflicts, which certainly cause the loss of their freedom (of tension-free living). Restricting the freedom of others takes away our possibility to be the fullest being. Surprisingly, we are only free when others are free. John MacMurray, Martin Buber, and other personalities believed isolated self as an unreal abstraction.

In case, we are getting troubled with an existential crisis, ‘to live or not live’, we must think of the commitment goals we must complete in regards to others.

  1. Commitment is bi-directional and mutual. When you are committed to others; others must also be committed to you.
  2. Commitment is existential because you are responsible for the lives of others.
  3. Commitment promotes universal consciousness- which is the seed of civilized humanity.
  4. The idea of commitment to others revolutionizes human thoughts- the thoughts become free from jealousy, insecurity, false notions, and irrational opinions.
  5. Commitment secures our life by the fulfillment of needs, desires, ambitions, and gives us scope for a better life.

Buber writes:

“The primary word I–Thou can be spoken only with the whole being. Concentration and fusion into the whole being can never take place through my agency, nor can it ever take place without me. I become through my relation to the Thou; as I become I, I say Thou.”

The language, culture, community, exists with the existence of the whole being. The understanding, acceptance, and conflicts with other beings could happen only with the presence of both self and others. Thus, the full development of a being is possible only by regular interaction with others. There is a continuous role of others in the growth of self. Nobody could grow in a vacuum, we consistently need interference and support of others. So, the relations with others always matter for the easy existence of the self.

For the commitment to others, we give thanks to others. Heidegger even suggests a connection between Thanking, Thinking, and Being. “In giving thanks, the heart give thought to what it has and what it is…It thinks of itself as beholden, not in the sense of mere submission, but beholden because its devotion is held in listening. Original thinking is thanks owned for being” {Martin Heidegger, What is Called Thinking( New York: Harper and Row, 1954), 141}

The commitment brings devotion for the sustenance of life and other beings in this universe. A different pleasure is achieved when we show commitment to others. This pleasure is real happiness which adds values in our life.

When we talk about an existential crisis, we include every factor which is supporting our pillar of existence. The ‘others’ play a very prominent role in our existence. When we study ‘others’, we always see it in relation to self. The commitment is not only considered to be important but also effective to predict and control crises. It’s a very thin thread which ties us all together. The breaking of this thread is a threat to individual existence. For instance, the non-commitment to our family brings hatred, non-acceptance, and reputation loss. And the non-commitment to our Nation brings disharmony, disunity, disrespect. It’s the responsibility of all to be committed and seek commitment.

With this, we could not only determine the importance of commitment but could also relate it to our act of becoming. When being & becoming are studied, the utmost care is taken to understand human capabilities which are getting suppressed by the non-care to the role of commitment and responsibility. No wonder these terms are always examined in philosophy with different perspectives. The commitment with respect to freedom is observed in Sartre philosophy, the commitment with respect to five vows are seen in Jaina Philosophy, the commitment with respect to end-means, are seen in Marxist philosophy, and so on. Conclusively, the commitment in respect to existence is a very important philosophy, the ignorance of which could surely bring crises.

3 comments

The commitment to existence is mandated. There is no choice about it. I would say that wet those authors are saying is that if one has to make an intentional choice into commitment then they are involved in an abstraction. Because they are withdrawing into this fantasy of a “single self” that has a choice to make. It is an abstraction because one is already involved in the commitment in his much as they exist. Existence is the commitment. The choice to make a commitment is a transcendental fantasy, or “not existent”.

The commitment to existence is mandated. There is no choice about it. I would say that wet those authors are saying is that if one has to make an intentional choice into commitment then they are involved in an abstraction. Because they are withdrawing into this fantasy of a “single self” that has a choice to make. It is an abstraction because one is already involved in the commitment in his much as they exist. Existence is the commitment. The choice to make a commitment is a transcendental fantasy, or “not existent”.

Absolutely right. Existence is commitment. But choice is always a debated topic. If you have to commit, then there is no choice whether you have to commit. But, If you have a choice to make commitment, then we always have some options to choose better one. Hope it makes sense. Thanks for putting light to this.

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