But trying to approach concrete conscious existence by reason leads to rationalism, to essence, definitions, and logical argumentation. This ends to a philosophical trap.
What then is the path to conscious existence?
Where am I? What am I? Who am I?
How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted?
The meaninglessness of existence are filled with anxieties and a sense of hopelessness.
Human life are not designed for pleasure. Yet in the time given to each of us for our own existence, we strive for happiness in order to escape anxiety and the deep hopeless depression which is despair.
But there is no escape - no matter how pleasurable and comfortable we make our lives in order to hide from the truth. For the truth is that all of us live in anxiety and despair. This is the universal human condition. We suffer from anxiety even when we are not aware of it, and even when there is nothing to fear, nothing in the objective world to feel anxious about. This is because, our anxiety is not objective; it is subjective; it is universal fear of something that is nothing; it is the fear of the nothingness of human existence.
We made something of ourself but we are a stranger to ourself. We do not know that the way to overcome despair is to choose despair, to sink so deep into despair that we give up all the satisfactions and comforts of life; we lose all commitment to family, friends, community; we surrender reason and all belief in the truth of science and philosophy, and all moral principles.
When all these are lost, with nothing left, we will be in total crisis, at the edge of the abyss, and we will be prepared for faith in God; we will choose God, and make the leap of faith to God.
For absolute faith and the leap to God can overcome the meaninglessness of our existence of nothingness. The surrender of reason can overcome the sense of anxiety and hopeless despair for the solitary individuals of the modern world.
Either/Or, A Fragment of Life (1843)
(1813 - 1855)