Aut – Aut (English version)

Aut – Aut

Good and evil, joy and sadness, light and darkness, yin and yang and so on: we are surrounded by dualisms and dichotomies. However these oppositions and contrasts are only the final moment of a series of actions called choices.

Simple, difficult, complex or painful: the choices characterize and determine us. But how do they affect us? Are they so necessary?

In 1843 the Danish philosopher Sören Kierkegaard wrote a work entitled “Aut – Aut”. Aut is an adverse latin conjunction and it means either. The title translation therefore corresponds to “Or this or that”.

In particular, Kierkegaard emphasizes the dramatic vacuity of an “aesthetic” life dedicated to the ephemeral pleasure of the present moment. What should we do? Should we persevere with this kind of life of nothingness or opt for an “ethical” life, morally more acceptable and directed to the future but looking back to the past?

We have a variety of options and possibilities that can be fascinating and intriguing but also highly destabilizing.

“What do you choose? You choose yourself, not in your own immediacy, not as this casual individual, but you choose yourself in the eternal value […] “. (cit. Aut-Aut, ed. Mondadori, pp. 90-92)

The act of choosing is therefore fundamental as a moment of “reconquest” one’s own self. When you choose, you choose yourself in an active way and not passively. The multiplicity of options we can come across always have to be seen as an opportunity.

Choices may be right or wrong, but they will always be a manifestation of what we are and can not ignore.

For curiosity:

“Aut-Aut” by Sören Kierkegaard, Mondadori

“Filosofia” by Sergio Moravia, 3rd volume, ed. Le Monnier

Maria Domenica Depalo

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