Review: The Existentialist's Survival Guide: How To Live Authentically In An Inauthentic Age

The Existentialist's Survival Guide examines few existentialist philosophers' view on what makes a human authentic and fulfilled

If you enjoy reading self-help books and essays on philosophical questions, then this is for you. Note that this book is written from the perspective of a Christian author, though most of the themes discussed - death, depression, faith, authenticity - are universal and the pool of philosophers examined is not just the religious ones.

The depth of the discussion and the author's own personal experience makes reading the book an immersive experience. Wherever you are in your life stage and whatever problems you think you might have, I think borrowing new perspectives on life and how to navigate it is always a good thing. This book stares at the big questions and how all men can live a fulfilled existence.

"In depression, we are removed from the present, masticating past missteps and anticipating the horrors in the offing. Much like faith, earnestness is 'movement of the spirit' that is not easily detected by the naked eye....the earnest individual (is) someone who is profoundly aware that the kite string of his life could be cut at any moment. That awareness prods him to recollect the eternal while he is in time. By 'recollect' Kierkegaard means that the earnest person does not just 'remember' God, he makes himself contemporary with the eternal. Though his life is measured by the hourglass, he sustains a connection with that which is outside of time and unchanging. Again, earnestness is for us a remote concept, but while engaged in life, such an individual would see the buzz of earthly existence for what it is, one addicted to comparisons: who has the bigger salary, the more important job, the fancier plot in the cemetery?"

The Existentialist's Survival Guide: How To Live Authentically In An Inauthentic Age by Gordon Marino is available to buy from on all major online bookstores. Many thanks to HarperOne (HarperCollins) for review copy.


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