“There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming.”
The above statement appears very strange: the possibility becomes something scary, “choice” becomes a fear, an ‘incurable anguish. The post-modern man, living in the era of endless possibilities, everything seems anomalous. Why should choice be a problem?
The prospect of “open sea of possibilities” Nietzschean dominates today; man, released by centuries of anti-vital absolute values, is finally free to be able to consciously decide according to his will. How many situations must man face every day? It may be argued that the very essence of man is to choose, because no other sentient is able to make an informed choice. The dog does not choose when to bark, eat or bite, it is simply a natural instinct in him.
For the man it is not. He can decide, first, whether to eat, secondarily what to eat, not only according to the desire of the moment, but also considering the effects which a specific food compared to another may cause. This example is certainly trivial, but the same system of interpretation can be applied to decisions of a far wider scope and thus understand the existential dimension of possibilities. Today, therefore, to choose is generally perceived in a very positive way and the great opportunities of the twenty-first century are the symbol of the freedom gained. Anyone, at least in the fortunate part of the world, may allocate its existence and can independently design their own future without constraints or charges. All this is at least theoretically the liberal society, in fact, expected as the ultimate individual freedom, even if it, in western liberal states, is not entirely verifiable. But admitting to live in a liberal society perfect, absolutely perfect, it can be said that today’s era has reached the highest degree of freedom in history and as a result of chance.
But digging deeper in the analysis of the possibilities, you can see the slopes that undeniably also show a dark side. In the first place, you can not challenge the paralyzing aspect of choice, or that time just preceding a decision, when anyone feels anxiety destabilizing, at the time when the decision could also be the wrong one. And is, therefore, secondly, the “possibility” to kill the Dionysian enthusiasm of freedom of choice and just generate anxiety in the personal relationship of each person with the opportunity.
The immensity of the opportunities, in particular by the world today, covering not only an aspect favorable for human existence, but also a hugely debilitating and immobilizing one. Fear, fright, terror facing the uncertain future, even this typical of liberal society, living in the heart of post-modern man. The certainty of doubt, this is the only security which humanity can be strong and which can arm themselves against the army of Uncertainty.
You must now give a name to the author of the quote above: Søren Aabye Kierkegaard. The first existentialist philosopher must now be rediscovered, as able to provide help in dealing with current events with a new spirit, critical and immensely deep. He, reinterpreted in a modern context, support the man in the difficult challenge of freedom and in ” what immensity is capable of doing and becoming. “