The literary and philosophical
movement known as existentialism receives passing mention in Barfield's
writings, primarily as an exemplary consciousness
soul mind-set. In Saving the Appearances, for example, he offers
his own reading of existentialism's most famous tenet.
P. Sartre, is a being who is condemned to freedom. That is one way
of looking at it. And it is the only way, if man himself is nothing but
a hollow idol. But if man is not hollow, but is the theatre on which participation
has died to rise again, then there is also another way of looking at it.
In Worlds Apart
he notes that the movement is as guilty of double think as most of modern
thought: "[The existentialists] claim that man is responsible for all that
exists, and yet the creature that bears this responsibility is for them
a hollow void" (WA 180).
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