Breaking of the heart
- Presented by: Emmy van Deurzen
- Synopsis: As we come of age and fall in love, we enter upon a search for union with another. Sensitive hearts will entwine with less sensitive hearts and may feel that they have been taken advantage of, when they are eventually discarded. All of us encounter situations where the other person is unable to provide us with the intimacy we yearn for and this too may feel like a breaking of the heart. This talk will consider the existential experience of heartbreak as a transitional moment in our maturational process as a human being.
Heart break can be a difficult and damning experience that makes us feel as if we have been damaged for life. It can overshadow months, years or even decades of our existence and leave an indelible mark on our relationships to other people and to ourselves. This talk will argue that it is in fact an essential experience of human maturation which opens us to a more realistic understanding of loving, losing and living.
Many philosophers such as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche have spoken about such experiences, as they have had such experiences themselves. Sartre and De Beauvoir sought for different solutions. Heidegger and Jaspers had very different views.
This talk will briefly consider some of these philosophical contributions, but will be centrally focused around a heuristic description of the presenter's personal experiences with loving and losing. The objective will be to arrive at new existential clarity and to harvest some conclusions that may be helpful to the audience.