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The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga

The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga

Author:Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi, azw3
Publisher: Atria Books


What Real Freedom Is

PHILOSOPHER: Earlier, you acknowledged that you do not want to be disliked by anyone, and said, “There’s no one anywhere who’d go so far as to actually want to be disliked.”

YOUTH: Right.

PHILOSOPHER: Well, I’m the same way. I have no desire to be disliked by other people. I would say that “No one would go so far as to actually want to be disliked” is a sharp insight.

YOUTH: It’s a universal desire!

PHILOSOPHER: Even so, regardless of our efforts, there are people who dislike me and people who dislike you. This, too, is a fact. When you are disliked, or feel that you are being disliked, by someone, what state of mind does it put you in?

YOUTH: Very distressed, to put it simply. I wonder why I’ve come to be disliked, and what I did or said that might have been offensive. I think I should have interacted with the person in a different way, and I just brood and brood over it and am ridden with guilt.

PHILOSOPHER: Not wanting to be disliked by other people. To human beings, this is an entirely natural desire, and an impulse. Kant, the giant of modern philosophy, called this desire “inclination.”

YOUTH: Inclination?

PHILOSOPHER: Yes, it is one’s instinctive desires, one’s impulsive desires. Now, if one were to say that living like a stone tumbling downhill and allowing such inclinations or desires or impulses to take one wherever they will is “freedom,” one would be incorrect. To live in such a way is only to be a slave to one’s desires and impulses. Real freedom is an attitude akin to pushing up one’s tumbling self from below.

YOUTH: Pushing oneself up from below?

PHILOSOPHER: A stone is powerless. Once it has begun to roll downhill, it will continue to roll until released from the natural laws of gravity and inertia. But we are not stones. We are beings who are capable of resisting inclination. We can stop our tumbling selves and climb uphill. The desire for recognition is probably a natural desire. So are you going to keep rolling downhill in order to receive recognition from others? Are you going to wear yourself down like a rolling stone, until everything is smoothed away? When all that is left is a little round ball, would that be “the real I”? It cannot be.

YOUTH: Are you saying that resisting one’s instincts and impulses is freedom?

PHILOSOPHER: As I have stated repeatedly, in Adlerian psychology, we think that all problems are interpersonal relationship problems. In other words, we seek release from interpersonal relationships. We seek to be free from interpersonal relationships. However, it is absolutely impossible to live all alone in the universe. In light of what we have discussed until now, the conclusion we reach regarding “What is freedom?” should be clear.

YOUTH: What is it?

PHILOSOPHER: In short, that “freedom is being disliked by other people.”

YOUTH: Huh? What was that?

PHILOSOPHER: It’s that you are disliked by someone. It is proof that you are exercising your freedom and living in freedom, and a sign that you are living in accordance with your own principles.



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