The Clashing of Two Worlds
Paper Topic 2: #1
Abraham, led by faith, was commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. Along the way he experiences despair, but he quickly renounces it so that he is able to make the movement of infinite resignation. Throughout his journey, he exudes the traits of a wise man through his powerlessness thereby regaining his happiness tenfold. Arjuna, struggles with his own path in searching for the meaning of life in his battles. Filled with despair, he looks to God to show him the way to transcendence. Both men have similar motives, but two very different paths in discovering their fate.
In both Arjuna’s and Abraham’s path towards transcendence, there are similarities that contribute to the choices they make. First, both of the men have to make sacrifices; Arjuna is faced with making the decision to kill the enemy in order to have the luxuries in life, while Abraham faces what many would say is the worst thing that could happen, the loss of a child. They are both in the midst of a transition in their lives and they are looking to God for assistance. Although two very different tasks, both men are being tempted by God and it is in the response that decides their virtue, and thus transcendence. Both are striving toward the meaning of the eternal being, Abraham reaching for the infinite and Arjuna reaching for the Self; although different terms in the stories, they have the same meaning. Both of their lives at one point are filled with despair, which is crucial to experience in life in order to get to that state of happiness. After Abraham bound Isaac, he drew the knife and clenched it with despair (Fear and Trembling 24); if one does not feel despair, they will never know the meaning of their life. When Arjuna looked at the enemy, he saw fathers, grandfathers, and sons; this made him feel very ill and at that very moment he felt despair.
Although both men had experienced several...