Nausea Jean-Paul Sartre: Reading and Meditation

December 17, 2020  • Executive Leadership Seminars Department

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As both the author and protagonist of each of our own incomplete novels, we are never given the gift of hindsight that comes with classic storytelling. The wisdom in the phrase “It was a fine autumn evening in 1922,” while appearing to start at the beginning, in fact speaks with the wisdom of a journey already experienced. In the midst of things, we have no such wisdom and it can be difficult to see the importance of each linked moment as our experiences build on one another. In Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea, our protagonist suffers an existential crisis so great it results in a feeling of illness and nausea as he struggles to make sense of the purpose of each moment. What are you struggling with today? How does it feel to recognize that we may never have complete hindsight? How might you add value and importance to each moment, as if you were an author writing your own story? What can you do to bring your focus on the existence of the present moment?

Brianna Curran, Washington, DC

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