I made this reflection from my phenomenology class. Though I misunderstood the instruction I earned an 88 grade plus my instructor’s remark “How do you understand you own existence as a ‘seminarian w/o any reference to any philosopher”.
The moment one defines something else remote from his experience, his assumptions will turn him into erroneous viewing on how things really are. He can never arrive at the exact definition of what a seminarian is until he becomes like us- a seminarian. Only then, one’s description of what a seminarian really is becomes valid and true.
For Sarte, man is always in the process of becoming, “man makes himself”. We can never be anything specific, and when we try to establish ourselves as something particular- whether a social role (teacher or lawyer) or a certain character (shy, intellectual, and cowardly) – we are in bad faith. Bad faith is erroneously viewing ourselves as someone fixed and settled, but it is also bad faith to view oneself as being of infinite possibilities and ignore always the restrictive facts and circumstances in which all the choices must be made. Since phenomenology is a philosophy with lesser prepositions, so, one must dropped off every claim he had and “back to the things themselves”.
A seminarian can never blame his formators, the seminary, his seminary-brothers or anyone else for what he becomes but rather ONLY himself. It is true that we can never free ourselves from the ‘situation’ we are into, though one is always free to deny/negate the situations and try to change it. Our freedom will always have its parallel responsibility. As Jean Paul Sarte said, “in the end only one is resp0onsible for what is made of one”. We will always be accountable to ourselves. Man, for phenomenologist, is free to imagine, free to choose, and responsible for one’s lot in life.
As a primary agent of formation, a seminarian’s self becomes “nothing” and is always on its way to being something. Throughout formation we are directed with rules and regulations, which formed our values and attitudes, necessary for formation. We have to look in ourselves from our roots, from our core. Despite that we are formed for a common goal- a holy priest, but during our lives we remain free to envision new possibilities, to reform oneself and reinterpret our being in the light of new projects and ambitions- our transcendence. We are always trying to define ourselves,; on the other hand we are always free to break away from what we are and always responsible for what we have made ourselves.