“What lies at the heart of human being?” That is the central theme of this paper. An investigation into human being can be approached in many ways. Mine is different than for instance psychology, anthropology, social science and biology. It is more in the direction of the metaphorically use of the expression “at the heart”: Having “her heart in it” (being committed, motivated, truly interested): Being a leader “with heart” (being generous, emphatic, accepting): A “heartfelt truth” (an intuitive truth): “At heart” (the central or innermost part – the core – the essential or most vital part of something). Already by this I indicate the direction of my investigation into the human being. It is not a scientific or analytical investigation. It is existential. It is about gaining a better understanding of human being in the world. How are we doing - can we do better? This question is lying underneath throughout the work. I believe the answers lies in the concept “consciousness”.
Sartre will be central in this paper. In his work “Being and Nothingness” I have found a brilliant approach to my questions - a unique, existentialistic way of viewing “man-in-the-world”. “Freedom” is a key-world in this context. I want to reach out to everyone with my writings, so I have exerted myself keeping it simple and accessible, and bringing the reader into the field of investigation step by step – going through some historical views and Sartre’s theory on human being in the world. But I take it even further; what is the mind’s place in the picture? It is such a central feature of man – it is what makes us feel different than the rest of creation. So in my search for the heart of human being I end up reflecting on issues concerning mind versus consciousness; rational knowingness versus intuitive immediacy; belief systems versus freedom.