Cierpienie duchowe w ujęciu Antoniego Kępińskiego
Spiritual suffering according to Antoni Kępiński
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The following article presents the views of spiritual suffering expressed by a distinguished Polish psychiatrist and grand humanist, professor Antoni Kępiński (1918–1972). According to the author, spiritual suffering is a multi-faced problem which, for instance, may be linked to one’s fear of life failures or old age. Just as physical suffering, spiritual suffering does not have a monolithic character. A person suffering spiritually often loses his or her self-confidence, his or her faith in the world, the future, even in God. Suffering itself ought to be categorised as evil though in the Christian vision of the world it may also have the purifying, and even saving power. Professor Kępiński distinguishes between two types of metabolism – energetic and informational. The former, constituting the „core of life”, refers to the constant exchange between the organism and the environment. Informational metabolism, in turn, creates a sphere of symbols around the core of life which, in a way, becomes a spiritual sphere. The formation of spiritual suffering seems to be dependent to a larger extent on informational metabolism although, on the other hand, both metabolisms – informational and energetic – are mutually permeable.
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