Livets källa kärleken - hälsans urkraft

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


This basic research focuses on the ethos of health and the human being's becoming in health. The theoretical perspective consists of the caring tradition within caring science developed at Åbo Akademy University. The aim of the present doctoral thesis is to uncover a new understanding as well as to deepen and attain a more nuanced understanding of the ethos of health, the essence of health, by penetrating to the core of what gives the human being the strength for experiencing a becoming in health. The research questions are as follows: l) What is the human being's source of strength? and 2) What reveals the source of strength so that the human being can perceive it and dedicate its strength in order to experience a becoming in health? The primary methodology used in the dissertation is hermeneutical. The material consists of the work Kärlekens gerningar by Kierkegaard, texts from focused interviews with respondents who have lived through severe personal suffering, as well as the book Det bländande mörkret by Wikström. These texts are interpreted through hermeneutical reading. The new horizon of understanding that emerges is reflected towards Eriksson's caritative theory, towards prior research within the tradition of caring science at Åbo Akademy University and towards previous national and international studies within this field. The new understanding shows that the human being's source of strength is love, the essence and origin of life. The substance of health is love, which, through the trinity of faith, hope and love, also makes possible the existence of the source of strength. Love has a deeper dignity than faith and hope, is connected with eternity and is the uniting link between temporality and eternity. The human being's inner longing entails an ontological attraction towards the source of strength. This source of strength is hidden, which provides and maintains its force, like a mystery connected with the darkness of suffering that hides the secret representing the source of strength, life's mystery, bu t w hi ch is revealed in both the darkness of suffering and in the light of joy. The dedication of strength requires freedom, willingness and courage to see the light, despite awareness of shame and guilt. Creative acts liberate the human being for the dedication of strength, which is preceded by a holy presence where, in solitude, the human being makes sacrifices for the sake of his or her human smallness and weakness, and allows himself or herself to be enclosed by the darkness of suffering to discover the light from the source. This entails being enraptured in a quiet "doing" in order to experience the beauty that bears witness to the holy which creates unity. The source of strength is revealed through beauty. The ethos of the human being and the ethos of health have the same fundamental substance, whilst the ethos of life possesses the deepest dimension and concerns the mysterious and infinite eternity. The ethos of life, eternity, which is a wellspring of strength, is not in itself strength-giving unless it is allied with love. Health can be understood in the light of life, of which death is an inevitable part. Life itself constitutes and creates the source which, through its alliance with eternity' s primordial wellspring of strength, generates strength from which the human being's source of strength, love, receives its eternal fervour. The human being is fundamentally interconnected with an abstract other, the first love, a universal wellspring of strength. Through Communion with this abstract other a dedication of the strength to experience a becoming in health becomes possible. Love for one's neighbour is the fundamental substance in the movement of becoming in health. Becoming in health presupposes a simultaneous movement in which the human being practices the human calling through ethos. As one loves one's neighbour through actions the still forces of eternity are in motion. When life emerges in the foreground and becomes the home of the human being, a dedication of the power of love is possible. Life itself determines the human being's becoming in health. A humble fundamental attitude towards life constitutes the basis for a continuous dedication of vitality from this source.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Print ISBNs978-951-765-788-4
Electronic ISBNs978-951-765-789-1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

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