October 31

“In a certain sense nothing can be spoken of so briefly as the Good, when it is well described. For the Good without condition and without qualification, without preface and without compromise, is absolutely the only thing that a man may and should will, and is only one thing. Oh blessed brevity, oh blessed simplicity, that seizes swiftly what cleverness, tired out in the service of vanity, may grasp but slowly! That which a simple soul, in the happy impulse of a pious heart, feels no need of understanding in an elaborate way, since he simply seizes the Good immediately, is grasped by the clever one only at the cost of much time and much grief.”
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~Source: Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits: “Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing” (1847)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

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October 30

“The present book, which I hereby send out, has been written as I believe one wrote books in former times. The one who has written it is one who has thought a good deal over the matter about which he speaks and believes himself, as a result of that, to know a bit more about it than is generally known. Nor is he entirely unacquainted with what has been written previously on the subject, and endeavors to be just to everyone. In default of the huge task of understanding all people, he has chosen what one will perhaps call narrow-minded and foolish, to understand himself.”
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~Source: Prefaces: Light Reading for Certain Classes as the Occasion May Require (1844)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Nicolaus Notabene

October 29

“There is only one proof of the truth of Christianity and that, quite rightly, is from the emotions, when the dread of sin and a heavy conscience torture a man into crossing the narrow line between despair bordering upon madness — and Christendom.

There lies Christianity.”
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~Source: The Journals (1849)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

October 27

“A genius and an apostle are qualitatively different, are qualifications that belong each in its qualitative sphere: of immanence and of transcendence. (1) Therefore the genius can very well have something new to bring, but this in turn vanishes in the human race’s general assimilation, just as the difference ‘genius’ vanishes as soon as one thinks of eternity. The apostle has something paradoxically new to bring, the newness of which, just because it is essentially paradoxical and not an anticipation pertaining to the development of the human race, continually remains, just as an apostle remains for all eternity an apostle, and no immanence of eternity places him essentially on the same line with all human beings, since essentially he is paradoxically different. (2) The genius is what he is by himself, that is, by what he is in himself; an apostle is what he is by his divine authority. (3) The genius has only immanent teleology; the apostle is absolutely teleologically positioned paradoxically.”
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~Source: Two Ethical-Religious Essays: “The Difference between a Genius and an Apostle” (1849)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym H. H.

October 26

“Irony is a qualification of subjectivity. In irony, the subject is negatively free, since the actuality that is supposed to give the subject content is not there. He is free from the constraint in which the given actuality holds the subject, but he is negatively free and as such is suspended, because there is nothing that holds him. But this very freedom, this suspension, gives the ironist a certain enthusiasm, because he becomes intoxicated, so to speak, in the infinity of possibilities… For him [Socrates], the whole given actuality had entirely lost its validity; he had become alien to the actuality of the whole substantial world. This is one side of irony, but on the other hand he used irony as he destroyed Greek culture. His conduct toward it was at all times ironic; he was ignorant and knew nothing but was continually seeking information from others; yet as he let the existing go on existing, it foundered. He kept on using this tactic until the very last, as was especially evident when he was accused. But his fervor in this service consumed him, and in the end irony overwhelmed; he became dizzy, and everything lost its reality.”
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~Source: The Concept of Irony (1841)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

October 25

“The present book, which I hereby send out, has been written as I believe one wrote books in former times. The one who has written it is one who has thought a good deal over the matter about which he speaks and believes himself, as a result of that, to know a bit more about it than is generally known. Nor is he entirely unacquainted with what has been written previously on the subject, and endeavors to be just to everyone. In default of the huge task of understanding all people, he has chosen what one will perhaps call narrow-minded and foolish, to understand himself.”
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~Source: Prefaces: Light Reading for Certain Classes as the Occasion May Require (1844)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Nicolaus Notabene

October 24

“The realm of faith is thus not a class for numskulls in the sphere of the intellectual, or an asylum for the feeble-minded. Faith constitutes a sphere all by itself, and every misunderstanding of Christianity may at once be recognized by its transforming it into a doctrine, transferring it to the sphere of the intellectual. The maximum of attainment within the sphere of the intellectual, namely, to become completely indifferent as to the reality of the teacher, is in the sphere of faith at the opposite end of the scale. The maximum of attainment within the sphere of faith is to become infinitely interested in the reality of the teacher…”
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~Source: Concluding Unscientific Postscript To The “Philosophical Fragments”
Author: Soren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Johannes Climacus (1846)

October 23

“In the infinite resignation there is peace and rest; every man who will, who has not abased himself by scorning himself (which is still more dreadful than being proud) can train himself to make these movements. The infinite resignation is that shirt we read about in the old fable. The thread is spun under tears, the cloth bleached with tears, the shirt sewn with tears; but then too it is a better protection than iron and steel. The imperfection in the fable is that a third party can manufacture this shirt. The secret in life is that everyone must sew it for himself, and the astonishing thing is that a man can sew it fully as well as a woman.” ————————————————- ~Source: Fear And Trembling: A Dialectical Lyric (1843) Author: Soren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Johannes De Silentio

October 22

“Every step it takes, philosophy casts a slough and into it creep the more foolish adherents.”
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~Source: The Journals (1837)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

October 21

“I began by giving myself out to be a poet, aiming slyly at what I thought might well be the real situation of official Christianity, that the difference between a Freethinker and official Christianity is that the Freethinker is an honest man who bluntly teaches that Christianity is poetry, whereas official Christianity is a forger who solemnly protests that Christianity is something quite different, and by this means conceals the fact that for its part it does actually turn Christianity into poetry, doing away with the following of Christ, so that only through the power of imagination is one related to the Pattern, while living for one’s own part in entirely different categories, which means to be related poetically to Christianity or to transform it into poetry which is no more morally binding than poetry essentially is; and at last one casts away the Pattern away entirely and lets what it is to be a man, mediocrity, count pretty nearly as the ideal.”
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~Source: What Christ’s Judgment Is On Official Christianity (1855)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

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