May 09

“But he who mocks others mocks himself, and your rejoinder is not a mere nothing but a profund mockery of yourself, a sorry proof how limp your soul is, that your whole philosophy of life is concentrated in one single proposition, ‘I say merely Either–or.’ In case this really was your serious meaning, there would be nothing one could do with you, one must simply put up with you as you are and deplore the fact that melancholy [literally, heavy-mindedness] or light-mindedness had enfeebled your spirit. Now on the contrary, since one knows very well that such is not the case, one is not tempted to pity you but rather wish that some day the circumstances of your life may tighten upon you the screws in its rack, and compel you to come out with what really dwells in you; that they may begin the sharper inquisition of the rack which cannot be beguiled by nonsense and witticisms.”

~Source: Either/Or: A Fragment Of Life (1843)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Victor Eremita