October 31

“For it is always the imperishable which sustains the perishable, the spiritual which sustains the corporal; and if it might be conceived that an exanimate body could for a little while continue to perform its customary functions, it would in the same way be comic and tragic. But only let our age go on consuming — and the more it manages to consume of the substantial value contained in romantic love, with all the more consternation will it some day, when this annihilation no longer gives pleasure, awaken to the consciousness of what it has lost and despairingly feel its misfortune.”

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

October 30

“Imagine a gathering of worldly-minded, timorous people whose highest law in everything is a slavish regard for what others, what ‘they’ will say and judge, whose sole concern is that unchristian concern that ‘everywhere they speak well’ of them, whose admired goal is to be just like the others, whose sole inspiring and whose sole terrifying idea is the majority, the crowd, its approval — its disapproval. Imagine such an assembly or crowd of worshipers and devotees of the fear of people, that is, an assembly of the honored and esteemed (why should such people not honor and esteem one another — to honor the other is, after all, to flatter oneself!) — and imagine that this assembly is supposed (yes, as it is in a comedy), is supposed to be Christians. Before this Christian assembly a sermon is delivered on these words: It is blessed to suffer mockery for a good cause!

But it is blessed to suffer mockery for a good cause!”

~Source: Christian Discourses: “But It Is Blessed to Be Mocked” (1848)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

October 29

“A landscape painter, whether he strives to produce an effect by a faithful rendering of the subject, or by a more ideal reproduction, perhaps leaves the individual cold, but such a picture as I have in mind produces an indescribable effect for the fact that one does not know whether to laugh or cry, and because the whole effect depends upon the mood of the beholder. There is surely no person who has not passed through a period when no wealth of language, no passion of exclamation was sufficient for him, when no expression, no gesticulation satisfied, when nothing contented him except to break out with the strangest leaps and somersaults. Perhaps the same individual learned to dance, perhaps he often saw ballets and admired the art of the dancer, perhaps there came a time when the ballet no longer affected him, and yet he had moments when he could retire to his room, give himself up entirely to his impulse, and feel an indescribably humoristic relief in standing upon one leg in a picturesque attitude, or in consigning the whole world to death and the devil, and accomplishing it all by a leap head over heels.”

~Source: Repetition: An Essay In Experimental Psychology (1843)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Constantin Constantius

October 28

“Is not ‘bad’ an ethical category? What is the implication involved in speaking of a bad infinite?

The implication is that I told some person responsible for refusing to end the infinite reflective process. And this means, does it not, that I require him to do something?

But as a genuinely speculative philosopher I assume, on the contrary, that reflection ends itself. If that is the case, why do I make any demand upon the thinker?

And what is it that I require of him? I ask him for a resolve.”

~Source: Concluding Unscientific Postscript To The “Philosophical Fragments”
Author: Soren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Johannes Climacus (1846)

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.”

~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.”

~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.”

~Source: Prefaces: Light Reading for Certain Classes as the Occasion May Require (1844)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Nicolaus Notabene

October 24

“Philosophy has answered every question; but no adequate consideration has been given the question concerning what sphere it is within which each question finds its answer. This creates a greater confusion in the world of the spirit than when in the civic life an ecclesiastical question, let us say, is handled by the bridge commission.”

~Source: Concluding Unscientific Postscript To The “Philosophical Fragments” (1846)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Johannes Climacus

October 23

“Is it not strange that there should be something such in existence, in relation to which everyone who knows it knows also that he has not invented it, this pass-me-by not stopping or capable of being stopped even if we approached all men in turn? This strange fact deeply impresses me, and casts over me a spell; for it constitutes a test of the hypothesis, and proves its truth. It would certainly be absurd to expect a man that he should of his own accord discover that he did not exist.”

~Source: Philosophical Fragments (1844)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Johannes Climacus

October 22

“So they sat in their quiet sorrow: they did not harden themselves against the consolation of the world; they were humble enough to acknowledge that life is a dark saying, and as in their thought they were swift to listen to see if there might be an explanatory word, so were they also slow to speak and slow to wrath. They did not presume to give up the word; they longed only for the opportune hour to come. If that came, then they would be saved. Such was their belief; and indeed it might happen…Or is there only spirit who bears witness in heaven, but no spirit who bears witness on earth!”

~Source: Two Upbuilding Discourses (1843)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

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