May 31

“It is, in the literary world, customary to take a holy vow… Accordingly I swear: as soon as possible to realize a plan contemplated for thirty years to publish a logical System, as soon as possible to honor my vow taken ten years ago concerning an aesthetic System; furthermore I promise an ethical and dogmatic System, and finally the System. As soon as this has been published, future generations will not even need to learn to write, for there will be nothing further to write, but only to read — the System.”
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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

May 30

“In unconsciousness of being in despair a man is farthest from being conscious of himself as spirit. But precisely the thing of not being conscious of oneself as spirit is despair, which is spiritlessness — whether the condition be that of complete deadness, a merely vegetative life, or a life of higher potency the secret of which is nevertheless despair. In the latter instance the man is like the sufferer from consumption: he feels well, considers himself in the best of health, seems perhaps to others to be in florid health, precisely when the sickness is most dangerous.”
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~Source: The Sickness Unto Death (1849)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Anti-Climacus

May 29

To will one thing, therefore, cannot mean to will that which only appears to be one thing. The fact is that the worldly goal is not one thing in its essence, because it is unreal. Its so-called unity is actually nothing but emptiness which is hidden beneath the manyness. In the short-lived moment of delusion the worldly goal is therefore a multitude of things and thus not one thing. So far is it from a state of being and remaining one thing, that in the next moment it changes into its opposite. Carried to its extreme limit, what is pleasure other then disgust?”
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~Source: Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits: “Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing” (1847)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

May 28

“He who chooses the ethical chooses the good, but here the good is entirely abstract, only its being is posited, and hence it does not follow by any means that the chooser cannot in turn choose the evil, in spite of the fact that he chose the good. Here you see again how important it is that a choice be made, and that the crucial thing is not deliberation, but the baptism of the will which lifts up the choice into the ethical.”
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~Source: Either/Or: A Fragment Of Life (1843)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Victor Eremita

May 27

“In the case of children, the ruinous character of boredom is universally acknowledged. Children are always well-behaved as long as they are enjoying themselves. This is true in the strictest sense; for if they sometimes become unruly in their play, it is because they are already beginning to be bored — boredom is already approaching, though from a different direction.”
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~Source: Either/Or: A Fragment Of Life (1843)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Victor Eremita

May 26

“It has often been said that a reformation should begin with each man reforming himself. That, however, is not what actually happened, for the Reformation produced a hero who paid God high enough for his position as hero. By joining up with him directly people buy cheap, indeed at bargain prices, what he had paid for so dearly; but they do not buy the highest of all things. The abstract principle of leveling, on the contrary, like the biting east wind, has no personal relation to any individual, but has only an abstract relationship which is the same for everyone.”
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~Source: The Present Age: A Literary Review (1846)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

May 25

“The loving man, he in whom there is love, hides the multitude of sins, sees not his neighbor’s fault, or, if he sees, hides it from himself and from others; love makes him blind in a sense far more beautiful than this can be said of a lover, blind to his neighbor’s sins. On the other hand, the loving man, he in whom there is love, though he has his faults, his imperfections, yea, though they were a multitude of sins, yet love, the fact that there is love in him, hides the multitude of sins.”
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~Source: Two Discourses At The Communion On Fridays (1851)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

May 24

It is a special kind of retrial we must make. Back to the monastery from which Luther (this will surely be the truth) broke out, that’s where the cause is to be restored to. Which is not to say that the Pope is to win, nor that putting it back there is a job for the papal police. The monastery’s mistake was not asceticism, celibacy, etc.; no, the mistake was to have reduced the price of Christianity by letting these be regaded as exceptional Christians–and the purely secular nonsense as normal Christianity… In other words, Luther turned in the wrong direction: the price has to be raised, not reduced. This is why there has always struck me as something odd about the idea that God went along with Lutheranism; for wherever God comes along, what makes progress recognizable is a heightening of the demands, the whole thing becoming more difficult. The mark of the human, on the other hand, is always to have things become easier and for that to be the progress.” [To be continued tomorrow]
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~Source: The Journals (1854)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

May 23

“Not only does society not embrace (as I gather the Chinese do) five cardinal virtues (civility is the fifth)–no, society embraces, establishes, just one: civility.”
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~Source: The Journals (1854)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

May 22

“What is it that makes a person great, admired by creation, well pleasing in the eyes of God? What is it that makes a person strong, stronger than the whole world; what is it that makes him weak, weaker than a child? What is it that makes a person unwavering, more unwavering than a rock; what is it that makes him soft, softer than wax? — it is love! What is it that is older than everything? It is love. What is it that outlives everything? It is love. What is it that cannot be taken but itself takes all? It is love. What is it that cannot be given but itself gives all? It is love. What is it that perseveres when everything falls away? It is love. What is it that comforts when all comfort fails? It is love. What is it that endures when everything is changed? It is love. What is it that remains when the imperfect is abolished? It is love. What is it that witnesses when prophecy is silent? It is love. What is it that does not cease when the vision ends? It is love. What is it that sheds light when the dark saying ends? It is love. What is it that gives blessing to the abundance of the gift? It is love. What is it that gives pith to the angel’s words? It is love. What is it that makes the widow’s gift an abundance? It is love. What is it that turns the words of the simple person into wisdom? It is love. What is it that is never changed even though everything is changed? It is love; and that alone is love, that which never becomes something else.”
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~Source: Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses: “Love Will Hide a Multitude of Sins” (1843)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

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