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

“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.”
——————————————————–

~Source: The Journals (1849)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

October 28

“Life is a masquerade, you explain, and for you this is inexhaustible material for amusement; and so far, no one has succeeded in knowing you; for every revelation you make is always an illusion, it is only in this way that you are able to breathe and prevent people from pressing importunately upon you and obstructing your respiration. Your occupation consists in preserving your hidingplace, and that you succeed in doing, for your mask is the most enigmatic of all. In fact you are nothing; you are merely a relation to others, and what you are you are by virtue of this relation.”
——————————————————–

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

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

“When a person has been taught that hail and crop failures are to be ascribed to the devil, this may be very well meant, but such a teaching is essentially a cleverness that weakens the concept of evil and introduces into it an almost jesting note, just as, esthetically, it is jest to speak of a stupid devil. So when dealing with the concept of faith the historical is made so one-sidedly significant that the primitive originality of the faith in the individual is overlooked, faith becomes a finite pettiness instead of a free infinitude. The consequence is that faith may come to be regarded in the manner of Hieronymus in Holberg’s play, when he says about Erasmus Montanus that he has heretical views of faith because he believes that the earth is round and not flat, as one generation after another in the village had believed. Thus a person might become a heretic in his faith by wearing wide pants when everyone else in the village wears tight pants. When someone offers statistical surveys of the proportions of sinfulness, draws a map of it in color and relief, so as to guide the eye quickly in its perspicuity, he makes an attempt at treating sin as a peculiarity of nature that is not to be annulled but is to be calculated just as the atmospheric pressure and rainfall are. The mean and the arithmetical average that result are nonsense of a kind that has no comparison in the purely empirical sciences. It would be a very ridiculous abracadabra if anyone should seriously suggest that sinfulness averages 3.375 inches in every man or that in Languedoc the average is merely 2.25 inches, while in Bretagne it is 3.875.”
——————————————————–

~Source: The Concept of Anxiety (1844)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Vigilius Haufniensis

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.”
——————————————————–

~Source: The Journals (1837)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

« Older entries