April 30

“If it is to be possible that a man can will only one thing then he must will the Good…To will only one thing: but will this not inevitably become a longdrawn-out talk? If one should consider this matter properly must he not first consider, one by one, each goal in life that a man could conceivably set up for himself, mentioning separately all of the many things that a man might will? And not only this; since each of these considerations readily becomes too abstract in character, is he not obliged as the next step to attempt to will, one after the other, each of these goals in order to find out what is the single thing he is to will, if it is a matter of willing only one thing? Yes, if someone should begin in this fashion, then he would never come to an end. Or more accurately, how could he ever arrive at the end, since at the outset he took the wrong way and then continued to go on further and further along this false way? It is only by a painful route that this way leads to the Good, namely, when the wanderer turns around and goes back. For as the Good is only a single thing, so all ways lead to the Good, even the false ones — when the repentant one follows the same way back.”
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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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April 29

“The knights of the infinite resignation are easily recognized: their gait is gliding and assured. Those on the other hand who carry the jewel of faith are likely to be delusive, because their outward appearance bears a striking resemblance to that which both the infinite resignation and faith profoundly despise — to Philistinism.”
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~Source: Fear and Trembling (1843)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Johannes De Silentio

April 26

“In every man there is something which to a certain degree prevents him from becoming perfectly transparent to himself; and this may be the case in so high a degree, he may be so inexplicably woven into relationships of life which extend far beyond himself, that he almost cannot reveal himself. But he who cannot reveal himself cannot love, and he who cannot love is the most unhappy man of all.”
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~Source: Either/Or (1843)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Victor Eremita

April 23

“Anxiety may be compared with dizziness. He whose eye happens to look down into the yawning abyss becomes dizzy But what is the reason for this? It is just as much in his own eye as in the abyss, for suppose he had not looked down. Hence anxiety is the dizziness of freedom, which emerges when the spirit wants to posit the synthesis and freedom looks down into its own possiblity, laying hold of finiteness to support itself. Freedom succumbs in this dizziness. Further than this, psychology cannot and will not go. In that very moment everything is changed, and freedom, when it again rises, sees that it is guilty. Between these two moments lies the leap, which no science has explained and which no science can explain.”
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~Source: The Concept of Anxiety (1844)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Vigilius Haufniensis

April 22

“With every increase in the degree of consciousness, and in proportion to that increase, the intensity of despair increases: the more consciousness, the more intense the despair. This is everywhere to be seen, most clearly in the maximum and minimum of despair. The devil’s despair is the most intense despair, for the devil is sheer spirit, and therefore absolute consciousness and transparency; in the devil there is no obscurity which might serve as a mitigating excuse, his despair is therefore absolute defiance. This is the maximum of despair. The minimum of despair is a state which (as one might humanly be tempted to express it) by reason of a sort of innocence does not even know that there is such a thing as despair.”
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~Source: The Sickness Unto Death (1849)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Anti-Climacus

April 21

“To hold the fate of many human beings in one’s hand, to transform the world, and then constantly understand that this is a jest: aye, that is earnestness indeed! But in order that this should be possible all finite passions must be atrophied, all selfishness outrooted, both the selfishness which wants to have everything, and the selfishness which proudly turns its back on everything. But just herein sticks the difficulty, and here arises the suffering in the dying away from self; and while it is the specific criterion of the ethical that is so easy to understand in its abstract expression, it is correspondingly difficult to understand in concreto.”
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~Source: Concluding Unscientific Postscript to the “Philosophical Fragments” (1846)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Johannes Climacus

April 19

“Whenever in a stricter sense there is question of an either/or, one can always be sure the ethical is involved. The only absolute either/or is the choice between good and evil, but that is also absolutely ethical. The aesthetic choice is either entirely immediate, or it loses itself in the multifarious…The ethical choice is therefore in a certain sense much easier, much simpler, but in another sense it is infinitely harder. He who would define his life task ethically has ordinarily not so considerable a selection to choose from; on the other hand, the act of choice has far more importance for him.”
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~Source: Either/Or (1843)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Victor Eremita

April 17

“Then you acknowledged in all humility that God had certainly not deceived you, since He accepted you, since He accepted your earthly wishes and foolish desires, exchanged them for you and gave you instead heavenly consolation and holy thoughts; that He did not treat you unfairly when He denied you your wish, but for compensation created this faith in your heart; when instead of the wish, which even if it could do everything was at most able to give you the whole world, He gave you faith through which you gained God and overcame the whole world.”
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~Source: Two Upbuilding Discourses (1843)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

April 16

“If duty is the enemy of love, and if love cannot vanquish this enemy, then love is not the true conquerer. The consequence is that you must leave love in the lurch. When once you have got the desperate idea that duty is the enemy of love, your defeat is certain, and you have done just as much to disparage love and deprive it of its majesty as you have done to show despite of duty, and yet it was only the latter you meant to do.”
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~Source: Either/Or (1843)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Victor Eremita

April 13

“The leveling process is not the action of an individual, but the work of reflection in the hands of an abstract power. It is therefore possible to calculate the law governing it in the same way that one calculates the diagonal in a parallelogram of forces…A demon is called up over whom no individual has any power, and though the very abstraction of leveling gives the individual a momentary, selfish kind of enjoyment, he is at the same time signing the warrant for his own doom. Enthusiasm *may* end in disaster, but leveling is *eo ipso* the destruction of the individual. No age, and therefore not the present age, can bring the skepticism of that process to a stop, for as soon as it tries to stop it, the law of the leveling process is again called into action. It can therefore only be stopped by the individual’s attaining the religious courage which springs from his individual religious isolation.”
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~Source: The Present Age: A Literary Review (1846)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

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