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 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 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 20

“I know all this, I know too that the highest conceivable enjoyment lies in being loved; to be loved is higher than anything else in the world. To poetize oneself into a young girl is art, to poetize oneself out of her is a masterpiece. Still, the latter depends essentially upon the first.”
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~Source: Either/Or: A Fragment Of Life (1843)
Author: Soren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Victor Eremita

May 19

“Wealth and abundance come hypocritically in sheep’s clothing under the guise of safeguarding against cares and then themselves become the object of care, become the care. They safeguard a person against cares just as well as the wolf assigned to look after the sheep safeguards these against — the wolf.”
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~Source: Christian Discourses: “The Care of Abundance” (1848)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

May 17

“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 16

“The existing individual becomes concrete in his experience, and in going on he still has his experience with him, and hence may at any moment lose it; he has it with him not as something one has in a pocket, but his having it constitutes a definite something by which he is himself specifically determined, so that by losing it he loses his own specific determination.”
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~Source: Concluding Unscientific Postscript To The “Philosophical Fragments” (1846)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard using the pseudonym Johannes Climacus

May 15

“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

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