February 10

“What is earthly honor at its dizzy pinnacle other than contempt for existence? What are riches, the highest superabundance of riches, other than poverty? For no matter how much all the earth’s gold hidden in covetousness may amount to, is it not infinitely less than the smallest mite hidden in the contentment of the poor! What is worldly omnipotence other than dependence? What slave in chains is as unfree as a tyrant! No, the worldly goal is not one thing. Diverse as it is, in life it is changed into its opposite, in death into nothing, in eternity into damnation — for the one who has willed this goal. Only the Good is one thing in its essence and the same in each of its expressions.”
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~Source: Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits: “Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing” (1847)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

January 18

“Desperate as he was, he thought: lost is lost. But he could not help turning around once more in his longing for the Good. How terribly embittered he had become against this very longing, a longing which reveals that, just as man in all his defiance has not power enough wholly to loose himself from the Good, because it is the stronger, so he has not even the power wholly to will it.”
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~Source: Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits: “Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing” (1847)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

September 19

“In a certain sense nothing can be spoken of so briefly as the Good, when it is well described. For the Good without condition and without qualification, without preface and without compromise, is absolutely the only thing that a man may and should will, and is only one thing. Oh blessed brevity, oh blessed simplicity, that seizes swiftly what cleverness, tired out in the service of vanity, may grasp but slowly! That which a simple soul, in the happy impulse of a pious heart, feels no need of understanding in an elaborate way, since he simply seizes the Good immediately, is grasped by the clever one only at the cost of much time and much grief.”
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~Source: Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits: “Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing” (1847)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

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

April 20

For to attain honor means to despise oneself after one has attained the pinnacle of honor — and yet to tremble before any change. Change, yes, where does change rage more unchecked than here? What desertion is more swift and sudden, like a mistake in foolery, like a hit by a blind man, when the seeker for honor has not even time to take off the garb of honor before insult seizes him in it?”
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~Source: Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits: “Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing” (1847)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

April 3

“Now it is to be understood that there are also changes in life that can prove to a man whether he wills one thing. There is the change of the perishable nature when the sensual man must step aside, when dancing and the tumult of the whirling senses are over, when all becomes soberly quiet. That is the change of death. If, for once, the perishable nature should seem to forget to close in, if it should seem as if the sensual one has succeeded in slipping by — death does not forget. The sensual one will not slip past death, who has dominion over what belongs to the earth and who will change into nothing the one thing which the sensual person desires.”
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~Source: Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits: “Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing” (1847)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

February 29

“In a certain sense nothing can be spoken of so briefly as the Good, when it is well described. For the Good without condition and without qualification, without preface and without compromise, is absolutely the only thing that a man may and should will, and is only one thing. Oh blessed brevity, oh blessed simplicity, that seizes swiftly what cleverness, tired out in the service of vanity, may grasp but slowly! That which a simple soul, in the happy impulse of a pious heart, feels no need of understanding in an elaborate way, since he simply seizes the Good immediately, is grasped by the clever one only at the cost of much time and much grief.”
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~Source: Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits: “Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing” (1847)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

February 23

“Variety was his watchword. Is variety, then, to will one thing that shall ever remain the same? On the contrary, it is to will one thing that must never be the same. It is to will a multitude of things. And a person who wills in this fashion is not only double-minded but is at odds with himself. For such a man will first one thing and then immediately wills the opposite, because oneness of pleasure is a snare and a delusion. It is the diversity of pleasures that he wills.”
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~Source: Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits: “Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing” (1847)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

December 29

“Are you now living in such a way that you are aware as a single individual, that in every relationship in which you relate yourself outwardly you are aware that you are also relating yourself to yourself as a single individual, that even in the relationships we human beings so beautifully call the most intimate you recollect that you have an even more intimate relationship, the relationship in which you as a single individual relate yourself to yourself before God?”
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~Source: Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits: “Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing” (1847)
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

June 15

“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

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