Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

Søren
Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard
1813
1855

Danish Philosopher, Theologian, Poet, Social Critic and Religious Author interested in Human Psychology

Author Quotes

Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.

When you read God's Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, ''It is talking to me, and about me.''

Irony is a disciplinarian feared only by those who do not know it, but cherished by those who do. He who does not understand irony and has no ear for its whispering lacks of what might called the absolute beginning of the personal life. He lacks what at moments is indispensable for the personal life, lacks both the regeneration and rejuvenation, the cleaning baptism of irony that redeems the soul from having its life in finitude though living boldly and energetically in finitude.

Life is not a problem to be solved but reality to be experienced.

Not just in commerce but in the world of ideas too our age is putting on a veritable clearance sale. Everything can be had so dirt cheap that one begins to wonder whether in the end anyone will want to make a bid.

People understand me so poorly that they don't even understand my complaint about them not understanding me.

The aim of art, the aim of a life can only be to increase the sum of freedom and responsibility to be found in every man and in the world. It cannot, under any circumstances, be to reduce or suppress that freedom, even temporarily. No great work has ever been based on hatred and contempt. On the contrary, there is not a single true work of art that has not in the end added to the inner freedom of each person who has known and loved it.

The present generation, wearied by its chimerical efforts, relapses into complete indolence. Its condition is that of a man who has only fallen asleep towards morning: first of all come great dreams, then a feeling of laziness, and finally a witty or clever excuse for remaining in bed.

There is peace and rest and comfort in sorrow.

Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer.

Where am I? Who am I? How did I come to be here? What is this thing called the world? How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted? And If I am compelled to take part in it, where is the director? I want to see him.

It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite.

Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards.

Nothing, nothing, nothing, no error, no crime is so absolutely repugnant to God as everything which is official; and why? because the official is so impersonal and therefore the deepest insult which can be offered to a personality.

Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own.

The difference between a man who faces death for the sake of an idea and an imitator who goes in search of martyrdom is that whilst the former expresses his idea most fully in death it is the strange feeling of bitterness which comes from failure that the latter really enjoys; the former rejoices in his victory, the latter in his suffering.

The self-assured believer is a greater sinner in the eyes of God than the troubled disbeliever.

There is too little to love one love … in the greatest possible number, which is now enjoying, this is living

Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion -- and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion... while truth again reverts to a new minority.

Whether you are man or woman, rich or poor, dependent or free, happy or unhappy; whether you bore in your elevation the splendor of the crown or in humble obscurity only the toil and heat of the day; whether your name will be remembered for as long as the world lasts, and so will have been remembered as long as it lasted, or you are without a name and run namelessly with the numberless multitude; whether the glory that surrounded you surpassed all human description, or the severest and most ignominious human judgment was passed on you -- eternity asks you and every one of these millions of millions, just one thing: whether you have lived in despair or not, whether so in despair that you did not know that you were in despair, or in such a way that you bore this sickness concealed deep inside you as your gnawing secret, under your heart like the fruit of a sinful love, or in such a way that, a terror to others, you raged in despair. If then, if you have lived in despair, then whatever else you won or lost, for you everything is lost, eternity does not acknowledge you, it never knew you, or, still more dreadful, it knows you as you are known, it manacles you to yourself in despair!

It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.

Listen to the cry of a woman in labor at the hour of giving birth -look at the dying man's struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment.

Nowadays not even a suicide kills himself in desperation. Before taking the step he deliberates so long and so carefully that he literally chokes with thought. It is even questionable whether he ought to be called a suicide, since it is really thought which takes his life. He does not die with deliberation but from deliberation.

Philosophy always requires something more, requires the eternal, the true, in contrast to which even the fullest existence as such is but a happy moment.

The disproportion in my build is that my forelegs are too short. Like the kangaroo, I have very short forelegs, and tremendously long hind legs. Ordinarily I sit quite still; but if I move, the tremendous leap that follows strikes terror in all to whom I am bound by the tender ties of kinship and friendship.

Author Picture
First Name
Søren
Last Name
Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard
Birth Date
1813
Death Date
1855
Bio

Danish Philosopher, Theologian, Poet, Social Critic and Religious Author interested in Human Psychology