from THE JOURNALS

"The paradox in Christian truth is invariably due to the fact that it is the truth that exists for God. The standard of measure and the end is superhuman; and there is only one relationship possible: faith."

"To the Christian love is the works of love. To say that love is a feeling or anything of the kind is an unchristian conception of love. That is the aesthetic definition and therefore fits the erotic and everything of that nature. But to the Christian love is the works of love. Christ's love was not an inner feeling, a full heart and what not, it was the work of love which was his life."

"Genius, like a thunderstorm, comes up against the wind."

"There are men who are wanting in the comparative, they as a rule are the most interesting."

"It takes moral courage to grieve; it requires religious courage to rejoice."

"This is all that I've known for certain, that God is love. Even if I have been mistaken on this or that point: God is nevertheless love."

"Spiritual superiority only sees the individual. But alas, ordinarily we human beings are sensual and, therefore, as soon as it is a gathering, the impression changesówe see something abstract, the crowd, and we become different. But in the eyes of God, the infinite spirit, all the millions that have lived and now live do not make a crowd, He only sees each individual."

"One is not unpopular because he uses peculiar expressions; that just so happens; such terms become a fad, and by and by everybody, down to the last simpleton, uses them. But a person who follows through an idea in his mind is, and always will be, essentially unpopular. That is why Socrates was unpopular, though he did not use any special terms, for to grasp and hold his 'ignorance' requires greater vital effort than understanding the whole of Hegel's philosophy."


from THE CONCEPT OF IRONY

"And if something should be found, particularly in the first part of the dissertation, that one is generally not accustomed to come across in scholarly writings, the reader must forgive my jocundity, just as I, in order to lighten the burden, sometimes sing at my work."


from EITHER/OR VOL. 1

"What is a poet? An unhappy person who conceals profound anguish in his heart but whose lips are so formed that as sighs and cries pass over them they sound like beautiful music."


from FEAR AND TREMBLING

"Faith is precisely the paradox that the single individual as the single individual is higher than the universal, is justified before it, not as inferior to it but superior--yet in such a way, please note, that it is the single individual who, after being subordinate as the single individual to the universal, now by means of the universal becomes the single individual who as the single individual is superior, that the single individual as the single individual stands in an absolute relation to the absolute. This position cannot be mediated, for all mediation takes place only by virtue of the universal; it is and remains for all eternity a paradox, impervious to thought. And yet faith is this paradox."

"When we objectively investigate the truth, we reflect objectively about the truth as an object to which we are related. We do not reflect upon the relationship, but upon the fact that it is the truth--the truth to which we are related. When this to which we are related merely is the truth, the true, then the subject is in the truth. When we subjectively investigate the truth, we reflect subjectively upon the relationship of the individual; only when the how of this relationship is in truth, is the individual in truth, even if he is thus related to the untrue."


from THE CONCEPT OF ANXIETY

"The present work has set as its task the psychological treatment of the concept of 'anxiety,' but in such a way that it constantly keeps in mente [in mind] and before its eye the dogma of hereditary sin. Sin, however, is no subject for psychological concern, and only by submitting to the service of a misplaced brilliance could it be dealt with psychologically... Sin does not properly belong in any science, but it is the subject of a sermon, in which the single individual speaks as the single individual to the single individual."


from PREFACES

Deriding Hegel's triad of thesis, antithesis and synthesis
"I am so stupid that I cannot understand philosophy; the antithesis of this is that philosophy is so clever that it cannot comprehend my stupidity. These antitheses are mediated in a higher unity; in our common stupidity."


from WORKS OF LOVE

"Most people are subjective toward themselves and objective toward all others, frightfully objective sometimes--but the task is precisely to be objective toward oneself and subjective toward all others."

"The essentially Christian is certainly the highest and the supremely highest, but, mark well, in such a way that to the natural man it is an offense. Anyone who, in defining the essentially Christian as the highest, omits the middle term of offense sins against it, is guilty of presumptuousness... The way to the essentially Christian goes through offense. This does not mean that the approach to the essentially Christian should be to be offended by it--this would indeed be another way of preventing oneself from grasping the essentially Christian--but the offense guards the approach to the essentially Christian. Blessed is he who is not offended at it."


from THE SICKNESS UNTO DEATH

"An individual in despair despairs over something... In despairing over something, he really despair[s] over himself, and now he wants to get rid of himself. Consequently, to despair over something is still not despair proper... To despair over oneself, in despair to will to be rid of oneself--this is the formula for all despair."

"So to be sick unto death is, not to be able to die--yet not as though there were hope of life; no, the hopelessness in this case is that even the last hope, death, is not available. When death is the greatest danger, one hopes for life; but when one becomes acquainted with an even more dreadful danger, one hopes for death. So when the danger is so great that death has become one's hope, despair is the disconsolateness of not being able to die."

"The ever increasing intensity of despair depends upon the degree of consciousness or is proportionate to this increase: the greater the degree of consciousness, the more intensive the despair. This is everywhere apparent, most clearly in despair at its maximum and minimum. The devil's despair is the most intensive despair, for the devil is sheer spirit and hence unqualified consciousness and transparency; there is no obscurity in the devil that could serve as a mitigating excuse. Therefore, his despair is the most absolute defiance..."

"Compared with the person who is conscious of his despair, the despairing individual who is ignorant of his despair is simply a negativity further away from the truth and deliverance... Yet ignorance is so far from breaking the despair or changing despair to nondespairing that it can in fact be the most dangerous form of despair... An individual is furthest from being conscious of himself as spirit when he is ignorant of being in despair. But precisely this--not to be conscious of oneself as spirit--is despair, which is spiritlessness..."

"Sin is: before God, or with the conception of God, in despair not to will to be oneself, or in despair to will to be oneself. Thus sin is intensified weakness or intensified defiance: sin is the intensification of despair. The emphasis is on before God, or with a conception of God; it is the conception of God that makes sin dialectically, ethically, and religiously what lawyers call 'aggravated' despair."

"To despair over one's sins indicates that sin has become or wants to be internally consistent. It wants nothing to do with the good, does not want to be so weak as to listen occasionally to other talk. No, it insists on listening only to itself, on having dealings only with itself; it closes itself up within itself, indeed, locks itself inside one more inclosure, and protects itself against every attack or pursuit by the good by despairing over sin."


from JUDGE FOR YOURSELF!

"Imitation, the imitation of Christ, is really the point from which the human race shrinks. The main difficulty lie here: here is where it is really decided whether or not one is willing to accept Christianity. If there is emphasis on this point, the stronger the emphasis the fewer the Christians. If there is a scaling down at this point (so that Christianity becomes, intellectually, a doctrine), more people enter into Christianity. If it is abolished completely (so that Christianity becomes, existentially, as easy as mythology and poetry and imitation an exaggeration, a ludicrous exaggeration), then Christianity spreads to such a degree that Christendom and the world are almost indistinguishable, or all become Christians; Christianity has completely conquered--that is, it is abolished."


from THIS MUST BE SAID--SO LET IT NOW BE SAID

"This has to be said; so let it now be said. Whoever you are, whatever in other respects your life may be, my friend, by ceasing to take part (if ordinarily you do) in the public worship of God, as it now is (with the claim that it is the Christianity of the New Testament), you have constantly one guilt the less, and that a great one: you do not take part in treating God as a fool by calling that the Christianity of the New Testament, which is not the Christianity of the New Testament... the official worship of God...is, Christianly, a counterfeit, a forgery."


from THE MOMENT

"In the New Testament the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ, represents the situation thus: The way that leads to life is straight, the gate narrow--few be they who find it!--...now, on the contrary, to speak only of Denmark, we are all Christians, the way is as broad as it possibly can be, the broadest in Denmark, since it is the way in which we all are walking, besides being in all respects as convenient, as comfortable, as possible; and the gate is as wide as it possibly can be, wider surely a gate cannot be than that through which we all are going en masse... Ergo the New Testament is no longer truth."