Soren Kierkegaard quote

"If a man wants to set up as an innkeeper and he does not succeed, it is not comic. If, on the contrary, a girl asks to be allowed to set up as a prostitute and she fails, as sometimes happens, it is comic."

Soren Kierkegaard

Born: May 5, 1813

Die: November 11, 1855

Occupation: Philosopher

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More quotes of Soren Kierkegaard

Soren Kierkegaard

Talent warms-up the given (as they say in cookery) and makes it apparent; genius brings something new. But our time lets talent pass for genius. They want to abolish the genius, deify the genius, and let...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The truth must essentially be regarded as in conflict with this world; the world has never been so good, and will never become so good that the majority will desire the truth.

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Soren Kierkegaard

If anyone on the verge of action should judge himself according to the outcome, he would never begin.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Maturity consists in the discovery that there comes a critical moment where everything is reversed, after which the point becomes to understand more and more that there is something which cannot be understood.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The stone that was rolled before Christ's tomb might appropriately be called the philosopher's stone because its removal gave not only the pharisees but, now for 1800 years, the philosophers so much to...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Happiness is the greatest hiding place for despair.

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Soren Kierkegaard

There is something almost cruel about the Christian's being placed in a world which in every way wants to pressure him to do the opposite of what God bids him to do.

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Soren Kierkegaard

About as genuine as tea made from a bit of paper which once lay in a drawer beside another piece of paper which had been used to wrap up a few tea leaves from which tea had already been made three times.

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Soren Kierkegaard

For the sadness in legitimate humour consists in the fact that honestly and without deceit it reflects in a purely human way upon what it is to be a child.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Hope is a passion for the possible.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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

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Soren Kierkegaard

...my soul always reverts to the Old Testament and to Shakespeare. There at least one feels that it's human beings talking. There people hate, people love, people murder their enemy and curse his descendants...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Language has time as its element; all other media have space as their element.

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Soren Kierkegaard

God does not think; he creates. He does not exist; he is eternal.

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Soren Kierkegaard

If you want to be loathsome to God, just run with the herd.

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is tragic-comic to see that all this knowledge and understanding exercises no power at all over men's lives, that their lives do not express in the remotest way what they have understood, but rather...

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is (to describe it figuratively) as if an author were to make a slip of the pen, and as if this clerical error became conscious of being such. Perhaps this was no error but in a far higher sense was...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Boredom rests upon the nothingness that winds its way through existence; its giddiness, like that which comes from gazing down into an infinite abyss, is infinite.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Knowledge is an attitude, a passion, actually an illicit attitude. For the compulsion to know is like dipsomania, erotomania, and homicidal mania, in producing a character that is out of balance. It is...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Sin is in itself separation from the good, but despair over sin is separation a second time.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Nothing is as heady as the wine of possibility

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Soren Kierkegaard

No one may pride himself at being more than an individual, and no one despondently think that he is not an individual...

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Soren Kierkegaard

I stick my finger into existence.. it smells of nothing. Where am I? Who am I? What is this thing called the world? What does this word mean?

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Soren Kierkegaard

All essential knowledge relates to existence, or only such knowledge as has an essential relationship to existence is essential knowledge.

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Soren Kierkegaard

God has given each of us our "marching order." Our purpose here on Earth is to find those orders and carry them out. Those orders acknowledge our special gifts.

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is very important in life to know when your cue comes.

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Soren Kierkegaard

No, I won't leave the world--I'll enter a lunatic asylum and see if the profundity of insanity reveals to me the riddles of life. Idiot, why didn't I do that long ago, why has it taken me so long to understand...

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Soren Kierkegaard

To cheat oneself out of love is the most terrible deception; it is an eternal loss for which there is no reparation, either in time or in eternity.

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Soren Kierkegaard

My standpoint is armed neutrality.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The thing that cowardice fears most is decision

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Soren Kierkegaard

Out of love for mankind, and out of despair at my embarrassing situation, seeing that I had accomplished nothing and was unable to make anything easier than it had already been made, and moved by a genuine...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Who is also aware of the tremendous risk involved in faith - when he nevertheless makes the leap of faith - this [is] subjectivity ... at its height.

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Soren Kierkegaard

On the secretly blushing cheek is reflected the glow of the heart

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Soren Kierkegaard

The proud person always wants to do the right thing, the great thing. But because he wants to do it in his own strength, he is fighting not with man, but with God.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Philosophy is life's dry-nurse, who can take care of us - but not suckle us.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life's relationships, just as the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the window-panes, which vanish with the warmth.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Father in Heaven! When the thought of thee wakes in our hearts let it not awaken like a frightened bird that flies about in dismay, but like a child waking from its sleep with a heavenly smile.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Where there are two people, there is untruth.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Hope is passion for what is possible.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Knowledge of the truth I may perhaps have attained to; happiness certainly not. What shall I do? Accomplish something in the world, men tell me. Shall I then publish my grief to the world, contribute one...

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Soren Kierkegaard

At one time my only wish was to be a police official. It seemed to me to be an occupation for my sleepless intriguing mind. I had the idea that there, among criminals, were people to fight: clever, vigorous,...

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Soren Kierkegaard

What I really need is to get clear about what I must do, not what I must know, except insofar as knowledge must precede every act. What matters is to find a purpose, to see what it really is that God wills...

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Soren Kierkegaard

In order to help another effectively, I must understand what he understands. If I do not know that, my greater understanding will be of no help to him... instruction begins when you put yourself in his...

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Soren Kierkegaard

On the whole, the longing for solitude is a sign that there still is spirit in a person and is a measure of what spirit there is.

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Soren Kierkegaard

To be a teacher in the right sense is to be a learner. I am not a teacher, only a fellow student.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The gods were bored and so they created man. Adam was bored because he was alone, so Eve was created. Thus boredom entered the world, and increased in proportion to the increase in population. Adam...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The resolving of the ethical, is freedom; the negative resolution also has this, but the freedom, blank and bare, is as if tongue-tied, hard to express, and generally has something hard in its nature....

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Soren Kierkegaard

To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one's self.... And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one's self.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Faith is the highest passion in a man.

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Soren Kierkegaard

But doubt is wily and cunning and never, as it is sometimes said to be, loud or defiant. It is unassuming and sly, not bold or assertive - and the more unassuming, the more dangerous.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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

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Soren Kierkegaard

Now, with God's help, I shall become myself.

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is impossible to exist without passion

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Soren Kierkegaard

With respect to love we speak continually about perfection and the perfect person. With respect to love Christianity also speaks continually about perfection and the perfect person. Alas, but we men talk...

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Soren Kierkegaard

To grumble about the world and its unhappiness is always easier than to beat one's breast and groan over oneself.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The human race in the course of time has taken the liberty of softening and softening Christianity until at last we have contrived to make it exactly the opposite of what it is in the New Testament...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The daily press is the evil principle of the modern world, and time will only serve to disclose this fact with greater and greater clearness. The capacity of the newspaper for degeneration is sophistically...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The difference between an admirer and a follower still remains, no matter where you are. The admirer never makes any true sacrifices. He always plays it safe. Though in words, phrases, songs, he is inexhaustible...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Without risk, faith is an impossibility.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The truth is a trap: you cannot get it without it getting you; you cannot get the truth by capturing it, only by its capturing you.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Dread is a sympathetic antipathy and an antipathetic sympathy....

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Soren Kierkegaard

To pace about, looking to obtain status, looking to attain 'importance' - I can think of nothing more ridiculous.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The object of (Christian) faith is not the teaching but the Teacher.

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Soren Kierkegaard

A man prayed, and at first he thought that prayer was talking. But he became more and more quiet until in the end he realized prayer is listening.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Why I so much prefer autumn to spring is that in the autumn one looks at heaven--in the spring at the earth.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The great trick with a woman is to get rid of her while she think's she's rid of you.

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Soren Kierkegaard

A genius may perhaps be a century ahead of his age and hence stands there as a paradox, but in the end, the race will assimilate what was once a paradox, so it is no longer paradoxical.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Truth has always had many loud proclaimers, but the question is whether a person will in the deepest sense acknowledge the truth, allow it to permeate his whole being, accept all its consequences, and...

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Soren Kierkegaard

. . .the larger the crowd, the more probable that that which it praises is folly, and the more improbable that it is truth; and the most improbable of all that it is any eternal truth.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly the one you'll never have.

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Soren Kierkegaard

In actuality, no one ever sank so deep that he could not sink deeper, and there may be one or many who sank deeper. So it is always possible to be happy and grateful that things are not worse!

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Soren Kierkegaard

What a difference! Under the esthetic sky, everything is buoyant, beautiful, transient! when ethics arrives on the scene, everything becomes harsh, angular and infinitely boring

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Soren Kierkegaard

Therefore do not deceive yourself! Of all deceivers fear most yourself!

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Soren Kierkegaard

And when the hourglass has run out, the hourglass of temporality, when the noise of secular life has grown silent and its restless or ineffectual activism has come to an end, when everything around you...

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Soren Kierkegaard

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...

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Soren Kierkegaard

I found I had less and less to say, until finally, I became silent, and began to listen. I discovered in the silence, the voice of God

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Soren Kierkegaard

Geniuses are like thunderstorms. They go against the wind, terrify people, cleanse the air.

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Soren Kierkegaard

I have only one friend, and that is echo. Why is it my friend? Because I love my sorrow, and echo does not take it away from me. I have only one confidant, and that is the silence of night. Why is it my...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The person who praises God is on the tracks of justice.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Don't you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape...

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is not where we breathe, but where we Love, that we live.

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Soren Kierkegaard

My melancholy is the most faithful sweetheart I have had.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Christ has not only spoken to us by his life but has also spoken for us by his death.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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...

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Soren Kierkegaard

How did I get into the world? Why was I not asked about it and why was I not informed of the rules and regulations but just thrust into the ranks as if I had been bought by a peddling shanghaier of human...

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Soren Kierkegaard

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

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Soren Kierkegaard

Once you are born in this world you’re old enough to die.

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is very dangerous to go into eternity with possibilities which one has oneself prevented from becoming realities. A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it.

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Soren Kierkegaard

A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it.

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Soren Kierkegaard

What I really need is to get clear out about what I must do, not what I must know, except insofar as knowledge precedes every act.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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 changes - we see something abstract, the crowd,...

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Soren Kierkegaard

People try to persuade us that the objections against Christianity spring from doubt. That is a complete misunderstanding. The objections against Christianity spring from insubordination, the dislike of...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The most common form of despair is not being who you are.

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is perfectly true, as philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition, that it must be lived forwards.

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Soren Kierkegaard

For love is exultant when it unites equals, but it is triumphant when it makes that which was unequal equal in love.

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Soren Kierkegaard

As my prayer became more attentive and inward, I had less and less to say. I finally became completely silent... This is how it is. To pray does not mean to listen to oneself speaking. Prayer involves...

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Soren Kierkegaard

As I stood alone and forsaken, and the power of the sea and the battle of the elements reminded me of my own nothingness, and on the other hand, the sure flight of the birds recalled the words spoken by...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards.

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is quite true what Philosophy says: that Life must be understood backwards. But that makes one forget the other saying: that it must be lived—forwards. The more one ponders this, the more it comes...

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Soren Kierkegaard

If a man cannot forget, he will never amount to much.

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is the normal state of the human heart to try to build its identity around something besides God.

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Soren Kierkegaard

If anyone on the verge of action should judge himself according to the outcome, he would never begin. Even though the result may gladden the whole world, that cannot help the hero; for he knows the result...

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Soren Kierkegaard

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

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Soren Kierkegaard

If I were a physician, and if I were allowed to prescribe just one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe silence. For even if the Word of God were proclaimed in the modern world,...

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Soren Kierkegaard

It requires courage not to surrender oneself to the ingenious or compassionate counsels of despair that would induce a man to eliminate himself from the ranks of the living; but it does not follow from...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Whoever has learned to be anxious in the right way has learned the ultimate.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Christendom has done away with Christianity without being quite aware of it.

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Soren Kierkegaard

God creates everything out of nothing. And everything which God is to use, he first reduces to nothing

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Soren Kierkegaard

To love another person is to help them love God.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Deep within every human being there still lives the anxiety over the possibility of being alone in the world, forgotten by God, overlooked among the millions and millions in this enormous household. One...

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Soren Kierkegaard

A poet is not an apostle; he drives out devils only by the power of the devil.

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Soren Kierkegaard

It's better to get lost in the passion than to lose the passion

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Soren Kierkegaard

Humor (is) intrinsitc to Christianity.

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Soren Kierkegaard

If a man wants to set up as an innkeeper and he does not succeed, it is not comic. If, on the contrary, a girl asks to be allowed to set up as a prostitute and she fails, as sometimes happens, it is comic.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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?...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The present state of the world and the whole of life is diseased. If I were a doctor and were asked for my advice, I should reply, 'Create silence'.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Most people rush after pleasure so fast that they rush right past it.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Backwards understood be only can but, forwards lived be must life.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Love is all, it gives all, and it takes all.

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Soren Kierkegaard

This is what is sad when one contemplates human life, that so many live out their lives in quiet lostness... they live, as it were, away from themselves and vanish like shadows. Their immortal souls are...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Deep within every man there lies the dread of being alone in the world, forgotten by God, overlooked among the tremendous household of millions and millions.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Your own tactic is to train yourself in the art of becoming enigmatic to everybody. My young friend, suppose there was no one who troubld himself to guess your riddle--what joy, then, would you have in...

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Soren Kierkegaard

...even the richest personality is nothing before he has chosen himself, and on the other hand even what one might call the poorest personality is everything when he has chosen himself; for the great thing...

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Soren Kierkegaard

There is nothing everyone is so afraid of as being told how vastly much he is capable of. You are capable of - do you want to know? - you are capable of living in poverty; you are capable of standing almost...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Repetition is the reality and the seriousness of life.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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...

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Soren Kierkegaard

I have just now come from a party where I was its life and soul; witticisms streamed from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me, but I went away — yes, the dash should be as long as the radius of...

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Soren Kierkegaard

What if everything in the world were a misunderstanding, what if laughter were really tears?

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is only all too easy to understand the requirements contained in God's Word ('Give all your goods to the poor.' 'If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the left.' 'If anyone takes your coat,...

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Soren Kierkegaard

...it is not the obscure passages in Scripture that bind you but the ones you understand. With these you are to comply at once. If you understood only one passage in all of Scripture, well, then you must...

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Soren Kierkegaard

How could it occur to anyone to demonstrate that God exists unless one has already allowed Himself to ignore Him? A king's existence is demonstrated by way of subjection and submissiveness. Do you want...

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Soren Kierkegaard

...the reason for [this age's] anxiety and unrest is because in one direction, 'truth' increases in scope and quantity - via science and technology - while in the other, certainty and confidence steadily...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The truth is lived before it is understood. It must be fought for, tested, and appropriated. Truth is the way... Anyone will easily understand it if he just gives himself to it.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Truth is not something you can appropriate easily and quickly. You certainly cannot sleep or dream yourself to the truth. No, you must be tried, do battle, and suffer if you are to acquire the truth for...

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Soren Kierkegaard

...knowing God is the condition for the sanctification of a human being by God's assistance and according to His intention. Wherever God is, there He is always creating... He wants to create a new human...

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Soren Kierkegaard

... the more one needs God the more perfect he is. To need God is nothing to be ashamed of but is perfection itself. It is the saddest thing in the world if a human being goes through life without discovering...

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Soren Kierkegaard

It was not to save a nation that Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac, nor to appease angry gods... Then why does Abraham do it? For God's sake... He does it for the sake of God because God demands proof of...

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Soren Kierkegaard

...busyness, keeping up with others, hustling hither and yon, makes it almost impossible for an individual to form a heart...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Christianity does not oppose debauchery and uncontrollable passions and the like as much as it opposes... flat mediocrity, this nauseating atmosphere, this homey, civil togetherness, where admittedly great...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The greatest danger to Christianity is, I contend, not heresies, not heterodoxies, not atheists, not profane secularism - no, but the kind of orthodoxy which is cordial drivel, mediocrity served up sweet....

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Soren Kierkegaard

When you say 'Yes' or promise something, you can very easily deceive yourself and others also, as if you had already done what you promised. It is easy to think that by making a promise you have at least...

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Soren Kierkegaard

...the person who surrenders absolutely to God, with no reservations, is absolutely safe. From this safe hiding-place he can see the devil , but the devil cannot see him.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Where unclarity resides, there is temptation, and there it proves only too easily the stronger. Wherever there is ambiguity, wherever there is wavering, there is disobedience down at the bottom.

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Soren Kierkegaard

...there is one thing that all Satan's cunning and all the snares of temptation cannot take by surprise - an undivided will.

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Soren Kierkegaard

God is present in the moment of choice, not in order to watch but in order to be chosen. Therefore, each person must choose. Terrible is the battle, in a person's innermost being, between God and the world....

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Soren Kierkegaard

...it is presumptuous ridicule of God if someone thinks that only the person who desires great wealth chooses mammon. Alas, the person who insists on having a penny without God, wants to have a penny all...

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Soren Kierkegaard

...a human being not only can choose but... he must choose... for in this way God retains His honor while at the same time has a fatherly concern for humankind. Though God has lowered Himself to being...

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Soren Kierkegaard

...the greatest thing each person can do is to give himself to God utterly and unconditionally - weaknesses, fears, and all. For God loves obedience more than good intentions or second-best offerings,...

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Soren Kierkegaard

A good decision is our will to do everything we can within our power. It means to serve God with all we've got, be it little or much. Every person can do that.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Do you know of any more overwhelming and humbling expression for God's condescension and extravagance towards us human beings than that He places Himself, so to say, on the same level of choice with the...

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Soren Kierkegaard

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...

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Soren Kierkegaard

If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. If I wish to preserve myself in faith I must constantly be intent upon holding fast...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner; put yourself in his place so that you may understand . . . what he learns and the way he understands it.

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand, and what those things are. Human understanding has vulgarly occupied itself with nothing but understanding,...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Never cease loving a person, and never give up hope for him, for even the prodigal son who had fallen most low, could still be saved; the bitterest enemy and also he who was your friend could again be...

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Soren Kierkegaard

I'm so misunderstood that people misunderstand me even when I tell them I'm misunderstood.

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Soren Kierkegaard

For without risk there is no faith, and the greater the risk, the greater the faith.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Man is spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is the self. But what is the self? The self is a relation which relates itself to itself... Man is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Are you not aware that there comes a midnight hour when everyone must unmask...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Had I to carve an inscription on my tombstone I would ask for none other than "The Individual."

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Soren Kierkegaard

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...

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Soren Kierkegaard

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...

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Soren Kierkegaard

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...

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Soren Kierkegaard

There are many people who reach their conclusions about life like schoolboys: they cheat their master by copying the answer out of a book without having worked the sum out for themselves.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The deepest form of despair is to choose to be another than himself.

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Soren Kierkegaard

If I could prescribe only one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe silence.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The question is not "To be or not to be," it is what we should be until we are not.

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Soren Kierkegaard

A road well begun is the battle half won. The important thing is to make a beginning and get under way.

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Soren Kierkegaard

I divide my time as follows: half the time I sleep, the other half I dream. I never dream when I sleep, for that would be a pity, for sleeping is the highest accomplishment of genius.

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand...

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Soren Kierkegaard

What looks like politics, and imagines itself to be political, will one day unmask itself as a religious movement.

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Soren Kierkegaard

You train yourself in the art of being mysterious to everyone. My dear friend! What if there were no one, who cared about guessing your riddle, what pleasure would you then take in it?

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Soren Kierkegaard

Adversity not only draws people together, but brings forth that beautiful inward friendship.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Only the noble of heart are called to difficulty.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Most people live dejectedly in worldly joys or sorrows. They sit on the sidelines and do not join the dance.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Learning to know anxiety is an adventure which every man has to affront if he would not go to perdition either by not having known anxiety or by sinking under it. He therefore who has leaned rightly to...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Sleeping is the height of genius

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Soren Kierkegaard

I am convinced that God is love, this thought has for me a primitive lyrical validity. When it is present to me, I am unspeakably blissful, when it is absent, I long for it more vehemently than does the...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy — to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work. Therefore, whenever I see a fly settling, in the decisive moment, on the nose...

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Soren Kierkegaard

In addition to my other numerous acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant… My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known — no wonder, then, that I return the love.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Idleness, we are accustomed to say, is the root of all evil. To prevent this evil, work is recommended.... Idleness as such is by no means a root of evil; on the contrary, it is truly a divine life, if...

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Soren Kierkegaard

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...

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Soren Kierkegaard

This, then, is the ultimate paradox of thought: to want to discover something that thought itself cannot think.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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...

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Soren Kierkegaard

No time of life is so beautiful as the early days of love, when with every meeting, every glance, one fetches something new home to rejoice over.

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Soren Kierkegaard

For he who loves God without faith reflects on himself, while the person who loves God in faith reflects on God.

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Soren Kierkegaard

And this is one of the most crucial definitions for the whole of Christianity; that the opposite of sin is not virtue but faith.

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Soren Kierkegaard

In the deepest sense, the being in a state of sin is the sin, the particular sins are not the continuation of sin, they are expressions of its continuation.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Those who dream must be awakened, and the deeper the people are who slumber, or the deeper they slumber, the more important it is that they be awakened, and the more powerfully must they be awakened.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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....

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Soren Kierkegaard

What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music.... And people flock around the...

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Soren Kierkegaard

I stick my finger into existence and it smells of nothing.

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Soren Kierkegaard

My sorrow is my castle.

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Soren Kierkegaard

In my great melancholy, I loved life, for I love my melancholy.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss - an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife,...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The conclusions of passion are the only reliable ones.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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

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Soren Kierkegaard

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.

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Soren Kierkegaard

God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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

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Soren Kierkegaard

To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.

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Soren Kierkegaard

I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations - one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it - you will regret both.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Boredom is the root of all evil - the despairing refusal to be oneself.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Don't forget to love yourself.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Once you label me you negate me.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.

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Soren Kierkegaard

A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.

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Soren Kierkegaard

How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. They have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.

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Soren Kierkegaard

If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe.

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is so hard to believe because it is so hard to obey.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil, no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Be that self which one truly is.

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Soren Kierkegaard

There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.

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Soren Kierkegaard

During the first period of a man's life the greatest danger is not to take the risk.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Since my earliest childhood a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am ironic if it is pulled out I shall die.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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...

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Soren Kierkegaard

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

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Soren Kierkegaard

It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate only on what is most significant and important.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Far from idleness being the root of all evil, it is rather the only true good.

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Soren Kierkegaard

I begin with the principle that all men are bores. Surely no one will prove himself so great a bore as to contradict me in this.

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Soren Kierkegaard

I feel as if I were a piece in a game of chess, when my opponent says of it: That piece cannot be moved.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Old age realizes the dreams of youth: look at Dean Swift; in his youth he built an asylum for the insane, in his old age he was himself an inmate.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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

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Soren Kierkegaard

Purity of heart is to will one thing.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Just as in earthly life lovers long for the moment when they are able to breathe forth their love for each other, to let their souls blend in a soft whisper, so the mystic longs for the moment when in...

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Soren Kierkegaard

One can advise comfortably from a safe port.

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Soren Kierkegaard

At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference.

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Soren Kierkegaard

People commonly travel the world over to see rivers and mountains, new stars, garish birds, freak fish, grotesque breeds of human; they fall into an animal stupor that gapes at existence and they think...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The truth is a snare: you cannot have it, without being caught. You cannot have the truth in such a way that you catch it, but only in such a way that it catches you.

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Soren Kierkegaard

It was completely fruitless to quarrel with the world, whereas the quarrel with oneself was occasionally fruitful and always, she had to admit, interesting.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The more a man can forget, the greater the number of metamorphoses which his life can undergo; the more he can remember, the more divine his life becomes.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Concepts, like individuals, have their histories and are just as incapable of withstanding the ravages of time as are individuals. But in and through all this they retain a kind of homesickness for the...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The paradox is really the pathos of intellectual life and just as only great souls are exposed to passions it is only the great thinker who is exposed to what I call paradoxes, which are nothing else than...

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Soren Kierkegaard

There are, as is known, insects that die in the moment of fertilization. So it is with all joy: life's highest, most splendid moment of enjoyment is accompanied by death.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Because of its tremendous solemnity death is the light in which great passions, both good and bad, become transparent, no longer limited by outward appearences.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Marriage brings one into fatal connection with custom and tradition, and traditions and customs are like the wind and weather, altogether incalculable.

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Soren Kierkegaard

If there were no eternal consciousness in a man, if at the bottom of everything there were only a wild ferment, a power that twisting in dark passions produced everything great or inconsequential; if an...

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Soren Kierkegaard

To stand on one leg and prove God's existence is a very different thing from going down on one's knees and thanking him.

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Soren Kierkegaard

If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints,...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Job endured everything - until his friends came to comfort him, then he grew impatient.

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Soren Kierkegaard

No grand inquisitor has in readiness such terrible tortures as has anxiety and no spy knows how to attack more artfully the man he suspects, choosing the instant when he is weakest; nor knows how to lay...

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Soren Kierkegaard

A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world...

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Soren Kierkegaard

People generally think that it is the world, the environment, external relationships, which stand in one's way, in the way of ones' good fortune... and at bottom it is always man himself that stands in...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The more one suffers, the more, I believe, has one a sense for the comic. It is only by the deepest suffering that one acquires true authority in the use of the comic, an authority which by one word transforms...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Teach me, 0 God, not to torture myself, not to make a martyr out of myself through stifling reflection, but rather teach me to breathe deeply in faith.

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Soren Kierkegaard

What our age lacks is not reflection, but passion.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The crucial thing is to find a truth which is truth for me, to find the idea for which I am willing to live and die.

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Soren Kierkegaard

I go fishing for a thousand monsters in the depths of my own self

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is a frightful satire and an epigram on the modern age that the only use it knows for solitude is to make it a punishment, a jail sentence.

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Soren Kierkegaard

...why bother remembering a past that cannot be made into a present?

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Soren Kierkegaard

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

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Soren Kierkegaard

In the end, therefore, money will be the one thing people will desire, which is moreover only representative, an abstraction. Nowadays a young man hardly envies anyone his gifts, his art, the love of a...

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Soren Kierkegaard

What is existence for but to be laughed at if men in their twenties have already attained the utmost?

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Soren Kierkegaard

Leap of faith – yes, but only after reflection

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Soren Kierkegaard

One must not think slightingly of the paradoxical…for the paradox is the source of the thinker’s passion, and the thinker without a paradox is like a lover without feeling: a paltry mediocrity.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Every mental act is composed of doubt and belief, but it is belief that is the positive, it is belief that sustains thought and holds the world together.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Christ was crucified because he would have nothing to do with the crowd (even though he addressed himself to all). He did not want to form a party, an interest group, a mass movement, but wanted to be...

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Soren Kierkegaard

A 'no' does not hide anything, but a 'yes' very easily becomes a deception.

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Soren Kierkegaard

He who does not know how to encircle a girl so that she loses sight of everything he does not want her to see, he who does not know how to poetize himself into a girl so that it is from her that everything...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Ulysses was not comely, but he was eloquent, Yet he fired two goddesses of the sea with love

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Soren Kierkegaard

The thing is to understand myself: the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die. That is what I now recognize as the most important thing.

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Soren Kierkegaard

And this is the simple truth - that to live is to feel oneself lost. He who accepts it has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look around...

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Soren Kierkegaard

The self is a relation which relates itself to its own self, or it is that in the relation that the relation relates itself to its own self; the self is not the relation but that the relation relates itself...

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Soren Kierkegaard

to have faith is precisely to lose one's mind so as to win God.

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Soren Kierkegaard

For like a poisonous breath over the fields, like a mass of locusts over Egypt, so the swarm of excuses is a general plaque, a ruinous infection among men, that eats off the sprouts of the Eternal.

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Soren Kierkegaard

If someone who wanted to learn to dance were to say: For centuries, one generation after the other has learned the positions, and it is high time that I take advantage of this and promptly begin with the...

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Soren Kierkegaard

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

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Soren Kierkegaard

To be lost in spiritlessness is the most terrible thing of all.

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is perhaps the misfortune of my life that I am interested in far too much but not decisively in any one thing; all my interests are not subordinated in one but stand on an equal footing.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts.

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Soren Kierkegaard

In the Christianity of Christendom the Cross has become something like the child’s hobby-horse and trumpet.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so...

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Soren Kierkegaard

You love the accidental. A smile from a pretty girl in an interesting situation, a stolen glance, that is what you are hunting for, that is a motif for your aimless fantasy. You who always pride yourself...

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Soren Kierkegaard

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...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Our age is essentially one of understanding and reflection, without passion, momentarily bursting into enthusiasm and shrewdly relapsing into repose.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Intelligence has got the upper hand to such an extent that it transforms the real task into an unreal trick and reality into a play.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Thus our own age is essentially one of understanding, and on the average, perhaps, more knowledgeable than any former generation, but it is without passion. Every one knows a great deal, we all know which...

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Soren Kierkegaard

It is modest of the nightingale not to require anyone to listen to it; but it is also proud of the nightingale not to care whether any one listens to it or not.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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.

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Soren Kierkegaard

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...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Love is the expression of the one who loves, not of the one who is loved. Those who think they can love only the people they prefer do not love at all. Love discovers truths about individuals that others...

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Soren Kierkegaard

Silence is the demon's trap, and the more one is silenced, the more terrible the demon; but silence is also the divinity's mutual understanding with the single individual.

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Soren Kierkegaard

I would rather be a swineherd, understood by the swine, than a poet misunderstood by men.

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Soren Kierkegaard

What labels me, negates me.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The absurd . . . the fact that with God all things are possible. The absurd is not one of the factors which can be discriminated within the proper compass of the understanding: it is not identical with...

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Soren Kierkegaard

When you were called, did you answer or did you not? Perhaps softly and in a whisper?

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Soren Kierkegaard

Men think that it is impossible for a human being to love his enemies, for enemies are hardly able to endure the sight of one another. Well, then, shut your eyes--and your enemy looks just like your neighbor.

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Soren Kierkegaard

The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged...

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Soren Kierkegaard

I am so fed up and joyless that not only have I nothing to fill my soul, I cannot even conceive of anything that could possibly satisfy it - alas, not even the bliss of heaven.

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Soren Kierkegaard

If a man wants to set up as an innkeeper and he does not succeed, it is not comic. If, on the contrary, a girl asks to be allowed to set up as a prostitute and she fails, as sometimes happens, it is comic.

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William Faulkner

I notice how it takes a lazy man, a man that hates moving, to get set on moving once he does get started off, the same as when he was set on staying still, like it aint the moving he hates so much as the...

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Mark Rippetoe

A weak man is not as happy as that same man would be if he were strong. This reality is offensive to some people who would like the intellectual or spiritual to take precedence. It is instructive to see...

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Tom Peters

It boils down to studenthood-in-perpetuity / curiosity-in-perpetuity / applied fanatic restlessness. That is, a belief that life is ONE BIG LEARNING EXPERIENCE. Something mysterious happens to a curious,...

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Soren Kierkegaard

He who does not know how to encircle a girl so that she loses sight of everything he does not want her to see, he who does not know how to poetize himself into a girl so that it is from her that everything...

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Scott Adams

Ask a deeply religious Christian if he’d rather live next to a bearded Muslim that may or may not be plotting a terror attack, or an atheist that may or may not show him how to set up a wireless network...

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Lisa Kleypas

Scorpions are quite ruthless, you know. That is why Artemis bid one of them to kill her foe Orion. And as a reward she set the scorpion on up in the sky. I'm not ruthless. I merely do whatever it takes...

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Bertrand Russell

No man treats a motorcar as foolishly as he treats another human being. When the car will not go, he does not attribute its annoying behavior to sin; he does not say, 'You are a wicked motorcar, and I...

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Ghada al-Samman

The liberated woman is not that modern doll who wears make-up and tasteless clothes. ....The liberation woman is a person who believes that she is as human as a man. The liberated woman does not insist...

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Kim Woo-jung

People who come up with "It may not work" or "What are we going to do if it fails?" do not have the credentials to be businessmen. If there is only a 1 percent chance of success, a true businessperson...

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Ronald Fisher

If one in twenty does not seem high enough odds, we may, if we prefer it, draw the line at one in fifty (the 2 per cent. point), or one in a hundred (the 1 per cent. point). Personally, the writer prefers...

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H. L. Mencken

There is, in fact, no reason to believe that any given natural phenomenon, however marvelous it may seem today, will remain forever inexplicable. Soon or late the laws governing the production of life...

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Algernon Sidney

Machiavel, discoursing on these matters, finds virtue to be so essentially necessary to the establishment and preservation of liberty, that he thinks it impossible for a corrupted people to set up a good...

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Zhuangzi

An archer competing for a clay vessel shoots effortlessly, his or her skill and concentration unimpeded. If the prize is changed to a brass ornament, the hands begin to shake. If it is changed to gold,...

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Scott Woods

The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue...

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Matt Fraction

If you can take something as ultimately frivolous [as a comic book] in the cosmic scale of things in the universe and what's important - people being born and dying and everything else that's gonna happen...

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John Edensor Littlewood

A linguist would be shocked to learn that if a set is not closed this does not mean that it is open, or again that "E is dense in E" does not mean the same thing as "E is dense in itself".

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Boris Pasternak

What you don't understand is that it is possible to be an atheist, it is possible not to know if God exists or why He should, and yet to believe that man does not live in a state of nature but in history,...

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Rajneesh

If he loves, he wants to make a relationship out of it immediately! He wants to get married. He wants to create a certain conditioning. He wants to make it a contract. Or he enters a church, or he enters...

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Sam Houston

To secede from the Union and set up another government would cause war. If you go to war with the United States, you will never conquer her, as she has the money and the men. If she does not whip you by...

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Scott Adams

What does it mean to be yourself?” he asked. “If it means to do what you think you ought to do, then you’re doing that already. If it means to act like you’re exempt from society’s influence,...

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss