Thursday, April 2, 2009

ad se ipsum [to himself]

Kierkegaard speaks to my soul.
"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."

"In his youth he built an insane asylum; in his old age he himself has entered it. I say of my sorrow what the Englishman says of his house: My sorrow is my castle. Many people look upon having sorrow as one of life's conveniences."

"I have, I believe, the courage to doubt everything; I have, I believe, the courage to fight against everything; but I do not have the courage to acknowledge anything, the courage to possess, to own, anything."

"Let others complain that the times are evil. I complain that they are wretched, for they are without passion. People's thoughts are as thin and fragile as lace, and they themselves as pitiable as lace-making girls. The thoughts of their hearts are too wretched to be sinful. It is perhaps possible to regard it as sin for a worm to nourish such thoughts, but not for a human being, who is created in the image of God. Their desires are staid and dull, their passions drowsy...That is why my soul always turns back to the Old Testament and to Shakespeare. There one still feels that those who speak are human beings; there they hate, there they love, there they murder the enemy, curse his descendants through all generations- there they sin."

"My life achievement amounts to nothing at all, a mood, a single color. My achievement resembles the painting by that artist who was supposed to paint the Israelites' crossing of the Red Sea and to that end painted the entire wall red and explained that the Israelites had walked across and that the Egyptians were drowned."

"In a theater, it happened that a fire started offstage. The clown came out to tell the audience. They thought it was a joke and applauded. He told them again, and they become still more hilarious. This is the way, I suppose, that the world will be destroyed- amid the universal hilarity of wits and wags who think it is all a joke."

-Kierkegaard, "Either/Or, A Fragment of Life"

The ashes of Ecclesiastes. I would transcribe this entire essay if I could.

1 comment:

  1. "Everything is meaningless..."

    I can sympathize, and yet, I feel kind of sad for him.. that, for him, life in this world has become so dull and meaningless and full of fools. When, for God, it's so different.