Why should I know Søren Kierkegaard?

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher known as the first existentialist philosopher.

Books by Søren Kierkegaard

Quotes by Søren 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 will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it's a joke.”

Søren Kierkegaard Either/Or

“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, and the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill. Thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.”

Søren Kierkegaard

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”

Søren Kierkegaard The Concept of Anxiety

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

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren 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.”

Søren 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 beings? How did I get involved in this big enterprise called actuality? Why should I be involved? Isn't it a matter of choice? And if I am compelled to be involved, where is the manager—I have something to say about this. Is there no manager? To whom shall I make my complaint?”

Søren 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.”

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren Kierkegaard Fear and Trembling

“It is impossible to exist without passion.”

Søren 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.”

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren Kierkegaard

“Leap of faith – yes, but only after reflection.”

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren Kierkegaard

“Life must be understood backward. But it must be lived forward.”

Søren 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 for enjoyment.”

Søren Kierkegaard

“Many of us pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that we hurry past it.”

Søren Kierkegaard

“Marry, and you will regret it; don’t marry, you will also regret it; marry or don’t marry, you will regret it either way. Laugh at the world’s foolishness, you will regret it; weep over it, you will regret that too; laugh at the world’s foolishness or weep over it, you will regret both. Believe a woman, you will regret it; believe her not, you will also regret it… Hang yourself, you will regret it; do not hang yourself, and you will regret that too; hang yourself or don’t hang yourself, you’ll regret it either way; whether you hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both. This, gentlemen, is the essence of all philosophy.”

Søren 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 your friend; love that has grown cold can kindle.”

Søren Kierkegaard

“On the secretly blushing cheek is reflected the glow of the heart.”

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren Kierkegaard

“People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid.”

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren 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, etc. - is sure to be noticed.”

Søren Kierkegaard The Sickness Unto Death

“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.”

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren 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.”

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren 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.”

Søren 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.”

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren Kierkegaard

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

Søren Kierkegaard

“What labels me, negates me.”

Søren Kierkegaard