Soren Kierkegaard Quotations

-Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.

-At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference.

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

-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 scenes of their childhood.

-Don’t forget to love yourself.

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

-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.

-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.

-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.

-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.

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

-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.

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

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

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

-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 prayer he can, as it were, creep into God.

-Life must be understood backwards; but… it must be lived forward.

-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.

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

-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.

-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.

-Once you label me you negate me.

-One can advise comfortably from a safe port.

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

-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 they have seen something.

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

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

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

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

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

-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 grandiose thoughts in embryo.

-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.

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

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

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

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

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

-Perfect love means to love the one through whom one became unhappy.

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

-Twaddle, rubbish and gossip is what people want, not action. … The secret of life is to chatter freely about all one wishes to do and how one is always being prevented – and then do nothing.
Soren Kierkegaard