Kierkegaard’s Courage

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.Søren Kierkegaard
me, adopted
photo above: me, adopted at least (given after birth immediately into an orphanage)
all photos by Frizztext

Kierkegaard’s father had been an orthodox Christian dogmatist. Apparently too often he made sermons about sin to his son. In “The Concept of Anxiety” Kierkegaard accepts anxiety (later Heidegger’s ANGST in “Being and Time”) as a creative, liberty starting element in every human beings existence. No independence without the deep anxiety, to make all things wrong. The fear of getting punished is the basis of the free will and the power to make decisions nevertheless. Not only modern psychologists have to tell that, giving depressed searchers the strength to go on…

read more about KIERKEGAARD in my essay:

The hero of existentialism Sören Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855) had demanded (for his part back-reminding of Socrates), to try it with irony. Kierkegaard experimented to realize a clearly more individual life concept than it came (at that time) into the common horizon of the orthodox piety. He used philosophical statements, long literature tours and risky own-life entanglements to develop his thoughts.

ANTI-CLERICAL:
Priest

It has been told, that Kierkegaard admired a Danish clergyman, who shouted to his (a little bit too much affected) congregation: “Do not cry, dear children, – it could be lied everything!” Another anti-clerical statement of S.K.: “You cannot live on nothing, it is often told, particularly of ministers and precisely the clergymen succeed this feat: not at all there is any Christianity – and they live nevertheless on it.” This is Kierkegaard’s typical method of irony, a method of producing distance against the usual social milieu.

IRONY:
Honeymooners

“The Concept of Irony, with Continual Reference to Socrates” was the title of Kierkegaard’s dissertation (1841), no, it had not this title, but: “Om Begrebet Ironi med Stadigt Hensyn til Socrates…” DECONSTRUCTION: The XV. and last thesis read: “ut a dubitatione philosophia, sic ab ironia vita digna, quae humana vocetur, incipit.” = “Just like philosophy begins with the doubt, equally live (an existence, you can call dignified) begins with the irony.” French philosophers like Jacques Derrida and other deconstructionists have claimed Kierkegaard as their hero.

DOGMATISM:
wooden bench

Formal, turgid style was an atrocity for Kierkegaard, neither it was placed in a sermon by Christian dogmatics nor in state philosophy – as declaimed by the German Georg W.F. Hegel. Kierkegaard, listening in Berlin to his philosophy, hated to be a “Hegelian fool.” He wrote: “A passionate, tumultuous time will drag down everything. However a reflecting time will transform the expression of force into a dialectic feat: let exist everything, but cunningly deprive everything of its significance.” Only in 20th century developed the large systems, Marxism, Fascism, which suppressed the individual and made personal statements suspicious. Kierkegaard a hundred years before brought the idea into the daily consciousness of humans, that the individual has the right to be a censorship instance against church, state, ordered political correctness.

DON JUAN:
Tango 130

This sort of extreme individualism hindered Kierkegaard’s sexuality. He feared to make solid obligations with his fiancée Regine Olsen. Instead he liked to read the story of Don Juan – and wrote the famous “Either-Or”. Did Kierkegaard visit prostitutes? Biographer Joakim Garff, associate professor at the Sören Kierkegaard Research Center at the University of Copenhagen, – he has no chance than to speculate.

SIN and ANXIETY:
Strike Cat =^..^=

Kierkegaard’s father had been an orthodox Christian dogmatist. Apparently too often he made sermons about sin to his son. In “The Concept of Anxiety” Kierkegaard accepts anxiety (later Heidegger’s ANGST in “Being and Time”) as a creative, liberty starting element in every human beings existence. No independence without the deep anxiety, to make all things wrong. The fear of getting punished is the basis of the free will and the power to make decisions nevertheless. Not only modern psychologists have to tell that, giving depressed searchers the strength to go on, in philosophy Nietzsche, struggling against Hegel alike Kierkegaard, had to reach the same level as the Danish thinker. Nietzsche wrote “Genealogy of Morals”, leaving the secure ground of Christianity as well.

LITERATURE:
moleskine-inside

“Equal a princess in a “1001 night”-story I saved live by narrating, i.e. by producing dazzling literary work. Tremendous heavy melancholy, inside suffer, everything I could master – if I was allowed to produce. Ill treatment, abuse, which would have made another unproductive – these things made me only more productively…” K. noted, who experienced himself maybe more as poet than as philosopher.

JOURNALISM:
united types of newspapers

His horror of the compelling journalism, which multiplied the consent of all meaning, – this fright brought him to write: “The multitude of crowd is the untruth.” “To draw the attention to the category of the individual, that is the main achievement and significance of my lifelong work. I recognized it as my task to make attentive on it.” Kierkegaard was encouraged enough, to throw himself back to a most subjective, occasionally despairing lonely sort of giving one’s opinion, naturally not accompanied by much external applause. In the contrary: He had some disastrous sparring with his critics, especially with the journalists and cartoonists working for the Copenhagen newspaper “The Corsair.” How to make irony on this topic? Kierkegaard wrote: “As perhaps some thing was lost, because an assisting world was missing, then on the other hand some thing was spoiled, because the whole world was allowed to help.”

MONEY:
money

Kierkegaard died aged 42, exactly in the same moment, as the money which he inherited from his father was used up. His courageous irony died in the nervous run of his relatively short life, defeated by an unfortunately much bigger, always persistent anxiety. He certainly was not a man of action like Hemingway. But he was a moving and thought provoking writer, an excellent starter of a modern way of feeling, reacting and ideological whistle-blowing …

Dansk:Søren Kierkegaard som han blev karikeret...

Image via Wikipedia

related:
https://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/black-childhood/

https://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/think-tank/

https://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/irony/

About frizztext

writer, photographer, guitarist

15 responses to “Kierkegaard’s Courage

  1. Thank you for introducing me to Kierkegaard. I may not understand the concepts fully yet, but I have definately learned some thing new today

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  2. I didn’t know him well but I learned something new.Thanks. 🙂

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  3. Thanks for this wonderful post of Kierkegaard. While reading it, I couldn’t help but reflecting on my existentialism class of some 40 years ago where my Professor used the entire class to talk about K and his writings. In retrospect, however, it would have been nice if he had used some of that time to talk about other existentialists. Thanks again!

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  4. Very well said. Realists have always been chastized, for asseting the truth, as if reality shoudn’t be, pretendedly, seen, asa coexisting universe, or the shadows to lies. BUt if you cannot trully experience, you cannot say you trully are alive. Thakns for this wonderful article.

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  5. P.S.:
    in the meantime I have money enough, to buy sunglasses too:
    16-tons-photo
    “Life can only be understood backwards;
    but it must be lived forwards.”
    Søren Kierkegaard

    Like

  6. K., existentialist, realist, challenged the accepted thinking of the day (holds true today, too) ~ excellent! I should pull out some of my old seminary books on existentialism and re-read. 🙂

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  7. Excellent and yes, we all need to go back and read the teachings of the great philosophers… Lots of great food for thought. 🙂

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  10. ”Don’t be so driven by your past
    that you throw away your future.”
    ~ Kate Beckett
    http://cutenosegrl.wordpress.com/quotes/#comment-256

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  13. cocoaupnorth

    Thank you for introducing me to one great philosopher, whose work I’ve never heard nor read before. Very profound stuff!

    Like

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