Monday, July 15, 2013

Of Kierkegaard

I love Kierkegaard. Sort of like a kid brother. Nietzsche and I would hit the mean streets of Philosophia, looking for trouble. And my kid brother Kierkegaard would tag along. He wasn't like us, he wasn't spoiling for a fight. He just enjoyed our company. And of course I had to keep an eye out for him, and make sure he got home safe, so he probably saved me - indirectly.

It's all love, Kierkegaard knew this.

Here are powerful excerpts from three of his masterpieces ...

"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

“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 poet and say: 'Sing again soon' - that is, 'May new sufferings torment your soul but your lips be fashioned as before, for the cry would only frighten us, but the music, that is blissful.” ― Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or

"Most people live dejectedly in worldly sorrow and joy; they are the ones who sit along the wall and do not join in the dance. The knights of infinity are dancers and possess elevation. They make the movements upward, and fall down again; and this too is no mean pastime, nor ungraceful to behold. But whenever they fall down they are not able at once to assume the posture, they vacillate an instant, and this vacillation shows that after all they are strangers in the world. This is more or less strikingly evident in proportion to the art they possess, but even the most artistic knights cannot altogether conceal this vacillation. One need not look at them when they are up in the air, but only the instant they touch or have touched the ground–then one recognizes them. But to be able to fall down in such a way that the same second it looks as if one were standing and walking, to transform the leap of life into a walk, absolutely to express the sublime in the pedestrian–that only the knight of faith can do–and this is the one and only prodigy." ― Søren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling

-- Richard Power

Power's eighth book,  Humanifesto: A Guide to Primal Reality in an Era of Global Peril , is available now in soft cover and Kindle versions, from Amazon and elsewhere.