Famous Quotes By Soren Kierkegaard


  1. A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.
  2. Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.
  3. Because of its tremendous solemnity death is the light in which great passions, both good and bad, become transparent, no longer limited by outward appearences.
  4. 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.
  5. Don't forget to love yourself.
  6. Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further.
  7. Far from idleness being the root of all evil, it is rather the only true good.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe.
  12. It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate only on what is most significant and important.
  13. 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.
  14. Life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards.
  15. Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.
  16. Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
  17. Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself.
  18. Marriage brings one into fatal connection with custom and tradition, and traditions and customs are like the wind and weather, altogether incalculable.
  19. Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.
  23. Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.
  24. 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.
  25. People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
  26. Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own.
  27. Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.
  28. Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor.
  29. The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. The truth is a snare: you cannot have it, without being caught. You cannot have the truth in such a way that you catch it, but only in such a way that it catches you.
  33. There are, as is known, insects that die in the moment of fertilization. So it is with all joy: life's highest, most splendid moment of enjoyment is accompanied by death.
  34. Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer.
  35. 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.

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