Soren Kierkegaard Quotes

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.

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.

At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference.

Be that self which one truly is.

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.

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.

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

Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further.

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

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.

If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe.

It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite.

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 can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.

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

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.

Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself.

Love is all, it gives all, and it takes all.

Marriage brings one into fatal connection with custom and tradition, and traditions and customs are like the wind and weather, altogether incalculable.

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.

Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.

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.

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

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

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

Purity of heart is to will one thing.

Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil, no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings.

Since my earliest childhood a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am ironic if it is pulled out I shall die.

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 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.

The more a man can forget, the greater the number of metamorphoses which his life can undergo; the more he can remember, the more divine his life becomes.

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 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.

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

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.

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.

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.