Soren Kierkegaard Quotes (86 Quotes)


    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.


    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.

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

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


    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.


    To the frivolous, Christianity is certainly not glad tidings, for it wishes first of all to make them serious


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

    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.

    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 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.

    Where am I Who am I How did I come to be here What is this thing called the world How did I come into the world Why was I not consulted And If I am compelled to take part in it, Where is the director I want to see him.

    Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards.


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

    To cheat oneself out of love is the most terrible deception it is an eternal loss for which there is no reparation, either in time or in eternity

    Irony is a disciplinarian feared only by those who do not know it, but cherished by those who do. He who does not understand irony and has no ear for its whispering lacks of what might called the absolute beginning of the personal life. He lacks what at moments is indispensable for the personal life, lacks both the regeneration and rejuvenation, the cleaning baptism of irony that redeems the soul from having its life in finitude though living boldly and energetically in finitude.

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

    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.

    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.




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

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

    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.

    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.

    Never cease loving a person, and never give up hope for him, for even the prodigal son who had fallen most low, could still be saved the bitterest enemy and also he who was your friend could again be your friend love that has grown cold can kindle

    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.

    This is what is sad when one contemplates human life, that so many live out their lives in quiet lostness... they live, as it were, away from themselves and vanish like shadows. Their immortal souls are blown away, and they are not disquieted by the question of its immortality, because they are already disintegrated before they die.

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

    It is quite true what Philosophy says that Life must be understood backwards. But that makes one forget the other saying that it must be lived --forwards. The more one ponders this, the more it comes to mean that life in the temporal existence never becomes quite intelligible, precisely because at no moment can I find complete quiet to take the backward-looking position.

    Only when it is a duty to love, only then is love eternally and happily secured against despair.

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


    A great man is one that can develop convictions in solitude and carry them out in a crowd.


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

    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.


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

    That is the road we all have to take - over the Bridge of Sighs into eternity.

    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.

    Nothing, nothing, nothing, no error, no crime is so absolutely repugnant to God as everything which is official and why because the official is so impersonal and therefore the deepest insult which can be offered to a personality

    Honour him, dear Symparanekromenoi, for his grey hair and his misfortune.


    More Soren Kierkegaard Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Life - Love - World - Mind - God - Thought & Thinking - Truth - Boredom - Prayers - Death & Dying - People - Soul - Eternity - Speech - Passion - Nature - Dreams - Danger & Risk - View All Soren Kierkegaard Quotations

    Related Authors


    Lao Tzu - John Stuart Mill - Heraclitus - Albert Camus - Michel de Montaigne - Maimonides - Leo Strauss - Guru Nanak - Epicurus - Antisthenes


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