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 :: 1813-1855, Danish Philosopher, Writer

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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.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Irony]

 

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It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Desire]

 

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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.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Life and Living]

 

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It is so hard to believe because it is so hard to obey.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Belief]

 

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It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand, and what those things are. Human understanding has vulgarly occupied itself with nothing but understanding, but if it would only take the trouble to understand itself at the same time it would simply have to posit the paradox.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Understanding]

 

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It requires courage not to surrender oneself to the ingenious or compassionate counsels of despair that would induce a man to eliminate himself from the ranks of the living; but it does not follow from this that every huckster who is fattened and nourished in self-confidence has more courage than the man who yielded to despair.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Courage]

 

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It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate only on what is most significant and important
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Concentration]

 

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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.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Mystics and Mysticism]

 

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Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Life and Living]

 

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Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Life and Living]

 

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Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Life and Living]

 

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Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Life and Living]

 

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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.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Enjoyment]

 

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Marriage brings one into fatal connection with custom and tradition, and traditions and customs are like the wind and weather, altogether incalculable.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Marriage]

 

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Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Pleasure]

 

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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 wander whether in the end anyone will want to make a bid.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Ideas]

 

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Nowadays not even a suicide kills himself in desperation. Before taking the step he deliberates so long and so carefully that he literally chokes with thought. It is even questionable whether he ought to be called a suicide, since it is really thought which takes his life. He does not die with deliberation but from deliberation.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Deliberation]

 

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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.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Age and Aging]

 

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Once you label me you negate me.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Names]

 

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Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.
~ Soren Kierkegaard - [Thoughts and Thinking]

 

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