4 November

I have been reading and thinking about SK’s (in)famous journal entry for 1 August 1835. Especially this image:

What use would it be if truth were to stand there before me, cold and naked, not caring whether I acknowledged it or not, inducing an anxious shiver rather than trusting devotion?

Journals 1835 (1:19)

Truth calls for personal involvement, not detached reflection. But …

The Truth is a trap: you cannot get hold of it without getting caught; you cannot get hold of the truth in such a way that you catch it, but only in such a way that it catches you.

Journals 1854 (10:17)

Truth calls for passivity in a world of activity. Truth confronts with possibility.

Truth/Jesus does not play our games. He is not limited by us or our thinking. And that is why God needed to become a person – Jesus is so much more than we can imagine, Jesus does not fit neatly into a box.

TM on SK

Pragmatism and positivism are therefore interested in the question how.  Traditional metaphysics, whether scholastic (realist) or idealist, is interested in the question what (the essence).  Existentialism wants to know who.  It is interested in the authentic use of freedom by the concrete personal subject.

The Other Side Of Despair, by Thomas Merton

I would like to “wrestle” a little more with this article but just wanted to get things started.

From SK’s Journal (1846)

But this I thought was the meaning of life, that the individual shook off the habit of accepting the favors of difference, should that be tempting, steeled himself against its humiliation, should that weigh down on him, in order to find the universal, what is common to all human beings, to concern oneself only with that. Oh! How beautiful to lose oneself in this way. But then I thought again that in the having of this concern the meaning of life was to be concerned for oneself as if the particular individual were all there was. Oh! How beautiful thus to find oneself in the universal! If the universal is the rule then the individual is the paradigm [corrected from demand]; if the universal is the demand then the universal is the fulfillment; if the universal is everything, if the universal says everything, then the particular individual believes that the everything is said about him-him alone. So if the place and context here did not require signature, none would be needed, for again it is infinitely inconsequential who has said it (as though the favored one said it, the one who was wronged being in no position to say it, since after all they all have it in them to do it).

S. Kierkegaard 1846 Journals, Hannay 1996, VII IB200, p. 252