Monday, June 07, 2010

Kierkegaard's Writings Vol. 6

Kierkegaard as poet - an antidote to the dialectical algebra of The Sickness Unto Death:
Or was there not a time also in your consciousness, my lis-
tener, when cheerfully and without a care you were glad
with the glad, when you wept with those who wept, when
the thought of God blended irrelevantly with your other
conceptions, blended with your happiness but did not
sanctify it, blended with your grief but did not comfort it?
And later was there not a time when this in some sense
guiltless life, which never called itself to account, vanished?
Did there not come a time when your mind was unfruitful
and sterile, your will incapable of all good, your emotions
cold and weak, when hope was dead in your breast, and
recollection painfully clutched at a few solitary memories
of happiness and soon these also became loathsome, when
everything was of no consequence to you, and the secular
bases of comfort found their way to your soul only to
wound even more your troubled mind, which impatiently
and bitterly turned away from them? Was there not a time
when you found no one to whom you could turn, when the
darkness of quiet despair brooded over your soul, and you
did not have the courage to let it go but would rather hang
onto it and you even brooded once more over your despair?
When heaven was shut for you, and the prayer died on your
lips, or it became a shriek of anxiety that demanded an ac-
counting from heaven, and yet you sometimes found
within you a longing, an intimation to which you might as-
cribe meaning, but this was soon crushed by the thought
that you were a nothing and your soul lost in infinite space?
Was there not a time when you felt that the world did not
understand your grief, could not heal it, could not give you
any peace, that this had to be in heaven, if heaven was any-
where to be found; alas, it seemed to you that the distance
between heaven and earth was infinite, and just as you
yourself lost yourself in contemplating the immeasurable
world, just so God had forgotten you and did not care
about you? And in spite of all this, was there not a defiance
in you that forbade you to humble yourself under God's
mighty hand? Was this not so? And what would you call
this condition if you did not call it death, and how would
you describe it except as darkness?