A Search for Truth and Freedom


a little love story about mermaids and tattoos


Reblog every time

One of the main defenses of any abhorrent character, whether in Game of Thrones, True Detective, or All in the Family, is that they’re a “product of their times.” This argument is usually wielded as a means of recuperating misogynistic, racist, and/or homophobic men: of course he sexually assaulted/manipulated/destroyed that woman; that’s how men operated then! To some extent, I actually buy this argument: there’s no “outside” of ideology, even in fictional television, and all men must wallow in the moral imperatives set forth by their narratives.

What strikes me, then, is how seldom this defense is used to exonerate unlikable women. Their actions are just as circumscribed by the ideologies that inform their cultures, but instead of explaining why they are the way they are, we call them bitches and shrews, harpies and sluts.

But in another sense despair is even more definitely the sickness unto death. Literally speaking, there is not the slightest possibility that anyone will die from this sickness or that it will end in physical death. On the contrary, the torment of despair is precisely this inability to die. Thus it has more in common with the situation of a mortally ill person when he lies struggling with death and yet cannot die. Thus to be sick unto death is to be unable to die, yet not as if there were hope of life; no, the hopelessness is that there is not even the ultimate hope, death. When death is the greatest danger, we hope for life; but when we learn to know the even greater danger, we hope for death. When the danger is so great that death becomes the hope, then despair is the hopelessness of not even being able to die.
   It is in this last sense that despair is the sickness of the self, perpetually to be dying, to die and yet not die, to die death.
Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death (via wellareyou)
There is so much talk about human distress and wretchedness—I try to understand it and have also had some intimate acquaintance with it—there is so much talk about wasting a life, but only that person’s life was wasted who went on living so deceived by life’s joys or its sorrows that he never became decisively and eternally conscious as spirit, as self, or, what amounts to the same thing, never became aware and in the deepest sense never gained the impression that there is a God and that “he,” he himself, his self, exists before this God—an infinite benefaction that is never gained except through despair. What wretchedness that so many go on living this way, cheated of this most blessed of thoughts! What wretchedness that we are engrossed in or encourage the human throng to be engrossed in everything else, using them to supply the energy for the drama of life but never reminding them of this blessedness. What wretchedness that they are lumped together and deceived instead of being split apart so that each individual may gain the highest, the only thing worth living for and enough to live in for an eternity. I think that I could weep an eternity over the existence of such wretchedness! And to me an even more horrible expression of this most terrible sickness and misery is that it is hidden—not only that the person suffering from it may wish to hide it and may succeed, not only that it can so live in a man that no one, no one detects it, no, but also that it can be so hidden in a man that he himself is not aware of it! And when the hourglass has run out, the hourglass of temporality, when the noise of secular life has grown silent and its restless or ineffectual activism has come to an end, when everything around you is still, as it is in eternity, then—whether you were man or woman, rich or poor, dependent or independent, fortunate or unfortunate, whether you ranked with royalty and wore a glittering crown or in humble obscurity bore the toil and heat of the day, whether your name will be remembered as long as the world stands and consequently as long as it stood or you are nameless and run nameless in the innumerable multitude, whether the magnificence encompassing you surpassed all human description or the most severe and ignominious human judgment befell you—eternity asks you and every individual in these millions and millions about only one thing: whether you have lived in despair or not, whether you have despaired in such a way that you did not realize that you were in despair, or in such a way that you covertly carried this sickness inside of you as your gnawing secret, as a fruit of a sinful love under your heart, or in such a way that you, a terror to others, raged in despair. And if so, if you have lived in despar, then regardless of whatever else you won or lost, everything is lost for you, eternity does not acknowledge you, it never knew you—or, still more terrible, it knows you as you are known and it binds you to yourself in despair.
Søren Kierkegaard - from The Sickness Unto Death (via slothnorentropy)
The fear of death and allure of suicide yield to a new standard - one we might, in frustration, describe as a higher sort of suicide. To remain healthy, the cured man ‘must at every moment destroy the possibility’ of despair. As a Christian, he [Anti-Climacus] has recognized literal suicide as a despairing ‘crime against God,’ and rejected it accordingly;’ but now he is required to annihilate continuously every defiant element of the self - in an unending effort ‘to die to the world.’

David D. Posen; University of Chicago. 

Anti-Climacus and the Physician of Souls (an essay included in Soren Kierkegaard and the Word (s). Essays on Hermeneutics and Communication)

"you wake up, you’ve been living alone after all these years.Surrounded by these shards of mirrors and how’d it get so quiet here, you wonder, where did everyone go? You tried so hard to make people remember you for something you were not, and if they so remember you then something else will certainly get forgotten.” [x] 

"you wake up, you’ve been living alone after all these years.
Surrounded by these shards of mirrors and how’d it get so quiet here, you wonder, where did everyone go? You tried so hard to make people remember you for something you were not, and if they so remember you then something else will certainly get forgotten.” [x

The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all.
Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death (via the-beauty-in-chaos-quotes)
Eternity asks you, and every one of these millions and millions, just one thing; whether you have lived in despair or not, whether so in despair that you did not know that your were in despair, or in such a way that you bore this sickness deep inside you as you gnawing secret, under your heart like the fruit of a sinful love, or in such a way that, a terror to others, you raged in despair. If then, if you have lived in despair, then whatever else you won or lost, for you everything is lost, eternity does not acknowledge you, it never knew you, or, still more dreadful, it knows you as you are known, it manacles you to your self in despair!
Søren Kierkegaard - from The Sickness unto Death (via slothnorentropy)
Just as the physician might say that there lives perhaps not one single man who is in perfect health, so one might say perhaps that there lives not one single man who after all is not to some extent in despair, in whose inmost parts there does not dwell a disquietude, a perturbation, a discord, an anxious dread of an unknown something, or of a something he does not even dare to make acquaintance with, dread of a possibility of life, or dread of himself.
From The Sickness Unto Death by Søren Kierkegaard (via kierkegaarddane)
With every increase in the degree of consciousness, and in proportion to that increase, the intensity of despair increases: the more consciousness, the more intense the despair.
Soren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death (via greatrelease)
When I see someone who declares he has completely understood how Christ went around in the form of a lowly servant, poor, despised, mocked, and, as Scripture tells us, spat upon—when I see the same person assiduously make his way to the place where in worldly sagacity it is good to be, set himself up as securely as possible, when I see him then so anxiously, as if his life depended on it, avoiding every gust of unfavorable wind from the right or the left, see him so blissful, so extremely blissful, so slap-happy, yes, to make it complete, so slap-happy that he even thanks God for—for being whole-heartedly honored and esteemed by all by everyone—then I have often said privately to myself: “Socrates, Socrates, Socrates, can it be possible that this man has understood what he says he has understood?” This is how I talked—indeed, I have also wished that Socrates was right, for it seems to me as if Christianity were too rigorous, and in accordance with my own experience I cannot make such a person out to be a hypocrite. No, Socrates, you I can understand; you make him into a joker, a jolly fellow of sorts, and fair game for laughter; you have nothing against but rather even approve of my preparing and serving him up as comic—provided I do it well.

Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death

*shakes head* Socrates, Socrates, Socrates, can it be possible that this man has understood what he says he has understood?

(via wellareyou)
If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never.
Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or (via krzywonos)


I record my life, sifting and trying to separate what is real from what I’ve dreamed. I have decided not to tell you what is fact versus what is unfact primarily because (a) I am giving you a portrait of the essence of me, and (b) because, living where I do, living in the chasm that cuts…

… What I really lack is to be clear in my mind what I am to do, not what I am to know, except in so far as a certain understanding must precede every action. The thing is to understand myself, to see what God really wishes me to do; the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die.
Søren Kierkegaard, Journal, 1835 (via fuckyeahkierkegaard)