AK 386 Reading Kierkegaard. Of course he is like Schopenhauer. Real Christianity here. Perhaps such Christianity reflects a lack of knowledge of Buddhism. It is clearly life negative. Such a religion on such a level needed to be countered with extreme affirmation, such as liber legis. the real alternative to life negative religion. Affirmationist religion.
The life negative seduces by means of seductive poetry.
Kierkegaard is profound, certainly, the equal if not the superior of Pascal as a religious thinker. Religious thought in the west. Life negative thought, is profound subtle and insidious.
What one may defeat by reason my yet win with its siren voices, its claim to monopolise certain fields of experience.
Reason, argument is not enough. Affirmationism must be proclaimed in terms of the profoundest poetry.
The life negative attempt to monopolise religious ecstasy. That everything except itself is really despair
Kierkegaard attracts, his Christianity does not seem to be simply ressentiment

AS 108 there are various types of philosophy aiming to cope with the bankruptcy of reason. Kierkegaard’s, which was originally designed to deal with the bankruptcy of Hegel, but which has further and deeper application,.
Idea of continental philosophy as versus the Anglo-Saxon analytical tradition.

Sort of irrationalism Vermeil traces to German barbarism. But it relates to a classical argument. Like the basic flaws in Christianity, the oppressive authority principle it contains. So out of this new rational philosophy can grow.

Reason can cease to be bankrupt, this because it is a response to something which offends.
Heidegger, Kierkegaard. This idea of a new beginning which is Christianity all over again, ,with all that was objectionable in that. The Christianity that tries to profit from the bankruptcy of reason.
The attack of one kind of philosophy on the other. The bankruptcy of reason leading to arbitrary dogma.

309 At every step philosophy sloughs a skin into which creep its worthless hangers on. (Kierkegaard) It’s not that, its that people want to use philosophical ideas for purposes that are not purely philosophical. Idea of rules and truth conventions can be easily misapplied in a way that forsakes the competitive motive that inspires proper philosophy.

. AU 14 Interesting suggestion that Brand is influenced by Kierkegaard.


Donne seems to me a particularly choice specimen of those who “make for themselves as false crown out of the horrors of the abyss”. Like another rediscovered twentieth century hero perhaps Kierkegaard. The true explorer will seek to make sure he explores from a position of strength, not seize every moment failing and weakness and hold it up to his contemporaries as a valuable discovery.

114& Kierkegaard reacting against Hegel, certainly reacting against a pseudo rationalism but on what are perhaps rather suspect grounds. Stirner also reacted against Hegel’s essences, but in a very different way, his aim was dominate them after having shown their insubstantiality. Kierkegaard is different, he just wishes to escape them. He escapes into a kind of subjectivism, into a world where he is immune from criticism. Hegel’s ideas appear to criticise the individual, to make demands on his which he probably feels to be uncongenial. Hegel’s of course is an intensely gregarious philosophy, we are expected to conform to the concepts prevalent in the society around us, and to derive our meaning in life from these.
Kierkegaard was an introvert reacting against this, but he was still under its spell. He conceded the Hegelian significance of essence, but said that existence precedes essence, a sentence of which the meaning is far from immediately clear,.
He means that we may disregard these Hegelian concepts, it is not that they have no meaning, but that we have the right to dispense with reason. What person in his right mind would dispute that we have this right? Kierkegaard thus appears as one of the champions of freedom against oppression. He has pinpointed a form of oppression, that perpetrated by something claiming to be reason. Disregarding these essences means disregarding the necessity to communicate. We can preoccupy ourselves with whatever ideas we like, aiming at the salvation of he soul.
We do not need to argue our position, argument is by means of essences, these do not concern us, they are a nuisance, forcing us to think thoughts that are nowise in our interest, Kierkegaard is a man like Molinos, one concerned with the internal quest, who nevertheless decided to write about it. For such a man rational truth is an irrelevance, an oppression of the spirit, he escapes it by saying that existence precedes essence, that the feelings of the individual, take precedence over anything that can be argued.
Indeed this is traditionally the way of the solitary mystic certainly not of the philosopher. The philosopher does not deny the possibility of the mystic’s kind of truth, but he would like it to express itself within the most comprehensive conceptual framework that might be found for it.. the mystic finds all this argument an irrelevance. As far as he is concerned truth is whatever assists him on his personal quest, moreover that it is that is all he means by truth, so it is impossible to discuss the abstract possibility of the best conceptual framework within which such a quest might be fulfilled, or to point out the rather restricted nature of some of the presuppositions.
Anyway, this existence preceding essence idea became the foundation of existentialism, the idea that feeling is the foundation of truth in the philosophical as well as the mystical sense, feeling that that is not really open to criticism. The concept of “true for you” is one of existentialism’s contributions to the popular legacy. The identification of the two kinds of truth in this way render quite implausible the philosophical quest.
The axiom in Kierkegaard gains its immediate plausibility from the stifling tedium of Hegel’s ‘idea’. If this is reason, then I choose to ignore it, and my right to do so is obvious to everyone. Accepting the premise that that is what reason is, then it seems quite reasonable to talk of another way of arriving at truth, based on the desires and needs of the immediate individual. But to say that there is no argument as to whether or not the framework I use for the discovery of my personal truth is as sound as is could be, is quite unjustified. I may have no use for such an argument, I may regard it as an impediment, but I am not entitled to make the philosophical judgement that no such argument can be engaged in, as escape from the immediacy of individual existence. Therefore commitment, the end of argument, religion or sociological determinisms, which managed to creep in somewhere.
“Only the bourgeois lives by ideas, only the existentialist is completely liberated form them”. Other people are conceived as under the domination of essences which appear to bind the individual, they have not discovered that truth lies within, that it may disregard all these ideas just as it sees fit,. Because, discovery of discoveries, truth not out there, it is in here, it is what I can make it to be.
Therefore I can feel I have direct access to truth, which is very gratifying.
My direct access is considered probed by Kierkegaard existence precedes essence axiom. But Kierkegaard is merely making a very obvious point which has got confused as a philosophical one.

So existentialism brought a kind of feeling, a mood with it, a kind of arrogance in solitude. Outsider status. Only in being free of ideas, in experiencing meaninglessness or the absurd, did one know the truth which was that you are free to make truth. This feeling was one you could get because it was in the culture. The truth being that all ideas, meaning and concepts do not matter, that it is important to feel free of them in a central absurdity experience of which I had quite a number in accordance with my expectations, and quite ecstatic theory were.
The Kierkegaard experience.
PP 63 Kierkegaard had not the wit to be Gnostic. He identified God and the demiurge, but his personal conscience led him away from simplistic observance of the law. He accepted the demiurgic law, but as something it was right to oppose. He welcomed the suffering this opposition brought. Observation of orthodox law = happiness. Opposition to orthodox law = unhappiness. (this as set down by God. But opposition to this law is right (voice of conscience) therefore unhappiness is right.
He assumes the connection between the law and happiness is laid down by God. but that law is demiurgic law, that deserves to be smashed altogether.. resistance to law, pursuit of conscience is the ideal path to happiness.. there can be no true happiness out of harmony with conscience.
The orthodox law is a yoke of suffering he voluntarily takes on himself.
The connection between law and happiness if laid down by God. but the right to disobey the law, to refuse to be happy, is what God wants us to exercise.

Satan chose. But he wanted to be happy, he rebelled against the law.. one reverences God by not rebelling against the law, but by accepting it and freely choosing the punishment. “please sir, I am so bad, give me six of the best”, It is in the cramped spiritual world that the existentialist exercises his choice. He concedes that there is one path to happiness. He cannot take it, he renounces happiness and glories in that. This is his Christianity, his freedom. It is good advice for a man in a trap, but little more.
Kierkegaard differs from Satan in that the is eager to kiss the hand that beats him. He finds a niche for himself where the trap is not quite so much of a trap.
Kierkegaard’s a form of paranoia. An ideology, a current philosophy seems so universally compelling, that there seems no escape from it, however much you dislike it. He insists that there is an escape in another sense, and that is to accept suffering. Pariah status. This he sees as Christianity. But it is not a morality of the strong. There is something abortive in it. It is perhaps one more example of the harm done by Christianity. An incomplete revolt against the morality of the weak. But in this incompleteness he found his essence as a man.(much as he would have deplored the suggestion).
Kierkegaard has identified his life’s work with one particular psychological reaction.. in his originality there is probably exhilaration. The reaction “ok that may be the truth and the happiest ways to live, but then I am happy to be unhappy” this he saw as Christianity. What is the value in this? That it is the outlet for a motive. To make his point he quite seriously embraces unhappiness. Now can this be right? It certainly cannot be the whole truth,

RR 11 Kierkegaard I continuer to dislike, perhaps because he is too close to me. He affirms agony, but it remains agony, freedom at the price of eternal disease, but he should have got away completely from Hegel. From the point of view of nature, hit it is hardly a plausible proposition that Kierkegaard was right. Schizoid defensiveness. Custer’s last stand.

25 Kierkegaard driven into a corner by so called rationalism. Rationalism, the ideology thrown up by the French Revolution, with all its emotional magnetism. The progress illusion. Deified by Hegel.
What is the appeal of the rationalism this revolutionary spirit that Hegel justified and Kierkegaard rebelled against?, Mass pressure to conform. Massive propaganda in support of a shallow scheme.

27& Notes on The Present Age, by Kierkegaard.. Kierkegaard very important as a Christian thinker coming up with reasons why people should believe in Christianity, which otherwise might be seen as a lot of outmoded rubbish. Thought such as his seems to be behind the modern neo Christian movement, Muggeridge, Private Eye etc,
Christianity seen as the only alternative to a bleak and sterile socialism.
Solzhenitsyn says he came to respect Christian believers because of the moral strength they showed in the concentration camp.
One can approach Kierkegaard from this direction.
The present age he sees a characterised by the levelling process which he sees as rationally inescapable, and which we might be tempted to see as the ideology of French Revolution without its inspiring enthusiasm.
No one has the right to set himself up as an authority in opposition to this levelling process, the only solution is the interiority of private religion which teaches by the example of suffering or martyrdom.
If we grant his premises, we may come to the conclusion that, for example, the only feasible alternative to secular socialism is some form of Christianity.
Christianity is supported against socialist secularism because it is the only viable alternative ideology around. Islam, Buddhism, Satanism, might all do as well
Kierkegaard is saying that Christianity is uniquely appropriate. Now this is a strange assertion. How can Christianity be especially appropriate to the modern world except in that it has survived so long? Who would be drawn naturally towards Christianity were it not for the great weight of emotional historical factors? Considered in itself, as a body of doctrine, apart from all the emotional associations to do with the fact of its survival, it can make little sense to the modern world, with all its barbaric nonsense about dying gods and the like.
But there is a way of reading Augustine by which things can be made to appear in a very different light.

I see Augustine as one of the great swine of history, but once could look at his position and see it as having profound contemporary relevance.
Suppose that Christianity really were devised as the one possible escape from an oppressive all compelling secular ideology, such as Augustine suggests prevailed in his own time, then the very innermost meaning of the religion speaks directly to Kierkegaard’s problem. Christianity is not a slave religion, the inspiration behind levelling, but the only possibility of escape from an all oppressive secular reason, hollow materialism, sensuality and despair.

Flaws in the reasoning. Kierkegaard writes as a man too emotional, too easily captivated, ensnared by the enthusiasms of the time. Yet I admire his response, his thinking,. Think of the French Revolution and its architecture. At least there are echoes, resonances of republican Rome.
In Copenhagen he felt the zeitgeist, responded to it, resisted it. Revolutionary enthusiasm. At least the hope, the manic hope, of every man an aristo.
Modern Christianity, misreading Augustine, misreadings of culture “The authority”, always irritating, as if I always need to refute. It is always authority, other people’s ideas, that it find oppressive. What I find liberating is Gnosticism which is precisely against authorities like Augustine.
It cannot be secular reason itself which is oppressive, moreover, unaided by emotion it does not lead to the opposite levelling conclusions
AD 52 Kierkegaard’s idea that freedom brings suffering.
AL 1 Reflections on Kierkegaard. Spiritual pride, which can seem to be the foundation of his whole position. the injunction to mortify, or to overcome such pride, hardly lets him off the hook. The fact that for him the final stage of enlightenment is a kind of suicide, what kind of a justification is that?

7& Kierkegaard’s The Sickness unto Death. I neither like nor fully understand. Nor I suspect is it fully sincere. It resembles a work of Catholic mysticism. It is so thoroughly Christian, how could it be secularised? It expresses Christianity in some of its most terrible tyrannical forms. This self become God, what freedom does it have? Absolutely none at all. Infinite masochism. Yet Christian myth could easily be replaced by another myth, like thelemitic.
God, the power that sustains. Is it even a desirable reality trip to get on?
Denunciation of all so called false consciousness. For some of which I would share dislike. Though he uses Hegelian terms he is clearly against Hegelian complacency and worldliness, Butt he hardly proves his point. He says he aims at edification rather than rigour,, If his potion is possible, it is hardly attractive.

Kierkegaard and sin. What a concept to revive! Something out of early childhood, like naughtiness or rudeness.
Kierkegaard’s claim is that truth lies in precisely the opposite of the Hegelian idea, in the most private truth.
AR 204 The rationalist tyranny of the idea of choice. The choice is not so much of what to think and value, as to what to dominate with, what to teach, what to lead with, what do identify oneself with. So this angst is itself pleasurable because it is part of a lust for power. This rational scheme is not felt as constraint. Kierkegaard objecting to Hegel. Obviously is the objection not his all embracing scheme, his pretension to all embracing exclusiveness. Strange that this very insistence on an inassimilable experience is made the basis for a new system.. as if scholasticism could be made completely comprehensive by adding the Hacceity of Scotus.
Kierkegaard objected to Hegel. It seems the point is missed about the real objection. They try to create the same kind of system but on the basis to the experience Kierkegaard uses as objection. If it were possible one thinks Hegel could have foreseen it.
But for Hegel in this sense people often mean Plato, as if our concept of truth derives form him.. And neoplatonism in particular puts essence before existence, whatever that is taken to mean. The point of Kierkegaard’s objection is not the Hegel does not pin him down.

BC 119 Cuppitt’s objection to Hegel and Kierkegaard. Hegel’s ambition to become God with total lucidity. Kierkegaard’s obsession with God’s otherness, that destroyed him in the end.

AB 279 I can see Kierkegaard’s reaction as understandable and desirable if it were the only alternative to or escape from Hegel. But one can reach this consciousness without needing to take his route. I think his is a neurotic reaction It is the only way he feels he can assert his individuality.

287 Kierkegaard On The Difference Between A Genius And An Apostle. His littlie treatise as well showing up the dishonesty much Christian apologetics.
AP 69 Kierkegaard on Don Giovanni. What is confirmed in me is my general hatred of opera, even of what is musically the best, like Mozart.
Nietzsche expresses some of my objections in BT. I hate the glorification of he merely human. Mere passion. Opera almost always means crime, Violence murder the sort of thing for which hundreds of people are serving life sentences in our prisons. How can such passion be noble? It is like a revolt of the ordinary. It completely lacks real tragedy and is therefore far from cathartic,. In that Kierkegaard finds something so important stated about the erotic, perhaps this reflects something about himself. Like sexual immaturity.
He says every young man would like to be Don Juan. Not me, I resent him.
I do not find the truth of human nature here. Maybe neither does he. I must read the whole book.
The either person still seems imbued with Christianity. Like he explores sin, but what option is that if the threat of damnation is still hanging over you?
The sensuous erotic. I think that even as child I knew what opera was about and disliked it. Idea that here is the truth of my own human nature. Pressure of the norm.
Tragedy as crime, as mess.
What can be good about passion that has such results? Idea that the life of passion is a fuller, richer life, that these archetypes are universal.
Criticism of me. My emotional reserve.
Don Juan. Say I resent him because he is so animal. It could well be that this is the essence of opera.. this common life, always something I am trying to get away from.
Mozart’s infantilism. Kierkegaard writing about he erotic. What does he know compared with Walter? He speculates, but how many women has he really screwed?

80 Kierkegaard’s shadowgraphs, These portraits of possible unhappiness.
I do admit the portraits of unhappiness re philosophically interesting. The aesthetician who creates these little traps for thought. Like revelations of an evil universe. Monistic prejudices under which we suffer. Idea that the universe is one, that if it is good it cannot be bad. That even the bad can be reconciled with the good, if only by time.
Or like there is a solution for the bad. That someone in such a state of mind is in error.. theoretically one could point it out to them.
But suppose they are not in error. A radical discontinuity. Unbridgeabilities. Natural evil. Original sin.

85 Kierkegaard’s “Either”. I am not sure how far I have got his point. Read as a novel the book is extremely boring, . The interest is so focused on German literature, particularly Goethe, as well as Mozart. I feel someone of Kierkegaard subtlety should have enjoyed Donne. His view of the aesthetic life is so different form Schopenhauer’s . The Seducer, obviously, does have a very unsatisfactory attitude. I have not yet looked at the second part, but the seducer is a complete creep. I don’t see how the meaning he wants to put on his life can possibly hold up. It is little more than his private fantasy, and it would need to be defended against outside attack.. Others would regard it as ignominious, precious. Also, he thinks he is carrying out a successful enterprise. But is life ever like that? not in my experience. These plans and schemes are little more than superstitious practices to secure good luck.
Kierkegaard says that such a man does not succeed in existing. Source of existentialism and one criticisms of Hegel. Duns Scotus, hacceity.
Replacing Hegel’s concepts by some new ones supposedly the exciting source of true life,.

Again with Kierkegaard, reading it today we can get irritated with the silly conventions and morality that provide much of the context and meaning. It is all so different today but the point would have to be made differently. I would not say Kierkegaard is a particularly lucid writer. Other writers could get behind the conventions better, perhaps by showing greater consciousness of them

`104 Kierkegaard the “Or” man, He attacks Hegel, but he also seems to be a bit of a Hegelian. This is the idea that Christianity can be a synthesis of the best of paganism,. His idea of choice, which is a very Christian programme, about guilt and innocence, good and evil. Supposed to be the refutation of Hegelianism.

113 Kierkegaard’s Either Or, The or character. The immense and excessive interest he takes in another person’s life. Life is not like that, Mostly it is disconnection and lack of effectiveness. unrequited feelings. Sometimes things work, connect, that is mostly fortuitous.
The high degree of meaninglessness. One sidedness of things. Always desire, but never reciprocation. And why should that be expected? Absolutely no reason. Unless you have something to give.
The or thinks he can convert the either, this proto-Wildean aesthete.

134 Either Or quite incredibly tedious. the Aestheticisms of the time. Byronism, one might call it. remnant of the eighteenth century aristocratic values., precursor of later decadence.
The ethical, society fights back.
This idea of choice as something so fundamental. It is just another religious idea. Heidegger’s attempt to make it more fundamental than language has no philosophical basis. That this choosing should seem the most important thing. Indeed it can do so. And there is criticism of Hegel who remains in abstract categories. Historicity of this. “You choose yourself”

AY 21

BA 112 Existentialism only romanticism. Schelling’s influence on Kierkegaard.

174 When Weininger says all duty is duty to self this is like the existentialists Ibsen’s Brand apparently influenced by Kierkegaard.

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