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37319So What's New

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  • louise
    Jan 3, 2006
      ~ Councilor of State David told me about a North American prison
      warden who provided his penitentiary with painted iron bars etc. but
      made sure that the prisoners never came close enough to see that the
      whole thing was an optical illusion; he insisted that the painted
      iron bars were just as effective as real ones.
      It is the same with the proclamation of Christianity! During "quiet
      hours" a person emotionally surrenders himself in imaginative
      emotions to spiritual dissipation and imagines himself willing, if
      demanded, to sacrifice everything, portrays the exalted, noble life
      with the passion of an actor (and who but an actor ordinarily has
      such inflamed passionateness) - and for daily life he sees to it
      with all possible cowardly shrewdness that his life never eventuates
      in any decision whereby it could become evident what kind of a
      fellow he is. - What more does the congregation want? This, after
      all, is just as useful as any actual witness to the truth. Maybe
      even better, they perhaps think. For this purely abstract
      possibility - no, it was never that perfect, even when the most
      honest witness to the truth became a martyr. The abstract
      possibility is the essence of all perfections, but the most
      excellent work of the greatest author would still not be as perfect
      as the work John Doe could produce, if he wanted to. And this
      abstract possibility is offered to the congregation every Sunday by
      these noble "good shepherds", who with the help of abstract
      possibility reap the profit of esteem and rank as instruments of
      earnestness, of the truth - and also get all the earthly profit as
      well. ~

      Soren Kierkegaard, Journals, not dated, 1852.
      Translation by H.V. & E.H. Hong, Indiana U.P.1970.

      My ethical dilemma tonight - do I post this without further comment,
      or allude to its occasion in my own life. Heck, I am most certainly
      an existentialist, and, however unwillingly, a psychologist also.
      I am in an utterly foul mood. That's all I'm at liberty to say. Am
      a strong believer in keeping secrets. Hence the resentment added to
      my foul mood. Whatever. Moods pass.

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