When the Mask Is Removed

“(…) Don’t you know that a midnight hour comes for everyone, a time when they must remove the mask? Do you think that life will forever remain a joke? Do you think that you can sneak away just before midnight? (…) I’ve seen people here in life who have deceived others for so long that their genuine self could no longer come to expression (…) but the person who can’t reveal himself can’t love, and the person who can’t love is the most unhappy of all. “ (Enten-Eller. Anden Deel. Source: SKS.dk)


The Aesthetic Contra the Ethical

”What is the aesthetic in a person, and what is the ethical? This is my answer: the aesthetic in a person is that by which he immediately is what he is; the ethical is that by which he becomes who he is to become.“ (Enten-Eller. Anden Deel. Source: SKS.dk)


The Art of Being Oneself

 ”(…) it’s not greatness to be one particular thing or another, but to be oneself, and anyone can do that if he wants to.” (Enten-Eller. Anden Deel. Source: SKS.dk)


The Sternness of Spirit

”Spirit will not be mocked. It gets its revenge on you: it binds you with the chains of sadness.” (Enten-Eller. Anden Deel. Source: SKS.dk)


The Absolute

“I choose the absolute. And what is the absolute? It is myself in its eternal validity. I can never choose something other than myself as the absolute.” (Enten-Eller. Anden Deel. Source: SKS.dk)


Doubt and Despair

“Doubt is the despair of thought; despair is the doubt of personhood. That’s why I stick with the concept of choice. It’s my password, the nerve of my worldview (…). ‘Despair’ is an expression that implies the entire person; ‘doubt’ implies only thought.” (Enten-Eller. Anden Deel. Source: SKS.dk)



“Only when a man has taken ownership of himself, taken himself upon himself, become absorbed in himself so completely that every movement is accompanied by an awareness of responsibility for himself, only then has he chosen himself ethically.”  (Enten-Eller. Anden Deel. Source: SKS.dk)


The Social Self

”(…) this ’self,’ which is the goal, is not an abstract ‘self’ that fits in everywhere and thus nowhere, but rather a concrete self in living interaction with these particular surroundings, these conditions, this order of things. The self, which is the goal, is not just a personal self, but a social self, a civic self.  (Enten-Eller. Anden Deel. Source: SKS.dk)


To be Extraordinarily Ordinary

”The truly extraordinary person is the truly ordinary person. The more a person can actualize in his life the universal human ideal, the less ordinary he is.” (Enten-Eller. Anden Deel. Source: SKS.dk)

Woman as Savior

”(…) more than anything, have a bit more reverence for women; believe me, salvation comes from her, just as perdition comes from men.” (Enten-Eller. Anden Deel. Source: SKS.dk)