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Reply Sat 15 Nov, 2008 01:04 am
77 - The Human Condition
Pages 311-314 in P:SWK

Kierkegaard again explores what it means to be human in this collection of parables and aphorisms. Judging from some of the aphorisms here, here are some condensed thoughts on being fundamentally human:

Before God, we are nothing;
We are the victim and victimizer;
We are always running for material wealth with material beliefs;
We are our own worst enemy;
We create "God" in our own image;
Fear of being alone;
And so on and so forth

The general theme of Kierkegaard's quotes suggests that human beings attempt to be something more than they can handle. For example, take these quotes:

The result of human progress is that everything becomes thinner
and thinner. The result of divine providence is to make everything
deeper and more inward.

In a certain sense all of us are running. We are running after
money, status, pleasure. We run with gossip, rumors, foul talk,
with lies, fiction, and trivialities. We run now to the east and
now to the west, panting on our activistic errands. But we are
not running on the racetrack.

When a person struggles with the future, he learns that however
strong he is otherwise, there is one enemy that is stronger -
himself. There is one enemy he cannot conquer by himself, and
that is himself.

We are temporal beings that make mistakes, have obstacles to overcome, enemies to defeat, allies to make. For Kierkegaard, that is the fundamental condition of humanity.
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 01:34 pm
@Victor Eremita,
If we all are running after something, whether it be the "money, status, pleasure...", I feel he is saying that in THAT we are creating our own god(s). Our own selfish desires are our "Own worst enemy".

Ironic that we are creating and searching, when we are the source of God's creation ("Before God, we are nothing").

Great post, Victor.

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