“Our aim is to discover ways in which we can stand against the insecurity of our time, to find a center of strength within ourselves, and as far as we can, to point the way toward achieving values and goals which can be depended upon in a day when very little is secure.”
“No, to be in error is, quite un-Socratically, what men fear least of all. There are amazing examples that amply illustrate this. A thinker erects a huge building, a system, a system embracing the whole of existence, world history, etc., and if his personal life is considered, to our amazement the appalling and ludicrous discovery is made that he himself does not personally live in this huge, domed palace but in a shed alongside it, or in a doghouse, or at best in the janitor’s quarters. Were he to be reminded of this contradiction by a single word, he would be insulted. For he does not fear to be in error if he can only complete the system—with the help of being in error.
Therefore, it makes no difference whether the person in despair is ignorant that his condition is despair—he is in despair just the same. If the despair is perplexity, then the ignorance of despair simply adds error to it. The relation between ignorance and despair is similar to that between ignorance and anxiety; the anxiety that characterizes spiritlessness is recognized precisely by its spiritless sense of security. Nevertheless, anxiety lies underneath; likewise, despair also lies underneath, and when the enchantment of illusion is over, when existence begins to totter, then despair, too, immediately appears as that which lay underneath.”
Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death
If you do not have this fear [fear of error], or (in order not to strike too high a note) if this is not the case with you, if this is not what you want, if you do not want to gain the courage “to fear most of all to be under a delusion”—then never become involved with me.
Søren Kierkegaard, The Moment