A premature ending

by Andrea Elizabeth

sin is – after being taught by a revelation from God what sin is – before God in despair not to will to be oneself or in despair to will to be onesself. (The Sickness Unto Death, p. 96)

In the first case it seems a discontentment with one’s existence, in the second, a defiance to remain as one is. Sadly Kierkegaard must have despaired to be himself and did not want to keep fighting. I wonder what would have happened if he had lived longer. He is quoted by the hospital staff as saying that he did not want to continue as he had been, but that it was what he was made for. Couldn’t he have just retired? Apparently he had used up his inheritance. Maybe his options were not very attractive, and being an idealist, he did not want to compromise. Not that people should compromise. Obedience to God at the expense of one’s ideals is not compromise, however. And he wrote about obedience. I don’t know what he could have done, but I feel certain it would have presented itself.