Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kierkegaard on the Knight of Infinite Resignation

The wish which would carry him out into reality, but was wrecked upon the impossibility, is now bent inward, but it is not therefore lost, neither is it forgotten.  At one moment it is the obscure emotion of the wish within him which awakens recollections, at another moment he awakens them himself; for he is too proud to be willing that what was the whole content of his life should be the thing of a fleeting moment.  He keeps this love young, and along with him it increases in years and beauty.  On the other hand, he has no need of the intervention of the finite for the further growth of his love.  From the instant he made the movement the princess is lost to him.

In the infinite resignation there is peace and rest; every man who wills it, who has not abased himself by scorning himself (which is still more dreadful than being proud), can train himself to make this movement which in its pain reconciles one with existence.

Fear and Trembling, pp. 54-56.  (Walter Lowrie, translator: 1953).

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