Monday, May 19, 2014

Søren Kierkegaard ~ Monday Mindfulness

Søren Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813–November 11, 1855), considered the first true existentialist philosopher, explores how our constant escapism from our own lives is our greatest source of unhappiness.
"The unhappy one is absent.  But one is absent when living in the past or living in the future.  The form of expression is important, for it is evident, as philology also teaches us, that there is a tense that expresses present in the past, and a tense that expresses presence in the future; but the same science also teaches us that there is a pluperfect tense in which there is no present, as well as a future perfect tense with the same characteristics.  These are the hoping and remembering individuals.  Inasmuch as they are only hoping or only remembering, these are indeed in a sense unhappy individuals, if otherwise it is only the person who is present to himself that is happy.  However, one cannot strictly call an individual unhappy who is present in hope or in memory.  For what one must note here is that he is still present to himself in one of these.  From which we also see that a single blow, be it ever so heavy, cannot make a person the unhappiest.  For one blow can either deprive him of hope, still leaving him present in memory, or of memory, leaving him present in hope."
He says, "It is only the person who is present to himself that is happy."  That's what I call mindfulness.  Being in the present means being aware of what's right here, right now.

Correction 2-14-18

No one apparently noticed a glaring mistake that Matrill (not her real name) told me about this evening when she commented, "That portrait is of Hans Christian Andersen."  Googling, I got this portrait among others labeled Søren Kierkegaard, but also labeled Hans Christian Andersen.  I'm pretty sure Matrill is right, so the image here beside this correction is the one that graced this post for nearly four years.  I've replaced it at the top with the statue of Kierkegaard that is in the Royal Library Garden in Copenhagen, according to Wikipedia.  Since his name is even carved in stone, I hope I got it right this time.  Good catch, Matrill.


Matrill said...

That portrait is of Hans Christian Andersen

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Thank you, Matrill, for pointing this out for me. You are so right! Since I posted this almost four years ago, I have no idea where I found this labeled as Kierkegaard, but I googled both names tonight and found versions of what I had posted. It's just plain wrong, and I'm in the process of correcting the post as soon as I finish this response to you.

I'd like to get to know you better, since I like being corrected when something is not right. How else can I possibly learn, right? If you'd like to correspond, my email address is

emerging DOT paradigm AT yahoo DOT com

I noticed on your profile page that The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of your favorite books. Mine, too. Clicking on the title links you to my blog post about the day I finished reading that book.

Thanks again for the correction.