The Heart of the Matter

Here’s a bit more from Joakim Garff’s Soren Kierkegaard, which I’m sure I’ll be quoting from for the next month. Journal entry, August 1, 1835:

What I really need is to be clear about what I am to do, not about what I must know, except insofar as knowledge must precede every action. It is a question of my understanding my destiny, of seeing what the Deity really wants me to do. It is a question of finding a truth that is truth for me, of finding the idea for which I am willing to live and die. And what would it profit me if I discovered a so-called objective truth; if I worked my way through the systems of the philosophers and was able to parade them forth on demand; if I was able to demonstrate the inconsistencies within each individual circle….–what would it profit me if I were able to expound the significance of Christianity, able to explain many individual points, if it held no deeper significance for me and for my life? … What would it profit me if the truth stood before me, cold and naked, not caring whether I acknowledged it or not, calling forth an anguished shudder rather than confident submission? I will certainly not deny that I still believe in the validity of an imperative of knowledge that has an influence upon men, but it nonetheless must become a living part of me, and this is what I now understand to be the heart of the matter. It is for this my soul thirsts, as the deserts of Africa thirst for water.

Dude’s 23.