Søren Says

The Human being is spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is the self. But what is the self? The self is a relation which relates to itself, or that in the relation which is its relating to itself. The self is not the relation but the relation’s relating to itself. A human being is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity. In short a synthesis. A synthesis is a relating between two terms. Looked at in this way a human being is not yet a self.

~ The Sickness Unto Death


  1. Jonathan Potter says

    Looked at this way a human being is … lost in the cosmos.

  2. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    Yum, trinitarian implications!

  3. You know that this (stylistically) was meant to be a satirical take on Hegel’s castles unfit for human habitation?

    You know, so say the piled high and deeps.

    But I am gratified to read SK here again. It’s been a while.

  4. Quin Finnegan says

    Thank you, IC. I did not know that, but it makes perfect sense. I knew about SK’s relation relating to Hegel’s self in general, but I didn’t make the connection here.

    So if Hegel had “The Phenomenology of Spirit”, SK seems to have derived from that “The Phenomenology of the Self” …


    Good thing we have Percy.

    • Ironic Catholic says

      You’ll note his prose gets “human” after that first paragraph. And I should say its a hypothesis.

  5. Quin Finnegan says

    Last year I started reading some of the Alastair Hannay translations of SK, and I like them a lot. This is the first paragraph from Sickness, and I’m thinking about following this with the second, and so on, nigh unto Death (representamen for the end of the book, anyway) as sort of an ad hoc reading group.

    Thanks for commenting … your expertise is most welcome!

  6. Ironic Catholic says

    Anytime. It’s how I first stumbled onto the Kollektiv…a love of SK.

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