The beginnings of a reverie – sermon on the sacrifice of Isaac by his father Abraham.
If a human being is originally able to understand the Truth, he thinks that God exists in and with his own existence. But if he is in error he must comprehend this fact in his thinking, and recollection will not be able to help him further than to think that, whether he is to advance beyond this point, the Moment must decide.
Sin means to be in despair at not willing to be oneself, or to be in despair at willing to be oneself. The lives of most men, being determined by a dialectic of indifference, are so remote from the good (that is, faith) that they are almost too spiritless to be called sinners, almost too spiritless to be called despairers.
In relation to the eternal, a man ages neither in the sense of time nor in the sense of an accumulation of past events. There is something eternal in a man, and the eternal must be able to exist and to be grasped within every change.
The three forms of despair: not being conscious of having a self, not willing to be oneself, but also despair at willing to be oneself. Despair is “sickness unto death.”
The man who wills the Good in truth must be willing to suffer all for the Good.
The sufferer who wills the Good sincerely, uses this cleverness to cut off evasions and hence to launch himself into the commitment and to escape the disillusionments of choosing the temporal way.
Kierkegaard asks the reader: “What kind of life do you live, do you will only one thing, and what is this one thing?
The author asks the reader: Do you live in such a way that you are conscious of being an individual?
It is not whether your work is great or mean, whether you are a king or only a laborer, nor earning a great deal of money or gaining power, prestige or fame. What is important is whether your occupation is great or mean. Do you dare think of your occupation it as a responsibility for eternity?