The church bells call to prayer, but not in a temple made by human hands. If the birds do not need to be reminded to praise God, then ought men not be moved to prayer outside of the church, in the true house of God, where heaven’s arch forms the ceiling of the church, where the roar of the storm and the light breezes take the place of the organ’s bass and treble, where the singing of the birds make up the congregational hymns of praise, where echo does not repeat the pastor’s voice as in the arch of the stone church, but where everything resolves itself in an endless antiphony.
— Søren Kierkegaard
In the heart of nature, where a person, free from life’s often nauseating air, breathes more freely, here the soul opens willingly to every noble impression. Here one comes out as nature’s master, but he also feels that something higher is manifested in nature, something he must bow down before; he feels a need to surrender to this power that rules it all. … Here he feels himself great and small at one and the same time, and feels it without going so far as the Fichtean remark* (in his Die Bestimmung des Menschen) about a grain of sand constituting the world, a statement not far removed from madness.
— Søren Kierkegaard
What I really need is to get clear about what I must do, not what I wish to know, except insofar as knowledge is necessary for action. What matters is to find my purpose, to see what it really is that God wills that I shall do; the crucial thing is to find a truth which is truth for me, the idea for which I am willing to live and to die.
— Søren Kierkegaard was born this day in 1813
* “You could not remove a single grain of sand from its place without altering something throughout all parts of the immeasurable whole…Every moment of duration is determined by all past moments, and will determine all future moments, and you cannot conceive the position of this grain of sand other than in its present place without an altered conception of all history.”
— from Die Bestimmung des Menschen, by Johann Gottlieb Fichte