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Soren Kierkegaard- "Sickness unto Death", (Princeton University Press 1983) 1848- From- Chapter 1- That 'despair' is the 'Sickness unto Death'- p 9

Man is a spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is the self. But what is the self? The self is a relation which relates itself to its own self, or it is that in the relation [which accounts for it] that the relation relates itself to its own self; the self is not the relation but [consists in the fact] that the relation relates itself to its own self. Man is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity, in short it is a synthesis. A synthesis is a relation between two factors. So regarded, man is not yet a self. …Such a relation which relates itself to its own self (that is to say, a self) must either have constituted itself or have been constituted by another.

  • "Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth." [Alan Watts] etymonline.com/word/self#etymonline_v_23134 Etymologically the self is that which yours alone. Your own thoughts and feelings, in contrast with those of others. – Bread Mar 31 at 1:18
  • Can you be more specific about what you're trying to understand about spirit? (Danish: "Mennesket er Aand.") from sks.dk/SD/txt.xml – virmaior Mar 31 at 6:24
  • Kierkegaard describes the self as a tension. This tension represents a universal and perennial struggle for humans to somehow resolve the dichotomy between their spiritual and 'animal' natures. He terms despair as a 'refusing to become'. In light of this why does he term the 'self' or man as a 'spirit'? – Charles M Saunders Mar 31 at 12:23
  • Man is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite. kingjamesbibleonline.org/2-Corinthians-Chapter-3 ...when [the mind] shall turn to the Lord, the veil [of intellectual blindness] shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. The tension is in the surrender of the individual self to the infinite spirit of God. To identify ourselves with the divine nature. – Bread Apr 1 at 6:57

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