In The Sickness unto death , Kierkegaard says in a sybilline way that the self is
(1) a relation that relates itself to itself
(2) a synthesis of finite and infinite.
Should I understand that " finite" and " infinite" are the terms of the "primary" relation, and that this primary relation also relates to itself?
I think the "infinite" refers here to eternity, to God. But what is this " finite" that relates to infinite? ( It cannot be the self itself, since this " finite" is part of the self , as a term of the relation).
What does this " self relating" amount to? Is it aa kind of reflexion? What would the Self lack of in case this self -relating did not occur?
Why is not the self simply an entity relating to itself? Why is it, so to say, a relation at the secund power?
I know that Kierkegaard is an anti-hegelian. However this " definition" of Self sounds hegelian. One can suspect a kind of subversion of hegelian thought using hegelian means against Hegel himself. What is at stake ( possibly) in hegelian terms in Kierkegaards definition?
Finally, is there any reference focusing on Kierkegaard's ontology in which I could find an explanation of this definition of selfhood?
Here is SEP's quotation :
The individual is thereby subject to an enormous burden of responsibility, for upon h/er existential choices hangs h/er eternal salvation or damnation. Anxiety or dread (Angest) is the presentiment of this terrible responsibility when the individual stands at the threshold of momentous existential choice. Anxiety is a two-sided emotion: on one side is the dread burden of choosing for eternity; on the other side is the exhilaration of freedom in choosing oneself. Choice occurs in the instant (Øieblikket), which is the point at which time and eternity intersect—for the individual creates through temporal choice a self which will be judged for eternity.>
But the choice of faith is not made once and for all. It is essential that faith be constantly renewed by means of repeated avowals of faith. One’s very selfhood depends upon this repetition, for according to Anti-Climacus, the self “is a relation which relates itself to itself” (The Sickness Unto Death). But unless this self acknowledges a “power which constituted it,” it falls into a despair which undoes its selfhood. Therefore, in order to maintain itself as a relation which relates itself to itself, the self must constantly renew its faith in “the power which posited it.” There is no mediation between the individual self and God by priest or by logical system (contra Catholicism and Hegelianism respectively). There is only the individual’s own repetition of faith. This repetition of faith is the way the self relates itself to itself and to the power which constituted it, i.e., the repetition of faith is the self.>