If This Essay About Kierkegaard Doesn’t Change Your Life, I Don’t Know What Will

Kierkegaard said, “If you think there are right answers, I will put your fucking head on a blade.”

Kierkegaard was a man with well-developed deltoids like Magic Mike. A man who pooped with abandon. A man who, in moments of quietude, fondled the curlicues of his armpit hair.

What. You don’t believe me? You think I’m spewing piss and vinegar, nonsensitude, flarf? Please. My dear Internet reader. I know you. I know you want to know what Kierkegaard said because you have never read—I mean really read—Kierkegaard, though you enjoy the eccentric spelling of his name, the double-voweled wonder of it, and you want me to tell you what he said so you can say it to your future lover, or employer, or employee. I’m onto you. So, okay. I’ll tell you:

Welp, QUELLE SURPRISE! You’re going to have to do some ~close reading~ here because, hey, I’m not going to tell you what Kierkegaard said. I’m just not. You’re smarter than that, starscapes smarter, and I think you can figure this out by reading the rest of this page.

Why? Because he was someone who wouldn’t want me to tell you, either. And all those other people who spend their careers telling people what philosophers say are, frankly, myopic and pageview-grubbing and hard-hearted assholes who would rather you take their pabulum of essayistic “kNoWlEdGe” than think for your fucking self.

See, what Kierkegaard really said, in his Works of Love and On The Concept of Irony with Continual Reference to Socrates, was this:

The rain. The entire world is a glass of rain right now, and you are in it. You are in it like a tadpole, a happy tadpole, and your brain fucking beats. You have, in your tiny head, hundreds of electrical currents that fly in opposite ways, toward and against one another, a veritable Storming of the Bastille in your skull.

Look to your left. Look to your right. There are other tadpoles in this rainy realm, going almost as fast (some even faster!!) than you. Try to run as fast as them. Really try. Try so hard the muscle in your tail strains, seizes up, and you have to keep going, even though your tail is numb. And paralyzed.

Let me put it another way.

You know they’re building a new tower in New York City, right? If you’re not from New York City, let me tell you: They’re building a new tower. They’re calling it a “Freedom Tower.” It’s 1776 feet tall, or 526 feet taller than the Empire State Building. On the night of April 17, 2014, someone by the name of “THE ESSENCE OF LIFE” tied a string between this “Freedom Tower” and the Empire State Building. Climbed to the top of the Building of the Empire State, and took a step. A step onto a rope that connected two of the tallest towers in the world. THE ESSENCE OF LIFE’s right foot pressed down on the rope; the rope pressed back. THE ESSENCE OF LIFE’s head was literally in the clouds. THE ESSENCE OF LIFE took a second step, slipped, and fell. Upon falling, THE ESSENCE OF LIFE thought, “Do I have to pee right now?”

Thus: There are no right answers. And this, my beloved Internet reader, has been a story about you. Yes, YOU! You, there, behind your computer, with sweat pooling your groin, your eyes receiving the RGB magic of these tiny lights. You are walking a tightrope between two of the tallest skyscrapers on Earth, and if you fall, literally no one would care!

Keep doing your homework. Keep talking about your commute. Keep laughing when people use air quotes. Keep sweating into your socks. Keep entering and closing and entering doors as they close. Keep caressing your cell phone. Keep air conditioning. Keep proteinating. Keep working. Keep heading into the future ass-first, vroom vroom driving that rice rocket.

When it rains, a tree will fall on you. It will crush your skull. You will be in the newspaper for one day. Someone who called you “really gay” in high school will read the article and think, “I called him ‘really gay’ and now he’s dead” as she sips a Chai latte and runs her middle finger over the beveled edge of her iPhone. Your parents will cry. They will get a dog. People will buy them cookie baskets. They will vacation in Italy. You dad will die. Your mom will die. Humans will evolve into slithering hard-shelled circuits. The universe will expand. The universe will contract. The universe will expand. The universe will contract. And no one will even care about caring. A supernova will offer a Sprite to another supernova, and they won’t even laugh at you.

Now you know about Kierkegaard, bitches.

Author’s Note: I’ve never read Kierkegaard (HEY-o!) Thought Catalog Logo Mark

For more spurious philosophy, check out Harris Sockel’s Thought Catalog book here.

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This post originally appeared at Human Parts on Medium.

featured image — Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

I like running in circles inside my apartment.

Keep up with Harris on Instagram, Twitter and harris.medium.com

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