kierkegaard on transcending despair

The despairing man who is unconscious of being in despair is, in comparison with him who is conscious of it, merely a negative step further from the truth and from salvation. Despair itself is a negativity, unconsciousness of it is a new negativity. But to reach truth one must pierce through every negativity. For here applies what the fairy tale recounts about a certain enchantment: the piece of music must be played through backward; otherwise the enchantment is not broken.

~ Søren Kierkegaard (under the pseudonym Anti-Climacus) – from The Sickness Unto Death (1849)

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