What does such a success suggest?
If I were to succeed at leaving no trace what does that mean? Since I would have left no trace after I left to therefore succeed, and because I am indeed speaking with reference to life, or my life in particular, I must be saying that for the life as it still may continue, I would have had to have failed.
And yet I live. And bythen would have lived. So for me to have failed would have to mean something else than what is typically under stood as failure or uccess.
We need a Reapproach on Kierkegaard. I have said elsewhere that in order for us to really understand the significance of Kierkegaard, especially in light of what Sartre might have said of him, we have to turn faith on its head.
I will get into what exactly this might mean in a different essay, for now is it is enough to Bring up what Kierkegaard says about “he who gets the bread”.
To paraphrase: People want to believe that a person who works hard gets the bread, basically that all you need to do is work hard and you will succeed well. But when we look around in the real world we find that this is not really the case. In fact we pretty much find its opposite. We find that the people who do almost no work end up with all the bread, The people who work very hard off and get no bread. Also there are people who work hard and get some bread and there are people who barely work at all and they get just a little bit a bread. All in all when we look around we really see that there is no sense in the idea that if we work hard we’re going to get the bread. In fact we often have no idea about what work we may be doing and how much bread we’re going to get.
But Kierkegaard put it this way: In The world of the spirit he who puts in the work gets the bread every time.
The reason why we have to reapproach Kierkegaard and what he is saying is because people typically want to take K as some sort of spiritual religious guru, when in fact, even while this may be a good interpretation of Kierkegaard — and in fact in reality we can take anything that anyone says and interpret it anyway we want and it’s all good. Nevertheless, when we begin to take Kierkegaard for what he’s really saying on the whole, not taking bits and pieces here and there and not taking this one book to be philosophical and then this other book to be religious and then this one “applying to this particular situation and then this paragraph applying to this situation and how can we apply the ethics of his philosophy to the ethical world of capitalism etc. etc… when we take all of his works and we understand them for what he is saying as a consistency and coherency, we begin to see the common thread that really displaces him from any sort of spiritual or religious posture.
And we begin to see that in order to understand him we have to turn faith on its head. We begin to understand that the idea of spirit was all he had to work with; this is pre-post modernism and post World War II Sartre making claims on him again in the manner that is particular to the trauma of World War II from which postmodernity developed its own mistakes. We begin to see that he didn’t really mean spirit in the sense that we understand spirit now as a sort of post-Heidegger/religious negation assertion subjectivity however you want to put it to classify some sort of ‘healthy manner’ of dealing with the vicissitudes of life, weather theoretical philosophical medical or religious.
In short we see that the failure of Kierkegaard amounts to success in as much as we can understand him by standing on our heads, truly contemporaneously standing under his position of apparent failure.