The Wound of Negativity

The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Monastery of St Catherine.

“But the genuine subjective existing thinker is always just as negative as he is positive and vice versa: he is always that as long as he exists, not once and for all in a chimerical meditation…..He is cognizant of the negativity of the infinite in existence; he always keeps open the wound of negativity, which at all times is a saving factor (the others let the wound close and become positive–deceived)…..He is, therefore, never a teacher, but a learner, and if he is continually just as negative as positive, he is continually striving.”

– Kierkegaard, Postscript

“Look, reader, though I do not know you, I love you so much that if I could hold you in my hands, I would open up your breast and in the centre of your heart I would make a wound and into it I would put vinegar and salt, so that you might never rest again, and would live in continual anxiety and endless longing.”

– Unamuno, Life of Don Quixote and Sancho

“The unhealed wound pressures the individual into seeking a cure, to be in constant, passionate pursuit of authentic existence. Climacus’ “continual striving” is Unamuno’s “endless longing.”

– Jon B. Stewart, Kierkegaard and Existentialism