Blessed Forgetfulness

“Oh, in case thou, in deep distress, perhaps in distress for thy future, thy life’s happiness, hast ever heartily wished to forget something; a disappointed expectation, a shattered hope, a bitter and embittering memory; or in case thou, in anxiety, alas, for thy soul’s salvation, hast wished still more heartily to forget something: anguish at some sin which constantly confronts thee, a terrifying thought which will not leave thee — then thou hast surely experienced how empty is the advice the world gives when it says, ‘Try to forget it!’ That indeed is only a hollow mockery, if it is anything at all. No, if there is something thou art fain to forget, try to get something else to remember, and then it will succeed. Therefore if Christianity requires Christians to forget something, and in a certain sense to forget everything, to forget the multifarious, it also recommends the means; to remember something else, to remember one thing, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

— Kierkegaard, “Training in Christianity,” 1850

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