It is quite true what philosophy says; that life must be understood backwards. But then one forgets the other principle: that it must be lived forwards. Which principle, the more one thinks it through, ends exactly with the thought that temporal life can never properly be understood precisely because I can at no instant find complete rest in which to adopt a position: backwards.But I wonder if there is a further variant, Life is constructed backwards and lived forwards. Our understanding is always flawed and always subject to revision. That which is past is always being revised, not only based on new knowledge but probably also to fit our present psychological needs.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards
From Journals IV A 164 (1843) by Søren Kierkegaard, often abbreviated as "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”