In this section, Kierkegaard makes some interesting observations about resolutions — and about desire.
Finally, if we true benediction thou art to behold thyself in the mirror of the Word, thou must not straightway forget what manner of man thou art, not be the forgetful hearer (or reader) about whom the Apostle speaks, ‘He beheld his natural face in the mirror, and straightway forgot what manner of man he was.’
Kierkegaard lays emphasis upon the immediacy of the action: I have seen something of myself, I will regard that, I will do that immediately — not tomorrow. The great promise, I shall never forget is of little value. It is the not forgetting right now which is key. It is what happens “in the next hour” which matters.
He then takes this positive resolution and speaks of more damaging resolutions. The man who resolves (he choses gambling) to never gamble will almost certainly gamble. The better determination is, I will not gamble tonight. It is the immediacy which grants strength.
He refers to a hoaxing lust: one who is hoaxed by lust, and one who hoaxes lust:
Lust is strong merely in the instant, if only it gets its own way instantly, there will be no objection on its part to make promises for the whole life. But to reverse the situation so as to say, “No, only not to-day, but to-morrow and the day after, & c.” that is to hoax lust. For it if has to wait, lusts loses its lust; if it is not invited to enter the instant it announces itself,and before everyone else, if it is told that it will not be granted admittance until tomorrow, then lust understand (more quickly that the most ingratiating and wily courtier or the most artful woman understand what it signifies to meet with such a reception in the antechamber), lust understands that it is no longer the one and all, that is say, it is no longer ‘lust’.
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