Soren Kierkegaard's philosophy arises in part of his family (his father believed he and his progeny, including Soren, were "cursed" due to Michael's (the father's) misbehavior). Thus a personal emphasis on working out one's salvation with Abraham/Isaac-like "fear and trembling," and a dislike of "superficial" hegelianism and feel-good churchianity.
The "Knight of Faith" is "higher Kierkegaard," and another part of Kierkegaard likes his fiancee Regine and the "good life;" howbeit, Soren Kierkegaard was unable to combine the "Knight of Faith" or the personal Paul-like "putting off of the old man with his specific personal needs being unmet by superficial churchianity" with the "happy wife, happy life" sunlit prospects.
"Melancholy Dane" or "Hamlet-like" contemplative questioning of self's various perspectives thus forms part of the basis for Soren Kierkegaard's philosophizing.
The take-away summary of Kierkegaard includes his concept of man's having three contemporaneous spheres of awareness or being: sense/Aesthetics (i.e., lower and higher affect or love, similar to Plato's Eikasia and Pistis on the lower side, and Beauty on the higher), science/philosophy (lower and higher mentation, similar to Plato's Dianoia and Noesis), and religious/Spiritual (lower religiosity and higher God-realization, the latter similar to Plotinus' One Mind Soul-realization). The Knight of Faith moves from the lower to the higher in all of these spheres or "worlds of awareness," by Paul's process of "letting this Mind abide, which was also in Christ Jesus"--a process which champions the Christ Child of Light, or soul/inner childlike joy, love, kindness, and so on. A good novella exposition of this Pauline Knight of Faith or Pilgrim's Progress is given in C. S. Lewis' "The Great Divorce," which has as its arc the movement of a soul from the herdly cave to the Sun/Son Light of Truth. Friedrich Nietzsche, with whom Soren Kierkegaard is often compared and contrasted, had similar father issues; whereas Kierkegaard's father was deeply religious, albeit overly self-condemning, Nietzsche traumatically suffered the childhood loss of his Pastor-father, and for most of his life sought a father-overman, culminating in his take on Zarathustra, and his subsequent conviction that he, Friedrich, was Christ and Buddha.
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