A companion piece to The Concept of Anxiety, this work continues Søren Kierkegaard’s radical and comprehensive analysis of human nature in a spectrum of possibilities of existence. Present here is a remarkable combination of the insight of the poet and the contemplation of the philosopher.
In The Sickness unto Death, Kierkegaard moves beyond anxiety on the mental-emotional level to the spiritual level, where — in contact with the eternal — anxiety becomes despair. Both anxiety and despair reflect the misrelation that arises in the self when the elements of the synthesis — the infinite and the finite — do not come into proper relation to each other. Despair is a deeper expression for anxiety and is a mark of the eternal, which is intended to penetrate temporal existence.