A companion piece to "The Concept of Anxiety," this work continues Soren 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.