Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Danish philosopher, theologian

Misattributed to Kierkegaard by Cyril Connolly, Horizon, vol. 11 (1945). More properly attributed to Jacobus Johannes van der Leeuw (1893–1934), The Conquest of Illusion, ch. 1: "The mystery of life in not a problem to be solved, it is a reality to be experienced."

Added on 8-Dec-16 | Last updated 11-Dec-16
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  1. Hugh Hyatt

    I believe this should be attributed to Johannes Jacobus (J. J.) van der Leeuw, who wrote, “The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved; it is reality to be experienced,” in The Conquest of Illusion ( Also the Oxford Essential Quotations (4 ed.) says about this quote that it is “often misattributed to Kierkegaard, following a piece by Cyril Connolly in Horizon vol. 11 (1945)” (

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