Kierkegaard on the dangers of keeping busy

“So, then, in busyness there is double-mindedness. Just as the echo lives in the forest, just as stillness lives in the desert, so double-mindedness lives in busyness. Therefore, that someone who wills the good only to a certain degree is double-minded, has a distracted mind, a divided heart, scarcely needs to be explained. But the basis may well need to be explained and developed-that in busyness there is neither the time nor the tranquillity to acquire the transparency that is necessary for under-standing oneself in willing one thing or for just temporarily understanding oneself in one’s unclarity. No, busyness-in which one continually goes further and further, and noise, in which the true is continually forgotten more and more, and the multitude of circumstances, incentives, and hindrances continually makes it more impossible for one to gain any deeper knowledge of oneself…And yet one hardly dares to say this to the busy person, because however short of time he usually is, he on occasion still has plenty of time for a multitude of excuses, through the use of which the last is worse than the first, excuses that have just about as much wisdom as the ship passenger’s belief that the ocean is moving, not the ship.

–Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing

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