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benignhypoc



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PostSubject: Cioran Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:49 pm

Emil Cioran is one of the most interesting existentialist philosophers I've read in the last year. I think that he has something really misanthropic in his ideas, combined with an aristocratic feeling about the world. He is a philosopher and a poets. His writings are more poetic than philosophical and sometimes more lyrical than poetry itself. He reminds me of Nietzsche but of course he is different. He is the poet that saw the nihilism which had been proclaimed by Nietzsche. The most interesting thing is that  Cioran, Eliade, and Țuțea became supporters of the ideas of Nae Ionescu, deemed Trăirism, which fused Existentialism with various forms of Fascism. Unfortunately I don't know Romanian, but I think these descedants of the ancient Romans have some really good ideas in their writings. Down below I cited some of his writings. I would like to see your opinions about him. Thank you.

On The Reality of The Body

I can never understand why so many have called the body an illusion, just as I will never understand how they could imagine spirituality outside the drama of life, with all its contradictions and
shortcomings. It must be that they were never aware of the flesh, the nerves, each organ in itself. But while I do not understand this lack of awareness, I believe it is a necessary condition for happiness. Those still attached to life's irrationality, and still enthralled by its organic rhythms prior to the birth of consciousness, are ignorant of the state in which the reality of the body is ever-present to consciousness. This presence denotes a fundamental existential illness. Is it not an illness to be
constantly aware of your nerves, your feet, your stomach, your heart, every single part of your being? With this awareness, haven't the organs abandoned normal functions? The reality of the body is one of the most terrible realities. What would the spirit be without the torments of the flesh, and
consciousness without a great nervous sensibility? How could one imagine life without the body, as a free and unconditional existence of the spirit? Only healthy and irresponsible men who have no spirit could think this. The spirit is the offspring of an existential illness, and Man is a sick animal. Spirit in life is an anomaly. I have renounced so much, why should I not renounce spirit as
well? But besides being an illness of life, is not renunciation first and foremost
an illness of the spirit?

On
the Transubstantiation of Love

Irrationality presides over the birth of love. The sensation
of melting is also present, for love is a form of intimate communion and
nothing expresses it better than the subjective impression of melting, the
falling away of all barriers of individuation. Isn't love specificity and
universality all at once? True communion can only be achieved through an
individual. I love someone, but since she is the symbol of everything, I
partake of the essence of everything, unconsciously and naively. Love's
universality presupposes the specificity of the object of love; the individual
is a window on the universal. Exaltation in love arises from the growth of
love's irrationality to a climax of intensity. All true love is a peak which
sexuality cannot dwarf.

Sexuality too has its unique peaks. However, although
one cannot conceive of love without sexuality, the strange phenomenon we call
love displaces sexuality from the center of our consciousness. Obsessively
purified, the beloved acquires an aura of both transcendence and intimacy which
makes sexuality marginal, if not in fact, at least subjectively. There is no
spiritual love between the sexes, only a transfiguration of the flesh through
which the beloved identifies herself so much with her lover that she creates an
illusion of spirituality. Only then does the sensation of melting occur: the
flesh trembles in a supreme spasm, ceases resistance,
burning with inner fires, melting and flowing, unstoppable lava.

The
Flight From the Cross

I do not like prophets any more
than I like fanatics who have never doubted their mission. I measure prophets'
value by their ability to doubt, the frequency of their moments of lucidity.
Doubt makes them truly human, but their doubt is more
impressive than that of ordinary people. Everything else in them is nothing
but absolutism, preaching, moral didacticism. They
want to teach others, bring them salvation, show them the truth, change their destinies, as if their truths were better than
those of the others. Only doubt can distinguish prophets from maniacs. But
isn't it too late for them to doubt? The one who thought he was the son of God
only doubted at the last moment. Christ really doubted not on the mountain but
on the cross. I am convinced that on the cross Jesus envied the destiny of
anonymous men and, had he been able to, would have retreated to the most obscure
corner of the world, where no one would have begged him for hope or salvation.
I can imagine him alone with the Roman soldiers, imploring them to take him off
the cross, pull out the nails, and let him escape to where the echo of human
suffering would no longer reach him. Not because he would suddenly have ceased
to believe in his mission—he was too enlightened to be a skeptic—but because
death for others is harder to bear than
one's own death. Jesus suffered crucifixion because he knew that his ideas
could triumph only through his own sacrifice.

People say: for us to believe
in you, you must renounce everything that is yours and also yourself. They
want your death as a warranty for the authenticity
of your beliefs. Why do they admire works written in blood? Because such works
spare them any suffering while at the same time preserving the illusion of
suffering. They want to see the blood and tears behind your lines. The crowd's
admiration is sadistic.

Had Jesus not died on the cross, Christianity would
not have triumphed. Mortals doubt everything except death. Christ's death was
for them the ultimate proof of the validity of Christian principles. Jesus
could have easily escaped crucifixion or could have given in to the Devil! He
who has not made a pact with the Devil should not live, because the Devil
symbolizes life better than God. If I have any regrets, it is that the Devil
has rarely tempted me . . . but then neither has God loved me. Christians have
not yet understood that God is farther removed from them than they are from
Him. I can very well imagine God being bored with men who only know how to beg,
exasperated by the triviality of his creation, equally disgusted with both
heaven and earth. And I see him taking flight into nothingness, like Jesus escaping
from the cross. . . . What would have happened if the Roman soldiers had
listened to Jesus' plea, had taken him off the cross and let him escape? He would
certainly not have gone to some other part of the world to preach but only to
die, alone, without people's sympathy and tears. And even supposing that,
because of his pride, he did not beg for freedom, I find it difficult to
believe that this thought did not obsess him. He must have truly believed that
he was the son of God. His belief notwithstanding, he could not have helped
doubting or being gripped by the fear of death at the moment of his supreme
sacrifice. On the cross, Jesus had moments when, if he did not doubt that he
was the son of God, he regretted it. He accepted
death uniquely so that his ideas would triumph.

It may very well be that Jesus was simpler than I
imagine him, that he had fewer doubts and fewer regrets, for he doubted his
divine origin only at his death. We, on the other hand, have so many doubts and
regrets that not one among us would dare dream that he is the son of a god. I
hate Jesus for his preachings, his morality, his
ideas, and his faith. I love him for his moments of doubt and regret, the only
truly tragic ones in his life, though neither the most interesting nor the
most painful, for if we had to judge from their suffering, how many before him
would also be entitled to call themselves sons of God!
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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:56 pm

He comes across, to me, as more like Schopenhauer....that kind of pessimist.
Honest, and direct, like Nietzsche, but with a nihilistic feeling about him.

Just my take, based on the two short aphoristic books I read by him: On the Heights of Despair & The Trouble with Being Born.  

I remember one aphorism that stuck with me...

Cioran, Emil wrote:
To have committed every crime but that of being a father.

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:37 pm

Yes you are totally right. I am reading now a book of him. The Short History of Decay. It is considered one of his best and I liked some insights that he had about the cynics. He respects the cynics more than everyone else. The cynics and the skeptics. Cioran is real because he expressed the nihilism of the western world, but he had a style. Actually he mourned about this nihilism, he knew that the destruction is inevitable. Like Nietzsche who also predicted the coming of the nihilist era that we live now. I adduce what he wrote about the cynics.

The Celestial Dog

Unknowable, what a man must lose to have the courage to confront the conventions—unknowable what Diogenes lost to become the man who permitted himself everything, who translated his innermost thoughts into actions with a supernatural insolence, like some libidinous yet pure god of knowledge. No one was so frank; a limit case of sincerity and lucidity as well as an example of what we could be if education and hypocrisy did not rein in our desires and our gestures.

 “One day a man invited him into a richly furnished house, saying 'be careful not to spit on the floor.' Diogenes, who needed to spit, spat in his face, exclaiming that it was the only dirty place he could find where spitting was permitted."—Diogenes Laèrtius.

 Who, after being received by a rich man, has not longed oceans of saliva to expectorate on all the owners of the earth? And who has not swallowed his own spittle for fear of casting it in the face of some stout and respected thief?

 We are all absurdly prudent and timid: cynicism is not something we are taught in school. Nor is pride.

 “Menippus, in his work entitled The Virtue of Diogenes, tells how he was captured and sold as a slave, and that he was asked what he knew how to do. Diogenes answered: 'Command!' and shouted to the herald: 'Ask who wants to buy a master.'”

 The man who affronted Alexander and Plato, who masturbated in the marketplace ("If only heaven let us rub our bellies too, and that be enough to stave off hunger!"), the man of the famous cask and the famous lantern, and who in his youth was a counterfeiter (what higher dignity for a cynic?), what must his experience have been of his neighbors? Certainly our own, yet with this difference: that man was the sole substance of his reflection and his contempt. Without suffering the falsifications of any ethic and any metaphysic, he strove to strip man in order to show him to us nakeder and more abominable than any comedy, any apocalypse has done.

 “Socrates gone mad,” Plato called him—Socrates turned sincere is what he should have said, Socrates renouncing the Good abjuring formulas and the City,Socrates turning, finally, into a psychologist and nothing more. But Socrates—even sublime—remains conventional; he remains a master an edifying model Only Diogenes proposes nothing; the basis of his attitude—and of cynicism in its essence—is determined by a testicular horror of the absurdity of being man.

 The thinker who reflects without illusion upon human reality, if he wants to remain within the world, and if he eliminates mysticism as an escape-hatch, ends up with a vision in which are mingled wisdom, bitterness, and farce; and if he chooses the marketplace as the site of his solitude, he musters his verve in mocking his “kind” or in exhibiting his disgust, a disgust which today, with Christianity and the police, we can no longer permit ourselves. Two thousand years of oaths and codes have sweetened our bile; moreover, in a hurried world, who would stop to answer our insolences, to delight in our howls?

 That the greatest connoisseur of human beings should have been nicknamd “dog” proves that man has never had the courage to accept his authentic image and that he has always rejected truths without accommodations. Diogenes suppressed pose in himself. What a monster in other men’s eyes! To have an honorable place in philosophy you must be an actor, you must respect the play of ideas and exercise yourself over false problems. In no case must man as such be your business. Again, according to Diogenes Laërtius: “At the Olympic games, when the herald proclaimed: ‘Dioxippus has vanquished men!’ Diogenes answered: 'He has vanquished only slaves—men are my business/ “ And indeed he vanquished men as no one else has ever done, with weapons more dreadful than those of conquerors, though he owned only a broom, the least proprietary of all beggars, true saint of mockery.

 By a lucky accident, he was born before the Cross made its appearance. Who knows if, grafted on his detachment, some unhealthy temptation of extra-human risk might not have induced him to become an ordinary ascetic, later canonized, lost in the mass of the blessed and the maze of the calendar? Then he would have gone mad, he too, the most profoundly normal of men, since he was remote from all teaching and all doctrine. The hideous countenance of man—Diogenes was the only one to reveal that to us. The merits of cynicism have been dimmed and downtrodden by a religion opposed to the evident. But the moment has come to confront the truths of the Son of God with those of this “celestial dog,” as a poet of his time called him
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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:54 am

Cioran is an exhausted relativist, but his attack on the hedonism of modern objectivity and postmodern subjectivity are sharp gems. His work 'A Short History of Decay' is one of his best, to be valued if not for anything, but the spray of metaphorical insights, positioned against modern enlightenment and postmodern existentialism. There is also a certain shade of temperament bordering on nihilistic resignation and honest disgust - which keeps open a perspective on the inertial life of a bogus bourgeoise humanity and its illusory self-comforting, consolatory vanity.

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:54 am

What is the gangrene of J.-Xt., but the anaemia of the senses vetoed out of their power, and then injected and inflated with other-worldly colour as compensation…

Cioran wrote:
"Even our vague ills, our diffuse anxieties, degenerating into physiology, should by a converse impulse be restored to the maneuvers of the intelligence. If we raised ennui—tautological perception of the world, the dull ripple of duration—to the dignity of a deductive elegy, if we offered it the temptation of a glamorous sterility? Without resorting to an order superior to the soul, the soul collapses into the flesh—and physiology becomes the last word of our philosophic stupors. To transpose immediate poisons into intellectual currency, to make an instrument out of our palpable corruption, or else to mask the impurity of every sentiment and sensation by norms is a pursuit of elegance necessary to the mind, next to which the soul—that pathetic hyena—is merely profound and sinister. The mind in itself can be only superficial, its nature being uniquely concerned with the arrangement of conceptual events and not with their implications in the spheres they signify. Our states interest it only insofar as they are transposable. Thus melancholia emanates from our viscera and joins the cosmic void; but the mind adopts melancholia only filtered of what attaches it to the fragility of the senses; the mind interprets it; refined, melancholia becomes point of view: departmental melancholia. Theory lies in wait and seizes upon our venoms, and renders them less noxious. It is a degradation from above, the mind-as-amateur of pure intoxications—since it is the enemy of intensities." [A Short History of Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:57 am

Cioran wrote:
"In itself, every idea is neutral, or should be; but man animates ideas, projects his flames and flaws into them; impure, transformed into beliefs, ideas take their place in time, take shape as events: the trajectory is complete, from logic to epilepsy . . . whence the birth of ideologies, doctrines, deadly games.

Idolaters by instinct, we convert the objects of our dreams and our interests into the Unconditional History is nothing but a procession of false Absolutes, a series of temples raised to pretexts, a degradation of the mind before the Improbable. Even when he turns from religion, man remains subject to it; depleting himself to create fake gods, he then feverishly adopts them: his need for fiction, for mythology triumphs over evidence and absurdity alike. His power to adore is responsible for all his crimes: a man who loves a god unduly forces other men to love his god, eager to exterminate them if they refuse. There is no form of intolerance, of proselytism or ideological intransigence which fails to reveal the bestial substratum of enthusiasm. Once man loses his faculty of indifference he becomes a potential murderer; once he transforms his idea into a god the consequences are incalculable.

In every mystic outburst, the moans of victims parallel the moans of ecstasy. . . . Scaffolds, dungeons, jails flourish only in the shadow of a faith—of that need to believe which has infested the mind forever. The devil pales beside the man who owns a truth, his truth. When we refuse to admit the interchangeable character of ideas, blood flows . . . firm resolves draw the dagger; fiery eyes presage slaughter. No wavering mind, infected with Hamletism, was ever pernicious: the principle of evil lies in the will’s tension, in the incapacity for quietism, in the Promethean megalomania of a race that bursts with ideals, that explodes with its convictions, and that, in return for having forsaken doubt and sloth—vices nobler than all its virtues-—has taken the path to perdition, into history, that indecent alloy of banality and apocalypse. . . . Here certitudes abound: suppress them, best of all suppress their consequences, and you recover paradise. What is the Fall but the pursuit of a truth and the assurance you have found it, the passion for a dogma, domicile within a dogma? The result is fanaticism—fundamental defect which gives man the craving for effectiveness, for prophecy, for terror—a lyrical leprosy by which he contaminates souls, subdues them, crushes or exalts them. . . . Only the skeptics (or idlers or aesthetes) escape, because they propose nothing, because they—humanity’s true benefactors—undermine fanaticism’s purposes, analyze its frenzy.

I feel safer with a Pyrrho than with a Saint Paul, for a jesting wisdom is gentler than an unbridled sanctity. In the fervent mind you always find the camouflaged beast of prey; no protection is adequate against the claws of a prophet. . . . Once he raises his voice, whether in the name of heaven, of the city, or some other excuse, away with you: satyr of your solitude, he will not forgive your living on the wrong side of his truths and his transports; he wants you to share his hysteria, his fullness, he wants to impose it on you, and thereby to disfigure you. A human being possessed by a belief and not eager to pass it on to others is a phenomenon alien to the earth, where our mania for salvation makes life unbreathable. Look around you: everywhere, specters preaching; each institution translates a mission; city halls have their absolute, even as the temples—officialdom, with its rules—a metaphysics designed for monkeys. . . Everyone trying to remedy everyone’s life: even beggars, even the incurable aspire to it: the sidewalks and hospitals of the world overflow with reformers. The longing to become a source of events affects each man like a mental disorder or a desired malediction. Society—an inferno of saviors! What Diogenes was looking for with his lantern was an indifferent man. . . .

It is enough for me to hear someone talk sincerely about ideals, about the future, about philosophy, to hear him say “we” with a certain inflection of assurance, to hear him invoke “others” and regard himself as their interpreter—-for me to consider him my enemy. I see in him a tyrant manqué an approximate executioner, quite as detestable as the first-rate tyrants, the first-rate executioners Every faith practices some form of terror, all the more dreadful when the “pure” are its agents. We mistrust the swindler, the trickster, the con man; yet to them we can impute none of history’s great convulsions; believing in nothing, it is not they who rummage in your hearts, or your ulterior motives; they leave you to your apathy, to your despair or to your uselessness; to them humanity owes the few moments of prosperity it has known: it is they who save the peoples whom fanatics torture and “idealists” destroy. Doctrineless, they have only whims and interests, accommodating vices a thousand times more endurable than the ravages provoked by principled despotism; for all of life’s evils come from a “conception of life.” An accomplished politician should search out the ancient sophists and take lessons in oratory—and in corruption. . . .

Whereas the fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a monster. No human beings more dangerous than those who have suffered for a belief: the great persecutors are recruited among the martyrs not quite beheaded. Far from diminishing the appetite for power, suffering exasperates it; hence the mind feels more comfortable in the society of a braggart than in that of a martyr; and nothing is more repugnant to it than the spectacle of dying for an idea. . . . Revolted by the sublime and by carnage, the mind dreams of a provincial ennui on the scale of the universe, of a History whose stagnation would be so grot that doubt would take on the lineaments of an event and hope a calamity…" [Decay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:57 am

Cioran wrote:
"In every man sleeps a prophet, and when he wakes there is a little more evil in the world. . . .
The compulsion to preach is so rooted in us that it emerges from depths unknown to the instinct for self-preservation. Each of us awaits his moment in order to propose something—anything. He has a voice: that is enough. It costs us dear to be neither deaf nor dumb. . . .

From snobs to scavengers, all expend their criminal generosity, all hand out formulas for happiness, all try to give directions: life in common thereby becomes intolerable, and life with oneself still more so; if you fail to meddle in other people’s business you are so uneasy about your, own that you convert your “self” into a religion, or, apostle in reverse, you deny it altogether; we are victims of the universal game. . . .

The abundance of solutions to the aspects of existence is equaled only by their futility. History: a factory of ideals . . . lunatic mythology, frenzy of hordes and ©f solitaries . . . refusal to look reality in the face, mortal thirst for fictions. . . .
The source of our actions resides in an unconscious propensity to regard ourselves as the center, the cause, and the conclusion of time. Our reflexes and our pride transform into a planet the parcel of flesh and consciousness we are. If we had the right sense of our position in the world, if to compare were inseparable from to live, the revelation of our infinitesimal presence would crush us. But to live is to blind ourselves to our own dimensions. . . .

And if all our actions—from breathing to the founding of empires or metaphysical systems — derive from an illusion as to our importance, the same is true a fortiori of the prophetic instinct. Who, with the exact vision of his nullity, would try to be effective and to turn himself into a savior? The spectacle of man —what an emetic! Love—a duel of salivas. .. . All the feelings milk their absolute from the misery of the glands. Nobility is only in the negation of existence, in a smile that surveys annihilated landscapes. Once I had a 'self; now I am no more than an object .. . I gorge myself on all the drugs of solitude; those of the world were too weak to make me forget it. Having killed the prophet in me, how could I still have a place among men?”" [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:58 am

Cioran wrote:
"The idle, empty mind—which joins the world only by the grace of sleep—can practice only by extending the name of things, by emptying diem and substituting formulas for them. Then it maneuvers over their debris; no more sensations; nothing but memories. Under each formula lies a corpse: being and object alike die under the pretext they have occasioned.
This is the mind’s frivolous, funereal debauch. And this mind has squandered itself in what it has named and circumscribed. Infatuated by syllables, it loathed the mystery of heavy silences and turned them light and pure; and it too has become light and pure, indeed lightened and purified of everything. The vice of defining has made it a gracious assassin, and a discreet victim." [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:58 am

Cioran wrote:
"It is because it rests on nothing, because it lacks even the shadow of an argument that we persevere in life. Death is too exact; it has all the reasons on its side. We cling to the days because the desire to die is too logical, hence ineffective. If life had a single argument in its favor—distinct, indisputable — it would annihilate itself; instincts and prejudices collapse at the contact of Rigor. Everything that breathes feeds on the unverifiable; a dose of logic would be deadly to existence—that effort toward the Senseless. . . . Give life a specific goal and it immediately loses its attraction. The inexactitude of its ends makes life superior to death; one touch of precision would degrade it to the triviality of the tombs. For a positive science of the meaning of life would depopulate the earth in a day, and not even a madman could succeed in reviving the fruitful improbability of Desire." [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:59 am

Cioran wrote:
"Expert in disillusions, riddling the new fervors with all the arrows of a dissolute wisdom—among the courtesans, in skeptical brothels or circuses with their sumptuous cruelties, I should have swelled my reasonings with vice and with blood, dilating logic to dimensions it had never dreamed of, to the dimensions of worlds that die." [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:59 am

Cioran wrote:
"Each of us is born with a share of purity, predestined to be corrupted by our commerce with mankind, by that sin against solitude. For each of us will do anything in order not to be doomed to himself. Our kind is not a fatality but the temptation to fail. Incapable of keeping our hands clean and our hearts undiluted, we soil ourselves upon contact with strange sweats, we wallow—craving for disgust and fervent for pestilence—in the unanimous mud. And when we dream of seas changed into holy water, it is too late to dive into them, and our advanced state of corruption keeps us from drowning there: the world has infested our solitude; upon us the traces of others become indelible.

In the gamut of creatures, only man inspires a sustained disgust. The repugnance which an animal begets is provisional; it never ripens in thought, whereas our kind obsesses our reflections, infiltrates the mechanism of our detachment from the world in order to confirm us in our system of refusal and non-adherence. After each conversation, whose refinement alone is enough to indicate the level of a civilization, why is it impossible not to regret the Sahara and not to envy the plants or the endless monologues of zoology?

If with each word we win a victory over nothingness, it is only the better to endure its reign. We die in proportion to the words which we fling around us . . . Those who speak have no secrets. And we all speak. We betray ourselves, we exhibit our heart; executioner of the unspeakable, each of us labors to destroy all the mysteries, beginning with our own. And if we meet others, it is to degrade ourselves together in a race to the void, whether in the exchange of ideas, schemes, or confessions. Curiosity has provoked not only the first fall but the countless ones of every day of our lives. Life is only that impatience to fall, to fail, to prostitute the soul’s virginal solitudes by dialogue, ageless and everyday negation of Paradise. Man should listen only to himself in the endless ecstasy of the intransmissible Word, should create words for his own silences and assents audible only to his regrets. But he is the chatterbox of the universe; he speaks in the name of others; his self loves the plural. And anyone who speaks in the name of others is always an impostor. Politicians, reformers, and all who rely on a collective pretext are cheats. There is only the artist whose lie is not a total one, for he invents only himself.

The implicit plural of “one” and the avowed plural of “we” constitute the comfortable refuge of false existence. Only the poet takes responsibility for “I,” he alone speaks in his own name, he alone is entitled to do so. Poetry is bastardized when it becomes permeable to prophecy or to doctrine: “mission” smothers music, idea shackles inspiration. Shelly’s “generous” aspect cripples most of his work; Shakespeare, by a stroke of luck, never “served” anything.

The victory of non-authenticity is fulfilled in philosophical activity, that complacence in “one,” and in prophetic activity [whether religious, moral, or political], that apotheosis of “we.” Definition is the lie of the abstract mind; inspired formula the lie of the militant one; a definition is always the cornerstone of a temple; a formula inescapably musters the faithful. Thus all teachings begin. How then fail to turn to poetry? It has, like life, the excuse of proving nothing." [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:00 am

Cioran wrote:
"How imagine other people’s lives, when our own seems scarcely conceivable? We meet someone, we see him plunged into an impenetrable and unjustifiable world, in a mass of desires and convictions superimposed on reality like a morbid structure. Having made a system of mistakes for himself, he suffers for reasons whose nullity alarms the mind and surrenders himself to values whose absurdity leaps to the eye. What are his undertakings but trifles, and is the feverish symmetry of his concerns any better built than an architecture of twaddle? To the outside observer, the absolute of each life looks interchangeable, and every fate, however fixed in its essence, arbitrary. When our convictions seem the fruit of a frivolous lunacy, how tolerate other people’s passions for themselves and for their own multiplication in each day’s utopia? By what necessity does this man shut himself up in a particular world of predilections, and that man in another?

When we endure the confidences of a friend or a stranger, the revelation of his secrets fills us with astonishment. Are we to relate his torments to drama or to farce? Since it is difficult to approve the reasons people invoke, each time we leave one of our fellow men, the question which comes to mind is invariably the same: how does he keep from killing himself? For nothing is more natural than to imagine other people’s suicide. When we have glimpsed, by an overwhelming and readily renewable intuition, anyone’s own uselessness, it is incomprehensible that everyone has not done the same. To do away with oneself seems such a clear and simple action! Why is it so rare, why does everyone avoid it? Because, if reason disavows the appetite for life, the nothing which extends our acts is nonetheless of a power superior to all absolutes; it explains the tacit coalition of mortals against death; it is not only the symbol of existence, but existence itself; it is everything. And this nothing, this everything, cannot give life a meaning, but it nonetheless makes life persevere in what it is: a state of non-suicide." [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:00 am

Cioran wrote:
"Since there can be only a limited number of ways to face the ultimate problems, the mind is limited in its expansion by that natural boundary which is the essential, by that impossibility of indefinitely multiplying the capital difficulties: history is solely concerned with changing the aspect of a sum of questions and solutions. What the mind invents is merely a series of new qualifications; it rebaptizes the elements or seeks in its lexicons less eroded epithets for the one immutable pain. We have always suffered, but our suffering has been either “sublime” or “legitimate” or “absurd,” according to the general views which the philosophic moment maintained. Misery constitutes the texture of all that breathes; but its modalities have changed course; they have composed that series of irreducible appearances which lead each of us to believe he is the first to have suffered so. The pride of such uniqueness incites us to cherish our own pain and to endure it. In a world of sufferings, each of them is a solipsist in relation to all the rest. Misery’s originality is due to the verbal quality which isolates it in the sum of words and sensations. . . .

The qualifiers change: this change is called intellectual progress. Suppress them all and what would remain of civilization? The difference between intelligence and stupidity resides in the manipulation of the adjective, whose use without diversity constitutes banality. God Himself lives only by the adjectives we add to Him; whereby the raison d'etre of theology. Hence man, by modulating the monotony of his misery ever variously, justifies himself to the mind only by the impassioned search for a new adjective. And yet this search is pitiable. The poverty of expression which is the mind’s poverty, is manifest in the indigence of words, in their exhaustion and their degradation: the attributes by which we determine things and sensations finally lie before us like so much verbal carrion. And we glance regretfully at the time when they gave off no more than an odor of confinement. All Alexandrianism begins with the need to ventilate words, to make up for their blemishes by a lively refinement; but it ends in a lassitude in which mind and word are mingled and decompose. So long as our untried senses and our naive heart recognize themselves and delight in the universe of qualifications, they flourish with the aid and at the risk of the adjective, which, once dissected, proves inadequate, deficient. We say of space, of time, and of suffering that they are infinite; but infinite has no more bearing than beautiful, sublime, harmonious, ugly. . . . Suppose we force ourselves to see to the bottom of words? We see nothing—each of them, detached from the expansive and fertile soul, being null and void. The power of the intelligence functions by projecting a certain luster upon them, by polishing them and making them glitter; this power, erected into a system, is called culture—pyrotechnics against a night sky of nothingness." [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:00 am

Cioran wrote:
"Why is God so dull, so feeble, so inadequately picturesque? Why does He lack interest, vigor, actuality and resemble us so little? Is there any image less anthropomorphic and more gratuitously remote? How could we have projected into Him lights so dim and powers so unsteady? Where have our energeis leaked away to, where have our desires run out? Who then has absorbed our overflow of vital insolence?

Shall we turn to the Devil? But we cannot address our prayers to him: to worship him would be to pray irrespectively, to pray to ourselves. We do not pray to what is the evidence: the exact is not an object of worship. We have placed in our double all our attributes, and, in order to afford him a semblance of solemnity, we have dressed him in black: our vices and our virtues in mourning. By endowing him with wickedness and perseverance our dominant qualities, we have exhausted ourselves to make him as lively as possible; our powers have been used up in creating his image, in making him agile, frisky, intelligent, ironic, and above all petty. The reserves of energy we still had left to produce God were reduced to nothing. Then we resorted to the imagination and to what little blood we had left: God could be only the fruit of our anemia: a tottering and rachitic image. He is mild, good, sublime, just. But who recognizes himself in that mixture redolent of rose water, relegated to transcendence? A Being without duplicity lacks depth, lacks mystery; He hides nothing. Only impurity is a sign of reality.

Because he overflows with life, the Devil has no altar: man recognizes himself too readily in him to worship him; he detests him for good reason; he repudiates himself, and maintains the indigent attributes of God. But the Devil never complains and never aspires to found a religion: are we not here to safeguard him from inanition and oblivion?" [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:01 am

Cioran wrote:
"Within the circle which encloses human beings in a community of interests and hopes, the mind opposed to mirages clears a path from the center toward the periphery. It can no longer hear at close range the hum of humanity; it wants to consider from as far away as possible the accursed symmetry which links men together. It sees martyrs everywhere: some sacrificing themselves for visible needs, others for inestimable necessities, all ready to bury their names under a certitude; and, since not all of them can succeed, the majority expiate by banality the overflow of blood they have dreamed of . . . their lives consist of an enormous freedom to die which they have not taken advantage of: inexpressive holocaust of history, the boneyard swallows them up.

But the enthusiast of separations, seeking paths unhaunted by the hordes, withdraws to the extreme margin and follows the rim of the circle, which he cannot cross so long as he is subject to the body; yet Consciousness soars farther, quite pure in an ennui without beings or objects. No longer suffering, superior to the excuses which invite dying, Consciousness forgets the man who supports it. More unreal than a star glimpsed in some hallucination, it suggests the condition of a sidereal pirouette — while on life’s circumference the soul promenades, meeting only itself over and over again, itself and its impotence to answer the call of the Void." [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:01 am

Cioran wrote:
"If Sunday afternoons were extended for months, where would humanity get to, liberated from sweat, from the weight of the first curse? The experiment would be worth the trouble. It is more than likely that crime would become the sole diversion, that debauchery would seem candor, shouting melody and jeers tenderness. The sensation of time’s immensity would make each second into an intolerable torment, a sublime firing squad. In hearts imbued with poetry would appear a blasé cannibalism and a hyena’s melancholy; butchers and executioners would die out—of lethargy; churches and brothels would split with sighs. The universe transformed into a Sunday afternoon . . . it is the very definition of ennui, and the end of the universe. . . . Take away the curse hanging over History and it immediately vanishes, like existence itself, in absolute vacancy, exposing its fiction. Labor builds on nothingness, creates and consolidates myths; elementary intoxication, it excites and maintains the belief in “reality"; but contemplation of pure existence, contemplation independent of actions and objects, assimilates only what is not. . . .

The idle apprehend more things, are deeper than the industrious: no task limits their horizon; born into an eternal Sunday, they watch-—and watch themselves watching. Sloth is a somatic skepticism, the way the flesh doubts. In a world of inaction, the idle would be the only ones not to be murderers. But they do not belong to humanity, and, sweat not being their strong point, they live without suffering the consequences of Life and of Sin. Doing neither good nor evil, they disdain—spectators of the human convulsion—the weeks of time, the efforts which asphyxiate consciousness. What would they have to fear from a limitless extension of certain afternoons except the regret of having supported a crudely elementary obviousness? Then, exasperation in the truth might induce them to imitate the others and to indulge in the degrading temptation of tasks. This is the danger which threatens sloth, that miraculous residue of paradise.

Love’s one function is to help us endure those cruel and incommensurable Sunday afternoons which torment us for the rest of the week—and for eternity.
Without the allurement of the ancestral spasm, we should require a thousand eyes for hidden tears, or else nails to bite, mile-long nails. . . . How else kill this time which no longer passes? On those interminable Sundays the disease of being is utterly plain. Sometimes we manage to forget ourselves in something; but how forget ourselves in the world itself?" [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:06 am

Cioran wrote:
"And if I still cling to a few hopes, I have lost forever the faculty of hoping." [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:07 am

Cioran wrote:
"That man exists, that he is what he is—and that he cannot be otherwise. But what he is a thousand definitions expose and none compels recognition: the more arbitrary they are, the more valid they seem. The airiest absurdity and the weightiest banality are equally appropriate. The infinity of his attributes composes the most imprecise being we can conceive. Whereas the animals proceed directly to their goal, man loses himself in detours; he is the indirect animal par excellence. His improbable reflexes—from whose slackening consciousness derives—transform Mm into a convalescent aspiring to disease.

His “civilization” is merely the effort to find remedies for an incurable—and coveted—state. The mind wilts at the approach of health: man is an invalid—or he is nothing. When, having thought of everything, he thinks of himself—for he manages this only by the detour of the universe, as if he were the last problem he proposes to himself—he remains astonished, confused, embarrassed. Since Adam men’s entire effort has been to modify man. The aims of reform and of pedagogy, articulated at the expense of irreducible data, denature thought and distort its movement. Knowledge has no more desperate enemy than the educative instinct, at once optimistic and virulent, which no philosopher can escape: how would their systems be unscathed by it?" [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:08 am

In the context of hyper-inflationary Xt…

Cioran wrote:
"True madness is never due to chance or to the disasters of the brain, but to the false conception of space the heart creates for itself…" [Decay]

Cioran wrote:
"At first, it is in order to escape things that we think; then, when we have gone too far, in order to lose ourselves in the regret for our escape. . . . And so our concepts are linked together like dissimulated sighs, every reflection replaces an interjection, a plaintive tonality submerges the dignity of logic. Funereal hues dim our ideas, hints of the graveyard encumber our paragraphs: a whiff of mildew in our precepts, the last day of autumn in a timeless crystal. . . . The mind is defenseless against the miasmas which assail it, for they rise from the most corrupt place that exists between earth and heaven, from the place where madness lies down in tenderness, cloaca of utopias and den of dreams: our soul." [Decay]

Cioran wrote:
"Salvation ends everything; and ends us. Who, once saved, dares still call himself alive? We really live only by the refusal to be delivered from suffering and by a kind of religious temptation of irreligiosity. Salvation haunts only assassins and saints, those who have killed or transcended the creature; the rest wallow—dead drunk—in imperfection. salvation is the death of song, the negation of art and of the mind. Docile to malediction, we exist only insofar as we suffer. A soul enlarges and perishes only by as much insupportable as it assumes." [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:10 am

Cioran wrote:
"Compared to music, mysticism, and poetry, philosophical activity proceeds from a diminished impulse and a suspect depth, prestigious only for the timid and the tepid. Moreover, philosophy—impersonal anxiety, refuge among anemic ideas—is the recourse of all who would elude the corrupting exuberance of life. Almost all the philosophers came to a good end: that is the supreme argument against philosophy. Even Socrates' death has nothing tragic about it: it is a misunderstanding, the end of a pedagogue — and if Nietzsche foundered, it was as a poet and visionary: he expiated his ecstasies and not his arguments.

We cannot elude existence by explanations, we can only endure it, love or hate it, adore or dread it, in that alternation of happiness and horror which expresses the very rhythm of being, its oscillations, its dissonances, its bright or bitter vehemences. We begin to Eve authentically only where philosophy ends, at its wreck, when we have understood its terrible nullity, when we have understood that it was futile to resort to it, that it is no help.

The great systems are actually no more than brilliant tautologies. What advantage is it to know that the nature of being consists in the “will to live,” in “idea,” or in the whim of God or of Chemistry? A mere proliferation of words, subtle displacements of meanings. What is loathes the verbal embrace, and our inmost experience reveals us nothing beyond the privileged and inexpressible moment. Moreover, Being itself is only a pretension of Nothingness.

We define only out of despair. We must have a formula, we must even have many, if only to give justification to the mind and a facade to the void.

Neither concept nor ecstasy are functional. When music plunges us into the “inwardness” of being, we rapidly return to the surface: the effects of the illusion scatter and our knowledge admits its nullity.

The things we touch and those we conceive are as improbable as our senses and our reason; we are sure only in our verbal universe, manageable at will—and ineffectual. Being is mute and the mind is garrulous. This is called knowing.

The philosopher’s originality comes down to inventing terms. Since there are only three or four attitudes by which to confront the world— and about as many ways of dying—the nuances which multiply and diversify them derive from no more than the choice of words, bereft of any metaphysical range. We are engulfed in a pleonastic universe, in which the questions and answers amount to the same thing." [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:10 am

Cioran wrote:
"If philosophy had made no progress since the pre-Socratics, there would be no reason to complain.

Exhausted by the jumble of concepts, we end by realizing that our life is still lived out in the elements out of which they constituted the world, that it is the earth, fire, air, and water which condition us, that this rudimentary physics reveals the context of our ordeals and the principle of our torments. Having complicated these few elementary data, we have lost—fascinated by the decor and the structure of our theories—the understanding of Destiny, which nonetheless, unchanged, is the same as on the world’s first day. Our existence reduced to its essence continues to be a struggle against the eternal elements, a struggle which our knowledge in no way alleviates. The heroes of every epoch are no less wretched than those of Homer, and if they have become characters, it is by losing vitality and greatness. How could the results of the sciences change man’s metaphysical position? And what are the explorations of matter, the discoveries and the products of analysis beside the vedic hymns and those melancholies of historic dawn which crept into the world’s anonymous poetry?

Since the most eloquent decadences edify us no further as to unhappiness than the stammerings of a shepherd, and ultimately there is more wisdom in the mockery of an idiot than in the investigations of the laboratories, is it not madness to pursue truth on the paths of time—or in books? Lao-tse, reduced to a few texts, is not more naive than we who have read everything. Profundity is independent of knowledge. We translate to other levels the revelations of the ages, or we exploit original intuitions by the latest acquisitions of thought. Thus Hegel is a Heraclitus who has read Kant; and our Ennui is an affective Eleaticism, the fiction of diversity unmasked and exposed to the heart." [Decay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:12 am

Cioran wrote:
"At first, we think we advance toward the light; then, wearied by an aimless march, we lose our way: the earth, less and less secure, no longer supports us; it opens under our feet. Vainly we should try to follow a path toward a sunlit goal; the shadows mount within and below us. No gleam to slow our descent: the abyss summons us, and we lend an ear. Above still remains all we wanted to be, all that has not had the power to raise us higher. And we, once in love with the peaks, then disappointed by them, we end by fondling our fall, we hurry to fulfill it, instruments of a strange execution, fascinated by the illusion of reaching the limits of the darkness, the frontiers of our nocturnal fate. Fear of the void transformed into a kind of voluptuous joy, what luck to gainsay the sun! Infinity in reverse, god that begins beneath our heels, ecstasy before the crevices of being, and thirst for a black halo, the Void is an inverted dream in which we are engulfed. Habitually we sink into a nocturnal mud, into a darkness quite as mediocre as the light. In order to experience that continual expansion in which we rival the gods, in which our fevers triumph over our fears, we should have to remain at so high a temperature that it would finish us off in a few days. But our illuminations are instantaneous; falls are our rule. Life is what decomposes at every moment; it is a monotonous loss of light, an insipid dissolution in the darkness, without scepters, without halos. . . ." [Decay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:12 am

Cioran wrote:
"What shall we do—accustomed to chains and laws—-in the face of an infinity of initiatives, of a debauch of decisions? The seduction of the arbitrary alarms us. If we can begin any action, if there are no limits to inspiration and to our whims, how avoid our ruin in the intoxication of so much power?

Consciousness, shaken by this revelation, interrogates itself and trembles. Who, in a world where he can do anything, has not been dizzied? The murderer makes a Iimitless use of his freedom, and cannot resist the notion of his power. It is within the capacities of each one of us to take another’s life. If all those we have killed in thought were to disappear for good, the earth would be depopulated. We bear within us a reticent executioner, an unrealized criminal. And those who lack the boldness to acknowledge their homicidal tendencies, murder in dreams, people their nightmares with corpses. For there has never been a human being who has not—at least unconsciously—desired the death of another human being. Each of us drags after him a cemetery of friends and enemies; and it matters little whether this graveyard is relegated to the heart’s abyss or projected to the surface of our desires.

Freedom, conceived in its ultimate implications, raises the question of our life or of others' lives; it involves the dual possibility of saving or destroying us. But we feel free, we understand our opportunities and our dangers only by fits and starts. And it is the intermittence of these fits and starts, their rarity, which explains why this world is no more than a mediocre slaughterhouse and a Active paradise. To argue about freedom leads to no consequence in good or evil; but we have only moments to realize that everything depends on us. . . . Freedom is an ethical principle of demonic essence." [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:12 am

Cioran wrote:
"If we could conserve the energy we lavish in that series of dreams we nightly leave behind us, the mind’s depth and subtlety would reach unimaginable proportions. The scaffolding of a nightmare requires a nervous expenditure more exhausting than the best articulated theoretical construction. How, after waking, begin again the task of aligning ideas when, in our unconscious, we were mixed up with grotesque and marvelous spectacles, we were sailing among the spheres without the shackles of anti-poetic Causality? For hours we were like drunken gods—and suddenly, our open eyes erasing night’s infinity, we must resume, in day’s mediocrity, the enterprise of insipid problems, without any of the night’s hallucinations to help us. The glorious and deadly fantasy was all for nothing then; sleep has exhausted us in vain. Waking, another kind of weariness awaits us; after having had just time enough to forget the night’s, we are at grips with the dawn’s. We have labored hours and hours in horizontal immobility without our brain’s deriving the least advantage of its absurd activity. An imbecile who was not victimized by this waste, who might accumulate all his resources without dissipating them in dreams, would be able—owner of an ideal state of waking—to disentangle all the snags of the metaphysical lies or initiate himself into the most inextricable difficulties of mathematics. After each night we are emptier: our mysteries and our griefs have leaked away into our dreams. Thus sleep’s labor not only diminishes the power of our thought, but even that of our secrets. . . " [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:20 am

Cioran wrote:
"Indefinite Horror

It is not the outbreak of a specific evil which reminds us of our fragility: there are vaguer but more troublesome warnings to signify our imminent excommunication from the temporal. The approach of disgust, of that sensation which physiologically separates us from the world, shows how destructible is the solidity of our instincts or the consistency of our attachments. In health, our flesh echoes the universal pulsation and our blood reproduces its cadence; in disgust, which lies in wait for us like a potential hell in order to suddenly seize upon us afterwards, we are as isolated in the whole as a monster imagined by some teratology of solitude.

The critical point of our vitality is not disease—which is struggle—but that indefinite horror which rejects everything and strips our desires of the power to procreate new mistakes. The senses lose their sap, the veins dry up, and the organs no longer perceive anything but the interval separating them from their own functions. Everything turns insipid: provender and dreams. No more aroma in matter and no more enigma in meditation; gastronomy and metaphysics both become victims of our want of appetite. We spend hours waiting for other hours, waiting for the moments which no longer flee time, the faithful moments which reinstate us in the mediocrity of health . . . and the amnesia of its dangers. Greed for space, unconscious covetousness of the future, health shows us how superficial the level of life is as such, and how incompatible organic equilibrium is with inner depth. The mind, in its range, proceeds from our compromised functions: it takes wing insofar as the void dilates within our organs. We are healthy only insofar as we are not specifically ourselves: it is our disgusts which individualize us; our melancholies which grant us a name; our losses which make us possessors of our . . . self. We are ourselves only by the sum of our failures." [A Short History of Decay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:21 am

Cioran wrote:
"We bear within us—like an unchallengeable treasure—an amalgam of unworthy beliefs and certitudes. And even the man who manages to rid himself of them, to vanquish them, remains—in the desert of his lucidity—a fanatic still: a fanatic of himself, of his own existence; he has scoured all his obsessions, except for the terrain where they flourish; he has lost all his fixed points, except for the fixity from which they proceed. Life has dogmas more immutable than theology, each existence being anchored in infallibilities which exceed all the lucubrations of madness or of faith. Even the skeptic, in love with his doubts, turns out to be a fanatic of skepticism.

Man is the dogmatic being par excellence; and his dogmas are all the deeper when he does not formulate them, when he is unaware of them, and when he follows them. We all believe in many more things than we think, we harbor intolerances, we cherish bloody prejudices, and, defending our ideas with extreme means, we travel the world like ambulatory and irrefragable fortresses. Each of us is a supreme dogma to himself; no theology protects its god as we protect our self; and if we assail this self with doubts and call it into question, we do so only by a pseudo-elegance of our pride: the case is already won.

How escape the absolute of oneself? One would have to imagine a being without instincts, without a name, and to whom his own image would be unknown. But everything in the world gives us back our own features; night itself is never dark enough to keep us from being reflected in it. Too present to ourselves, our non-existence before birth and after death influences us only as a notion and only for a few moments; we experience the fever of our duration as an eternity which falters but which nonetheless remains unexhaustible in its principle.

The man who does not adore himself is yet to be born. Everything that lives loves itself; if not, what would be the source of the dread which breaks out in the depths and on the surfaces of life? Each of us is, for himself, the one fixed point in the universe. And if someone dies for an idea, it is because it is his idea, and his idea is his life.

No critique of any kind of reason will waken man from his “dogmatic sleep.” It may shake the unconscious certitudes which abound in his philosophy and substitute more flexible propositions for his rigid affirmations, but how, by a rational procedure, will it manage to shake the creature, huddled over its own dogmas, without bringing about its very death?" [Decay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:21 am

Cioran wrote:
"We can love only the beings who do not exceed the minimum of vulgarity indispensable for life itself. Yet it would be difficult to delimit the quantity of such vulgarity, especially since no action can do without it. All of life’s rejects prove that they were insufficiently sordid. . . . The man who prevails in the conflict with his neighbors stands on top of a dungheap; and the man who is vanquished there pays for a purity he has been unwilling to sully. In every man, nothing is more alive and true than his own vulgarity, source of all that is vital in elemental terms. But, on the other hand, the more deeply rooted you are in life, the more contemptible you are. The man who does not spread a vague funereal radiation around himself, and who in passing fails to leave a whiff of melancholy from remote worlds—that man belongs to sub-zoology, more specifically to human history. The opposition between vulgarity and melancholy is so irreducible that next to it all other oppositions seem to be inventions of the mind, arbitrary and entertaining; even the most decisive antimonies blur beside this opposition in which are brought face to face—according to a predestined dosage—our lower depths and our dreaming gall." [Decay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:22 am

Cioran wrote:
"We are justified in imagining a time when we shall have transcended everything, even music, even poetry, a time when, detractors of our traditions and our transports, we shall achieve such a disavowal of ourselves that, weary of a known grave, we shall make our way through the days in a threadbare shroud. When a sonnet, whose rigor raises the verbal world above a splendidly imagined cosmos—when a sonnet ceases to be a temptation for our tears, and when in the middle of a sonata our yawns win out over our emotion, then the graveyards will have nothing more to do with us, for they receive only fresh corpses, still imbued with a suspicion of warmth and a memory of life. Before our old age a time will come when, retracing our ardors, and bent beneath the recantations of the flesh, we shall walk, half-carrion, half-specter. . . . We shall have repressed—out of fear of complicity with illusion—any palpitation within us. Unable to have disembodied our life in a sonnet, we shall drag our corruption in shreds and tatters, and for having outstripped music and death alike, we shall stumble, blind, toward a funereal immortality. . ." [Decay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:22 am

Cioran wrote:
"So long as man is protected by madness, he functions and flourishes; but when he frees himself from the fruitful tyranny of fixed ideas, he is lost, ruined. He begins to accept everything, to wrap not only minor abuses in his tolerance, but crimes and monstrosities, vices and aberrations: everything is worth the same to him. His indulgence, self-destroying as it is, extends to all the guilty, to the victims and the executioners; he takes all sides, because he espouses all opinions; gelatinous, contaminated by infinity, he has lost his “character,” lacking any point of reference, any obsession. The universal view melts things into a blur, and the man who still makes them out, being neither their friend nor their enemy, bears in himself a wax heart which indiscriminately takes the form of objects and beings. His pity is addressed to . . . existence, and his charity is that of doubt and not that of love; a skeptical charity, consequence of knowledge, which excuses all anomalies. But the man who takes sides, who lives in the folly of decision and choice, is never charitable; incapable of comprehending all points of view, confined in the horizon of his desires and his principles, he plunges into a hypnosis of the finite. This is because creatures flourish only by turning their backs on the universal . . . To be something—unconditional—-is always a form of madness from which life—flower of fixed idea — frees itself only to fade." [Decay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:23 am

Cioran wrote:
"All inspiration proceeds from a faculty of exaggeration: lyricism—and the whole world of metaphor —would be a pitiable excitation without that rapture which dilates words until they burst.

No true inspiration fails to rise out of the anomaly of a soul vaster than the world. . . . In the verbal conflagration of a Shakespeare and a Shelley we smell the ash of words, backwash and effluvium of an impossible cosmogony. The terms encroach upon each other, as though none could attain the equivalent of the inner dilation; this is the hernia of the image, the transcendent rupture of poor words, born of everyday use and miraculously raised to the heart’s altitudes. The truths of beauty are fed on exaggerations which, upon the merest analysis, turn out to be monstrous and meaningless. Poetry: demiurgical divagation of the vocabulary. . . . Has charlatanism ever been more effectively combined with ecstasy? Lying, the wellspring of all tears! such is the imposture of genius and the secret of art. Trifles swollen to the heavens; the improbable, generator of a universe! In every genius coexists a braggart and a god." [Decay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:23 am

Cioran wrote:
"All that we build beyond raw existence, all the many powers which give the world a physiognomy, we owe to Misfortune—architect of diversity, intelligible instrument of our actions." [Decay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:24 am

Cioran wrote:
"No one would perform the merest action without the feeling that this action is the one and only reality. Such blindness is the absolute basis, the indisputable principle, of all that exists. The man who argues merely proves that he is less, that doubt has sapped his vitality. . . . But amid his very doubts, he must feel the importance of his progress toward negation. To know that nothing is worth the trouble becomes implicitly a belief, hence a possibility of action; this is because even a trifle of existence presupposes an unavowed faith; a simple step—even toward a mock-up of reality—is an apostasy with regard to nothingness; breathing itself proceeds from an implicit fanaticism, like any participation in movement. . ." [Deecay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:24 am

Cioran wrote:
"To be afraid is to think of yourself continually, to be unable to imagine an objective course of events. The sensation of the terrible, the sensation that it is all happening against you, supposes a world conceived without indifferent dangers. The frightened man—victim of an exaggerated subjectivity — believes, himself to be, much more than the rest of his kind, the target of hostile events. He encounters the brave man in this error, for the brave man, at the antipodes, sees only invulnerability everywhere. Both have attained the extremity of a self-infatuated consciousness: everything conspires against the one; to the other, everything is favorable. (The brave man is only a braggart who embraces the danger, who flees toward the danger.) One establishes himself negatively at the center of the world, the other positively; but their illusion is the same, their knowledge having an identical point of departure:
danger as the only reality. One fears it, the other seeks it out: they cannot conceive a lucid scorn of things, they both relate everything to themselves, they are over-agitated (and all the evil in the world comes from the excess of agitation, from the dynamic fictions of bravery and cowardice). Thus these antinomic and equal examples are the agents of all our troubles, the disturbers of the march of time; they give an affective tinge to the least event and project their fevered intentions upon a universe which-—without an abandonment to calm disgusts—is degrading and intolerable. Courage and fear, two poles of the same disease, which consists in granting an abusive sense and seriousness to life . . .
It is the lack of nonchalant bitterness which makes men into sectarian beasts; the subtlest and the crudest crimes are perpetrated by those who take things seriously. Only the dilettante has no taste for blood, he alone is no scoundrel…" [Decay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:25 am

Cioran wrote:
"The true hero fights and dies in the name of his destiny, and not in the name of a belief. His existence eliminates any notion of an escape; the paths which do not lead him to death are dead ends to him; he works at his “biography"; he tends to his denouement and instinctively manages everything to bring about events fatal to himself Fatality being his vital juice, every way out can be no more than a disloyalty to his destruction. Thus the man of destiny is never converted to any belief whatever: he would thereby spoil his end." [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:25 am

Cioran wrote:
"The time is past when man thought of himself in terms of a dawn; behold him resting on an anemic matter, open to his true duty, the duty of studying his loss, and of rushing into it . . . behold him on the threshold of a new epoch: the epoch of Self-Pity. And this Pity is his second fall, more distinct and more humiliating than the first: it is a fall without redemption. Vainly he inspects the horizons: a thousand saviors are silhouetted there, humbug saviors, themselves unconsoled. He turns away in order to prepare himself, in his overripe soul, for the sweetness of corruption. . . . Having reached the intimacy of his autumn, he wavers between Appearance and Nothingness, between the deceptive form of Being and its absence: vibration between two unrealities. . . .
Consciousness occupies the void which follows the mind’s erosion of existence. It takes the obnubilation of an idiot or a believer to participate in “reality,” which collapses at the approach of the slightest doubt, a suspicion of improbability, or a shudder of anguish—so many rudiments which prefigure consciousness and which, once developed, beget it, define and exasperate it. Under the effect of this consciousness, of this incurable presence, man gains access to his highest privilege: that of destroying himself. Nature’s privileged patient, man corrupts her sap; abstract vice of the instincts, he destroys their vigor. The universe withers at his touch and time decamps. . . . He could fulfill himself—and descend the further slope—only on the wreck of the elements. His work completed, he is ripe for disappearance; through how many centuries more will his death rattle sound?" [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:26 am

Cioran wrote:
Tribulations of an Alien

"Offspring of some wretched tribe, he prowls the boulevards of the West. Cherishing one country after the next, he no longer hopes for any; stuck in a timeless twilight citizen of the world—and of no world —he is ineffectual, nameless, powerless. . . . Peoples without a destiny cannot give one to their sons who, thirsting for other horizons, attach themselves to a fate and ultimately exhaust it to finish their days as ghosts of their admirations and their exhaustions. Having nothing to love at home, they locate their love elsewhere, in other lands, where their fervor astonishes the natives. Overworked, the feelings erode and disintegrate, admiration first of all. . . . And the Alien who dispersed himself on so many highways of the world, exclaims: “I have set up countless idols for myself, have raised too many altars everywhere, and I have knelt before a host of gods. Now, weary of worship, I have squandered my share of delirium. One has resources only for the absolutes of one’s breed; a soul — like a country — flourishes only within its frontiers. I am paying for having crossed them, for having made the Indefinite into a fatherland, and foreign divinities into a cult, for having prostrated myself before ages which excluded my ancestors. Where I come from I can no longer say: in the temples I am without belief; in the cities, without ardor; among my kind, without curiosity; on the earth, without certitudes. Give me a specific desire and I could shake the world to its foundations. Release me from this shame of actions which makes me perform, every morning, the farce of resurrection and, every night, that of entombment; in the interval, nothing but this torment in the shroud of ennui. .. . I dream of wanting—and all I want seems to me worthless. Like a vandal corroded by melancholy, I proceed without a goal, self without a self, toward some unknown corner . . . in order to discover an abandoned god, a god who is his own atheist, and to fall asleep in the shadow of his last doubts and his last miracles.”" [Decay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:26 am

Cioran wrote:
"A conformist, I live, I try to live, by imitation, by respect for the rules of the game, by horror of originality. An automaton’s resignation: to affect a pretense of fervor and secretly to laugh at it; to bow to conventions only to repudiate them on the sly; to be numbered in every ledger but to have no residence in time; to save face whereas it would be only duty to lose it. . . .

The man who scorns everything must assume an air of perfect dignity, deceive the others and even himself: thereby he will the more easily accomplish his task of counterfeit living. What use displaying your failure when you can feign prosperity? Hell lacks manners: it is the exasperated image of a frank and uncouth man, it is the earth conceived without one superstition of elegance and civility.

I accept life out of politeness: perpetual rebellion is in bad taste, as is the sublimity of suicide. At twenty we rage against the heavens and the filth they hide; then we grow tired of it. The tragic attitude suits only an extended and ridiculous puberty; but it takes a thousand ordeals to achieve the histrionics of detachment.

The man who, liberated from all the principles of custom, lacks any gift as an actor is the archetype of wretchedness, the ideally unhappy being. No use constructing this model of ingenuousness: life is tolerable only by the degree of mystification we endow it with. Such a model would be the immediate rain of society, the “pleasure” of communal life residing in the impossibility of giving free rein to the infinity of our ulterior motives. It is because we are all impostors that we endure each other. The man who does not consent to lie will see the earth shrink under his feet: we are biologically obliged to the false. No moral hero who is not childish, ineffectual, or inauthentic; for true authenticity is the flaw in fraud, in the proprieties of public flattery and secret defamation. If our fellow men could be aware of our opinions about them, love, friendship, and devotion would be forever erased from the dictionaries; and if we had the courage to confront the doubts we timidly conceive about ourselves, none of us would utter an “I” without shame. Masquerade rules all the living, from the troglodyte to the skeptic. Since only the respect for appearances separates us from carrion, it is death to consider the basis of things, of beings; let us abide by a more agreeable nothingness: our constitution tolerates only a certain dosage of truth. . . .

Let us keep deep down inside a certitude superior to all the others: life has no meaning, it cannot have any such thing. We should kill ourselves on the spot if an unlooked for revelation persuaded us of the contrary. The air gone, we should still breathe; but we should immediately smother if the joy of inanity were taken from us. . . " [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:27 am

Cioran wrote:
"When we cannot be delivered from ourselves, we delight in devouring ourselves. In vain we call upon the Lord of Shades, the bestower of a precise curse: we are invalids without disease, and reprobates without vices. Melancholy is the dream state of egoism: no longer any object outside oneself, no reason for hate or love, but that same fall into a languid mud, that same circling of the damned without a hell, those same reiterations of a zeal to perish. . . . Whereas sadness is content with a circumstantial context, melancholy requires a debauch of space, an infinite landscape in order to spread out its sullen and vaporous grace, its shapeless evil, which, fearing to recover, dreads any limit to its dissolution and its undulation. It expands—strangest flower of self-love—among the poisons from which it extracts its vital juices and the vigor of all its failures. Feeding on what corrupts it, melancholy hides, under its melodious name, Self-Commiseration and the Pride of Defeat." [Decay]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:27 am

Cioran wrote:
"Owners and beggars: two categories which oppose any change, any renewing disorder. Placed at the two extremities of the social ladder, they fear any modification in good and evil: they are equally settled the former in opulence, the latter in destitution. Between diem are located—anonymous sweat, the basis of society—those who strive, labor, persevere, and cultivate the absurdity of hope. The State feeds on their anemia; the notion of citizen would have neither content nor reality without them, any more than luxury and alms: the rich man and the beggar are parasites of the poor, the Pauper’s dependents.

If misery has a thousand remedies, poverty has none. How succor those who persist in not dying of hunger? God himself could not correct their lot. Between fortune’s darlings and the tatterdemalion circulate these honorable starvelings, exploited by splendor and by rags, pillaged by those who, loathing labor, settle, according to their luck or their vocation, in the salon or the gutter. And so humanity advances: with a few rich men, with a few beggars—and with all its poor. . . " [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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Lyssa
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PostSubject: Re: Cioran Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:28 am

Cioran wrote:
"In decadence, affective drying-up permits only two modalities of feeling and understanding: sensation and idea. Now, it is by affectivity that we participate in the world of values, that we project a vitality into categories and norms. The activity of a productive civilization consists in drawing ideas out of their abstract nothingness, in transforming concepts into myths. The transition from the anonymous individual to the conscious individual has not yet been made; yet it is inevitable. Measure it: in Greece, from Homer to the sophists; in Rome, from the austere old Republic to the “wisdoms” of the Empire; in the modern world, from the cathedrals to eighteenth-century lace.

A nation cannot create indefinitely. It is oiled upon to give expression and meaning to a sum of values which are exhausted with the soul which has begotten them. The citizen wakens from a productive hypnosis; the reign of lucidity begins; the masses wield no more than empty categories. Myths turn back into concepts: that is decadence. And the consequences make themselves felt: the individual wants to live, he converts life into finality, he elevates himself to the rank of a minor exception. The ledger of these exceptions, constituting the deficit of a civilization, prefigures its effacement." [Decay]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


Last edited by Lyssa on Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Cioran

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