How important can it be that I suffer and think? My presence in this world will disturb a few tranquil lives and will unsettle the unconscious and pleasant naiveté of others. Although I feel that my tragedy is the greatest in history—greater than the fall of empires—I am nevertheless aware of my total insignificance. I am absolutely persuaded that I am nothing in this universe; yet I feel that mine is the only real existence.
__Sarvakarmaphalatyâga__ . . . Years ago, having written this spellbinding word in capital letters on a sheet of paper, I had tacked it to the wall of my room so I could stare at it throughout the day. It remained there for months, until I finally took it down because I realized I was becoming more and more attached to its magic and less and less to its content. Yet what it signifies: detachment from the fruit of action, is of such importance that anyone who had truly possessed himself of it would have nothing more to accomplish, since he would have reached the one valid end, the real truth that annihilates all the others and exposes their emptiness, being empty itself, moreover—but this emptiness is conscious of itself. Imagine a greater awareness, a further step toward awakening, and he who takes it will be no more than a ghost, a phantom.
Thus his central paradox crystallizes ever more clearly: the position of the man with no position, the role of the protagonist with no role.
Cioran is a new type of practising person whose originality and representative nature are evident in the fact that he practises rejecting every goal-directed way of practising. (cf anti-purpose)
The procedure Cioran develops for his anti-exercises is based on the elevation of leisure to a practice form for existential revolt.
his ethos was that of a man of exercises, an artiste who even made a stunt out of sluggishness, who turned despair into an Apollonian discipline and letting oneself go into an étude almost classical in manner.
Having lost the monopoly on stagnation, they grow increasingly frantic and will inevitably topple like their models, like those feverish civilizations incapable of lasting more than a dozen centuries. Long Now
Never make things easier for the reader. He will not thank you for your trouble. It is not understanding that he likes – he likes to mark time, to get stuck, he likes to be punished. Whence the perennial appeal of certain murky authors, whence the perennial appeal of the hodgepodge.
I am a "being" by metaphor; if I were one in fact, I should remain so forever, and death, stripped of meaning, would have no hold on me. "Labor ceaselessly for your salvation" — that is, don't forget that you are a fugitive assemblage, a composite whose ingredients are only waiting to come apart. Salvation, indeed, has a meaning only if we are provisional to the point of mockery; if there were the slightest principle of duration in us, we should have been forever saved or lost; no more quest, no more horizon. If deliverance matters at all, our unreality is a real godsend.
The sage, as the East has always known, refuses to make plans, never projects....To tell the truth, you make plans, but it revolts you to carry them out. The more you brood over one, the more you feel, abandoning it, a well-being which can reach the point of ecstasy.
To abide by the void – is this not also a form of pursuit? No doubt, but it is to pursue the absence of pursuit, to aim at a goal which sets aside all the others from the start. We live in anxiety because no goal can satisfy us, because over all our desires, and a fortiori over being as such, floats a fatality which necessarily affects those accidents which are individuals.