Emil M. Cioran

“After so much imposture, so much fraud, it is comforting to contemplate a beggar. He, at least, neither lies nor lies to himself: his doctrine, if he has one, he embodies; work he dislikes, and he proves it; wanting to possess nothing, he cultivates his impoverishment, the condition of his freedom. His thought is resolved into his being and his being into his thought. He has nothing, he is himself, he endures: to live on a footing with eternity is to live from day to day, from hand to mouth. Thus, for him, other men are imprisoned in illusion. If he depends on them, he takes his revenge by studying them, a specialist in the underbelly of “noble” sentiments. His sloth, of a very rare quality, truly “delivers” him from a world of fools and dupes. About renunciation he knows more than many of your esoteric works. To be convinced of this, you need only walk out into the street … But you prefer the texts that teach mendicancy. Since no practical consequence accompanies your meditations, it will not be surprising that the merest bum is worth more than you … Can we conceive a Buddha faithful to his truths and to his palace? One is not “delivered-alive” and still a land-owner. I reject the generalization of the lie, I repudiate those who exhibit their so-called “salvation” and prop it with a doctrine which does not emanate from themselves. To unmask them, to knock them off the pedestal they have hoisted themselves on, to hold them up to scorn is a campaign no one should remain indifferent to. For at any price we must keep those who have too clear a conscience from living and dying in peace.”


Emil Cioran, The Temptation to Exist
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The Temptation to Exist The Temptation to Exist by Emil M. Cioran
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