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The Paucity of Knowing

                 



Truth, What a Word!

The idea of liberation through the suppression of desire is the greatest foolishness ever conceived by the human mind. Why cut life short, why destroy it for so little profit as total indifference and the illusion of freedom? How dare you speak of life after you have stifled it in yourself? I have more respect for the man with thwarted desires, unhappy and desperate in love, than for the cold and proud philosopher. A world full of philosophers, what a terrifying prospect! They should be all wiped out so that life could go on naturally -- blindly and irrationally. 

I hate the wisdom of these men unmoved by truths, who do not suffer with their nerves, their flesh, and their blood. I like only vital, organic truths, the offspring of our anxiety. Those whose thoughts are alive are always right; there are no arguments against them. And even if there were, they would not last long. I wonder how there can still be men searching for the truth. Do wise men not yet understand that truth cannot be?


The Paucity of Wisdom

I hate wise men because they are lazy, cowardly, and prudent. To the philosophers' equanimity, which makes them indifferent to both pleasure and pain, I prefer devouring passions. The sage knows neither the tragedy of passion, nor the fear of death, nor risk and enthusiasm, nor barbaric, grotesque, or sublime heroism. He talks in proverbs and gives advice. He does not live, feel, desire, wait for anything. He levels down all the incongruities of life and then suffers the consequences. So much more complex is the man who suffers from limitless anxiety. The wise man's life is empty and sterile, for it is free from contradiction and despair. An existence full of irreconcilable contradictions is so much richer and creative. The wise man's resignation springs from inner void, not inner fire. I would rather die of fire than of void.


Both from Cioran, On the Heights of Despair

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