Philosophy, Quotes

Emil Cioran Quotes

“Only optimists commit suicide, optimists who no longer succeed at being optimists. The others, having no reason to live, why would they have any to die?” (Emil Cioran)

“I don’t understand why we must do things in this world, why we must have friends and aspirations, hopes and dreams. Wouldn’t it be better to retreat to a faraway corner of the world, where all its noise and complications would be heard no more? Then we could renounce culture and ambitions; we would lose everything and gain nothing; for what is there to be gained from this world?”(Emil Cioran)

“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.”(Emil Cioran)

“Knowledge subverts love: in proportion as we penetrate our secrets, we come to loathe our kind, precisely because they resemble us.”(Emil Cioran)

“The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live –moreover, the only one.”(Emil Cioran)

“Chaos is rejecting all you have learned, Chaos is being yourself.”(Emil Cioran)

“As far as I am concerned, I resign from humanity. I no longer want to be, nor can still be, a man. What should I do? Work for a social and political system, make a girl miserable? Hunt for weaknesses in philosophical systems, fight for moral and esthetic ideals? It’s all too little. I renounce my humanity even though I may find myself alone. But am I not already alone in this world from which I no longer expect anything?” (Emil Cioran)

“We are so lonely in life that we must ask ourselves if the loneliness of dying is not a symbol of our human existence.”(Emil Cioran)

“A zoologist who observed gorillas in their native habitat was amazed by the uniformity of their life and their vast idleness. Hours and hours without doing anything. Was boredom unknown to them? This is indeed a question raised by a human, a busy ape. Far from fleeing monotony, animals crave it, and what they most dread is to see it end. For it ends, only to be replaced by fear, the cause of all activity. Inaction is divine; yet it is against inaction that man has rebelled. Man alone, in nature, is incapable of enduring monotony, man alone wants something to happen at all costs—something, anything…. Thereby he shows himself unworthy of his ancestor: the need for novelty is the characteristic of an alienated gorilla.”(Emil Cioran)

“Man starts over again everyday, in spite of all he knows, against all he knows.”(Emil Cioran)

“The true hero fights and dies in the name of his destiny, and not in the name of a belief.”(Emil Cioran)

“No one recovers from the disease of being born, a deadly wound if there ever was one.”(Emil Cioran)

“No matter which way we go, it is no better than any other. It is all the same whether you achieve something or not, have faith or not, just as it is all the same whether you cry or remain silent.”(Emil Cioran)

“In every man sleeps a prophet, and when he wakes there is a little more evil in the world.”(Emil Cioran)

“I understood the non-sense of every gesture, every effort…I wanted to defend myself against all men, react against their madness, discover its source; I listened and I saw – and I was afraid: afraid of acting for the same reasons or for any reason, of believing in the same phantoms or in any other phantom, of letting myself be intoxicated in the same way or in any other way; afraid, finally, of sharing a common delirium and expiring in a crowd of ecstasies…It is troubling to think that…all sink into lying because they do not suspect the equivalence, in nullity, of pleasures and of truths.”(Emil Cioran)

“Tears do not burn except in solitude.”(Emil Cioran)

“Nobody would dare look at himself in the mirror, because a grotesque, tragic image would mix in the contours of his face with stains and traces of blood, wounds which cannot be healed, and unstoppable streams of tears. I would experience a kind of voluptuous awe if I could see a volcano of blood, eruptions as red as fire and as burning as despair, burst into the midst of the comfortable and superficial harmony of everyday life, or if I could see all our hidden wounds open, making of us a bloody eruption forever. Only then would we truly understand and appreciate the advantage of loneliness, which silences our suffering and makes it inaccessible. The venom drawn out from suffering would be enough to poison the whole world in a bloody eruption, bursting out of the volcano of our being. There is so much venom, so much poison, in suffering!”(Emil Cioran)

“If I were to be totally sincere, I would say that I do not know why I live and why I do not stop living. The answer probably lies in the irrational character of life which maintains itself without reason.”(Emil Cioran)