(From Notebooks 1980–2009)
Translated by A. S. Kline © Copyright 2009. All Rights Reserved
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1. The issue is to overcome one’s dread of mankind in order to love.
2. Feeling is the phoenix that rises from the ashes of exhausted being.
3. Possession is illusion. We do not even possess what we are – already in flight.
4. Love and power are eternally incompatible.
5. The things outside us are unknown, the unknown forces.
6. Thought is a process of becoming, and can never therefore be an object of contemplation. The mirror cannot reflect itself. The ‘I’ is in flight.
7. In the world everything simply takes place. In it there is no intrinsic value. The universe is silent, Humankind creates, values, endorses life, out of its deepest feelings.
8. The opposite of free is not caused, but compelled.
9. Many things compel us and are our fate: history, events, other human beings, memories, ideals, pre-conceptions, needs and desires. There remains the process of choice, choice through a rationale, as rich as internal argument as empty as whimsy, between equally conceivable ways forward. It is that rationale of choice, that process, of idea, logic, memory, desire, persuasion that constitutes personality, the self. Reality comes to be through the self, not despite it, and in no other way. It is the flow of choice – conscious and unconscious – that constitutes identity itself.
10. To be free is to exercise the full complexity of identity, of choice – for compulsion to be self-compulsion.
11. The universe cannot make me responsible for others, only I can do that.
12. Mind fully aware of body’s contingency, do you know that feeling?
13. Mind is free to overcome its lack of freedom.
14. Mind is a cloud blowing across the world and its history, a boat adrift on the stream of the centuries.
15. All choice is responsibility. If not I, who?
16. We compose ourselves through our choices. In choosing we discover ourselves and surprise ourselves into being.
17. I have no power to choose to be other than ‘I’, nor to be less than ‘I’. What chooses is ‘I’. The freedom we have is not a theoretical freedom to have chosen otherwise, but a real freedom to choose differently next time. My freedom is the ability to process my own previous thoughts. Mind operates on mind.
18. Awareness is the enemy of completeness, the mind is anxious.
19. We choose the creative or the destructive: that is the essence of morality.
20. Internal logic compels my free choice: my self, not external logic. Choice based on real data and a real rationale is real.
21. Freedom is our ability to alter choice in the light of experience, to adapt, to become other.
22. That ‘I’ could not have chosen otherwise, but this ‘I’ would. Remorse.
23. Freedom is the argument with oneself.
24. From whichever world of fallen values they come all seekers of power converge on the empty throne, on tyranny.
25. Character agonises over values. Since we are once more before the gods, before their existence, we must create: that is assert our values to ourselves. The implication is that the true life is always one of struggle.
26. Man is always only a possibility.
27. There are choices which are impossible, immoral choices. There the depth of response not the weight of consequence is vital.
28. In History the Individual life is silent. The Individual never has to escape from history, because the Individual was never there. History is the tale of our compulsions.
29. Only for you is this moment’s silence a demand, and its emptiness a torment.
30. To find an existence free of possessing and being possessed, free of that space and time where the crowd lives.
31. Tragedy: the individual versus event, the blind individual versus blind event, the free self versus the compelled self.
32. Mind is a pool into which consciousness gazes.
33. Beyond religion, before the gods: modern Man.
34. We have to be sick from life, ill of life, before we see deeply enough into the abyss (of reflection).
35. Life moves, a warmth, strange, tender at the root of our being.
36. We do not synchronise with one another. Expression is not self. Whatever I say I am or believe you are, we are both of us other.
37. Everything we are, all our consciousness, stands in the way of our living, of our life.
38. Events in their entirety are not completely knowable. There is no process that oversees the world.
39. Not know yourself – but accept yourself.
40. Imagine, that we, poor and weak as we are, create value!
41. Instead of possession I had to learn relationship. I am a poor learner.
42. Thought is Orpheus, form is Eurydice.
43. It is hard to let go of self, to sacrifice, to release.
44. This world, what is below the dream of Hell and above the dream of Heaven.
45. The past has gone for ever and all Time is piled up over it.
46. Tenderness always has an object, a companion.
47. Pride and Irony – the exposed heart.
48. We love what we cannot be, we create what we are.
49. We long to escape into the deeper knowledge that exists inside our heads, into our inner destiny – the knowledge Oedipus must gain, the choice Antigone must make.
50. This other being who insists on inhabiting me.
51. Man, the creature that can never reconcile events with his intentions.
52. Sexuality, to forget mind in body. Love, to remember mind in body.
53. This world where honesty is a superior duplicity.
54. Courage. To become in the face of the eternal zero. To begin, to form a word.
55. All true personality, all true relationship is outside the law, outside society, looking in.
56. Empathy is the enabler of morality.
57. In our biology, our circumstances, we are all unequal. In our potential for feeling, we are of equal and infinite value. And so the creatures.
58. This lack of harmony between what we are and what we agree to be, the innate weakness of the social contract.
59. Man the master of nature has become Man the bored, Man the alien, divorced from origin, free of destiny, a random spirit.
60. There is no greater or lesser in Nature, no value.
61. We learned how to create value when we learned how to idealise our feelings, To create an ideal, a goal, a delight, and to feel it irradiate a life – from below.
62. What is below the conscious is above the conscious. Depth is our height, our fate.
63. To go down into the isolate self and find the bow for which this self, this arrow, is fitted, that is our longing, ever-present.
64. There is an intense inwardness which is impossible to live with, and impossible to live without. Do you know it?
65. Deep thought has coherence, an inner logic, which leads minds to the same place in their isolation (a paradox).
66. The two dark schools, silence and society.
67. Reason does not of itself create.
68. Creativity draws from instinct, feeling, and the unconscious, the power to form new weapons against the terror of existence.
69. Art without morality: that is life without morality, no more, no less.
70. Everything else palls, wearies, but not relationship. That is the complexity out of whose depths the morality of self emerges.
71. If there is free-will what chooses? And if all is determined, what is compelled?
72. Inwardness is a lonely delirium, an obsessive silence, an artificial hell, an artificial paradise, a place where we find ourselves, a place where we are lost.
73. The idea that the world is an illusion is a seduction. The idea that the world is real is a complacency.
75. Desire sharpens and gives value to every movement of the senses.
76. The phoenix of the spirit rises from the ashes of its lost love, in the terrible hour of absence when the universe almost defeats us.
77. The first obligation of the free man is to elude – history, power, society, limitation, to become individual, to refuse compliance, even if only in the mind.
78. The Minotaur has always been more interesting than Theseus, just as problems are more compelling than solutions. The labyrinth tests us as human beings, while power in itself is sterile.
79. Not to obey Nature, or subdue it, but to affirm it.
80. Good and bad are not values, because they are not energies.
81. Human nastiness and bestiality is always repetitious and sterile. As is any mindless faith and fate. Intellect always moves towards doubt, complexity, because all creativity and light is in values which demand the most of us, in order to yield the most to us.
82. We were born before the gods, in the first dawn.
83. The will to power is the will to sterility. Creation is a will to energy, the alignment of the self with its fate through form, after which it can become a simple part of the universe.
84. If we could enter fully into a single one of our perceptions, how beautiful life, existence, the moment would be, how little we would desire – would that not be the only meaning of eternity we can create, that total assent to life?
85. Randomness is not freedom. A random mind is a mad mind. Formlessness is chaos not freedom. The true freedom for a human being is to find that task, that effort, for which they are most fitted, to be a sublime victim of choice and chance, to flower, as a bird or a beast or a seed or a leaf flower, once and once only.
86. The vice of our age – talking too much to fill the silence, the empty spaces.
87. Whatever the form of the universe, whatever its origin it is not a human form, not a human origin. We cannot expect Truth to be tender.
88. Natural selection intends nothing. Unless you understand that human beings were formed without intent, in the sieve of generations, you cannot understand the contradictions of human nature, specifically nurture and violence.
89. Everything is determined, nothing is pre-determined. To know the outcome, you must await the process. Through, not despite.
90. The basis of choice is the self made of previous choices. In the moment of choice the mind relies entirely on its own self, perceptions, thoughts, judgements, memories, values – even to choose to behave perversely, or seemingly at random.
91. The Mind, as a balance of multiple forces is inherently unstable. Its stability is a continuous effort of integration.
92. Nature has no intent: its purpose is its activity.
93. Without intelligence, knowledge and instinct what choice would we have?
94. The project, the purpose of a living thing is self-generated. No Mind projects purpose into Man, existence is his purpose.
95. What is the essence of living things? That they are determined from within.
96. Nature is objective. Out of Nature comes energy without values.
97. Man is continuous with the creatures. Human values are built on the values inherited from the living world.
98. Nature does not recognise good or evil any more than it recognises time and existence. Nature is outside concept. It is Mind that recognises good and evil, pain and joy, tenderness and cruelty.
99. Nothing is pre-determined. How could it be and by whom?
100. The universe is not ours, it is an alien country. It is not from the universe but from ourselves and our animal origins that our values come.
101. What is natural in Man, his tenderness, his aggression, his sexuality, his creativity, lies at the root of his values.
102. For Mind, symbols are also realities.
103. The end of thought is the impersonal, the waking image come from the mind beyond will or desire.
104. The past is not what has occurred, but what is embedded in the present, what is remembered.
105. To conquer the enmity between will and fate, to remake the self in the face of destiny, is character.
106. What man wants is not to be fulfilled, but to fulfil, a plan, a dream, a desire, a fate, a life.
107. We are the shuttle and the loom, the thread and the design.
108. To know the true and love the beautiful is enough for any life.
109. True, sensitive, kind. The core of morality.
110. Is it an error of the spirit, the great error? To confuse the symbolic with the real, to demand in actuality or event what has its reality in the mind alone?
111. The life of the created beyond its creator is what makes civilisation possible – in word, mark, stone.
112. To fully understand that truth is inherently incomplete, unstable, uncorrected.
113. We who invented the gods are more spiritual than our inventions. Religion pre-empts discovery. What is truly of the spirit is individual, aware and silent in Man.
114. Loneliness is inevitable for the free spirit. Where can it find an adequate companion within?
115. Strange places, strange spirits, new atmospheres, that is where the mind plays and rests. Deep in human variety.
116. Real thought makes the mind uncomfortable. To see if it is true, to feel if it is true. To experience its alternatives, like the halo thrown on a cloud by the sun.
117. There is a past one has made and a past one has not, and they co-exist in the absurd. Intangible world.
118. We long to live life like a novel where events are known and reality is certain, but that is not living.
119. We want to live another’s life without ceasing to be ourselves.
120. Choice is our agony, where the future has not yet arrived and there is no help.
121. The Moment too often surprises us – hence failures of understanding, regret, remorse.
122. Faced with the Moment nothing is of any use but the astonished heart and the mind aware of self-deception. The sum of human affairs is a myth to comfort us, afraid of the dark. We are, we love, what is already in flight.
123. Life is what happens, the place where there are no miracles. Existence is the presence of things where they are in the only space where they are, the here and now, the Moment which is an endless reconfiguration of what is, where memory and anticipation create the illusion of time. Nothing exists but the Moment. There the world is and there are we.
124. I do not think. I am the thinking. When it stops I will disappear.
125. Civilisation is the effort to tame existence, but the absurd and the obscene lurks under all we do. The valueless, that is.
126. Arbitrary, contingent, juxtaposed, fragmentary, chaotic, vague, unsatisfying, un-aesthetic, that is to say, real.
127. Existence lurks under the form of its presence, dense, alien, intangible.
128. Above and beyond the description of the landscape is the feeling, indescribable. That is reality. I cannot describe the world by removing myself from the description.
129. Existence is not something I chose.
130. We sleep, we doze, we dream confusedly, we think vaguely, and that is our life.
131. Our only evasion of time, our only slight victory over chance is form.
132. Consciousness is in excess of its circumstances. The engine is too much for its vehicle. Nature too has unintended consequences.
133. The twin impossibilities, to act without illusions, to think without pre-conceptions.
134. To be for no reason is not to live without intentions.
135. Memory is the bridge to our self built over Time.
136. The centre of the Universe is in every mind.
137. The world would be an insufferable burden if we did not constantly create it.
138. There is no act of consciousness, consciousness is the act. We do not experience sensations, we sense.
139. History as it was lived is mundane. It has the same characteristics as the present, chaotic, unfinished. History as it is re-told is a construct, ordered, meaningful, complete. That past is not the past.
140. In human affairs a denial of a denial is not necessarily an affirmation. The refusal to serve the wrong aim is not necessarily to serve the right one.
141. Universals exist in the mind as generalisations, concepts implying a process of identification. Similar white things exists in the world, similarity and whiteness exist in the mind.
142. The world exists in the mind, mind exists in the world. Reciprocity, mutuality. There is no inside or outside to reality.
143. We know the world is there because we could never have imagined it.
144. What is freely shared is multiplied. What is bought and sold remains itself.
145. The logic of becoming does not allow us to be the spectators of our own being.
146. The ‘mystery’ of death is that Time will end in me, as I will end in Time.
147. Matter and form always affirm, mind alone can deny.
148. Thought is the act, rain falls into the mind and the moon rises out of it.
149. Nothing has authority; that is our freedom. Nothing has authority; that is our challenge.
150. Only love gives Mind the strength to accept and affirm Time, so that pity, nostalgia, longing and fear lose their power to overcome us.
151. Reality is a surprise still to its own strangeness.
152. Consciousness, awareness, is a projection of self on the world. There is no such thing as passive perception.
153. No description of being, existence, world exhausts the strangeness, terror and delight of its immanence.
154. We extract forms and processes from the world, in our minds, and symbolise those forms and processes in mathematics which then reveals hidden relationships which must be inherent consequences of those forms and processes. In that sense they were always there, in the same sense that the world is always there before we observe it!
155. A mind that did not base its choices on its own contents (memories, processes) would exist in vacuo. How could it operate? What would it have to operate on?
156. World, a mystery of music to no end: vain sigh of energy.
157. Animal consciousness is continuous with ours; lack of words is not lack of awareness.
158. To speak is to lie: in-exactitude dogs our steps.
159. Form contemplated beyond purpose is beauty, the liberation from uncertainty and doubt.
160. Man is the mask.
161. Every output of the mind is also an input, the secret of free identity.
162. The moral act gives life, to make human what is not yet human.
163. There is no time without consciousness, only event.
164. Man is the imaginative animal.
165. Human history is a perpetual improvisation.
166. Mind is a process of matter.
167. The dream of a moment can sustain the heart for a lifetime.
168. Man is what he was but Mind is what it will be.
169. The only history that matters is the history of ideas.
170. Between boredom and desire a little space for Mind.
171. Morality is rescued not by reason but by will, the serpent of life at the core of the mind.
172. Nothing is perfect: in order to survive one only need be just good enough.
173. All things are permitted, but they are not all of equal value.
174. Ideas accumulate, organisms do not.
175. The cosmos has no morality, no ethical process. There is no ought in Nature. It is we who have introduced truth, sensitivity and kindness to the universal scheme.
176. The secrets of the human species’ success? Curiosity, cunning and co-operation.
177. We can think scepticism but not live it. Experience is full. The world is real. The creature works.
178. Values are not commands, but guides. Morality is the process of making moral decisions, not that of executing moral orders.
179. Passion leads, reason follows.
180. Man is the observer behind every observation, the creature behind every idea.
181. Every scientific theory goes beyond the appearances.
182. Belief is the force that assent gives to idea.
183. Choose your beliefs or have them chosen for you.
184. I have never seen a scrap of evidence for the truth of any religion except the beliefs of the religious. I believe otherwise.
185. In science we do not know what it is we are describing, only how it is.
186. Man has learned to conceal himself, to hide.
187. Mind exists in the exercising of it.
188. It is necessary to embrace scepticism’s sweet unease in order not to be destroyed by it.
189. It is only when there is a moral conflict that we make a moral decision.
190. Behind our morality lies the subtlest pleasure, the deepest hurt, the sweetest pain, the greatest desire.
191. Evil begins from an absence of empathy.
192. Individuals change events, ideas change worlds.
193. There is no morality without foresight of consequences.
194. Motivation is founded in the passions, not in reason.
195. In this age the voyeur and voyeurism are our means of becoming real. Unsure of our reality, we are voyeurs of ourselves.
196. All freedom is painful.
197. The moment when you cease to know yourself – the sweetness, then, the dread of being.
198. All our thoughts of death are thoughts of life. No being can imagine not-being.
199. If I am not responsible for my own choices, who is?
200. Mind is suspended between being and knowing.
201. Insofar as man is spirit, he is a dreaming spirit.
202. I have always thought the female spirit was the greater, the more subtle.
203. The vertigo of possibility where choice tempts and seduces, in dread and anxiety. The more mind the greater the dizziness of freedom, the vaster the now, the moment, where alone we exist.
204. The process of thought is a dance with time.
205. The moment contains within itself the ghost of the past and the vision of the future.
206. Emotion eludes words, like the oracle we can only speak of it ambiguously and in dread.
207. I am not an atheist: I exist before the gods came to be.
208. All evil is irreparable, events cannot be altered: neither in their consequences nor in their essence, and only the victim has the right to forgive.
209. With their gods the same problems still exist. How inconsequential to mankind religion always was.
210. There is no cruelty or evil without intent. Nature is simply blind, intention-less. Cruelty and evil require a vision of consequences and a perverse motivation.
211. We are Mind and no Mind made us.
212. We are the only conscience of the earth, perhaps of the universe itself.
213. The fall has been misunderstood. Mankind fell from natural humanity into religion, from freedom to possession, from faith in life to belief in the gods.
214. Contingency is our freedom as well as our oppression.
215. The made outlasts the maker.
216. We will explain how consciousness works without being able to describe how it is to be conscious, just as we explain how the world works without being able to describe how it is to exist.
217. We wish to overcome transience to resolve our insecurity, our existential anxiety, and can only do so by creation, by action. Man being energy without necessity, purpose without an object, is a passion without consummation.
218. Art – in the ritual of a symbolic yearning the real yearning is assuaged.
219. Even our loneliness in the face of the universe is our own creation. Stones and trees are not lonely.
220. The godless, contingent, valueless, empty world is a world of free energies. We are the creators of value. Defeat and despair are only in ourselves.
221. The Turing test reminds us how much of our lives is the repetition of words and signs and forms of action which do not require to be created afresh in each human interaction, how much of what we do and know is rote learning, how little of what we do is genuinely creative, how little of it requires us to be conscious. Only a Turing test that demands complex creativity will ultimately defeat a non-conscious machine.
222. Nationalism, racism, tribalism, religion, are now and for us deadly.
223. Our paradises are always in the mind, untouched, unreachable. We carry them with us.
224. Somewhere inside all of us there is a childhood distress that never ceases.
225. Nurture and survival, co-operation and competition – natural selection guaranteed our ambivalence, our ambiguity.
226. Love is the desire for an echo in the mirror of the other. It is a perpetual test of our reality.
227. The world is neither real nor unreal. The past is neither here nor gone. The other is neither knowable nor unknowable.
228. When we are weary the world denies us in its solidity, we who are only process, and in flight.
229. Mind is always the voyeur of time passing, searching for the self in the depths of lost time.
230. A symbol is the focus of its occurrences, the coincidence of its existences, as a mask in its multiple copies hides the single wearer.
231. Art is a call to the conspiracy of the imagination. To the extent that it reflects merely the contingent and not created form, it fails the hidden invitation to collusion. Hence the reason why photographs and film date so swiftly: they circumvent a part of the conspiracy.
232. There is a democracy of feeling that levels all the power structures of the world: and a free republic of intelligence.
233. We have a primal covenant with the universe. Both of us are here without intention.
234. Truth is that which we cannot make other than it is.
235. Detachment, scepticism, irony all become postures – because we cannot act except by belief.
236. The Individual is always beyond the reach of his society.
237. We perceive ourselves fragmentarily: we search in ourselves for an image of ourselves.
238. All language is a social web, but not all its uses are social.
239. Man has outgrown his biology, and yet the sense of imprisonment is biological.
240. Some minds withdraw from the stage if all it plays is comedy.
241. The creative is at its deepest a frenzy that would destroy all stasis.
242. There is nothing to escape from, and nowhere to escape to, and yet all our days are a search for a means of escape.
243. Irony in art is a refusal to create at the deepest level.
244. How do we twist this biology to reflect these ideals? Perhaps by making ourselves over in another medium than the flesh?
245. How does a creature whose only inborn goal is survival avoid dying of boredom? By creating projects, art, science, the pursuit of power.
246. Rights are granted by society to enshrine moral decisions. But beware of them short-circuiting moral decision.
247. Altruism spreads if it saves the group and saves the altruistic genes with it, more often than it destroys those genes in the altruistic individual or the related group.
248. We are the gardeners in the garden empty of gods.
249. In the end we do not discover the self we create it.
250. You will long in vain to be wanted by the Universe.
251. Like a wall we build up around us all these Things.
252. Civilisation is our heritage, there is no way back.
253. Being is the impossibility of Nothing.
254. All the unrecorded pain, all the wasted lives.
255. We are not yet at the end of the history of ideas. We are not yet fully human.
256. As soon as we perceive our limitations as constraints we cease to be happy. The freedom we need is not the freedom we desire, the free acceptance of our own limitations.
257. Love is the erotic junction where human worth is validated.
258. Every society chooses its moral code guided by the set of possible moral values. Codes are relative, values are not.
259. Morality balances on the hairsbreadth between defence and aggression.
260. The best education opens the mind, and teaches methods, and the problems of life, not the preferred answers.
261. We can only choose what we can imagine.
262. No complex phenomenon is reducible to its components, just as no word is reducible to its letters. All phenomena acquire meaning through function and context.
263. Our roots are in the creature, and yet we deny it rights.
264. In the spirit in the Mind, we desire transcendence. Slaves of time we seek the defeat of time.
265. All our desire is to be free of the past, of the animal, to transcend ourselves, and yet all of our strength, grace, emotion, morality derives from the animal and sinks back into it at last.
266. In each there is a hidden core, where we are still uncompromised: a place of free expression, of final integrity. If it is destroyed we die.
267. History will end when every human being ceases to be a type, and becomes an individual.
268. Sexuality is the ultimate assault on death, our act of defiance in the face of an intention-less universe.
269. Unless each man and woman has worth, mankind is without worth.
270. Lonely the spirit that cannot find value in another.
271. We do not desire equality, but to be valued as we value ourselves.
272. The universe is never the same twice.
273. The universe is a reality not present in the equations which describe it.
274. If Sumeria is dying let us help it on its way.
275. The integrity of my spirit echoes in my universe which is not yours, nor that of any enforced system where imagination dies.
276. Truth is what we cannot deny, form what we cannot un-see, compassion what we cannot withhold.
277. The true history of culture is the history of the heroic.
278. The authentic life is made in solitude and silence.
279. In the pursuit of truth there is no room for religion.
280. Their ways are not my way, nor are their desires my desire. Their truth is not my truth, nor is their law my law.
281. Civilisation is myth. It has to be remade in every generation.
282. Sumeria is dying but man is not yet free.
283. All power-structures, all institutions, all laws belittle us.
284. The individual is myth, the state mythology.
285. None of mankind’s prisons are real.
286. All our real life is feeling, and our deepest thought that which expresses our deepest emotion.
287. The severed head is the symbol of our age.
288. The reality of memory is not memory of reality.
289. Man is an improvisation.
290. History is a parody of human possibility.
291. Chance makes our lives and leaves its symbols behind.
292. In the world of objects all things are equal and equally free of value. In the valueless world all things are objects.
293. Time is empty except for mind.
294. Love is the location of value in the loved.
295. Language is the left hand of cunning.
296. Love is the coition between humanities.
297. How little we understand the world of the spirit that inhabits all these bodies.
298. What reality ever resembles our desire?
299. At the heart of beauty lies the disquiet of time.
300. Jealousy is always a kind of despair.
301. We hate to be reminded of what we have been forced to conquer in ourselves.
302. No one willingly delivers up their innermost spirit.
303. Compassion delivers us up to the life of another.
304. The mystery of the other lies in their inwardness, their invisibility to us, except through the gates of empathy and language.
305. Is not our deepest desire to prevent time passing? Given that it is only in our deepest moments that time passes at all.
306. To love is truly to risk one’s life, this one life whose path is only found by a perpetual leap in the dark.
307. The other is an infinite inwardness stretching away into the darkness of the self.
308. Memory is metaphor.
309. The evening – a blue blade of anguish pinning us to the earth.
310. Woman is man’s mythology: Man is woman’s child.
311. The mind cries out in pain at the heart’s madness.
312. Whatever remains of us: that is not us.
313. We can speak to the absence of the other what in their presence strikes us dumb.
314. Only in the exercise of love can we demonstrate greatness of spirit.
315. To desire more life is to desire to feel rather than to be happy, since the path of feeling is always the path of suffering. The complex sensibility always desires more life.
316. It is not the actions of others that are inexplicable to us but their motives.
317. In the other, also, there is a human being trying to become.
318. The universe may be purposeless but it is not formless.
319. In the battle with one’s self there is no victory, but it is only against one’s self that the battle could be won.
320. Only the powerless see clearly.
321. Kindness is not always kind nor love loving.
322. The famous are no longer themselves. Every mask is a myriad.
323. Jealousy in tearing off the mask of privacy creates the face it fears to find.
324. A sincere passion is a rare flower.
325. The outline of the figure is a hair’s breadth from the outline of the void.
326. We are the shadows of our own symbolic presence.
327. Every contrary carries the faint echo of its opposite. The bright light of noon always holds a curiously sinister note, and the darkness hides a shiver of pleasure.
328. To save from is to be responsible for. What we rescue we are obliged to give ourselves up to.
329. Seduction always dresses itself in the perfumes, tastes, and sounds, of the shadow realm. The flesh is the mind’s gateway to the hidden shore.
330. Thought reaches down into emotion, emotion sinks down into thought. Below Logos is Eros, below Eros is the Logos.
331. Deep love is an infinite trust, not a specious monogamy but an unqualified acceptance of what comes to us unarmed, to which unarmed we give ourselves.
332. We are the conscience and humanity of the universe.
333. In love, rightly understood, lies all creativity.
334. The individual is the unrepeatable repetition.
335. What comes from the roots of our being comes with the power of its source.
336. What is truly loved the mind can never lose.
337. We reject love out of fear that it will reject us.
338. The species is always active within us, always restless, unsatisfied, always yearning to be over and over, again and again.
339. The truth of our life is always beyond our life. The world would be nothing without the dream, without the many lives in the one life.
340. In desire we become a hunger and the world an object.
341. Intensity is always mistrusted.
342. We ache to find again what we have lost in eternity.
343. The lover is always a burden placed in the hands of the beloved.
344. Where we cannot give anything we cannot receive anything.
345. We cannot know another through power, only through love.
346. It is because the mind is a process and not an object that we cannot ever know one another’s minds completely.
347. The deepest love is undeserved and therefore always comes like a blessing.
348. Jealousy seeks to live the other’s life, in order that the other’s life may seek only to live ours.
349. Deep love is a sanctuary where judgement ceases.
350. We cannot love unless we can give of our self, and all giving of our self is a leap, an act of faith.
351. The mind wants to make itself eternal and is perpetually disappointed by transience.
352. All perfection seeks symmetry, but asymmetry is the route to knowledge.
353. Suffering for an illusion is no less painful than suffering for a reality, sometimes more so. Fantasy may be more demanding than fact as every religion testifies.
354. For love to be always attainable the object of our love must be forever unattainable.
355. The beauty and pity of the floating world, as fragile as a dream, as empty as a flower in the moonlight.
356. Our last struggle is always with circumstance.
357. Love is an activity not a state: enduring love is created by enduring activity.
358. The easiest to hurt with impunity are those whom we know will forgive us.
359. In love we desire to be the other, to find a mirror of our self, when we should in fact seek the challenge to our being, the silence of the beloved.
360. It is always a burden to carry the weight of another’s desires.
361. Our habitual life is never our real life.
362. The private self is inviolable.
363. The deepest thing we are springs from our sexuality, though it is not defined by our sexuality.
364. We cannot see the moment we are living. We cannot live the moment we are seeing.
365. The mind is floored by the sorrows of the senses.
366. Jealousy is an error of the imagination.
367. The echo of our desire continues inside us long after the desire itself has vanished.
368. We cannot describe our feelings, only the context in which they occur.
369. We have to have the courage to live our deepest feelings, or what exists but the littleness of life?
370. The mind, which we are, is never sufficient. Always we wish to go beyond it, and be free, and so are forever rushing towards its circumference which is in fact the centre of our prison.
371. The deeper and more intense the self the harder it is to engage with the world of others.
372. The unknowable life of the beloved is what we desire, yet our own love is a mirror which only ever returns us our self in its many disguises, while the other’s love seems the more unknowable and unforeseeable the greater it is.
373. Love forces us to become better than we are.
374. The same words never convey the same message. All communication is a shot in the dark.
375. Woman is always woman, man is always only man.
376. Pain is love’s loyal companion, its necessary companion.
377. Love makes us hostages to fortune.
378. To deep thought the symbol is what it signifies.
379. We should speak tenderly of things: they at least have no intentions towards us.
380. Mind is a process of body: body is a phenomenon of mind. The spirit dissolves in matter: matter dissolves in the spirit.
381. The world is all we have.
382. To be original is to repeat anew.
383. Mind questions: Existence is silent.
384. I cannot see what I am, or know what I am, I can only be what I am, and create what I am.
385. Reason cannot understand why we are not loved where we ourselves love.
386. Personal freedom is always bought with the pain of exile, because we are always in a deep relation to that from which we free ourselves.
387. The world is on the one hand banal, on the other incomprehensible. We are suspended between boredom and terror.
388. Being is an endless echo.
389. We overcome fear of reality by controlling its symbolic representations.
390. We carry our identity with us through all the world’s manifestations. This can never become that.
391. Love seeks the protector and often finds the predator.
392. There are stones in its depths the mind cannot lift, gates which it cannot pass through.
393. There are people who are objects to us just as there are things which seem to us alive.
394. The words for things are not the meaning of those things: it is we who invest words with meaning. Every text requires a reader.
395. Why when we hate malice, suffering and death so much do we not rise up, a solid phalanx, against them?
396. The past is terrible in its power. Those who do not work to free themselves from history become its prisoners.
397. I will not consent to the feeling that life is too much for us, all creativity is against it. Rather it is not enough for us: we ourselves burn with a greater flame.
398. In the end we imitate ourselves.
399. What terrifies us in the world is its terrible lack of inwardness.
400. Our tragedy is that mind is greater than its fate.
401. What I kill in myself does not disappear: it emerges as part of my victory or my disaster.
402. The handle of fate is a blade, to be is already to become.
403. The tragic symbol is not a tragedy. Tragic theatre is not tragic. Real tragedy is wordless.
404. Our spirits are always in excess of our fates. Hamlet’s problem.
405. The world without a mind has created minds that exceed the world, so that we are an endless preparation for an event that can never materialise.
406. The anxiety of beauty: behind the scenery time hides the void.
407. Love longs for meeting, but seeks to delay meeting in order to delay renewed separation. A chasm yearns for a void, meets an abyss and regrets an emptiness.
408. Jealousy hates the autonomy of the beloved.
409. Where could any values come from but out of the species and its history?
410. One always chooses oneself: that is what is meant by determinism. Oneself is what one chooses: that is what is meant by free-will.
411. You must love the beloved’s freedom more than the beloved.
412. We are moral beings because we are obliged to choose between courses of action.
413. There are those who, wrapped in silence, hide in the world.
414. Truth has to wait for a body in which it can reveal itself, and a mouth through which it can speak.
415. It does not take saintliness to be kind, or intellectual genius to be honest. Every life is open to love and truth.
416. The artist does not ask what the value of creativity is, any more than the lover asks the value of love.
417. Those who try to change the world of matter with the spirit usually find the world of matter changes the spirit in return, and not for the better.
418. To give without desire for a return (of some kind) is the very hardest act of all.
419. The recipient always resents the giving of a gift unless they can give something in return, recognition for example, or the salving of conscience.
420. Every fiction is a lie, sometimes every truth too.
421. We betray because we feel ourselves to have somehow been betrayed, by life, by ourselves, by the other.
422. In moments of jealousy, we are envious of the laughter that excludes us, the pleasure that is not conveyed by our hands. And we hate the silence that hides the mind of the one we love. Jealousy is selfishness turned inside-out. What we cannot possess we seek to imprison.
423. Every evil is the analogue of every other evil, as darkness is always an absence of light.
424. Just when we thought we were safe, pity consumed us.
425. What if compassion’s music is not knowledge but a humming in our ears?
426. The prostitute gives away the body and not the mind, in denuding herself she remains fully clothed. One barrier less, one barrier more.
427. Maturity consists in being in relationship with what you cannot understand, cannot be, and cannot possess.
428. What has grown used to selling itself rarely learns how to give itself away.
429. Only what we give away ever truly returns to us.
430. Woman is womb from womb, Man of the womb to which he returns.
431. Once you have made a place in your mind for the spirit, sacrifice, and the sacred, all religion is obsolete.
432. Reality is this sweat on the face of the condemned man.
433. Eternity is everywhere: we lose the vision of it: that is all.
434. All history is false that is not our history.
435. We give ourselves to others to escape from ourselves.
436. Fame is already an obstacle to truth.
437. Poetry is the act of seeing all things in relation to eternity.
438. Love is the great subversive.
439. What is real in us is unreal, what is imagined that is our true reality.
440. A text is only a text not life.
441. Love is nurtured by patience, silence and tact.
442. Man is a prisoner of time.
443. Every reality is individual.
444. The true wheel of existence is the life of every moment in the death of every moment.
445. The craving for absence is not the absence of craving.
446. There is no way but that of the free human spirit.
447. Beyond religion lies the spiritual future of the race.
448. The deepest problems of morality are not in deciding between good and evil, but in deciding between goods, and between evils.
449. What is life without creativity or love?
450. It is a moral wrong to inflict pain on, or make use of, another creature without its free consent. Every time we deviate from that ideal for whatever motive we are compromised.
451. Empathy and creativity are the basis of the noble life.
452. Our purpose might be said to be, perhaps: to add value to the universe.