Quotes by Emil Cioran

42 quotes  
Eternity is absence.
There is no false sensation.
To fear is to die every minute.
Sperm is a bandit in its pure state.
Hope is the normal form of delirium.
I feel I am free but I know I am not.
Only what you hide is profound, is true.
Only the village idiot thinks they "belong",
For life is a vice: the greatest one of all.
What do you do from morning to night? I endure myself.
Only an idiot could think there is a point to any of this.
Old age, after all, is merely the punishment for having lived.
We have convictions only if we have studied nothing thoroughly.
We must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves.
There is no means of proving it is preferable to be than not to be.
We have lost, being born, as much as we shall lose, dying. Everything.
The fear of being deceived is the vulgar version of the quest for Truth.
Consciousness is much more than the thorn, it is the dagger in the flesh.
God: a disease we imagine we are cured of because no one dies of it nowadays.
From the cradle to the grave, each individual pays for the sin of not being God.
We dread the future only when we are not sure we can kill ourselves when we want to.
It makes no sense to say that death is the goal of life. But what else is there to say?
It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late.
Neither mystics nor saints need eyes; they don't look at the world. Their heart is their eye.
Speech and silence. We feel safer with a madman who talks than with one who cannot open his mouth.
Write books only if you are going to say in them the things you would never dare confide to anyone.
To be objective is to treat others as you treat an object, a corpse to behave with them like an undertaker.
One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland --and no other.
In a work of psychiatry, only the patients' remarks interest me; in a work of criticism, only the quotations.
We smile, because no answer is conceivable, because the answer would be even more meaningless than the question.
I have no faith, luckily. If I had, I should live in constant fear of losing it. Hence, far from helping me, it would do nothing but injure me.
The poor, by thinking unceasingly of money, reach the point of losing the spiritual advantages of non-possession, thereby sinking as low as the rich.
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?
I can be friends with people only when they are at their lowest point and have neither the desire nor the strength to restore their habitual sentimental illusions.
We make choices, decisions, as long as we keep to the surface of things; once we reach the depths, we can neither choose nor decide; we can do nothing but regret the surface.
Tyranny destroys or strengthens the individual; freedom enervates him, until he becomes no more than a puppet. Man has more chances of saving himself by hell than by paradise.
"Never judge a man without putting yourself in his place." This old proverb makes all judgment impossible, for we judge someone only because, in fact, we cannot put ourselves in his place.
That faint light in each of us which dates back to before our birth, to before all births, is what must be protected if we want to rejoin that remote glory from which we shall never know why we were separated.
The only profitable conversations are with enthusiasts who have ceased being so, with the ex-naïve. Calmed down at last, they have taken, willy-nilly, the decisive step toward knowledge, that impersonal version of disappointment.
Much more than our other needs and endeavors, it is sexuality that puts us on an even footing with our kind: the more we practice it, the more we become like everyone else: it is in the performance of a reputedly bestial function that we prove our status as citizens: nothing is more public than the sexual act.
Say what we will, death is the best thing nature has found to please everyone. With each of us, everything vanishes, everything stops forever. What an advantage, what an abuse! Without the least effort on our part, we own the universe, we drag it into our own disappearance. No doubt about it, dying is immoral...
Friendship is a pact, a convention. Two beings tacitly promise never to broadcast what each really thinks of the other. A kind of alliance based on compromises. When one of them publicly calls attention to the other's defects, the pact is declared null and void, the alliance broken. No friendship lasts if one of the partners ceases to play the game. In other words, no friendship tolerates an exaggerated proportion of honesty.
42 quotes