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TitleCioran - Book of Delusions
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Page 1

E. M. Cioran: The Book of Delusions

Trans with an intro by Camelia Elias

��������, Volume V, issue 1, May 2010

Page 2

Cartea Amagirilor, chapter five, trans with an intro by Camelia Elias

53 Hyperion—The Book of Delusions

Page 15

everything and sense what will come theorize. They amount to zero, all those
thoughts that don’t grow on a soul and a body, and so do all pure ideas; it
is futile, the knowledge that comes for free. Let steam come out of thought;
sparks from ideas; from knowledge fire. Let other dimensions give things the
fever of this thought. Let this thinking proceed from a will to reform the world,
from the passion to overturn all orders, visible and invisible. Let this strong
thinking bust the natural laws, give the cosmic basis another depth, and let the
columns of the world gain another height through it. Let the world lean on us;
let our resistance mean more than it meant for Atlas. Let our thoughts be the
shoulders on which the endless worlds would lean. Earthquakes will create
endless unease, and the flames will carry like halos the endless worlds. If
everything that is in time and space did not contain our dimensions, why would
we then think about space and time? If everything that lives and dies did not
live and die within ourselves, why would we then think about life and death?

––Those days in spring, when matter dissolves in the sunrays and the soul
gets lost in remembrance… That’s when all the dreams we’ve had so far will
be reborn in ourselves, all the dreams of our nights, all the absurd and the
imaginary stuff, woven in our unconscious by our fear, our voluptuousness,
and our hidden pain. I thought that the dreams had died in us with every day
and every night that passed. But the voluptuous decomposition of our soul,
under the vast spring sky, is the call of remembrance. The more the soul
is fragmented, the more it approaches the zone of forgetfulness. Towards
everything that we forgot, this is the pilgrimage towards our inner being the
eternal presence of spring invites us to undertake. The shattering of our soul
only shows us what we have been. Why can’t we always awaken our past?
We sleep within ourselves, and the ego is a shroud that covers our sleep.

––In that cathedral, in which you were alone, and where you entered to
forget the world and yourself, you did it to feel the lack of motion and to
forget waiting, to feel how you were solemnly born in the colonnades and in
the arches, to feel how you were disseminated in the purple shrouding, the
majestically curbed and undulating lines of the temple, whose vaults you
measured, and in whose transcendental geometry you lost yourself. Your soul
has become a column, an arch, and a vault. Above the world and in its forms
your forms have been intertwined, and this non-movement of your nature has
become a block of stone. And in your bending, without emotion, you have
looked down on earth. What was your soul, if not the stone that does not rest
on the ground? Down you were in your heights, weak in your toughness,
heavy in your flight, stone on its way to heaven…

But suddenly, the miracle of the sound of the organ, a miracle in the cathedral
in which you thought you were alone. How the arches moved, the colonnades
and vaults, and in vibration did your matter dilate itself, and the cathedral grew
bigger in the world’s dimensions. In the sound of the organ, where you may

Hyperion—Volume V, issue 1, May 2010 66

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still look for boundaries, what music comes from beyond the margins, from
beyond the margins of the world and the soul?

… And then, the heavens leaned on your soul.

––The atoms that sleep in people, and which have never slept in me.

The continuous awakening from matter’s sleep…

Matter as the cradle of forgetting…

The life of the soul, the spirit which shows us our traces…

Matter leaves no traces, and therefore it is the cradle of forgetting.

All traces, all that is not matter in us, follows us…

But descending into matter, we love our traces…

Not spirit, but music is the antipode of matter…

Rummaging though the most distant past, music awakens us constantly from
matter’s sleep…

But music like matter is eternal.

The formation of the worlds has spread the first harmonies in space.

Music expresses all that is chaotic in the cosmos: therefore there exists only
one music of the beginning and one music of the end…

Absurd thought in music: a physics from which one proceeds from tears rather
than atoms.

Imagine if we were to roll with the entire world in a crazy avalanche to conquer
forever matter’s sleep, and like the atoms, let no one sleep. We should have
lived when the earth breathed through volcanoes and when it was wrested out
of the sun.

Everything is already in every moment: now the world is born, and now it dies;
the rays of light and the dark; transfiguration and the crash, melancholy and
horror. The world: we can make it absolute within ourselves.

––The fact that the will to power is the last card played in the game with life
is proven by power’s supreme ability to tempt all those that have nothing to
lose or for whom life had nothing to offer. Jesus: the weakest man—was also
the strongest (because he hasn’t exhausted himself in hovering over two

67 Hyperion—The Book of Delusions�

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––Sexuality makes no other sense than when it conquers the infinite in Eros.

––I love those vibrations which are born after a major sadness; another world
starts then, in which you don’t look for feelings, even though they are there,
nor do you look for passions, even though they give birth to this world. And this
world, sprung from the triumph over sadness, is the most distant from people.
So often music lives and breathes in this world, and so always do the founders
of religions; rarely the poets, and never the people.

I ask myself: when are people going to stop querying themselves? When
will they definitively renounce theory and mystery? What is seems to me to
be neutral to appearance and to essence. The inessential has always been
defined in opposition to death. All thinkers, whether they wanted it or not, have
assimilated the essence of death. The appearances have constituted in their
eyes all that which wants itself independent of death. The last thought of every
man disfigures life in illusion.

Every time you separate the world in appearances and essences, you declare
yourself implicitly against life. Out of every type of thought, life has nothing
other than what it loses. The prejudice of the essential is the cult of death.
When we destroy the categories of thinking, and we attach ourselves to the
world in a completely different way, only then will we be able to smash this
cult and this prejudice. This duality, appearances/essences, is a catastrophic
duality. The first act of distinguishing made in the world was an attempt for
which we should not hold only the spirit responsible. It seems to me that the
whole future process of humanity will be nothing other than a regaining of

––I have started the battle thus: either me, or existence. And we both came
out defeated and diminished.

––Ah! if only I could worship the ephemeral things once, to disseminate the
breeze of memories in the wind, and if only thoughts would become breezes!
So few of them I can catch—these thoughts, of the world and of things—that
it would be better for thoughts to touch these things and caress them than to
remain, estranged, with them! Because thoughts are deep in themselves; not
in the depth of things and the world!

81 Hyperion—The Book of Delusions�

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––Why are thoughts born with so much difficulty under the clear sky? There
are only thoughts in the night. And they have a mysterious precision, a
troubling laconism; the thoughts in the night are without appeal.

published in Hyperion: On the Future of Aesthetics, a web publication of
The Nietzsche Circle:, Volume V, issue 1, May 2010

Hyperion—Volume V, issue 1, May 2010 82

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