conversion

Conversion is a form of suicide. Except that it has the major advantage that one reaches the other side alive.

ambition

Being an artist is particularly dangerous because being one rarely goes without ambition and this ambition binds us to the earth not only while we are here, but also later, when we no longer exist. We intend to survive here, to still matter and shine, of course, whereas it is necessary to work to humble oneself and destroy all the bonds that tie us to this world.

We cannot claim to do so if we remain attached to a state that fatally stokes the desire to shine, to rise, to excel and persist both in this world and the next, after death has taken us.

an infinite wall

A mystery exists for believer and unbeliever alike, for earthly life is the same for them both. An infinite wall of which neither the ends nor the top nor the bottom can be seen.

Except, this wall, for the unbeliever, is an obstacle against which he vainly strikes his head.

While for the believer, it is a support, against which he leans to look back at life and ponder all its illogicality with more depth, power and certainty.

saints

Nothing is easier, when supported by a little grace, than to imitate a saint.

Once, a day, two weeks or six months. But throughout one’s entire life, without fail, that’s the stumbling-block. Yet that is what saints do. For saints imitate each other as well.

the mysterious power

There comes a time when one feels that people cannot do anything for you nor you for them, that is when one discovers the mysterious power of prayer.

the secret

The secret of religion, of faith is this: that man ceases to live on the illusion of his own power. That he sees his actual weakness and immediately another power arises within him, a true power, founded on reality and which will not fail him.

bowing

Some say, “You bow and you are on the side of those who want to lower themselves.” Yes, I bow, but I know that I am bowing and why.

That is the difference between me and you who bow without knowing it, who want to make others bow without realizing it and without knowing exactly why. All you offer them is the adventure. And we already know how all adventures end.

prayer

Prayer must go further than any request, praise or worship. It must include the offering of oneself. For to adore is to forget oneself and lose oneself within the beloved. And what is prayer if not an act of adoration?

unconfessable

Only confessing what is unconfessable has any benefit.

enslavement

You will always be a slave, if only due to this unruly and painful need to not be one.

***

He who believes himself to be free has simply not measured the length of his tether.

instinct

Do not confuse instincts with (obscure) desires.

***

Instinct is a hidden, unrevealed force, neither cloudy nor obscure.

It is reason that clouds instinct. In a being deprived of reason instinct is a firm and sure guide.

divorcing the world

When divorcing the world, one must assume all the blame.

the ladder of reason

Climbing the ladder of reason, I no longer believe in anything, especially reason.

heroism

There is a dreadful heroism, a rather difficult decision to make: to bear all that occurs without ever being a hero.

An adventure yarn in an unlit room.

a waste of time

It is a waste of time to reproach anyone who is incapable of reproaching themselves.

poverty

Our epoch completes the disappearance of the layabout, the rake, the useless dandy whose sole function was to waste his life and money. We instituted a new honour: that of earned money.

Anything that does not earn money is despised. A curious twist in the morals proclaimed by democracy and socialism. The masses, in their typical idiocy, have proclaimed that only those who work have any right to live, even the wealthy are to be put to work. Yet the wealthy have not become poorer, to the contrary, nor have the masses improved their lot.

This theory that the producer, the labourer alone are worthy of living is so ridiculous these days,  when so many labourers and producers only make useless things! If rigorously followed, few would retain the right to be alive outside of peasants, bakers, masons, tailors… Young rich people invade industry, banking, commerce, arts and literature. As, in the first of these (industry, banking, commerce), they buy the best places, the common people, in short, lose them, and in the latter two (arts and literature) since rich folks have the means to buy fame and, to deceive by any means, even talented people are forced into poverty.

false modesty

Sure, false modesty is loathsome. However, if not in pursuit of a hypocritical aim, affecting modesty prepares one for practicing the truth.

strength

He who knows his weakness is actually stronger than he who blindly believes in his strength.

self-loathing

Due to self-love we come to self-loathing. When, due to being jostled, struck, wounded, we find the world unbearable and despise our neighbours, we realize that we can no longer bear ourselves, that we loathe ourselves, that the greatest evil always comes from ourselves.

self-importance

When one sees what important people are made of, one suddenly doesn’t desire to be important. But when one also sees those who aren’t important yet who think that they should be…