Hopeless Philosophy

I separated myself from philosophy when it was impossible for me to discover at Kant any trace of human weakness or an authentic accent of sadness; at Kant and at all philosophers.

hopeless In contrast to music, mysticism, poetry, philosophical activity shows a thin sap and a suspected depth which tempt only shy beings and executioners.

Essentially, the philosophy, as impersonal anxiety and refuge around some anemic ideas, is the appeal of all those who avoid the corrupting exuberance of life.

Almost all philosophers died well; this is the ultimate argument against philosophy. Even the end of Socrates had notihing tragic in it: it was  just a misunderstandig, being the end of a teacher. And if Nietzsche collapsed, he paid for his ecstasy of poet and visionary, and not for his reasoning.

We cannot ignore existence because of the explanations; we can only live it, love or hate it, adore it or fear because of it in that alternation of happiness and horror that expresses the rhythm of the being itself, oscillations, dissonances, its bitter or sweet vehemences.

Practicing philosophy is not profitable; it is just honorable. You don’t risk anything as a philosopher: philosophy is a job without destiny, it fills the neutral and free time with bulky thoughts… refractory time to the Old Testament, to Bach as well as to Shakespeare.


Have these thoughts of philosophy ever been at the level of Job’s exclamation of pain ? Can it compare to a fright in Macbeth or the height of a symphony ?

The universe is not discussed; it is expressed. And philosophy doesn’t express it. The real problems start after you’ve gone through or exhausted them, after the last chapter of a huge book in which the final dot is put as a sign of abdication in favor of the Unknown, Unknown in which all our moments are rooted and we must fight against it because it is more immediate, more important than our daily bread.

Here the philosopher leaves us: enemy of disaster, he is quiet and prudent as rationality. And we remain in the fellowship of an old plague, of a poet who knows all the deliriums, and a musician whose sublime goes beyond the sphere of the world.

We begin to really live only at the end of philosophy, on its ruins, when we understand its terrible futility and the fact that it’s a hopeless act to ask for its help, that it is useless.

Emil Cioran, Manual de descompunere


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