“We are all at the bottom of a hell where every moment is a miracle, if I were free I would kill myself instantly!”
Cioran was born in Romania in 1911 and died in Paris in 1995, he was a philosopher, essayist and one of the most influential aphorists of the twentieth century.His aphorisms are pervaded by a deep bitterness which is tempered by his acute irony and his ability to write. In the field of philosophical thought, Cioran ranks among those figures who go beyond the canons established by the time and who are not part of any current or any school. His direct and profound style stems from the fact that he did not write to spread his ideas to an audience but to dispel his suffering that came from a constant insomnia that led him to the brink of suicide.
“Insomnia is a dizzying lucidity that would be able to transform heaven itself into a place of torture, this does not add, anything is preferable to this permanent alert, to this criminal absence of oblivion, and it is during those infernal nights that I understood the futility of philosophy. “
The waking hours are essentially an interminable repulsion of thought through thought itself, this sounds like a declaration of war, an infernal ultimatum of the mind to itself. Walking prevents you from racking your brains with unanswered questions, while in bed you mull over the insoluble up to the vertical.
The use of what can be defined as a form of therapeutic literature was the real redemption. Ciorane was not so fond of writing as a poetic act but as an activity that by dissolving existential crushing allows life to be liveable. When one thinks of this figure of the 20th century, one must take into account that Cioran did not make the artistic scandal a way of life and made art an explosion of feelings, writing a perfectly personal escape valve.
The apology of not being and therefore of suicide.
Living is a misfortune and birth is an irremediable disaster! In some works, Cioran focuses on the tragic vision of existence and its pessimism which is the extremism of that of Schopenhauer from whom Cioran shares an interest in Buddhism and the theorization of the nightmare of pain, it is all pain , this is a Buddhist formula that we could modernize a la Cioran and it would sound like this:
“Everything is a nightmare, therefore, I do not forgive myself for being born and it is as if by being born, I had profaned a mystery, as if I had betrayed some solemn commitment and as if I had committed a crime of unprecedented gravity for which being born appears to be a magnet that I would be inconsolable not to have known! ” This is the absurdity that characterizes Cioran’s thought, hating life but at the same time appreciating its experiences and even considering them indispensable.
Suicide is paradoxically what life allows, this is possible to the extent that existence is perceived in absolute terms as a lacerating construction, inevitable in this perspective, suicide represents the fullest character of freedom exercisable by man who , in impotence, he has at every moment the omnipotence of cessation, of the whole, the extreme negation of every unsustainable otherness, in the final analysis man can shoulder the burden of life only to the extent that he knows he can bring death. Cioran writes again: “I remember an occasion in which for three hours I walked with an engineer who wanted to commit suicide, in the end I convinced him not to do it, I told him that the important thing was to have conceived the idea, the important thing was so knowing how to be free and I believe that the idea of suicide is the only thing that makes life bearable but you have to know how to exploit it, don’t rush to draw the consequences, it’s a very useful idea, they should give us lessons in schools.
Here is irony, irony is capable of grasping the absurdity of life and is capable of saving man. saves him from pessimism, from nihilism, the humor that, in fact, accompanies irony, makes life tolerable that sometimes seems paradoxical, giving existence itself a new rational sense from which to start living again without deceit and this is a important step, without deceit.
When all ideas of a moral, aesthetic, religious, social, etc. they no longer know how to give life a direction, they know how to find a purpose in it, how can life be saved from nothing?
We can only succeed by clinging to the absurd, clinging to absolute uselessness, that is, to something that has no consistency but whose fiction can create an illusion of life, after all Freud also said it. Now, Cioran’s philosophical system consists in denying the system itself, that is the rules, the academic formalism, it does not pretend to explain, to demonstrate but only to show what life is, speaking of himself as man and not of humanity in the sense strict. The paths of thought that Cioran follows are various and apparently incompatible with each other and are mystical philosophy, history, literature, religion, but all these paths lead to a single result, the failure that marks every human life.
But beware, to suffer is to produce knowledge, suffering produces knowledge. In Cioran, thought and life overlap in a ruthless way, the nights spent with open eyes influenced the development and drafting of his works, the sleepless nights spent between readings, notebooks filled madly, have built and forged the thought of author through boredom, boredom is his eternal companion and then there is the lucidity exasperated by a loneliness that at night leads the writer to self-analysis, an analysis of himself conducted without sparing targeted shots, to peer into the own abysses and consequently in the abysses of humanity itself, and it is precisely in this context that Cioran does not enter his philosophy, a concept comes into play that will be the lowest common denominator, that is time, time in its various meanings, the historical time and existential time:
“There is nothing in me that pushes me to talk about pain or nothing, why do I have to waste time studying Buddhism for example? You have to look for everything in yourself and if you don’t find what you are looking for, then you have to let it go, what interests me is my life and no matter how many books I can browse, I will find nothing direct, nothing absolute, nothing irreplaceable , everywhere I will always find the usual philosophical nonsense. “