Friday, April 22, 2016

Existential quotes

QUOTES OF NIHILISM:
DON DELILLO, WHITE NOISE:

By SayuriIto
“…Let me whisper the terrible word, from the Old English, from the Old German, from the Old Norse. Death. Many of those crowds were assembled in the name of death. They were there to attend tributes to the dead. Processions, songs, speeches, dialogues with the dead, recitations of the names of the dead. They were there to see pyres and flaming wheels, thousands of flags dipped in salute, thousands of uniformed mourners. There were ranks and squadrons, elaborate backdrops, blood banners and black dress uniforms. Crowds came to form a shield against their own dying. To become a crowd is to keep out death. To break off from the crowd is to risk death as an individual, to face dying alone. Crowds came for this reason above all others. They were there to be a crowd.”
No sense of the irony of human existence, that we are the highest form of life on earth and yet ineffably sad because we know what no other animal knows, that we must die.
Out in the open, keeping their children near, carrying what they could, they seemed to be part of some ancient destiny, connected in doom and ruin to a while history of people trekking across wasted landscapes.
We began to marvel at our own ability to manufacture awe.
The greater the scientific advance, the more primitive the fear.
How strange it is. We have these deep terrible lingering fears about ourselves and the people we love. Yet we walk around, talk to people, eat and drink. We manage to function. The feelings are deep and real. Shouldn’t they paralyze us? How is it we can survive them, at least for awhile? We drive a car, we teach a class. How is it that no one sees how deeply afraid we were, last night, this morning? Is it something we all hide from each other, by mutual consent? Or do we share the same secret without knowing it? Wear the same disguise.
…but I think it’s a mistake to lose one’s sense of death, even one’s fear of death. Isn’t death the boundary we need? Doesn’t it give a precious texture to life, a sense of definition? You have to ask yourself whether anything you do in this life would have beauty and meaning without the knowledge you carry of a final line, a border or limit.
“To plot, to take aim at something, to shape time and space. This is how we advance the art of human consciousness.”
You are sure that you are right but you don’t want everyone to think as you do. There is no truth without fools.
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MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE, APOLOGY FOR RAYMOND SEBOND:

Is it possible to imagine anything so ridiculous as that this miserable and puny creature, who is not even master of himself, exposed to the attacks of all things, should call himself master and emperor of the universe, the least part of which it is not in his power to know, much less to command?
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JOHN GARDNER, GRENDEL:

It’s good at first to be out in the night, naked to the cold mechanics of the starts. Space hurls outward, falconswift, mounting like an irreversible injustice, a final disease.
I understood that the world was nothing: a mechanical chaos of casual, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears. I understood that, finally and absolutely, I alone exist. All the rest, I saw, is merely what pushes me, or what I push against, blindly – as blindly as all that is not myself pushes back. I create the whole universe, blink by blink.
…this one frail, foolish flicker-flash in the long dull fall of eternity.

I too am learning, ordeal by ordeal, my indignity. It’s all I have, my only weapon for smashing through these stiff coffin-walls of the world. So I dance in the moonlight, make foul jokes, or labor to shake the foundations of night with my heaped-up howls of rage. Something is bound to come of all this. I cannot believe such monstrous energy of grief can lead to nothing! 
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The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. 

Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism – and their assumption of immortality. 

As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. 

But, if he’s reasonably strong – and lucky – he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s √©lan. 

Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation.

 He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining. 

The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death – however mutable man may be able to make them – our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. 

However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light. 

―Stanley Kubrick

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I would like to beg of you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. 

Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. 

Do not now look for the answers. 

They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. 

At present you need to live the question. 

–Rainer Maria Rilke

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We are all children of the same dark night, inhabited by the same demons, haunted by the same specters… 

It is not a question of finding an answer to the night of truth but of sitting up with one another through the night, of dividing the abyss in half in a companionship that is its own meaning.

 –John Caputo

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