On The Heights of Absurdity

Following on with our current theme, not exactly sociable or cheerful, but our current alienated state of being is not sociable or cheerful. A nod to Cioran’s ‘On The Heights of Despair’, kind of the last word on depression and her equally ugly handmaidens – despair and insomnia. Cioran makes his fellow countryman Eugene Ionescu appear positively upbeat, there is humour and folly in Ionescu, with Cioran, at 23 mind you, a Romanian Sturm und Drang, a creative barbarian of the Iron Guard of Archangel Michael, is writing about old morbid depression coloured black and grey with despair and insomnia, loss of appetite too I might add. Profoundly serious, he felt extremely vexed at the Democratic induced disintegration of Romania. And all this intrusive Vexation of the Spirit also. Emile Cioran the youthful philosopher of the Iron Guard, an Angel of Romanian Transfiguration and Nationalism.

“But how can those who violently experience hatred, despair, chaos, nothingness, or love, who burn with each passion and gradually die with each and in each, those who can only breathe on heights, who are always alone, especially when they are with others – how can they grow in linear fashion and crystallize into a system? All that is form, system category, frame, or plan tends to make things absolute and springs from a lack of inner energy, from a sterile spiritual life. Life’s great tensions verge on chaos and the madness of exaltation. Rich spiritual life must know chaos and the effervescent paroxysm of illness, because in them inspiration appears to be essential for creation and contradictions become expressions of high inner temperatures. Nobody who does not love chaos is a creator, and whoever is contemptuous of illness must not speak of the spirit. There is only value in that which bursts forth from inspiration, which springs up from the irrational depths of our being, from the secret centre of our subjectivity. The fruit of labour, effort, and endeavour has no value, and the offspring of intelligence is sterile and uninteresting. I delight in the barbaric and spontaneous elan of inspiration, effervescent spiritual states, essential lyricism, and inner tension – these things make inspiration the only reality of creation.”  –  Emil Cioran – ‘On The Heights Of Despair’

In real deep Depression one cannot write like that, one cannot write at all, but in your mild garden variety depression it is quite a therapeutic mental exercise. There is a vanity to youth which with age turns to acerbity, reduced to acerbity. Vanity may be a welcome counterpoint to vexation but over time vanity is eroded and all that is left is acerbity and a deeper more mature vexation. Youth can afford to be vain and vanity is a costly luxury that few can afford whether young or old. Vexation of the spirit however is freely handed out by Nature. A Nation can offer resistance to this, insulation, but when Nature hands out with equal measure her vexation on an individual, the result is severely shocking in its extremeness and senselessness, shocking in the unfairness. What once an entire Nation coped with, unfair in itself one must admit, vexation unlike vanity is never fair; what once an entire Nation endured, now an Individual must endure, but the vexation is dealt out in the same measure! Nature is profligate with this, she is a spendthrift when it comes to Her vexation, She delivers it equally and mightily on either Nation or Individual without consideration for either! Vanity could be said to be reliant on good favour and fortune, even the more rare healthy forms of blessedness, but vexation is as common as grass and flies and humans, vexation is everywhere even more so! Vexation is amazingly abundant… Grass, flies and humans could be said to be just merely parenthetical in the Great Vexation! Vanity is related to hope – what beautiful, young, healthy adolescent is not hopeful? Vexation has a zillion ways to outcompete such hope. Vexation will come up trumps every time, if you don’t believe me just wait awhile, Nature will soon see to that. Adolescence and youthful beauty and vigour are rare, oh so rare, and frightfully costly to boot. Youthful beauty is rare and quite aristocratic, if I may put it that way, epistemologically I think I can, yes quite aristocratic; rare things that are paid for both in advance and with interest later. Vexation however is not rare, although it can be delivered to you with special exquisite rareness whether you like it or not, definitely not aristocratic in the sense that it is liberally applied to all and sundry free of charge. You don’t have to be special to receive a bad dose of malicious vexation, but you can be given a special dose all to yourself, in fact Nature delights in special extra bitter doses of vexation willy-nilly, dealt out to individuals in unequal measures haphazardly. Humour or folly or pain and death may result, or whatever, the point is Nature is not discerning in such mighty matters of Her Great Vexation powers. Vexation is not rare nor particularly aristocratic in this unfashionable way of Hers. And it costs nothing to Her, but it may cost you greatly! Or not. Because it may also come for free, like I said, but it is capricious like that, vexation, it costs, but not in the way you would reckon it would, Nature does not have an accountant. Nature’s books are absurd, She makes Heinrich Schliemann look honest…. She does not have to account for Her vexation, She is abundantly rich in vexation, and She is more than willing to use Her riches at any place and at any time. So remarkable is Her delivery of vexation at times that one wonders if She really is just doling it out willy-nilly, one cannot even be sure of that. She is secretive like that, She has one set of books She shows you  and then She seems to have another set of books that She does not show you, at least She provides you with the illusion that She might have another set of books that are not so haphazardly arranged or absurd. Either way She keeps silent. And Silence is the ultimate form of aggression, remember, I’ll repeat the aphorism for you; ‘Silence is the ultimate form of aggression.’

Yes, it is certainly bankable, Nature is willing to serve you up vexation, no deposit required, She will bank it on your behalf, no questions asked. She has Carte Blanche, and you don’t have to be present for the reading of the Will, She will deliver to you. She has many heirs but She never dies, Samson, come solve my riddle, it’s so lyrical. At the end of the day – vexation, guaranteed, disillusionment comes for free, makes one so much more sensitive to vexation of the spirit. They call this Wisdom. And it is. I am not being metaphorical in this instance; disillusionment IS what makes one wise. The vanity of Nations disappears with youth….the vanity of Individuals disappears with youth….What once Nations felt collectively, what once races felt collectively we now feel Individually, with the profound emergence of the ‘I’…

Oh, yes, She will give you vexation, whether you want it or not, for free, and unlike beauty and healthiness and youth, which are qualities that Nature is unbelievably stingy with, She is a real “tight-arse” when it comes to that, but vexation, oh well She always dishes out in alarmingly liberal doses, and overdoses! Whether one wants it or not and unlike beauty and healthiness and youth and the vanity that goes with such rare blessings, vexation is a feeling that nobody wants! It’s not in demand, and Nature in all her undying experience is blissfully unaware that Her Great Vexation is not in demand. If it was a product, there would be no buyers. Yet vexation is Nature’s most abundant asset, why so much of something that is so undesirable? I don’t know the answer to that, at least not at this moment, but out of the chaos of inspiration I am sure that the words will eventually come to me, all lyrical and metaphorical atop the heights of Absurdity.


8 responses to “On The Heights of Absurdity

  • jalexandermaximilian

    Torchbearer Karl,
    Excellent! Bravo! I have to read that again.

  • leuchovius2014

    Awesome, such rare words of truth come as a shock these days.

  • Anonymous

    On my bookshelf I have photographs of my best friends from youth and even more importantly, my first love. She stares at me seductively… But what else is on that shelf of great memories, with which I use to show off my exploits? The fifteenth book from the right, sandwiched between The Secret King and The Mystery of the Grail is Third Reich Pilgrim. In no specific order of course. Just where the winds of fate brought it. It so happens to be in a specific category that I am most fond of, however. Is that something to be vexed about? I don’t think so. It is something to be proud of.

  • oregoncoug

    According to Saint-John Perse, Cioran was “the greatest French writer to honour our language since the death of Paul Valéry.” Therefore the Republic of Letters has declared that Cioran is the literary heir of Paul Valéry. This means that Cioran is also the worthy Francophone counterpart to what Don Miguel Serrano embodies in the Hispanic world. Despite many appearances, in the world apart from the innumerable illusions of Reality, Emil Cioran is an Esoteric Hitlerist.

    Like the immortal Arno Breker, he is one of us:

    “To live entirely without a goal! I have glimpsed this state, and have often attained it, without managing to remain there. I am too weak for such happiness.”

    — Emil Cioran

  • Ironage

    Excellent post kamerad!

    SH/HH!

  • delendaestziobot

    “When the ticking of a clock breaks the silence of eternity, arousing you out of serene contemplation, how can you help resenting the absurdity of time, its march into the future, and all the nonsense of evolution and progress? Why go forward, why live in time? The sudden revelation of time at such moments, conferring upon it a crushing pre-eminence otherwise non-existent, is the fruit of a strong contempt for life, an unwillingness to go on. If this revelation happens at night, the sensation of unutterable loneliness is added to the absurdity of time, because then, far from the crowd, you face time alone, the two of you caught in an irreducible duality. Time, in this nocturnal desolation, is no longer populated with actions and objects: it becomes an evergrowing nothingness, a dilating void, a threat from beyond. Silence resounds then with the mournful clamour of bells knelling for a dead universe. Only he who has separated time from existence lives this drama: fleeing the latter, he is crushed by the former. And he feels how time, like death, gains ground.” – Emil Cioran

    The answer to Heidegger’s: being questioning his Being, being thrown into the world. Or to the materialists both Heidegger and Cioran would say that because Dasein is thrown into this temporal world, that does not mean that Dasein is also temporal. the Question of this, is the beginning of disillusionment and the Destruktion (dismantling) of this world, including all its History which is a product of the temporal world. The second part of Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time’ is Cioran’s ‘On The Heights of Absurdity’!

    Time is an error that can only be corrected by Eternity. When the noise of the Word was created, more words did not solve the problem, laughter, another noise, was a poor anaesthesia to the non-ability of the Word/Lord of the Wor-l-d to solve the problem of His own words, which cause anxiety.

  • delendaestziobot

    There are books coming out now written after Cioran’s death claiming that he wrote privately that he was remorseful for Romania’s Fascism and shameful for the anti-Semitic nature of Nazism and Fascism! And that he left Romania because he was ashamed of his past! Absolute lies of course published after his death from private “notebooks”, only available to Jewish academia…As a side note Cioran’s “The Transfiguration of Romania” is out of print and a rare copy is available from a Jewish book seller for $353.99! Oh, Elsevier Inc. Of course.

  • aufihrhelden

    The modern Olympic Games is an event before which the pharmaceutical industry meets to decide who will be awarded the medals.

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