Emile M. Cioran

Quote Topics Cited
History is nothing but a procession of false absolutes. History
Religions number in their ledgers more murders than the bloodiest tyrannies account for Religion & God
The fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a monster. Corruption
To want fame is to prefer dying scorned than forgotten. Public Relations & Image
What we want is not freedom but its appearances. Freedom & Liberty
A civilization is destroyed only when its gods are destroyed.
A distant enemy is always preferable to one at the gate.
A golden rule: to leave an incomplete image of oneself.
A marvel that has nothing to offer, democracy is at once a nation's paradise and its tomb.
A people represents not so much an aggregate of ideas and theories as of obsessions.
A sudden silence in the middle of a conversation suddenly brings us back to essentials: it reveals how dearly we must pay for the invention of speech.
Ambition is a drug that makes its addicts potential madmen.
Anyone can escape into sleep, we are all geniuses when we dream, the butcher's the poet's equal there.
Anyone who speaks in the name of others is always an imposter.
By all evidence we are in the world to do nothing.
Chaos is rejecting all you have learned, chaos is being yourself.
Consciousness is much more than the thorn, it is the dagger in the flesh.
Crime in full glory consolidates authority by the sacred fear it inspires.
Criticism is a misconception: we must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves.
Each concession we make is accompanied by an inner diminution of which we are not immediately conscious.
Ennui is the echo in us of time tearing itself apart. Time
Every thought derives from a thwarted sensation.
Everything is pathology, except for indifference.
For you who no longer posses it, freedom is everything, for us who do, it is merely an illusion. Freedom & Liberty
Glory - once achieved, what is it worth?
God - a disease we imagine we are cured of because no one dies of it nowadays. Religion & God
Great persecutors are recruited among martyrs whose heads haven't been cut off.
I foresee the day when we shall read nothing but telegrams and prayers.
I have no nationality - the best possible status for an intellectual.
If we could see ourselves as others see us, we would vanish on the spot.
If, at the limit, you can rule without crime, you cannot do so without injustices.
I'm simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?
Imaginary pains are by far the most real we suffer, since we feel a constant need for them and invent them because there is no way of doing without them.
Impossible to spend sleepless nights and accomplish anything: if, in my youth, my parents had not financed my insomnias, I should surely have killed myself.
In a republic, that paradise of debility, the politician is a petty tyrant who obeys the laws.
In every man sleeps a prophet, and when he wakes there is a little more evil in the world.
In order to have the stuff of a tyrant, a certain mental derangement is necessary.
Intelligence flourishes only in the ages when belief withers.
Isn't history ultimately the result of our fear of boredom? History
It is because we are all imposters that we endure each other.
It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late.
Jealousy - that jumble of secret worship and ostensible aversion.
Life creates itself in delirium and is undone in ennui. Life
Life inspires more dread than death - it is life which is the great unknown. Life ;Death
Life is possible only by the deficiencies of our imagination and memory. Life
Man must vanquish himself, must do himself violence, in order to perform the slightest action untainted by evil.
Man starts over again everyday, in spite of all he knows, against all he knows.
Music is the refuge of souls ulcerated by happiness. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Happiness & Unhappiness
My mission is to kill time, and time's to kill me in its turn. How comfortable one is among murderers. Time
Negation is the mind's first freedom, yet a negative habit is fruitful only so long as we exert ourselves to overcome it, adapt it to our needs; once acquired it can imprison us. Freedom & Liberty
No one can enjoy freedom without trembling. Freedom & Liberty
No one recovers from the disease of being born, a deadly wound if there ever was one.
Nothing is so wearing as the possession or abuse of liberty.
Nothing proves that we are more than nothing.
One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland - and no other.
One hardly saves a world without ruling it.
Our first intuitions are the true ones.
Our works, whatever they may be, derive from our incapacity to kill or to kill ourselves.
Philosophers write for professors; thinkers for writers.
Philosophy: Impersonal anxiety; refuge among anemic ideas.
Progress is the injustice each generation commits with regard to its predecessors.
Revenge is not always sweet, once it is consummated we feel inferior to our victim.
Since all life is futility, then the decision to exist must be the most irrational of all. Life
Skepticism is the sadism of embittered souls.
So long as man is protected by madness - he functions - and flourishes.
Society is not a disease, it is a disaster. What a stupid miracle that one can live in it. Society
Speech and silence. We feel safer with a madman who talks than with one who cannot open his mouth.
Sperm is a bandit in its pure state.
The desire to die was my one and only concern; to it I have sacrificed everything, even death. Death
The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live - moreover, the only one. Life
The fear of being deceived is the vulgar version of the quest for Truth. Truth
The limit of every pain is an even greater pain.
The mind is the result of the torments the flesh undergoes or inflicts upon itself.
The more we try to rest ourselves from our Egos, the deeper we sink into it.
The obsession with suicide is characteristic of the man who can neither live nor die, and whose attention never swerves from this double impossibility.
The task of the solitary man is to be even more solitary.
The Universal view melts things into a blur.
There is no means of proving it is preferable to be than not to be.
To act is to anchor in an imminent future, so imminent it becomes almost tangible; to act is to feel you are consubstantial with that future. Future
To exist is a habit I do not despair of acquiring.
To Live signifies to believe and hope - to lie and to lie to oneself. Hope
To venture upon an undertaking of any kind, even the most insignificant, is to sacrifice to envy.
Tolerance - the function of an extinguished ardor - tolerance cannot seduce the young.
Torment, for some men, is a need, an appetite, and an accomplishment.
Truths begin by a conflict with the police - and end by calling them in.
Under each formula lies a corpse.
We are afraid of the enormity of the possible.
We are born to Exist, not to know, to be, not to assert ourselves.
We define only out of despair, we must have a formula... to give a facade tot he void.
We derive our vitality from our store of madness.
We die in proportion to the words we fling around us.
We inhabit a language rather than a country.
We interest others by the misfortune we spread around us.
We understand God by everything in ourselves that is fragmentary, incomplete, and inopportune. Religion & God
We would not be interested in human beings if we did not have the hope of someday meeting someone worse off than ourselves. Hope
What does the future, that half of time, matter to the man who is infatuated with eternity? Time ;Future
What pride to discover that nothing belongs to you - what a revelation.
What surrounds us we endure better for giving it a name - and moving on. Moving On
What would be left of our tragedies if an insect were to present us his?
When we cannot be delivered from ourselves, we delight in devouring ourselves.
Who Rebels? Who rises in arms? Rarely the slave, but almost always the oppressor turned slave.
Woes and wonders of Power, that tonic hell, synthesis of poison and panacea. Power
Word - that invisible dagger.
Write books only if you are going to say in them the things you would never dare confide to anyone.
You are done for - a living dead man - not when you stop loving but stop hating. Hatred preserves: in it, in its chemistry, resides the mystery of life. Life

Trending Quotes