Cortez the Killer
At the climax of a failure, at the moment when shame is about to do us in, suddenly we are swept away by a frenzy of pride which lasts only long enough to drain us, to leave us without energy, to lower, with our powers, the intensity of our shame.
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born
He detested objective truths, the burden of argument, sustained reasoning. He disliked demonstrating, he wanted to convince no one. Others are a dialectician’s invention.
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born
The only successful philosophies and religions are the ones that flatter us, whether in the name of progress of of hell. Damned or not, man experiences an absolute need to be at the heart of everything. It is, fact, solely for this reason that he is man, that he has become man. And if some day he no longer feels this need, he must give away to some other animal prouder, madder than himself.
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born
Mt disappointments, instead of converging toward a center and constituting if not a system at least an ensemble, are scattered, each supposing itself unique and thereby wasted, lacking organization.
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born
Explosive force of any mortification. Every vanquished desire affords us power. We have the more hold over this world the further we withdraw from it, the less we adhere to it. Renunciation confers an infinite power.
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born
If we consider closely our so-called generous actions, there is none which, from some aspect, is not blameworthy and even harmful, so that we come to regret having performed it—so that we must choose, finally, between abstention and remorse.
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born
Each opinion, each view is necessarily partial, truncated, inadequate. In philosophy and in anything, originality comes down to incomplete definitions.
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born
At increasingly wider intervals, impulses of gratitude toward Job and Chamfort—toward vociferation and vitriol…
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born

All is appearance.

In Buddhist writings, mention is often made of “the abyss of birth.” An abyss indeed, a gulf into which we do not fall but from which, instead, we emerge, to our universal chagrin.
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born
As it leaves dawn behind and advances into the day, light prostitutes itself and is redeemed—ethics of twilight—only at the moment it vanishes.
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born
When you know quite absolutely that everything is unreal, you then cannot see why you should take the trouble to prove it.
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born
It’s not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late.
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born
The merest atmospheric variation jeopardizes my plans, not to speak of my convictions. This kind of dependency—the most humiliating kind—unfailingly lays me low, even as it dissipates what few illusions remain as to my possibilities of being free and as to freedom itself. What is the use of swaggering if you are at the mercy of Wet and Dry? One craves a less lamentable bondage, and gods of another kidney.
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born
Considering things according to nature, man was made to live facing outward. If he would see into himself, he must close his eyes, renounce his endeavors, quit the immediate. What is called “inner life” is a belated phenomenon, possible only by a slowing down of our vital activities, “the soul” being able to emerge and elaborate itself only at the expense of the good behavior of our organs.
E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born