" This life, they say, is a dream, and I am apt to think so too, when I contemplate the narrow limits which confine the active spirit of man, when I consider that all his powers are exercised for mere sustenance, in order to prolong a wretched existence; that his seeming concern with respect to certain inquiries is but a blind resignation, and that his great delight is to paint upon the walls of his prison delusive figures and false landscapes, though the boundaries of his confinement are still before his eyes—when these thoughts arise, Oh, my friend! I am silenced, I begin to meditate deeper, to search the heart, and what is the result? More visionary shadows, more vain superstition and empty imagination… "
" .. it should be noted that emotional distress and unhappiness have their origin in excessive love toward a thing subject to considerable instability, a thing which we can never completely possess. For nobody is disturbed or anxious about any thing unless he loves it, nor do wrongs, suspicions, enmities, etc. arise except from love toward things which nobody can truly possess. "
" Strictly speaking I myself never observe the landscape. I experience its hourly changes, day and night, in the great comings and goings of the seasons. The gravity of the mountains and the hardness of their primeval rock, the slow and deliberate growth of the fir trees, the brilliant, simple splendor of the meadows in bloom, the rush of the mountain brook in the long night, the stern simplicity of the flatlands covered with snow- all of this moves and flows through and penetrates daily existence up there, and not in forced moments of “aesthetic” immersion or artificial empathy, but only when one’s own existence stands in its work. "
" We generally color our ideas of the unknown with our notions of the known. If we call death a sleep, it’s because it seems like sleep on the outside; if we call death a new life, it’s because it seems like something different from life. With slight misconceptions of reality we fabricate our hopes and beliefs, and we live off crusts that we call cakes, like poor children who make believe they’re happy. "
" Shedding one’s skin. The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes. So do the spirits who are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be spirit. "
" To exist is to deny. What am I today, living today, but the denial of who and what I was yesterday? To exist is to contradict oneself. Nothing better symbolizes life than those news articles that contradict today what the newspaper said yesterday. "
" Fling yourself at life and let yourself feel what you do feel upon the very tick of the second; snatch the images of life that fly through the brain. If you are very frank with yourself and don’t mind how ridiculous anything that comes to you may seem, you will have a chance of capturing the symbols of your direct reactions. Thus, you will, perhaps, find yourself reaching a heightened sense of awareness completely outside the realm of mundane experience. "
" The delight that I felt came precisely from being too acutely aware of my own degradation, from the feeling that you’ve come up against a brick wall, that it’s bad but at the same time cannot be otherwise, that there is no way out, that you’ll never become a different person, that even if you still had sufﬁcient time or belief to change into something else, you probably wouldn’t want to change. And if you did want to, you probably wouldn’t do anything about it because, in fact, there’s simply nothing to change into. "
" This is a documentation of the human form: how we discover it, how we allow it to be discovered, how we love contours and knuckles and consume selfishly and sinfully— trying in vain to map out our primitive cartography without knowing what names to give the things we love the most. This is how we discover language when we sail through it without compass. Skin: two oceans colliding. My salt dunes. Your dimples like sand dollars. Our bodies tangled like seaweed. This is what you would find if you ran your hands over these bones in the dark and tried to turn me into braille. These are the distress signals that our body knows before we do. Morse code. Heart rising. Our skin, flushed. This is driftwood, and this is our drifting. These are my hands on your hands. These are my poems on your poems. "
" My friend, I’ve been lying all my life. Even when I was telling the truth. I never spoke for the truth, but only for myself, I knew that before, but only now do I see … Oh, where are those friends whom I have insulted with my friendship all my life? And everyone, everyone! Savez-vous, perhaps I’m lying now; certainly I’m also lying now. The worst of it is that I believe myself when I lie. The most difficult thing in life is to live and not lie … and … and not believe one’s own lie, yes, yes, that’s precisely it! "