Emil Cioran: The Fall Into Time

15 October 2019


There is no such thing as an unreal pain: pain would exist even if the world did not. If it were proved that pain has no use, we could still find one for it: that of projecting some substance into the fictions which surround us. Without pain, we should all be puppets-without pain, no content in the world; by its mere presence it transfigures anything, even a concept. Everything it touches is promoted to the rank of a memory; it leaves traces in the recollection which pleasure merely grazes: a man who has suffered is a marked man (as we say that a debauchee is marked, with reason, for debauchery is suffering). Pain gives a coherence to our sensations and a unity to our ego, and remains, once our certitudes are abolished, the only hope of escaping the metaphysical shipwreck.

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