All that is Form, System, Category, Frame or Plan

‘Those who write under the spell of inspiration, for whom thought is an expression of their organic nervous disposition, do not concern themselves with unity and systems. Such concerns, contradictions and facile paradoxes indicate an impoverished and insipid personal life…People who know only a few spiritual states and never live on the edge do not have contradictions, because their limited resources cannot form oppositions…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.’

Emil Cioran, On the Heights of Despair, translated by Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston.

‘I distrust all systematizers, and avoid them. The will to a system shows a lack of honesty.’

Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, translated by Anthony M. Ludovici.


2 thoughts on “All that is Form, System, Category, Frame or Plan

  1. Good examples of these writers’ ways of thinking, and interesting that they sit so comfortably together. But you could say that they are both nonethless themselves seeking to build systems: ultra-simple ones, but no less systematic for that, built upon denial of any great chain but assertion of an anti-ethics that is comprehensive. No metaphysical or ethical chain but a code of behaviour constructed in a hierarchy of ways of looking at the world – grades of superior behaviour and attitudes, which in the end, despite luminous insights, seem more theatrical than rigorously logical.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Examples of Cioran aphorisms cribbed from Nietzsche:

    He who hates himself is not modest. – Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born.
    He who despises himself nonetheless respects himself as one who despises. – Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil.
    I live only because it is in my power to die when I choose to: without the idea of suicide, I’d have killed myself right away. – Cioran.
    The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night. – Nietzsche.


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