Emil Cioran - The Trouble With Being Born (1973)
121 Sourced Quotes
We do not rush toward death, we flee the catastrophe of birth, survivors struggling to forget it. Fear of death is merely the projection into the future of a fear which dates back to our first moment of life. We are reluctant, of course, to treat birth as a scourge: has it not been inculcated as the sovereign good—have we not been told that the worst came at the end, not at the outset of our lives? Yet evil, the real evil, is behind, not ahead of us. What escaped Jesus did not escape Buddha: If three things did not exist in the world, O disciples, the Perfect One would not appear in the world. … And ahead of old age and death he places the fact of birth, source of every infirmity, every disaster.
It is trifling to believe in what you do or in what others do. You should avoid simulacra and even realities; you should take up a position external to everything and everyone, drive off or grind down your appetites, live, according to a Hindu adage, with as few desires as a solitary elephant.
Say what we will, death is the best thing nature has found to please everyone. With each of us, everything vanishes, everything stops forever. What an advantage, what an abuse! Without the least effort on our part, we own the universe, we drag it into our own disappearance. No doubt about it, dying is immoral…