The Existentialist
We never love anyone. What we love is the idea we have of someone. It’s our own concept - our own selves - that we love.
This is true in the whole gamut of love. In sexual love we seek our own pleasure via another body. In non-sexual love, we seek out own pleasure via our own idea. The masturbator may be abject, but in point of fact he’s the perfect logical expression of the lover. He’s the only one who doesn’t feign and doesn’t fool himself.
The relations between one soul and another, expressed through such uncertain and variable things as shared words and proffered gestures, are deceptively complex. The very act of meeting each other is a non-meeting. Two people say ‘I love you’ or mutually think it and feel it, and each has in mind a different idea, a different life, perhaps even a different colour or fragrance, in the abstract sum of impressions that constitute the soul’s activity.

- Fernando Pessoa

The Existentialist

If our life were an eternal standing by the window, if we could remain there for ever, like hovering smoke, with the same moment of twilight forever painting the curve of the hills… If we could remain that way for beyond for ever! If at least on this side of the impossible we could thus continue, without committing an action, without our pallid lips sinning another word!

- Fernando Pessoa

The Existentialist
The Existentialist

Isolation has carved me in its image and likeness. The presence of another person - of any person whatsoever - instantly slows down my thinking, and while for a normal man contact with others is a stimulus to spoken expression and wit, for me it is counterstimulus, if this compound word be linguistically permissible. When all by myself, I can think of all kinds of clever remarks, quick comebacks to what no one said, and flashes off witty sociability with nobody. But all of this vanishes when I face someone in the flesh: I lose my intelligence, I can no longer speak, and after half an hour I just feel tired. Yes, talking to people makes me feel like sleeping. Only my ghostly and imaginary friends, only the conversations I have in my dreams, are genuinely real and substantial, and in them intelligence gleams like an image in a mirror. The mere thought of having to enter into contact with someone else makes me nervous. A simple invitation to have dinner with a friend produces an anguish in me that’s hard to define. The idea of any social obligation whatsoever – attending a funeral, dealing with someone about an office matter, going to the station to wait for someone I know or don’t know – the very idea disturbs my thoughts for an entire day, and sometimes I even start worrying the night before, so that I sleep badly. When it takes place, the dreaded encounter is utterly insignificant, justifying none of my anxiety, but the next time is no different: I never learn to learn.

- Fernando Pessoa

The Existentialist

Deeming that I earn too little, a friend of mine who’s a partner in a successful firm that does a lot of business with the government said the other day: ‘You’re being exploited, Soares.’ And I remembered that indeed I am. But since in life we must all be exploited, I wonder if it’s any worse to be exploited by Vasques and his fabrics than by vanity, by glory, by resentment, by envy or by the impossible.

Some are exploited by God himself, and they are prophets and saints in this vacuous world.

- Fernando Pessoa

The Existentialist

I asked for very little from life, and even this little was denied me. A nearby field, a ray of sunlight, a little bit of calm along with a bit of bread, not to feel oppressed by the knowledge that I exist, not to demand anything from others, and not to have others demand anything from me - this was denied me, like the spare change we might deny a beggar not because we’re mean-hearted but because we don’t feel like unbuttoning our coat.

- Fernando Pessoa

The Existentialist

For those few like me who live without knowing how to live life, what’s left but renunciation as our way and contemplation as our destiny? Not knowing nor able to know what religious life is, since faith isn’t acquired through reason, and unable to have faith in or even react to the abstract notion of man, we’re left with the aesthetic contemplation of life as our reason for having a soul. Impassive to the solemnity of any and all worlds, indifferent to the divine, and disdainers of what is human, we uselessly surrender ourselves to pointless sensation, cultivated in a refined Epicureanism, as befits our cerebral nerves.

…. Taking nothing seriously and recognizing our sensations as the only reality we have for certain, we take refuge there, exploring them like large unknown countries. And if we apply ourselves diligently not only to aesthetic contemplation but also to the expression of its methods and results, it’s because the poetry or prose we write - devoid of any desire to move anyone else’s will or to mould anyone’s understandng - is merely like when a reader reads out loud to fully objectify the subjective pleasure of reading.

- Fernando Pessoa

The Existentialist

Alone with everybody

the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
much
and nobody finds the
one
but keep
looking
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than
flesh.

there’s no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular
fate.

nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else
fills.

- Charles Bukowski

The Existentialist
The Existentialist

Nothing was ever in tune. People just blindly grabbed at whatever there was: communism, health foods, zen, surfing, ballet, hypnotism, group encounters, orgies, biking, herbs, Catholicism, weight-lifting, travel, withdrawal, vegetarianism, India, painting, writing, sculpting, composing, conducting, backpacking, yoga, copulating, gambling, drinking, hanging around, frozen yogurt, Beethoven, Back, Buddha, Christ, TM, H, carrot juice, suicide, handmade suits, jet travel, New York City, and then it all evaporated and fell apart. People had to find things to do while waiting to die. I guess it was nice to have a choice.

— Charles Bukowski
The Existentialist
The Existentialist

What is there to confess that’s worthwhile or useful? What has happened to us has happened to everyone or only to us; if to everyone, then it’s no novelty, and if only to us, then it won’t be understood. If I write what I feel, it’s to reduce the fever of feeling. What I confess is unimportant, because everything is unimportant. I make landscapes out of what I feel. I make holidays of my sensations.

- Fernando Pessoa

The Existentialist

Why do we always choose the opposite of what we want? I think, because we don’t want to be dependent. When two people love each other, they don’t love in the same way. One of them is strong, the other is weaker. And the weaker is always the one who loves without reckoning, without reservation. It feels now as if I’ve awakened from some kind of dream after some other kind of life. For some reason, I always offered resistance. I fought againist something. I defended myself, just as though I’d had someone else inside me saying: don’t give into anything, don’t go along with anything or you’ll die.

The Sacrifice, dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1986.  (via heartvoyage)

Source heartvoyage
The Existentialist
The Existentialist

उसे अगस्त के दिन हमेशा अच्छे लगते रहे हैं. वे तुम पर छाते नहीं और तुम इन दिनों दूसरे दिनों के बारे में सोच सकते हो- जो बीत गए हैं या जो आने वाले हैं. सारे साल में अगस्त का महीना ही एक पुल की तरह है तुम उस पर से गुज़र जाते हो लेकिन खुद अपने में वह कुछ भी नहीं है.

[पिछली गर्मियों में, निर्मल वर्मा]