By inner experience I understand that which one usually calls mystical experience: the states of ecstasy, of rapture, at least of meditated emotion. But I am thinking less of confessional experience, to which one has had to adhere up to now, that of an experience laid bare, free of ties, even of an origin, of any confession whatever. This is why I don't like the word mystical.
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What causes [fragmentation] if not a need to act that specializes us and limits us to the horizon of a particular activity? Even if it turns out to be for the general interest (which generally isn't true), the activity that subordinates each of our aspects to a specific result suppresses our being as an entirety. Whoever acts substitutes a particular end for what he or she is, as a total being.
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To others, the universe seems decent because decent people have welded eyes. That is why they fear lewdness. They are never frightened by the crowing of a rooster or when strolling under a starry heaven. In general, people savor the "pleasures of the flesh" only on the condition that they may be insipid.
TO WHOM LIFE IS AN EXPERIENCE TO BE CARRIED AS FAR AS POSSIBLE... I have not meant to express my thought but to help you clarify what you yourself think... You are not any more different from me than your right leg is from your left, but what joins us is THE SLEEP OF REASON-WHICH PRODUCES MONSTERS. -Theory of Religion
These studies are the result of my attempt to extract the essence of literature. Literature is either the essential or nothing. I believe that the Evil-an acute form of Evil-which it expresses, has a sovereign value for us. But this concept does not exclude morality: on the contrary, it demands a 'hypermorality.' Literature is communication. Communication requires loyalty. A rigorous morality results from complicity in the knowledge of Evil, which is the basis of intense communication. -Literature and Evil
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La poesea, en un primer impulso, destruye los objetos que aprehende, los restituye, mediante esa destruccion, a la inasible fluidez de la existencia del poeta, y a ese precio espera encontrar la identidad del mundo y del hombre. Pero al mismo tiempo que realiza un desasimiento, intenta asir (captar) ese desasimiento. Y lo eºnico que le es dado hacer es sustituir el desasimiento a las cosas asidas (captadas) de la vida reducida: no puede evitar que el desasimiento pase a ocupar el lugar de las cosas.
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I remember that one day, when we were in a car tooling along at top speed, we crashed into a cyclist, an apparently very young and very pretty girl. Her head was almost totally ripped off by the wheels. For a long time, we were parked a few yards beyond without getting out, fully absorbed in the sight of the corpse. The horror and despair at so much bloody flesh, nauseating in part, and in part very beautiful, was fairly equivalent to our usual impression upon seeing one another.
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My conduct with my friends is motivated: each being is, I believe, incapable on his own, of going to the end of being. If he tries, he is submerged within a "private being" which has meaning only for himself. Now there is no meaning for a lone individual: bing alone would of itself reject the "private being" if it saw it as such (if I wish my life to have meaning for me, it is necessary that it have meaning for others: no one would dare give to life a meaning which he alone would perceive, from which life in its entirety would escape, except within himself). At the extreme limit of the "possible", it is true, there is nonsense... but only of that which had a prior sense: this is fulguration, even "apotheosis" of nonsense. But I don't attain the extreme limit on my own and, in actual fact, I can't believe the extreme limit attained, for I never remain there. If I had to be the only one having attained it (assuming that I had...), it would be as thought it had not occurred. For if there subsisted a satisfaction, as small as I can imagine it to be, it would distance me as much from the extreme limit. I cannot for a moment cease to incite myself to attain the extreme limit, and cannot make a distinction between myself and those with whom I desire to communicate. ~George Bataille, "Inner Experience" pg. 42
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Above all human existence requires stability, the permanence of things. The result is an ambivalence with respect to all great and violent expenditure of strength; such an expenditure, whether in nature or in man, represents the strongest possible threat. The feelings of admiration and of ecstasy induced by them thus mean that we are concerned to admire them from afar. The sun corresponds to that prudent concern. It is all radiance gigantic loss of heat and light, flame, explosion; but remote from men, who can enjoy in safety and quiet the fruits of this cataclysm. To earth belongs the solidity which sustains houses of stone and the steps of men (at least on its surface, for buried within the depths of the earth is the incandescence of lava).
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The preceding criticism ... justifies the following definition of the entire human: human existence as the life of "unmotivated" celebration, celebration in all meaning of the word: laughter, dancing, orgy, the rejection of subordination, and sacrifice that scornfully puts aside any consideration of ends, property, and morality.
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In the helter-skelter of this book, I didn't develop my views as theory. In fact, I even believe that efforts of that kind are tainted with ponderousness. Nietzsche wrote "with his blood," and criticizing, or, better, experiencing him means pouring out one's lifeblood. ... It was only with my life that I wrote the Nietzsche book that I had planned.
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Inner experience ... is not easily accessible and, viewed from the outside by intelligence, it would even be necessary to see in it a sum of distinct operations, some intellectual, others aesthetic, yet others moral. ... It is only from within, lived to the point of terror, that it appears to unify that which discursive thought must separate.
It is through an "intimate cessation of all intellectual operations" that the mind is laid bare. If nor, discourse maintains it in its little complacency. ... The difference between inner experience and philosophy resides principally in this: that in experience, ... what counts is no longer the statement of wind, but the wind.
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