‘ I don’t understand how you manage to live if you can’t feel something good happening in all this. I feel more alive than before. I feel something has been revealed that gives us new arms and legs, new eyes and ears.’
‘I know. I know. But what is the point of new legs if you don’t know where to walk to next? We’re not getting elsewhere. We’re just feeling more intensely what we already have. Your riots and pamphlets, they’re intoxications that overwhelm us with the present in the name of a future that the present blots out.’
‘ What are you so afraid of?’
‘Insincerity and misdemeanors with a drum roll. I don’t like to be forced.’
‘No one is being forced. This is the virtue of our better selves waking up. This is freedom. You’re like a neurotic who won’t let the neurosis go. This is good. What is happening is good. Even if an illusion, even if reality is going to dash it to pieces eventually, you should enjoy the moment. ’
‘ The illusion’s not the problem. It’s the lack of ambiguity. People who can’t tolerate ambiguity terrify me. It seems this whole thing is about making some very straight ditches and no bridges.’
‘ You saw the pictures. You know what’s happening. There’s something overwhelming and destructive, merciless in it. How can you even think there’s ambiguity there? How could there be ambiguity in everything at all times? That’s dilettantism. Decadence. ‘
‘We need the consolations of ambiguity or else we can’t even see what was wrong in the pictures we saw in the first place. All these gestures of solidarity and power, it’s a cursed denial of the insignificance and weakness we hide inside ourselves. And when we deny that reality then we become what we’re protesting against. Killing your father just makes you your dead father.’
‘ Your civilisation drives us mad. Any world that leaves us with such desolation doesn’t deserve a lasting existence.’
‘I agree. It goes without saying. But that’s its problem. Nothing’s really like that. Nothing. Nothing.’
‘But yet you detach yourself.’
‘I find it too easy to agree with pleasant ideas and disagree with unpleasant ones. It makes me worried about the process going into the thinking. We should cultivate contrasts.’
‘This isn’t the time for that. Look around you. Words are magic. Action will dissolve obscure thoughts like yours. What could be a better way to love than this principle: love they neighbour like yourself. The crowds and the protests are based on such a principle. But you seem outraged by it all. As if all we’re doing is acting out a childhood fantasy.’
‘As with any inflation, you lower the value. Inflated egos, inflated love, inflated solidarity, inflated hopes – what do you think this will be in the end? Virtue signalling is a hall of mirrors. But that’s not my objection. My objection is that anyone who decides not to follow that principle will be able to take full advantage of the situation. Every authoritarian goon in history can’t wait for principles of universal love to come along. All they have to do is reject it and steal everything. You’re setting up a false understanding of what happens next.’
Read 47094 from the beginning here.
Read the complete novel 'The Ecstatic Silence' here.