Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Cioran on music/mysticism

"His statements have the compression of poetry and the audacity of cosmic clowning, ” the Washington Post one said of Romanian E.M. Cioran. Test drive this fascinating "I believe in God but don't want to" philosopher's "statements" on music below, all from “Tears and Saints.”

Also.. in light of string theory’s premise that “life is at base, music”, these quotes seem newly relevant in our day. “Music,” Mr. Vox said, “is the language of the Spirit.”

Boredom is tuneless matter.
Tears are music in material form.

What music appeals to in us it is difficult to know; what we do know is that music reaches a zone so deep that madness itself cannot penetrate there.
A passion for music is in itself an avowal. We know more about a stranger who yields himself up to it than about someone who is deaf to music and whom we see every day.

Music is the refuge of souls ulcerated by happiness.

The organ is an instrument which makes palpable God's distance from us. Its sound is our apotheosis,and through it we approach him IN himself.

Music is everything. God himself is nothing more than an acoustic
Music annihilates space completely..Music is the soundtrack of askesis...Music is a tomb of delights.

Theologians and philosophers wasted so many days and nights searching for proofs of God;s existence, ignoring the only valid one: Bach.

Thinking should be like musical meditation...Even after having read the nmost profound thinkers, one still feels the need to begin anew, Only music gives definitive answers


Why is it every time we try to break through the physical matter that fetters our spiritual effervescence, all our efforts are in vain?. Only music defeats matter on this earth. A few airy tunes, a melodious breeze blowing from the soul, have the power of a blowtorch, melting all our material shackles in its intense flames.
What better proof that music is not human than the fact that it has never awakened in me visions of hell? Not even funeral marches could do it. Hell is an actuality; therefore we can only remember paradise. Had we known hell in our immemorial past, wouldn’t we sigh now after a Hell Lost?

Music is the archaeology of memory. Its excavations have not discovered anywhere a hell that precedes memory.

Music makes me too bold in front of God.
Nietzsche: “I cannot differentiate between tears and music.” Whoever is not immediately struck by the profundity of this statement has not lived for a minute in the intimacy of music. I know no other music than that of tears. Born out of the loss of paradise, music gives birth to the symbols of this loss: tears.
Melancholy is the unconscious music of the soul.
Landscapes that do not trigger musical themes cannot become memories. Whoever has not roamed parks in a state of elation and melancholy can never understand Mozart’s grace…Music has a cosmic character. The passion for music has no basis without the love of nature.
Mysticism is without meaning as long as you don’t hear the music of silence.


  1. Planet Cioran


  2. hey, thanks for the great link


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!