From ‘Essay in Which the Author Confesses He Is on the Side of Man, for Lack of Anything Better’ , by Czesław Miłosz

2017-05-07-16-14-06
from Little Cave II

“We are unable to live nakedly. We must constantly wrap ourselves in a cocoon of mental constructs, our changing styles of philosophy, poetry, art. We invest meaning in that which is opposed to meaning; that ceaseless labour, that spinning is the most purely human of our activities. For the threads spun by our ancestors do not perish, they are preserved; we alone among living creatures have a history, we move in a gigantic labyrinth where the present and the past are interwoven. That labyrinth protects and consoles us, for it is anti-nature. Death is a humiliation, because it tears us away from words, the sounds of music, configurations of line and colour, away from all the manifestations of our anti-natural freedom, and puts us under the sway of necessity, relegates us to the kingdom of inertia, senseless birth, and senseless decay.

Yes, but the absurdity that afflicts us today is, first and foremost, the work of man. Civilisation does not satisfy our desire for order, for clear, transparent structure, for justice, and finally, for what we instinctively apprehend as the fitness of things. “

From ‘Essay in Which the Author Confesses He Is on the Side of Man, for Lack of Anything Better’ , by Czesław Miłosz

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