Milan Kundera, Immortality
There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.
What does man actually know about himself? Is he, indeed, ever able to perceive himself completely, as if laid out in a lighted display case? Does nature not conceal most things from him-even concerning his own body-in order to confine and lock him within a proud, deceptive consciousness, aloof from the coils of the bowels, the rapid flow of the blood stream, and the intricate quivering of the fibers! She threw away the key. And woe to that fatal curiosity which might one day have the power to peer out and down through a crack in the chamber of consciousness. Friedrich Nietzsche
The supposedly immaterial soul, we now know, can be bisected with a knife, altered by chemicals, started or stopped by electricity, and extinguished by a sharp blow or by insufficient oxygen...Sex and excretion are
reminders that anyone's claim to round-the-clock dignity is tenuous. The so-called rational animal has a desperate drive to pair up and moan and writhe...Many tragedies come from our physical and cognitive makeup. Our bodies
are extraordinarily improbable arrangements of matter, with many ways for things to go wrong and only a few ways for things to go right. We are certain to die, and smart enough to know it. Our minds are adapted to a world that no longer exists, prone to misunderstandings correctable only by arduous education, and condemned to perplexity about the deepest questions we can ascertain.
Even on the highest throne in the world, we are still sitting on our ass. Kings and philosophers defecate, and so do ladies.
Michel de Montaigne
With anal play the child is already becoming a philosopher of the human condition. But like all philosophers he is still bound by it, and his main task in life becomes the denial of what the anus represents: that in fact, he is nothing but body where nature is concerned. Nature's values are bodily values, human values are mental values, and though they take the loftiest flights they are built upon excrement, impossible without it, always brought back to it...man is a worm and food for worms. This is the paradox: he is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still
carries the gill-marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshy casing that is alien to him in many ways—the strangest andmost repugnant way being that it aches and bleeds and will decay and die. Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with atowering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever.
One of the greatest delusions of the average man is to forget that life is death's prisoner.
Everything deep in this world can arise only from disease.
To suffer is to produce knowledge.
Say what we will, death is the best thing nature has found to please everyone. With each of us, everything vanishes,everything stops forever. What an advantage, what an abuse! Without the least effort on our part, we
own the universe,we drag it into our own disappearance. Deep in his heart, man aspires to rejoin the condition he had before consciousness. History is merely the detour he takes to get there.
To think that so many have succeeded in dying!