To Be And To Live
In the beginning was Thought? or: In the beginning was Action? Thought is the foetus of Action, or rather, it is already juvenile action. Let us not introduce a third term, the Word, into the equation; for the Word is only Thought perceived, either by the person it inhabits, or by the passersby of the exteriorized world. But let us note it down all the same: for Thought made Word is photographed, has form — since it is perceived — and so is no longer an embryo, no longer the embryo of an action. Action must be at the beginning if actions are to follow from the present or the past. It was, is, and will be in the minutes of duration, to infinitely, discontinuously. Thought was not in the beginning, for it IS outside of time: it is Thought which excretes time with its head, heart and feet, which are the Past, the Present and the Future. It exists in itself and by itself, and descends toward death when its descends toward duration.
“It is better to love,” say the idolaters of fashion in answer to everything. Lesteven, you went well and by your own hand: you refuted them with your monkey-leap. And you, skeletons who sniff at me from the mitre-shaped holes of your pug-noses, you do not descend to that banality, more common to snobs and the spherical bourgeois. You do not live — despite the testimonies of terrorized people who name you as their former fellow-travelers — and don’t go denying it. You do not live, and there is no harm in that; you do better than live, you ARE.
Being, the inferior-supreme being of Ideas, inferior because less all-inclusive than the Possible, is hypindefinable. O my brain, content yourself and your shiny lobes with intuition: Being and Eternity are consubstational. Eternity destroys what Lives, which is its opposite. And Being destroys it too, since Being and Eternity are peers.
So let us now define the proven antipode of Being: Living.
Living is action, and its letters convey a meaning: the delirium of a cockchafer on its back. Life equals: firstly, the action of sucking some of one’s future self via the umbilical siphon: secondly, perception, i.e. being modified, pushed back down, or turned inside out like the finger of a glove; but also being perceived, i.e. modifying and stretching out ones amoeboid horn like a tentacle. Thus — because already — we know that opposites are identical.
Reciprocally, Being, once Berkeley’s pack-saddle has been shed, is neither seeing nor being seen, but the rainbow-colored mental kaleidoscope THINKING ITSELF.
Living: discontinuous; serial impressionism.
Being: continuous, because unextended (no more than one will ever sort out all the figures from 0 to ∞).
When being becomes Living, the Continuous becomes Discontinuous, and Being, syllogistically, becomes Non-Being.
To Live = to cease to Be.
To Live, let us remember, means to do so in relation to others, a life in the guitar-case of time, which moulds it; Being, life in itself, does not have these anorthopaedic forms. Living is the carnival of Being.
For Being and Non-Being are very close.
Anarchy IS, but the idea that transforms itself into action demeans itself — its Act should remain imminent, almost asymptomatic. Vaillant, because his name was his destiny, wanted to live out his theory. And yet he was a great man — though he was opposed to Being. For Being is better than Living. But to glorify Living and to remain at peace with my conscience, I want Being to disappear and change into its opposite. I abominate what is grey, the coincidence of night and day, let them succeed each other, skilfully avoid each other; and I revere the flashing, glittering ascension of one of them alone.
My devices are not yet built, but before Being disappears I want to note down its symbols — and not cymbals, despite the coming rhyme, as my forked nib almost wrote (and with good reason, as you shall see) — for little children alone — he was a good husband and father — as was inscribed on his tombstone.
The symbols of Being: two Nyctalopic Eyes, cymbals (as announced) of circular chrome, perfectly matched — since it is identical to itself;
A Circle without circuference — since it is without extension;
The powerlessness of the tears of a heart — since it is eternal.
All murders are beautiful: so let us destroy Being. By sterility. An organ atrophies when it is at rest. Being is Genius: it dies if it cannot ejaculate. But Works overjump all barriers, th0ugh I would not deign with my own voice to offer them the anxiety of other people’s tympana when they fall. By debauchery; unconscious debauchery, which comes of frequenting Men, their surroundings, the Human atmosphere, reading Works, the circle of Faces. Although life and exploits constitute a fall from grace for Being and Thought, they are more beautiful than Thought when, consciously or not, they have killed Thought. Let us then Live, and we shall be Masters. Over there, on the shelves, they do not live; but does not their thought speak to their Genius (only it can understand), on the three chirring circles on the ivory of their unreal bellies?