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Peter Wessel Zapffe

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Know yourselves- be infertile and let the earth be silent after ye.”

“The tragedy of a species becoming unfit for life by over-evolving one ability is not confined to humankind. Thus it is thought, for instance, that certain deer in paleontological times succumbed as they acquired overly-heavy horns. The mutations must be considered blind, they work, are thrown forth, without any contact of interest with their environment. In depressive states, the mind may be seen in the image of such an antler, in all its fantastic splendour pinning its bearer to the ground.”

“The dread of being stares us in the eye, and in a deadly gush we perceive how the minds are dangling in threads of their own spinning, and that a hell is lurking underneath.”

“The modern barbarity of ‘saving’ the suicidal is based on a hairraising misapprehension of the nature of existence.”

“But as he stands before imminent death, he grasps its nature also, and the cosmic import of the step to come. His creative imagination constructs new, fearful prospects behind the curtain of death, and he sees that even there is no sanctuary found. And now he can discern the outline of his biologico-cosmic terms: He is the universe’s helpless captive, kept to fall into nameless possibilities. From this moment on, he is in a state of relentless panic.”

“– The life of the worlds is a roaring river, but Earth’s is a pond and a backwater. – The sign of doom is written on your brows – how long will ye kick against the pin-pricks? – But there is one conquest and one crown, one redemption and one solution. – Know yourselves – be infertile and let the earth be silent after ye.”

“Man beholds the earth, and it is breathing like a great lung; whenever it exhales, delightful life swarms from all its pores and reaches out toward the sun, but when it inhales, a moan of rupture passes through the multitude, and corpses whip the ground like bouts of hail.”

“Another flaw of the system is the fact that various danger fronts often require very different firmaments. As a logical superstructure is built upon each, there follow clashes of incommensurable modes of feeling and thought. Then despair can enter through the rifts. In such cases, a person may be obsessed with destructive joy, dislodging the whole artificial apparatus of his life and starting with rapturous horror to make a clean sweep of it. The horror stems from the loss of all sheltering values, the rapture from his by now ruthless identification and harmony with our nature’s deepest secret, the biological unsoundness, the enduring disposition for doom.”

“Thunder belches around him, but it does not affect him, nothing affects him, as he sits enthroned in his Olympic indifference over the hectic course of life—an anvil for the gods to hammer on.”

“Therefore, the eyes of mankind also seek his distant, vanished tomb, where the very deadly cold preserves his form. Until finally, long - it breaks loose thunderously and sails with the storm out towards the deep, dark blue sea in one huge, sun-sparkling sarcophagus.”

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Book Keywords:

extinction, peter-wessel-zapffe, pessimism, zapffe, tragedy, existentialism, doom, destruction, self-knowledge, suicide, discontinuation, behold-the-earth

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