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Rene Daumal Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 48 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Rene Daumal.

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Rene Daumal Quotes 575344

In the mythic tradition, the Mountain is the bond between Earth and Sky. Its solitary summit reaches the sphere of eternity, and its base spreads out in manifold foothills into the world of mortals. It is the way by which man can raise himself to the divine and by which the divine can reveal itself to man. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1848051

It is very tempting, when you talk about the events of the past, to impose clarity and order upon what had neither one nor the other. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 465317

If I were to tell this story the way history is usually written or the way each of us recalls his own past, which means recording only the most glorious moments and inventing a new continuity for them, I should omit these little details and say that our eight stout hearts drummed from morning to night in time with a single all-encompassing desire - or some such lie. But the flame that kindles desire and illuminates thought never burned for more than a few seconds at a stretch. The rest of the time we tried to remember it.
Fortunately the demands of daily work, in which each of us had his vital role, reminded us that we had come aboard of our own free will, that we were indispensable to one another, and that we were on a ship - that is to say, in a temporary habitation, designed to transport us somewhere else. If anyone forgot it, someone else lost no time in reminding him. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 305741

When feet doesn't want to hold you, you climb with your head. Maybe it isn't the natural order of things, but isn't it better to walk with your head than to think with your feet, as it happens so frequently? — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1085661

I am dead because I lack desire,
I lack desire because I think I possess.
I think I possess because I do not try to give.
In trying to give, you see that you have nothing;Seeing that you have nothing, you try to give of yourself;
Trying to give of yourself, you see that you are nothing:Seeing that you are nothing, you desire to become;
In desiring to become, you begin to live. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 266221

Man is head, chest and stomach. Each of these animals operates, more often than not, individually. I eat, I feel, I even, although rarely, think. This jungle crawls and teems, is hungry, roars, gets angry, devours itself, and its cacophonic concert does not even stop when you are asleep. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1089956

The path of greatest desires often lies ... through the undesirable. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 465010

To reach the summit, one must proceed from encampment to encampment. But before setting out for the next refuge, one must prepare those coming after to occupy the place one is leaving. Only after having prepared them can one go on up. That is why, before setting out for a new refuge, we had to go back down in order to pass on our knowledge to other seekers ... — Rene Daumal

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It is still not enough for language to have clarity and content ... it must also have a goal and an imperative. Otherwise from language we descend to chatter, from chatter to babble, and from babble to confusion. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 454903

In the evenings in bed, with the light out, I tried to picture death, the "most nothing of all." In imagination I suppressed all the circumstances of my life and I felt gripped in ever tighter circles of panic. There was no longer any "I." What is it after all, "I"? ...Then one night, a marvelous idea came to me: Instead of just submitting to this panic, I would try to observe it, to see where it is, what it is. I perceived then that it was
connected to a contraction in my stomach, a little under my ribs, and also in my throat...I forced myself to unclench, to relax my stomach. The panic disappeared ... when I tried again to think about death, instead of being gripped by the claws of panic I was filled by an entirely new feeling, whose name I did not know, something between mystery and hope."
-Mount Analogue, Rene Daumal — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 542030

Shoes, unlike feet, are not something you're born with. So you can choose what you want. At first be guided in your choice by people with experience, later by your own experience. Before long you will become so accustomed to your shoes that every nail will be like a finger to feel out the rock and cling to it. They will become a sensitive and dependable instrument, like a part of yourself. And yet, you're not born with them; when they're worn out, you'll throw them away and still remain what you are. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 541984

He questioned us one after the other. Each one of his questions - all of them very simple: Who were we? Why had we come? - caught us completely off our guard and seemed to probe our very insides. Who are you? Who am I? We could not answer him as we could a police official or a customs inspector. Give one's name and profession? What does that mean? But *who* are you? And *what* are you? The words we uttered - we had none better - were worthless, repugnant and grotesque as dead things. We realized that with the guides of Mount Analogue, we could no longer get away with just words. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1509724

However, since they were completely ignorant of the laws of the place, they were caught in a whirlpool. Condemned to turn round and round in slow circles, they could still bombard the coast, but all their shells came back at them like boomerangs. It was a ludicrous fate. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1243576

You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know. — Rene Daumal

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This place has only three exits, sir: Madness, and Death. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1091896

The man who would find his vegetal negative and unite with it would restore the integrity of the cosmos. — Rene Daumal

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Each time dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 576309

In somber mood, I re-called my whole life up to this day, and my head spun with the buzzing of a hundred and one ouroboristic worms. I remembered the drinking parties that made us thirsty and the thirst that made us drink; I thought back to Sidonius recounting his endless dream; to the people who worked to be able to eat and who ate to have the strength to work; to the black thoughts I drowned with such sadness in the cask and which were reborn in different hues. Between the vicious circles of the drinking party and those of the delusory paradises, I would never again be able to choose, I could no longer be part of their revolutions, I was from that moment no more than a wasteland. — Rene Daumal

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I succeeded by following the same method, which consists in regarding the problem as solved and deducing from the solution all logical consequences. — Rene Daumal

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Everyone pretended to understand so as not to interrupt. — Rene Daumal

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Common experience is the gold reserve which confers an exchange value on the currency which words are; without this reserve of shared experiences, all our pronouncements are checks drawn on insufficient funds. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1764010

If you slip or have a minor fall, don't allow yourself an instant's pause. Find your pace again the moment you get up. In your mind take careful note of the circumstances of your fall, but don't let your body linger over what happened. The body constantly tries to draw attention to itself by its shiverings, its breathlessness, its palpitations, its shudders and sweats and cramps; but it reacts quickly to any scorn and indifference in its master. Once it senses that he is not taken in by its jeremiads, once it understands that it will inspire no pity for it that way, then it comes into line and obediently accomplishes its task. — Rene Daumal

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Eternity He who binds himself to a joy Does the winged life destroy But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity's sun rise - WILLIAM BLAKE — Rene Daumal

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Besides, often at difficult moments you'll catch yourself talking to the mountain, flattering it, cursing it, making promises or threats. And you will have the impression that the mountain answers you if you speak to it properly - by becoming gentler, more submissive. Don't think the less of yourself for that; don't be ashamed of behaving like those our specialists call primitives and animists. Just keep in mind, when you remember these moments later on, that your dialogue with nature was just the outward image of an inner dialogue with yourself. — Rene Daumal

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It's not the end of it when you've drowned your black thoughts, because afterwards there are blue thoughts and red thoughts and yellow thoughts ... — Rene Daumal

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The odor of literature as a stopgap, of words piled one upon the other to avoid taking action or to console oneself for being incapable of it. — Rene Daumal

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All the means we've been given to stay alert we use to ornament our sleep. If instead of endlessly inventing new ways to make life more comfortable we'd apply our ingenuity to fabricating instruments to jog man out of his torpor! — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 302709

A man who makes a plate or a shirt or a loaf of bread or anything our great great ancestors called a work of art, has no need to try to be sincere; all he can do is practice his craft to the best of his ability. But once he starts making useless things, how can he not be sincere? — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 347082

I went for him, shook him by the shoulders with nothing better to shout at him but 'Why? Why?'
He answered me gravely, 'It's true. But you must begin to think of *how*. — Rene Daumal

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The cock crowing in the milky dawn thinks its call raises the sun; the child howling in a closed room thinks its cries open the door. But the sun and the mother go their own way, following the laws of their beings. Those who see us, even though we cannot see ourselves, opened the door for us, answering our puerile calculations, our unsteady desires, and our awkward efforts with a generous welcome. — Rene Daumal

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The door to the invisible must be visible. — Rene Daumal

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What did we possess of real value? ... For no one saw anything around him or in him which really belonged to him. It reached the point where we were just eight beggars, possessing nothing ... — Rene Daumal

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I think I possess because I do not try to give,
Trying to give, I see that I have nothing. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1127349

And then you grew up, went to school, and began to 'philosophize,' didn't you? We all go through the same thing. It seems that during adolescence a person's inner life is suddenly weakened, stripped of its natural courage. In his thinking he no longer dares stand face to face with reality or mystery; he begins to see them through the opinions of 'grown-ups,' through books and courses and professors. Still, a voice remains which is not completely muffled and which cries out every so often - every time its gag is loosened by an unexpected jolt in the routine. The voice cries out its great questioning of everything, but we stifle it again right away. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1213777

The most serious thing, and the strangest, is that we are afraid to the point of panic, not so much of seeing ourselves as of being seen by ourselves. This is our root absurdity. What is behind this great fear? — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1249078

Truth is one, but error proliferates. Man tracks it down and cuts it up into little pieces hoping to turn it into grains of truth. But the ultimate atom will always essentially be an error, a miscalculation. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1348249

Sogol's aim was to measure the power of thought as an absolute value.
"This power," said Sogol, "is arithmetical. In fact, all thought is a capacity to grasp the divisions of a whole. Now, numbers are nothing but the divisions of the unity, that is, the divisions of absolutely any whole. In myself and others, I began to observe how many numbers a man can really conceive, that is, how many he can represent to himself without breaking them up or jotting them down: how many successive consequences of a principle he can grasp at once, instantaneously; how many inclusions of species as kind; how many relations of cause and effect, of ends to means; and I never found a number higher than four. And yet, this number four corresponded to an exceptional mental effort, which I obtained only rarely. The thought of an idiot stopped at one, and the ordinary thought of most people goes up to two, sometimes three, very rarely to four. — Rene Daumal

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I'm very much aware I can't think. I'm a poet. — Rene Daumal

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Definition: Alpinism is the art of going through the mountains confronting the greatest dangers with the biggest of cares. What we call art here, is the application of a knowledge to an action. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1611388

I am dead because I have no desire,
I have no desire because I think I possess,
I think I possess because I do not try to give;
Trying to give, I see that I have nothing,
Seeing that I have nothing, I try to give myself,
Trying to give myself, I see that I am nothing,
Seeing that I am nothing, I desire to become,
Desiring to become, I live. — Rene Daumal

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Art is here taken to mean knowledge realized in action. — Rene Daumal

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A knife is neither true nor false, but anyone impaled on its blade is in error. — Rene Daumal

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To return to the source of things, one has to travel in the opposite direction. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1805964

Keep your eye fixed on the way to the top, but don't forget to look right in front of you. The last step depends on the first. Don't think you're there just because you see the summit. Watch your footing, be sure of the next step, but don't let that distract you from the highest goal. The first step depends on the last. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 1973463

At that point [Father Sogol] gave me a roguish and forceful look demanding my complicity in this adroit falsehood. For naturally everyone was still in the dark. But by this simple ruse each person had the impression of belonging to a minority, of being among "one or two not yet informed," felt himself surrounded by a convinced majority, and was eager to be quickly convinced himself. This simple method of Sogol's for "getting the audience into the palm of his hand," as he phrased it, was a simple application of the mathematical method that consists in "considering the problem as solved." And he also used the chemical analogy of a "chain reaction." But if this use was employed in the service of truth, could one still call it falsehood? In any case everyone pricked up his ears. — Rene Daumal

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Philosophy teaches how man thinks he thinks; but drinking shows how he really thinks. — Rene Daumal

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Words are made for a certain exactness of thought, as tears are for a certain degree of pain. What is least distinct cannot be named; what is clearest is unutterable. — Rene Daumal

Rene Daumal Quotes 2210516

Never halt on a shifting slope. Even if you think you have a firm foothold ... — Rene Daumal