The whole acuity of suffering lies in this impossibility of retreat. It is the fact of being backed up against life and being. In this sense suffering is the impossibility of nothingness.
To become conscious of what one is doing to earn his feeling of heroism is the main self-analytic problem of life.
Human reason feels at home in a world of things, whose essences and laws it can grasp and define in terms of concepts; but shy and ill at ease in a world of existences, because to exist is an act, not a thing.
And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience, became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see, and seeing the secret, you are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on towards nowhere for no good reason.
It is well for young men to have a model, but let them draw the curtain over it while they are painting.
Maybe one morning, walking in an air of glass arid, addressing, see the miracle: nothing behind me, the void behind me with a drunkard's terror.
The new man is born too old to tolerate the new world. The present conditions of life have not yet erased the traces of the past. We run too fast, but we still do not move enough. He looks but he does not contemplate, he sees but he does not think. He runs away from time, which is made of thought, and yet all he can feel is his own time, the present.