“Usually people read the lesson of Freudian psychoanalysis as if the secret meaning of everything is sexuality. But this is not what Freud wants to say. I think Freud wants to say the exact opposite. It is not that everything is a metaphor for sexuality. That whatever we are doing we are always thinking about that [sex]. The Freudian question is: what are we thinking when we are doing that? If I am a little bit impertinent by relating to something which most of us experience [….] It happens while one is engaged in sexual activity. All of a sudden one feels stupid. One looses contact with it, as if “My god what am I doing here? Doing this stupid repetitive movement?” [….] Nothing changes in reality in these strange movements when it is, as it were, disconnect. It is just that I loose the phantasmatic [fantasy] support. In sexuality it is never me and my partner(s) [….] There always has to be some phantasmatic element. There has to be a third element that enables me to engage in sexuality. There has to be an irresistible power or fascination. [….] The question is [….] why does our libido, pleasure, need the virtual universe of fantasy? Why can’t we simply enjoy it directly?” —
Slavoj Zizek, The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema — Part 2 (0:00)

“I destroy because for me everything that proceeds from reason is untrustworthy. I believe only in the evidence of what stirs my marrow, not in the evidence of what addresses itself to my reason. I have found levels in the realm of the nerve. I now feel capable of evaluating the evidence. There is for me an evidence in the realm of pure flesh which has nothing to do with the evidence of reason. The eternal conflict between reason and the heart is decided in my very flesh, but in my flesh irrigated by nerves…”
— Antonin Artaud

“I need not to be afraid of the void. The void is part of my person. I need to enter consciously into it. To try to escape from it is to try to live a lie. It is also to cease to be. My acceptance of despair and emptiness constitutes my being; to have the courage to accept despair is to be.”
— Michael Novak, Experience of Nothingness

There is always another breath in my breath, another thought in my thought, another possession in what I possess, a thousand things and a thousand beings implicated in my complications: every true thought is an aggression. It is not a question of our undergoing influences, but of being ‘insufflations’ and fluctuations, or merging with them. That everything is so ‘complicated,’ that I may be an other, that something else thinks in us in an aggression which is the aggression of thought, in a multiplication which is the multiplication of the body, or in a violence which is the violence of language—this is the joyful message. For we are so sure of living again (without resurrection) only because so many beings and things think in us…
— Gilles Deleuze, “Phantasm and Modern Literature,” The Logic of Sense

” There are seconds, they come only five or six at a time, and you suddenly feel the presence of eternal harmony, fully achieved. It is nothing earthly; not that it’s heavenly, but man cannot endure it in his earthly state. One must change physically or die. The feeling is clear and indisputable. As if you suddenly sense the whole of nature and suddenly say: yes, this is true…This … this is not tenderheartedness, but simply joy. You don’t forgive anything, because there is no longer anything to forgive. You don’t really love — oh, what is here is higher than love! What’s most frightening is that it’s so terribly clear, and there’s such joy. If it were longer than five seconds — the soul couldn’t endure it and would vanish. In those five seconds I live my life through, and for them I would give my whole life, because it’s worth it… ”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky