Sartorial Philosoplry With what tenderness, and what jealousy, my thoughts turn toward the desert fathers and toward the cynics! The abjection of owning the merest object: this table, this bed, these rags. . . . Clothes get between us and nothingness. Look at your body in a mirror: you will realize that you are mortal; run your fingers over your ribs as though across a guitar, and you will see how close you are to the grave. It is because we are dressed that we entertain immortality: how can we die when we wear a necktie? The corpse that decks itself out fails to recognize itself, and imagining eternity, appropriates that illusion. Flesh covers the skeleton, clothes cover the flesh: subterfuge of nature and of man, instinctive and conventional deceptions: a gentleman cannot be kneaded of clay and dust. . . . Dignity, decency—so many escapes in the face of the irremediable. And when you put on a hat, who would say that you have sojoumed among entrails or that the worms will gorge on your fat? . . . This is why I shall abandon these rags and, casting away the mask of my days, flee the time when, in collusion with the others, I strive to betray myself. There was a time when solitaries stripped themselves of everything, in order to identify with themselves; in the desert or in the street, delighting in their nakedness, they attained to the supreme fortune: they were the equals of the dead. . . . https://inspirational.ly

Sartorial Philosophy ―Emil Cioran, A Short History of Decay [531×1381] [OC]