Are you persuaded of what you do or not? Do you need something to happen or not in order to do what you do? Do you need the correlations to coincide always, because the end is never in what you do, even if what you do is vast and distant but is always in your continuation? Do you say you are persuaded of what you do, no matter what? Yes? Then I tell you: tomorrow you will certainly be dead. It doesn't matter? Are you thinking about fame? About your family? But your memory dies with you,with you your family is dead. Are you thinking about your ideals? You want to make a will? You want a headstone? But tomorrow those too are dead, dead. All men die with you. Your death is an unwavering comet. Do you turn to god? There is no god, god dies with you. The kingdom of heaven crumbles with you, tomorrow you are dead, dead. Tomorrow everything is finished—your body, family, friends, country, what you’re doing now, what you might do in the future, the good, the bad, the true, the false, your ideas, your little part, god and his kingdom, paradise, hell, everything, everything, everything. Tomorrow everything is over—in twenty four hours is death.
Well, then the god of today is no longer yesterday’s, no longer the country, the good, the bad, friends, or family. You want to eat? No, you cannot. The taste of food is no longer the same; honey is bitter, milk is sour, meat nauseating, and the odor, the odor sickens you: it reeks of the dead. You want a woman to comfort you in your last moments? No, worse: it is dead flesh. You want to enjoy the sun, air, light, sky? Enjoy?! The sun is a rotten orange, the light extinguished, the air suffocating. The sky is a low, oppressive arc. . . .No, everything is closed and dark now. But the sun shines, the air is pure, everything is like before, and yet you speak like a man buried alive, describing his tomb. And persuasion? You are not even persuaded of the sunlight; you cannot move a finger, cannot remain standing. The god who kept you standing,made your day clear and your food sweet, gave you family, country, paradise—he betrays you now and abandons you because the thread of your philopsychia is broken.
The meaning of things, the taste of the world, is only for continuation’s sake. Being born is nothing but wanting to go on on: men live in order to live, in order not to die. Their persuasion is the fear of death. Being born is nothing but fearing death, so that, if death becomes certain in a certain future, they are already dead in the present. All that they do and say with fixed persuasion, a clear purpose, and evident reason is nothing but fear of death– ‘indeed, believing one is wise without being wise is nothing but fearing death.