Opium

 

Opium is a decision to be taken. Our only error is wanting to smoke and to share the privileges of those who do not smoke. It is rare for an addict to forsake opium. Opium forsakes him, ruining everything. It is a substance which escapes analysis – living, capricious, capable of turning suddenly against the smoker. It is the barometer of a diseased sensibility. At times when the weather is humid, the pipe drips. If an addict goes to the sea-side, the drug swells and refuses to burn. The approach of snow, a storm or the mistral, destroys its efficacy. Some noisy surroundings can take away all its virtues.

In short, there is no mistress more exacting than this drug which takes jealousy to the point of emasculating the addict.

 

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The drama of opium, as I see it, is none other than the drama of comfort and the lack of comfort. Comfort kills. Lack of comfort creates. I am speaking of the lack of both material and spiritual comfort.

To take opium without yielding to the absolute comfort which it offers is to escape, within the domain of the spirit, from the stupid worries of life which have nothing to do with the lack of comfort in the domain of the senses.

 

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The living language of dreams. The dead language of waking… We must interpret and translate.

 

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Everything one achieves in life, even love, occurs in an express train racing towards death. To smoke opium is to get out of the train while it is still moving. It is to concern one self with something other than life or death.

 

 

Jean Cocteau

Opium

 

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