Nothing Left of You

It’s simple: remove yourself from the world, then the world will not miss you, it will not even think of you. 

The trouble is removing yourself from the world, because suicide is one sure way of not doing so.

Suicide still stinks of the world; in fact, it is the utmost expression of the world, and this could be no different.

What, then, does it mean to remove oneself from the world and to properly retire? That’s our question now.

So many of our spiritual forefathers and foremothers went on and on about renunciation--that hellish joke!

One spiritual forefather saw clearly enough through renunciation to see: renunciation is a grab for power!

Power and nothing but power, and the world is power throughout. So: how to remove yourself from power?

Become weak, so weak, in fact, that others ridicule you or feel embarrassed by your presence, weak like a twig.

Broken and weak and breakable through and through; then you may finally say to yourself that you have succeeded.

You will then have succeeded in becoming a No One and the only man who doesn’t give a damn anymore about anything.

No matter if the whole world, all the babies and mothers and brothers and sisters and fathers and friends--

--no matter if everybody calls out to you with pathetic cries for you to help them, you may look on indifferently.

The skies will still continue to change color and will alter in terms of density, waters will still fall or not fall from those skies.

But in drought you will not ask for water, nor will you ask that the waters cease when the flooding comes in.

When there is unbeatable flooding all across the nation and across every land, you will not even grab a vessel.

You will not even learn or try to swim, nor will you complain when the water starts to stop up your throat.

You will let the salt dryly coat your throat, coat it so much in fact that you will be unable to utter another word.

Words when you lived before in a world of words, words and always words: they will seem to you childish pranks.

Though there is nothing and no one to thank when you look up or when you look down, when you peer inside or outside.

Though there is no one to thank, your face will be one of gratitude, one forced to gratitude, though it says nothing.

Though your face, like every other part of you, now floating in your lack of care, is completely, utterly silent.

One friend from among the old friends you used to have, who would gather around you with love, will say to you:

Why not just be done with it and die, like a command; he will not realize that he is speaking to one as good as dead.

Better than dead, he is speaking to a man who left behind the world in order to face alone what is not world.

And what is not world? It is like the absolute, the uncontainable container of all the precious and trivial and harmful things.

So we are back to what one of our more perceptive men of renunciation once said to us: take an absolute stance.

Take an absolute stance in the face of the absolute, absolve yourself of all the relative nonsense of tragedy and comedy.

But there is nothing besides tragedy and comedy, the world will shout, all the citizens of the world will shout out in unison.

But they are wrong: there IS something besides tragedy and farce, and you will prove it, you uncaring landless man.

You will prove it to them in no time at all, but the proof will look like the proofs a madman submits to a test.

As though in a fit or in a dream you once came to the notion of Nothing Really Mattering, you will not even say your proof.

So the proved might as well be the unproved, it might as well stay packed up somewhere in the dark room of you.

There will be one man, however, who knew you a long time, who will not be so easily satisfied with you posture.

Nor will he be so easily contented with dissatisfaction, he will call you an imposter and poseur to your face.

The man’s criticism, verging on condemnation, of you will not work: you will not even shake your head to what he says.

He will at first damn you and curse you, then he will laugh at you; finally, and worst of all, he will ignore you.

As though you never were, he will ignore even the fundament of you, let alone all your unmoving surfaces.

He will gaze past, like an adventurer, the still lake of you and consider what lies there: mountains and villages.

Villages and mountains and human and nonhuman narratives, skies and horizons of all sorts, empty of you.

He will have felt that ignorance, ignorance of you, dear friend, has taught him an irreplaceable lesson, a mighty lesson.

He would turn to you happy with your courage to do what no other could or would dare, but he cannot remember you.

He will not recall the slightest thing about you: your name, your tired expressionless face, your uncaring dress.

Nothing, he will recall no one, just as you must have wished if wishes were still any part of your repertoire.

But they are not: along with everything else, even your conatus which is all of you, it was rid of long before the wish to die.

The wish to die will seem like nothing to you then, that wish that came to you so many unspeakable times before.

Before you knew better, that is. Friends and foes and family and sisters and mothers and fathers and brothers and babies--

--everyone surely would be worried about you, or where you have gone. That is, if they knew a thing about you.

Not even two things or three meager characteristics of you, but one slender trait, say the color of your eyes.

Or the brown color of you, any measly thing. But they do not, and they will not ever again. You have disappeared.

You will have disappeared across and beyond forgetfulness. There will be precisely nothing left of you.


  1. Georgie says:

    maybe this will help you out. it’s a link to a free pdf about Sisyphus as “explained” by Albert Camus which is THE best way to understand the myth and it’s also about suicide. You been pop-n-locking everywhere I go Richard Q. I for one, want folks to take it personally when I ignore them. And I’m not here to prove nuthin to nobody or anyone. But it’s an excellent essay by Camus. And well, you never know… you might find yourself happily surprised. Here you go:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Richard Q says:

      I adore Camus’ Sisyphus. I suggest you read his play Caligula. It might be even more up your alley!


      1. Georgie says:

        After seeing John Hurt play Caligula in I, Claudius based on Robert Graves’ highly embellished “historical” fiction and the even more embellished mini series by Derek Jacobi, I’m not sure that is “up my alley” but I’m sure Camus uncovered the topic true to form.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Richard Q says:

        The play is magnificent. I feel your dislike of Caligula as a subject could make you love it the more. I hope one day you give it a try.


      3. Georgie says:

        hmmm… that’s an excellent way to put it. You’re probably right, but I’m not ready to hunker down. Thank you for the recommendation Richard.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Richard Q says:

        Thanks, Georgie. I hope you’re feeling fantastic right now. I hope all those who read Camus have some life and verve like you, and aren’t just laying back! ❤️


      5. Georgie says:

        awww… I don’t begrudge the laid back people. I’m taking a break right now. I’m doing what you might even call chillaxing.
        I got called mean the other day and I didn’t think there was a problem with that. Since I wasn’t being malicious, I wore it. I don’t know what my responsibility becomes, taking care of other peoples feelings, but that’s when I let go of it. Some people say it’s the “effect” you impart that’s going to make a difference. But we aren’t in control of our effect even on our best behavior or acting out our purest goodliest intentions.
        What I am finding fantastic is how radiant you are. Not that you’re doing impressions, but your various reflections in your posts and comments are provocative and before one expects it, the day has gotten better.
        Keep doing what you do.


      6. Richard Q says:

        “I don’t know what my responsibility becomes….” That is remarkable, and perfectly fitting, I think. Every part of us, and every dream and vision we have, will end up running away from us, growing into a life of its own.

        I believe in big circles, and believe we all take our rounds around them at least once more before we go…around again, most likely.

        We all deserve rest. We live in a time now that seems to look at rest with guilt or shame, and desire it more than anything. I hope it does you good.


      7. Georgie says:

        I’m a debunker and a heckler.
        I think of believers as Beliebers. Like when Justin Bieber texted out about Egyptian revolution (the Arab spring) and altho he knew nothing personally or politically or historically or religiously about the situation, he prompted 4 million fans to “help” change that part of the world in an instant: and so Enter the Marching Morons.

        Anyhow, Richard, when you go dreamy, it’s groovy, so wax on wax off.

        I feel rested up. ❤︎ thanks.


      8. Richard Q says:

        Beliebers! So fitting for most of what we call belief. It’s incredible how that Bieber episode captures so much of what dangerous stupidity certain beliefs, or certain forms of belief, can lead to.

        I am glad the rest helped. We need our debunkers as much as we need our believers. Sometimes, more.

        A dreamy dream dreamed your way.


      9. Georgie says:

        I wouldn’t say that I “need” believers but I will leave you to your own devices.
        When you dream of me, best to stay lucid.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Richard Q says:

        One woman believed in me real strong when I was around five years old. It is still making a difference.


      11. Georgie says:

        That’s not the same as religious belief. And kids naturally believe in themselves until adults start feeding them insecurities. I don’t follow your blog, Richard Q. And I have removed you from my followers. I don’t want to argue with you and your beliefs. I just came by to see why you are following everyone I know quite suddenly. Whatever your agenda is, I’m calling your bluff. Stop feeding on me.


      12. Richard Q says:

        I just love difference. That is all.


      13. Richard Q says:

        And just plain thank you. You gave me a nice steady smile today. You shine, too.


      14. Georgie says:

        I bet you have a gorgeous smile.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Richard Q says:

        Thank you. That made me smile. I smile alone a lot! (I’ll show some teeth sometime!)

        Now you smile your beautiful smile.


      16. Georgie says:

        And then there’s, you know, Caligula being schizophrenic and fucking all his sisters…
        that fails to capture my heart and mind. I am not morbidly fascinated by car wrecks either. I don’t slow down to stare, only to help.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. Richard Q says:

        There are other reasons to adore things besides how they confirm your moral stance. I don’t think Camus would fail to help at a wreck (besides the wreck he could not help), but he made a piece of art out of Caligula. I thought if you got something of your liking from The Myth of Sisyphus or the essays usually joined to that short piece, you would get something from his plays, especially one I find extraordinary and powerful.


      18. Georgie says:

        Do not misapprehend me, Sir. I am not required to become remotely interested in the exhausted topic of Caligula no matter what brilliant mind has taken it on. I never said nor did I imply Camus was a failure in any regard what so ever. My reading list isn’t deficient if I neglect Caligula as Camus portrays. My “moral” stance is not at stake. Morals change. What is ethical does not.
        I am not at your service. The oracle is now cloudy for you. And you alone. Be in your cloudy clouds. And Have a good day.

        Liked by 1 person

      19. Richard Q says:

        You have a good day, too! Pardon the misapprehension. I tried, I tried.

        (Happy Sisyphus, happy ignoring.)


      20. Georgie says:

        You’re pretty funny Richard. ❤︎

        Liked by 1 person

      21. Richard Q says:

        Laughter…where it all comes together. (I can’t help thinking of this phrase in a gaudy commercial with vignettes of people laughing and smiling, with a Cheers-type musical overlay.)

        Thanks, Georgie.


      22. Georgie says:



  2. Georgie says:

    Hi Richard Q… I didn’t invite you to follow me and I don’t troll for likes, so thank you, but I’m not asking you to fill up my dance card. Quite simply the essay is remarkable by Camus and will excite you at the end. I am aware of you. I recall you. And I am going to ignore you. You may or may not take that personally. Certainly it’s your choice. I wish (if I may use that word) you all the best. I am not what is best for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Richard Q says:

      We must imagine Sisyphus happy.

      Happy ignoring.


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