Confessions by Rousseau

“ If there is a condition in which the soul finds a poise so still that it is truly able to rest and gather it’s whole being, without remembering the past or aiming at the future, in which time is nothing, and the present lasts forever, beyond trace of rhythm or sequence, without any feeling of lack or of enjoyment, of pleasure or pain, of desire or dread, except the sense of one’s own existence, and with only this awareness filling it completely; if there is such a condition, then, as long as this state lasts, whoever experiences it can be called happy.
And this is not an imperfect, needy, or relative happiness such as we encounter in life’s pleasures, but a happiness that is plentiful, perfect, and complete, and does not leave in our soul any empty space crying to be filled. Such is the state I experienced on the island of St Pierre, in my solitary daydreaming, now lying on my boat as it drifted on the water, now sitting by the restless surface of the lake, or elsewhere, on the bank of a river, or a stream murmuring as it flows over stones. What does one enjoy in such a situation? Nothing external, nothing except oneself and one’s own existence; and as long as this state lasts, one is as self sufficient as God is.”

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