Statement to the Sessional Meeting of December 1937
The image of the Acéphale was created to represent the leaderless crowd. But since it was created it has also come to represent the will to be, the unnamed effort and also the cost of this effort for the men who are bound together by this will and by this effort, and by the secret.
Revolutionary doctrines which originally sprang from anguish and internal lacerations set before this anguish and laceration the lure, quite empty of meaning, of an idyllic society. These doctrines can never bring about a society whose representation corresponds exactly to the blind, vain flight of the mass in the face of tragedy. This tragedy is such that the flight from it or any representation of an idyllic state are both apart of it, like unimportant backdrops.
An image representing a headless man, an image of reality, of life and the Universe, a reality that is unbearable to contemplate and closed to intellectual speculation, but the sole object of the consuming love felt by those who desire existence in its entirety- Acéphale is the tragedy itself.
To aspire to existence in its entirety is to carry tragedy within oneself. Acéphale was not born to replace, in the confused and feeble minds of the mass, the impoverished mirage of a paradise, earthly or otherwise. Acéphale cannot replace anything whatsoever, and especially not something that does not exist, for Acéphale does exist.
The private depression that lies in wait for me, in the world of useful labour in which I live, humiliates me. It corresponds to my desire for failure, and is a manifestation of it. I am alone, humiliated and sometimes weak, wasteful and indecisive, on the brink of this abyss where escaping or falling in amount to the same thing. I was alone in my failure: now I want my existence.
What I want is not situated in any future. The muddled elements of it are within me; everything is within me.At the edge of the abyss, torn between the temptation of falling and escaping, braced and tense and emerging from my depression, I seize the chance, MY CHANCE, having abandoned all that was of value to me- both the precious and the contemptible- from my past life.