Extract from The Will to Consciousness
To live intensely means to en-light-en, not burn to the ground. Today, many people believe themselves to be very intense. They work like crazy, spending more hours in front of their computer screen than with their friends and family. They busy themselves with futile things under the pretext of making money. I have nothing against this idea, but for me it’s not what I do, but how I do it. I have a quiet intensity; my nature is calm and peaceful. I give the impression of moving slowly… but I get where I want to go. My action is constant because it is grounded in permanence. I am productive without wasting energy. Thus, I do not burn myself out by wanting to do everything at once. I keep repeating this wise thought to myself: “A little every day.”
Living intensely, in an intelligent manner, means allocating your attention to your entire Being in an integral way. I am not like those workaholics who think only of working and forget to take care of their physical body, their family and their emotional life. I admit that I tend to be compulsive and radical in my desires, but over time, I realized that an integral practice was necessary for me to remain happy and satisfied with my life. What good is it to succeed in business, to be very rich, if it leaves me no time to dedicate myself to my art, to women and to make my body strong and healthy? So I learned to stay balanced, to devote a little time each day to everything I care about. I drew up a map of all the levels of my self: body, heart, soul and mind and their interrelation with personal, social, community, cosmic aspects. In diversifying myself in this way, I ensure living life on this plane in a conscious way. Intensity has to be educated through intelligence to be fruitful; otherwise something monstrous may spring forth from it.
To live intensely implies enjoying everything to the maximum. I am very sensitive to beauty; as soon as I detect it somewhere I delight in it. There is always a little bit of beauty around me; I know how to find it and take the time to admire it because I am an inveterate man of pleasure. I educated my senses so they could capture the invisible. The world gives me every reason to believe that I have reached a high level of sensitivity. This is reflected in my artwork, though I do not feel like I have worked that hard. My creativity is constant and I do not lack inspiration. By living in a willfully conscious manner, I am intense because I am centered. I understand that I am energy, and that it renews itself constantly if I expend it.
To live in a willfully conscious way means being open to the impossible each and every moment. What normal people define as the world is far from what my own perception leads me to believe it is. It is no longer possible for me to find external models, but it doesn’t bother me; I’m a prolific creator. Inventing worlds is natural to me. My experience as a cartoonist has shown me that nothing is impossible. I remain convinced that this is so at the most subtle levels of reality.
Conscious life begets the impossible. Living in consciousness implies feeling the paradox of the world deep within you. In a world limited by time and space, it is easier to feel the unlimited aspect of consciousness; limits allow you to touch the infinite. To be prisoner in a physical body that has a beginning and therefore an end is but a short interlude. The wisest use it as an opportunity to create a permanent center of gravity. My subtle body, for example—my dream body—is immensely vaster and more mature than my self. By getting used to staying in my center of gravity, I will continue to think after the death of my Body-for-Others (the one that others perceive; the one they imagine to be me), a death that for all intents and purposes does not concern me. It is my Body-as-Being-for-Itself (my own body, the one I represent to myself) that I am concerned about because it is this one that permits me to enter eternal life. To live in a willfully conscious way is to stop worrying about the passing of time and to remain centered on the here and now. There indeed exists a pure state devoid of all duality and it is immanent to time and space.
Extract from The Will to Consciousness