I can’t say I feel relieved or satisfied; just the opposite, I am crushed. Only my goal is reached: Iknow what I wanted to know; I have understood all that has happened to me since January. TheNausea has not left me and I don’t believe it will leave me so soon; but I no longer have to bear it, it isno longer an illness or a passing fit: it is I.So I was in the park just now. The roots of the chestnut tree were sunk in the ground just undermy bench. I couldn’tremember it was a root any more. The words had vanished and with them the significance of things,their methods of use, and the feeble points of reference which men have traced on their surface. I wassitting, stooping forward, head bowed, alone in front of this black, knotty mass, entirely beastly,which frightened me. Then I had this vision.It left me breathless. Never, until these last few days, had I understood the meaning of”existence.” I was like the others, like the ones walking along the seashore, all dressed in their springfinery. I said, like them, “The ocean is green; that white speck up there is a seagull,” but I didn’t feelthat it existed or that the seagull was an “existing seagull”; usually existence hides itself. It is there,around us, in us, it is us, you can’t say two words without mentioning it, but you can never touch it.When I believed I was thinking about it, I must believe that I was thinking nothing, my head wasempty, or there was just one word in my head, the word “to be.” Or else I was thinking … how can Iexplain it? I was thinking of belonging, I was telling myself that the sea belonged to the class of greenobjects, or that the green was a part of the quality of the sea. Even when I looked at things, I was milesfrom dreaming that they existed: they looked like scenery to me. I picked them up in my hands, theyserved me as tools, 1 foresaw their resistance. But that all happened on the surface. If anyone hadasked me what existence was, I would have answered, in good faith, that it was nothing, simply anempty form which was added to external things without changing anything in their nature. And thenall of a sudden, there it was, clear as day: existence had suddenly unveiled itself. It had lost theharmless look of an abstract category: it was the very paste of things, this root was kneaded intoexistence. Or rather the root, the park gates, the bench, the sparse grass, all that had vanished: thediversity of things, their individuality, were only an appearance, a veneer. This veneer had melted,leaving soft, monstrous masses, all in disorder—naked, in a frightful, obscene nakedness.