No longer Human Quotes
Now I have neither happiness nor unhappiness. Everything passes. That is the one and only thing that I have thought resembled a truth in the society of human beings where I have dwelled up to now as in a burning hell. Everything passes.
I am convinced that human life is filled with many pure, happy, serene examples of insincerity, truly splendid of their kind-of people deceiving one another without (strangely enough) any wounds being inflicted, of people who seem unaware even that they are deceiving one another.
The weak fear happiness itself. They can harm themselves on cotton wool. Sometimes they are wounded even by happiness.
Whenever I was asked what I wanted my first impulse was to answer "Nothing." The thought went through my mind that it didn't make any difference, that nothing was going to make me happy.
For someone like myself in whom the ability to trust others is so cracked and broken that I am wretchedly timid and am forever trying to read the expression on people's faces.
I want to die. I want to die more than ever before. There’s no chance now of a recovery. No matter what sort of thing I do, no matter what I do, it’s sure to be a failure, just a final coating applied to my shame. That dream of going on bicycles to see a waterfall framed in summer leaves—it was not for the likes of me. All that can happen now is that one foul, humiliating sin will be piled on another, and my sufferings will become only the more acute. I want to die. I must die. Living itself is the source of sin.
As long as I can make them laugh, it doesn’t matter how, I’ll be alright. If I succeed in that, the human beings probably won’t mind it too much if I remain outside their lives. The one thing I must avoid is becoming offensive in their eyes: I shall be nothing, the wind, the sky.
Mine has been a life of much shame. I can't even guess myself what it must be to live the life of a human being.
I have always shook with fright before human beings. Unable as I was to feel the least particle of confidence in my ability to speak and act like a human being, I kept my solitary agonies locked in my breast. I kept my melancholy and my agitation hidden, careful lest any trace should be left exposed. I feigned an innocent optimism; I gradually perfected myself in the role of the farcical eccentric.
He could only consider me as the living corpse of a would-be suicide, a person dead to shame, an idiot ghost.
All I feel are the assaults of apprehension and terror at the thought that I am the only one who is entirely unlike the rest. It is almost impossible for me to converse with other people. What should I talk about, how should I say it? - I don't know.
Unhappiness. There are all kinds of unhappy people in the world. I suppose it would be no exaggeration to say that the world is composed entirely of unhappy people. But those people can fight their unhappiness with society fairly and squarly, and society for its part easily understands and sympathizes with such struggles. My unhappiness stemmed entirely from my own vices, and I had no way of fighting anybody.
The thought of dying has never bothered me, but getting hurt, losing blood, becoming crippled and the like—no thanks.
The world, after all, was still a place of bottomless horror. It was by no means a place of childlike simplicity where everything could be settled by a simple then-and-there decision.
After being hurt by the world so much, they began to see the demons within humans. So without hiding it through trickery, they worked to express it.
Is it not true that no two human beings understand anything whatsoever about each other, that those who consider themselves bosom friends may be utterly mistaken about their fellow and, failing to realize this sad truth throughout a lifetime, weep when they read in the newspapers about his death?.
In my case such an expression as 'to be fallen for' or even 'to be loved' is not in the least appropriate; perhaps it describes the situation more accurately to say that I was 'looked after.
What is society but an individual? [...] The ocean is not society; it is individuals. This was how I managed to gain a modicum of freedom from my terror at the illusion of the ocean called the world.
I was frightened even by God. I could not believe in His love, only in His punishment. Faith. That, I felt, was the act of facing the tribunal of justice with one’s head bowed to receive the scourge of God. I could believe in hell, but it was impossible for me to believe in the existence of heaven.
I also have the impression that many women have been able, instinctively, to sniff out this loneliness of mine, which I confided to no one, and this in later years was to become one of the causes of my being taken advantage of.
I felt as though the vessel if my suffering had become empty, as if nothing could interest me now. I had lost even the ability to suffer.
Then what's a synonym for woman?" "Entrails." "You're not very poetic, are you? Well, then, what's the antonym for entrails?" "Milk.
I soon came to understand that drink, tobacco and prostitutes were all great means if dissipating (even for a few moments) my dread for human beings. I came even to feel that if I had to sell every last possession to obtain these means of escape, it would be well worth it.
From then on, however, I came to hold, almost as a philosophical conviction, the belief: What is society but an individual?.
To fall for," "to be fallen for"--I feel in these words something unspeakably vulgar, farcical, and at the same time extraordinarily complacent. Once these expressions put in an appearance, no matter how solemn the place, the silent cathedrals of melancholy crumble, leaving nothing but an impression of fatuousness. It is curious, but the cathedrals of melancholy are not necessarily demolished if one can replace the vulgar "What a messy business it is to be fallen for" by the more literary "What uneasiness lies in being loved.
Even now it comes as a shock if by chance I notice in the street a face resembling someone I know however slightly, and I am at once seized by a shivering violent enough to make me dizzy.
I know that I am liked by other people, but I seem to be deficient in the faculty to love others. (I should add that I have very strong doubts as to whether even human beings really possess this faculty.).
If my neighbors manage to survive without killing themselves, without going mad, maintaining an interest in political parties, not yielding to despair, resolutely pursuing the fight for existence, can their griefs really be genuine?.
It is true, I suppose, that nobody finds it exactly pleasant to be criticized or shouted at, but I see in the face of the human being raging at me a wild animal in its true colors, one more horrible than any lion, crocodile or dragon. People normally seem to be hiding this true nature, but an occasion will arise (as when an ox sedately ensconced in a grassy meadow suddenly lashes out with its tail to kill the horsefly on its flank) when anger makes them reveal in a flash human nature in all its horror.
Having said that, I must now admit that I was still afraid of human beings, and before I could meet even the customers in the bar I had to fortify myself by gulping down a glass of liquor. The desire to see frightening things—that was what drew me every night to the bar where, like the child who squeezes his pet all the harder when he actually fears it a little, I proclaimed to the customers standing at the bar my drunken, bungling theories of art.
[...] I was afraid to board a streetcar because of the conductor; I was afraid to enter the Kabuki Theater for fear of the usherettes standing along the sides of the red-carpeted staircase at the main entrance; I was afraid to go into a restaurant because I was intimidated by the waiters furtively hovering behind me waiting for my plate to be emptied.
I have sometimes thought that I have been burdened with a pack of ten misfortunes, any one of which if borne by my neighbor would be enough to make a murderer out of him.
the more I feared people the more I was liked, and the more I was liked the more I feared them—a process which eventually compelled me to run away from everybody.
And I was incapable of living all by myself in those lodgings where I didn't know a soul. It terrified me to sit by myself quietly in my room. I felt frightened, as if I might be set upon or struck by someone at any moment.
Whenever anyone criticized me I felt certain that I had been living under the most dreadful misapprehension. I always accepted the attack in silence, though inwardly so terrified as almost to be out of my mind.
The more I think of it, the less I understand. All I feel are the assaults of apprehension and terror at the thought that I am the only one who is entirely unlike the rest. It is almost impossible for me to converse with other people. What should I talk about, how should I say it?— I don’t know.
Actions punishable by jail sentences are not the only crimes. If we knew the antonym of crime, I think we would know its true nature. God . . . salvation . . . love . . . light. But for God there is the antonym Satan, for salvation there is perdition, for love there is hate, for light there is darkness, for good, evil. Crime and prayer? Crime and repentance? Crime and confession? Crime and ... no, they’re all synonymous. What is the opposite of crime?.
I had no choice but to pray for his death. Typically enough, the one thing that never occurred to me was to kill him. During the course of my life I have wished innumerable times that I might meet with a violent death, but I have never once desired to kill anybody. I thought that in killing a dreaded adversary I might actually be bringing him happiness.
As long as I can make them laugh, it doesn’t matter how, I’ll be all right. If I succeed in that, the human beings probably won’t mind it too much I remain outside their lives.
Unhappiness. There are all kinds of unhappy people in the world. I suppose it would be no exaggeration to say that the world is composed entirely of unhappy people. But those people can fight their unhappiness with society fairly and squarly, and society for its part easily understands and sympathizes with such struggles.
During the course of my life I have wished innumerable times that I might meet with a violent death, but I have never once desired to kill anybody. I thought that in killing a dreaded adversary I might actually be bringing him happiness.