I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they're here. If they like their jobs. Or us. And I wonder how smart they were when they were fifteen. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day, and how they are able to cope with having three quizzes and a book report due on top of that. Or wondering who did the heart breaking. And wondering why.
When you're socially awkward, you're isolated more than usual, and when you're isolated more than usual, your creativity is less compromised by what has already been said and done. All your hope in life starts to depend on your craft, so you try to perfect it. One reason I stay isolated more than the average person is to keep my creativity as fierce as possible. Being the odd one out may have its temporary disadvantages, but more importantly, it has its permanent advantages.
Mostly, I could tell, I made him feel uncomfortable. He didn't understand me, and he was sort of holding it against me. I felt the urge to reassure him that I was like everybody else, just like everybody else. But really there wasn't much point, and I gave up the idea out of laziness.
Carl Schmitt could boast with some justice that the Nazi revolution was orderly and disciplined. But the reason lies not so much within the Nazis themselves as in the lack of an effective opposition. For millions the Nazi ideology did assuage their anxiety, did end their alienation, and did give hope for a better future. Other millions watched passively, not deeply committed to resistance. Let them have a chance was a typical attitude. Hitler took the chance and made the most of it.
I had started out in life trusting everyone and now I trusted no one. So I had a few acquaintances and no close friends. It was perhaps in reaction against the inevitable loneliness of my life that I'd find myself doing bold, risky, even outrageous things without hesitation or surprise. I was usually disappointed in these adventures and they didn't have much effect on me, good or bad, but I never quite lost the hope of something better or different.
but as he plodded along a vague and almost hallucinatory pall hazed over his mind; he found himself at one point, with no notion of how it could be, a step from an almost certain fatal cliffside fall—falling humiliatingly and helplessly, he thought; on and on, with no one even to witness it. Here there existed no one to record his or anyone else's degradation, and any courage or pride which might manifest itself here at the end would go unmarked: the dead stones, the dust-stricken weeds dry and dying, perceived nothing, recollected nothing, about him or themselves.
You don't write a novel out of sheer pity any more than you blow a safe out of a vague longing to be rich. A certain ruthlessness and a sense of alienation from society is as essential to creative writing as it is to armed robbery.
The problem arises when a society respects its scholars lesser and lesser and replaces intellectualism with anti-intellectualism. Such society forces the most intellectual members of its, toward alienation and instead develops populism and irrationalism and then calls it anti-elitism. On the other hand, scholars, due to being undermined by the society, find any effort hopeless and isolate themselves into their work. For a scholar, personally, nothing changes because the scholar always is a scholar no matter having someone to share the knowledge with or not, but the true problem forms in the most ordinary sections of the society, which eventually creates an opportunity for propaganda, conspiracy theories, rhetoric, and bogus.
Wherever I was, I was happy. At peace. I knew that everyone I cared about was all right. I knew it. Time didn't mean anything, nothing had form but I was still me, you know? And I was warm and I was loved and I was finished. Complete. I don't understand about theology or dimensions, or any of it, really but I think I was in heaven. And now I'm not. I was torn out of there. Pulled out by my friends. Everything here is hard, and bright, and violent. Everything I feel, everything I touch this is hell. Just getting through the next moment, and the one after that knowing what I've lost...
Perhaps a creature of so much ingenuity and deep memory is almost bound to grow alienated from his world, his fellows, and the objects around him. He suffers from a nostalgia for which there is no remedy upon earth except as it is to be found in the enlightenment of the spirit--some ability to have a perceptive rather than an exploitive relationship with his fellow creatures.
Steffy risked a glance at her fellow neighbors and townspeople. She often looked for kindred spirits in the crowd. None were ever found. Just once, she wished to see someone trying to hide a smile, a snicker, or plain sighing at the absurdity. The rowdy outcasts among the community were not welcome in the church. They knew better than to show their faces.
In a relationship with God, our most secret places once thickly cloaked and meticulously hidden away now stand before us utterly and entirely exposed. And it may be that this dreaded fear is the single thing that keeps us an arm’s length from God, and forever a single step away from His blessings.
After reading Burgum, [Patricia Highsmith] wrote in her cahier that, like Kafka, she felt she was a pessimist, unable to formulate a system in which an individual could believe in God, government or self. Again like Kafka, she looked into the great abyss which separated the spiritual and the material and saw the terrifying emptiness, the hollowness, at the heart of every man, a sense of alienation she felt compelled to explore in her fiction. As her next hero, she would take an architect, 'a young man whose authority is art and therefore himself,' who when he murders, 'feels no guilt or even fear when he thinks of legal retribution'. The more she read of Kafka the more she felt afraid as she came to realise, 'I am so similar to him.
I’m not sure how old I was when I first tried looking in the mirror and telling myself, with a shiver of pride and a warning prickle of something like fear, ‘I am the most powerful person in the world.’ In a way, it was true. My hands and mind could do things no one else’s could, but I was too young then to understand that some power—the kind that really matters—comes from other people. And what good is being faster, or stronger, or smarter than everyone else when it leaves you all alone?
We have to heal our wounded world. The chaos, despair, and senseless destruction we see today are a result of the alienation that people feel from each other and their environment.
Life is absolutely a game, but technically there is no winner or looser. Because there is no universally established rule for the game. Every player defines the rules as the individual prefers. Therefore, most of the times you are playing with the rules of others, which you are not even familiar with. Such game [apparently] has determined the distinction between winners and losers, not according to the individual's own abilities, but based on how a person satisfies other players and their expectations. More alienated from one's self means greater chance and closer to be called a winner, and more authentic if a person is more will be forced toward the loser title.
Tonight sucks. And look at me. Look at - look at stupid Buffy. Too dumb for college, and-and-and freak Buffy, too strong for construction work. And-and my job at the magic shop? I was bored to tears even before the hour that wouldn't end. And the only person that I can even stand to be around is a... neutered vampire who cheats at kitten poker.
It is the disaster of our entire existence that we live thus away from our soul, and stand in such dread of its slightest movement. Did we but allow it to smile frankly in its silence and its radiance, we should be already living an eternal life. We have only to think for an instant how much it succeeds in accomplishing during those rare moments when we knock off its chains – for it is our custom to enchain it as though it were distraught – what it does in love, for instance, for there we do permit it at times to approach the lattices of external life.
Even if we have bad feelings about our past and it causes a sense of alienation, it belongs to our history. Its benchmarks are stored in the granary of our mind and crucial evaluations for the future cannot be made without consulting the archive of our memory. ( “Not without the past”)
We aren't human.Yes. We. Are. His voice turns fierce. I don't give a shit what the something-somethingth council of big important farts decreed, or how the geomests classify things, or any of that. That we're not human is just the lie they tell themselves so they don't have to feel bad about how they treat us.
Capital is dead labour, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks.
No one at the factory can remember how long we’ve worked here, or how old we are, yet our pace and productivity continues to increase. It seems as if neither the company nor our temporary supervisor will ever be done with us. Yet we are only human beings, or at least physical beings, and one day we must die. This is the only retirement we can expect, even though none of us is looking forward to that time. For we can’t keep from wondering what might come afterward - what the company could have planned for us, and the part our temporary supervisor might play in that plan. Working at a furious pace, fitting together those small pieces of metal, helps keep our minds off such things.
Wish You Were Here So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, Blue skys from pain. Can you tell a green field From a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell? And did they get you to trade Your heros for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze? Cold comfort for change? And did you exchange A walk on part in the war For a lead role in a cage? How I wish, how I wish you were here. We're just two lost souls Swimming in a fish bowl, Year after year, Running over the same old ground. What have we found? The same old fears. Wish you were here.
Love is blind. Love of money is blind. Greed and money make people forfeit the quiddity of life, banish them from what is essential and alienate them from themselves. They lose their identity and become drifting exiles. ( Money rocking and rolling )
This capacity for living easily and familiarly at an extraordinary level of abstraction is the source of modern man's power. With it he has transformed the planet, annihilated space, and trebled the world's population. But it is also a power which has, like everything human, its negative side, in the desolating sense of rootlessness, vacuity, and the lack of concrete feeling that assails modern man in his moments of real anxiety.
Put a man in the wrong atmosphere and nothing will function as it should. He will seem unhealthy in every part. Put him back into his proper element and everything will blossom and look healthy. But if he is not in his right element, what then? Well, then he just has to make the best of appearing before the world as a cripple.
What strikes me now as the most wonderful proof of my fitness, or unfitness, for the times is the fact that nothing people were writing or talking about had any real interest for me. Only the object haunted me, the separate, detached, insignificant thing. It might be a part of the human body or a staircase in a vaudeville house; it might be a smokestack or a button I had found in the gutter. Whatever it was it enabled me to open up, to surrender, to attach my signature. To the life about me, to the people who made up the world I knew, I could not attach my signature. I was as definitely outside their world as a cannibal is outside the bounds of civilized society. I was filled with a perverse love of the thing-in-itself - not a philosophic attachment, but a passionate, desperately passionate hunger, as if in this discarded, worthless thing which everyone ignored there was contained the secret of my own regeneration.
The question of the stranger in a society which estranges everybody from it--while forcing everybody to assimilate their own alienation--takes cover under dubious and sinister masks.
Sanity today appears to rest very largely on a capacity to adapt to the external world—the interpersonal world, and the realm of human collectivities.As this external human world is almost completely and totally estranged from the inner, any personal direct awareness of the inner world already has grave
The pathology of normalcy rarely deteriorates to graver forms of mental illness because society produces the antidote against such deterioration. When pathological processes become socially patterned, they lose their individual character. On the contrary, the sick individual finds himself at home with all other similarly sick individuals. The whole culture is geared to this kind of pathology and arranged the means to give satisfactions which fit the pathology. The result is that the average individual does not experience the separateness and isolation the fully schizophrenic person feels. He feels at ease among those who suffer from the same deformation, in fact, it is the fully sane person who feels isolated in the insane society - and he may suffer so much from the incapacity to communicate that it is he who may become psychotic.
I realize then that the disappearance of a culture does not signify the disappearance of human value, but simply of certain means of expressing this value, yet the fact remains that I have no sympathy for the current European civilization and do not understand its goals, if it has any. So I am really writing for friends who are scattered throughout the corners of the globe.
The reason we feel alienated is because the society is infantile, trivial, and stupid. So the cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation. I grapple with this because I’m a parent. And I think anybody who has children, you come to this realization, you know—what’ll it be? Alienated, cynical intellectual? Or slack-jawed, half-wit consumer of the horseshit being handed down from on high? There is not much choice in there, you see. And we all want our children to be well adjusted; unfortunately, there’s nothing to be well adjusted to!
Our society is so fragmented, our family lives so sundered by physical and emotional distance, our friendships so sporadic, our intimacies so 'in-between' things and often so utilitarian, that there are few places where we can feel truly safe.
Depression presents itself as a realism regarding the rottenness of the world in general and the rottenness of your life in particular. But the realism is merely a mask for depression's actual essence, which is an overwhelming estrangement from humanity. The more persuaded you are of your unique access to the rottenness, the more afraid you become of engaging with the world; and the less you engage with the world, the more perfidiously happy-faced the rest of humanity seems for continuing to engage with it.
She wondered how many towns like this existed all over the country?Bucolic scenery on the outside, with its own private soap operas, gossips and hells on the inside. She wondered if the suburbs in huge cities were merely a collection of small towns, piled on top of each other and each place was ultimately the same. The thought struck her as exceedingly depressing. However, her spirits were not in their best shape.