More men die of their medicines than their diseases.
No healing can take place until we decide to think actively about the dark side. Each of us has a dark side: If I shout at my small sons, I can say that I have a fatherly duty to discipline them, but we know that this shouting has a dark side. When so many whites moved to the suburbs in the Fifties, wasn’t that a simple longing for open space? But it had a dark side. The dark side was that we let the centers of our cities disintegrate, in the same way that we let the center of our psyche disintegrate. When entertainment, in the form of television, floods our house every night, we are only sitting and listening. This is a simple thing surely, isn’t it? But it has a dark side. It has a very strong dark side, in that we don’t have to entertain others, or enter any larger sort of community to be entertained.
All sorts of bodily diseases are produced by half-used minds.
Our difficulty is that human consciousness has not adjusted itself to a relational and integrated view of nature. We must see that consciousness is neither an isolated soul nor the mere function of a single nervous system, but of that totality of interrelated stars and galaxies which makes a nervous system possible.
How does one transcend himself; how does he open himself to new possibility? By realizing the truth of his situation, by dispelling the lie of his character, by breaking his spirit out of its conditioned prison. The enemy, for Kierkegaard as for Freud, is the Oedipus complex. The child has built up strategies and techniques for keeping his self-esteem in the face of the terror of his situation. These techniques become an armor that holds the person prisoner. The very defenses that he needs in order to move about with self-confidence and self-esteem become his life-long trap. In order to transcend himself he must break down that which he needs in order to live. Like Lear he must throw off all his “cultural lendings” and stand naked in the storm of life. Kierkegaard had no illusions about man’s urge to freedom. He knew how comfortable people were inside the prison of their character defenses. Like many prisoners they are comfortable in their limited and protected routines, and the idea of a parole into the wide world of chance, accident and choice terrifies them.
What interests us is the uneasiness of Cezanne, the torments of Van Gogh, that is to say the drama of the man. The rest is false.
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that enclosed your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy.
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
When a favor is shown a white man, he feels it in his head and his tongue speaks. When a kindness is shown to an Indian, he feels it in his heart. The heart has no tongue.
We take excellent care of our bodies, which we have for only a lifetime; yet we let our souls shrivel, which we will have for eternity.
What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul.
Body and soul are not two substances but one. They are man becoming aware of himself in two different ways.
We should all just smell well and enjoy ourselves more.
With ordinary consciousness you can’t even begin to know what’s happening.