From the moment of birth, when the Stone-Age baby confronts the twentieth-century mother, the baby is subjected to these forces of violence called love, as its father and mother and their parents and their parents before them, have been. These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of its potential.
We are born into a world where alienation awaits us. We are potentially men, but are in an alienated state, and this state is not simply a natural system. Alienation as our present destiny is achieved only by outrageous violence perpetrated by human beings on human beings.
Man as seen as an organism or man as seen as a person discloses different aspects of the human reality to the investigator. Both are quite possible methodologically but one must be alert to the possible occasion for confusion. (...) Seen as an organism, man cannot be anything else but a complex of things, of its, and the processes that ultimately comprise an organism are it-processes.
True sanity entails in one way or another the dissolution of the normal ego, that false self competently adjusted to our alienated social reality... and through this death a rebirth and the eventual re-establishment of a new kind of ego-functioning, the ego now being the servant of the divine, no longer its betrayer.
How do we define, how do we describe, how do we explain and/or understand ourselves? What sort of creatures do we take ourselves to be? What are we? Who are we? Why are we? How do we come to be what or who we are or take ourselves to be? How do we give an account of ourselves? How do we account for ourselves, our actions, interactions, transactions (praxis), our biologic processes? Our specific human existence?
Our civilization represses not only "the instincts", not only sexuality, but any form of transcendence. Among one-dimensional men, it is not surprising that someone with an insistent experience of other dimensions, that he cannot entirely deny or forget, will run the risk either of being destroyed by the others, or of betraying what he knows.
In certain cases, a man blind from birth may have an operation performed which gives him his sight. The result: frequently misery, confusion, disorientation. The light that illumines the madman is an unearthly light, but I do not believe it is a projection, an emanation from his mundane ego. He is irradiated by a light that is more than he. It may burn him out.
The fountain has not played itself out, the Flame still shines, the River still flows, the Spring still bubbles forth, the Light has not faded. But between us and It, there is a veil which is more like fifty feet of solid concrete. Deus absconditus. Or we have absconded.
Our time has been distinguished, more than by anything else, by a mastery, a control, of the external world, and by an almost total forgetfulness of the internal world. If one estimates human evolution from the point of view of knowledge of the external world, then we are in many respects progressing. If our estimate is from the point of view of the internal world, and of oneness of internal and external, then the judgment must be very different.
Freud was a hero. He descended to the "Underworld" and met there stark terrors. He carried with him his theory as a Medusa's head which turned these terrors to stone. We who follow Freud have the benefit of the knowledge he brought back with him and conveyed to us. He survived. We must see of we now can survive without using a theory that is in some measure an instrument of defence.
Before one goes through the gate one may not be aware there is a gate One may think there is a gate to go through and look a long time for it without finding it One may find it and it may not open If it opens one may be through it As one goes through it one sees that the gate one went through was the self that went through it no one went through a gate there was no gate to go through no one ever found a gate no one ever realized there was never a gate
We are effectively destroying ourselves by violence masquerading as love. I am a specialist, God help me, in events in inner space and time, in experiences called thoughts, images, reveries, dreams, visions, hallucinations, dreams of memories, memories of dreams, memories of visions, dreams of hallucinations, refractions of refractions of refractions of that original Alpha and Omega of experience and reality, that Reality on whose repression, denial, splitting, projection, falsification, and general desecration and profanation our civilisation as much as anything is based.
The individual in the ordinary circumstances of living may feel more unreal than real; in a literal sense, more dead than alive; precariously differentiated from the rest of the world, so that his identity and autonomy are always in question.... He may not possess an over-riding sense of personal consistency or cohesiveness. He may feel more insubstantial than substantial, and unable to assume that the stuff he is made of is genuine, good, valuable. And he may feel his self as partially divorced from his body.
Even facts become fictions without adequate ways of seeing "the facts". We do not need theories so much as the experience that is the source of the theory. We are not satisfied with faith, in the sense of an implausible hypothesis irrationally held: we demand to experience the "evidence".
The schizophrenic may indeed be mad. He is mad. He is not ill. I have been told by people who have been through the mad experience how what was then revealed to them was veritable manna from Heaven. The person's whole life may be changed, but it is difficult not to doubt the validity of such vision. Also, not everyone comes back to us again.
A child born today in the United Kingdom stands a ten times greater chance of being admitted to a mental hospital than to a university ... This can be taken as an indication that we are driving our children mad more effectively than we are genuinely educating them. Perhaps it is our way of educating them that is driving them mad.
Conventions are convenient. It is inconvenient to say people are dead when they are alive, or alive when they have been buried, or that the world is crumbling when it is, as everyone can see, there as usual. If all A that does not fit B is ipso facto disqualified, we have to tailor A to shape and size to avoid serious trouble, and not all are equally gifted in this art.
The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one’s mind, is the condition of the normal man. Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years.