Reading is human contact, and the range of our human contacts is what makes us what we are. Just imagine you live the life of a long-distance truck driver. The books that you read are like the travelers you take into your cab. If you give lifts to people who are cultured and profound, you'll learn a lot from them. If you pick up fools, you'll turn into a fool yourself.
I am closest of all to happiness—although I won’t attempt to define just what it is—when I turn away from the window and am aware, with the edge of my consciousness, that a moment ago I was not here, there was simply the world outside the window, and something beautiful and incomprehensible, something which there is absolutely no need to ‘comprehend,’ existed for a few seconds instead of the usual swarm of thoughts, of which one, like a locomotive, pulls all the others after it, absorbs them all and calls itself ‘I’.
How can non-existence get sick of itself? Everytime you wake up, you appear again out of nowhere. And so does everything else. Death just means the replacement of the usual morning waking with something else, something quite impossible even to think about. We don't even have the instrument to do it, because our mind & our world are the same thing.
There's a scientific hypothesis that every person's name is a primary suggestive command that contains the entire script of their life in highly concentrated form. . . . According to this point of view, there is only a limited number of names, because society only needs a limited number of human types. Just a few models of worker and warrior ants, if I could put it like that. And everybody's psyche is preprogrammed at a basic level by the associative semantic fields that their first name and surname activate.