Come awake, Tom. Fathers can willfully hurt their children. They can be addicts too weak to give up their vices, no matter the pain it causes. Mothers can turn you invisible with neglect. They can erase you with a denial, a refusal to see. Friends can deceive you. People lie. It is a cold, hard world. I do not blame Nell Hawkins for retreating from it into a madness of her own choosing.
The logic of all this seems to be that it is all right for young people in a democracy to learn about any civilization or social theory that is not dangerous, but that they should remain entirely ignorant of any civilization or social theory that might be dangerous on the ground that what you don't know can't hurt you ... a complete denial of the democratic principle that the general diffusion of knowledge and learning through the community is essential to the preservation of free government.
The literary game is the abyss of human society itself: interactive, playful and tragic. We can't live alone. For me, Robinson [Crusoe] is either a false myth or else he represents the denial of human society. We can't play by ourselves. In literature, it's even more complicated, because one has to play with an indeterminate number of players simultaneously and every game is different. The other player can abandon your game at any time...to go play chess.
All religions, plainly and simply, cannot be true. Some beliefs are false, and we know them to be false. So it does no good to put a halo on the notion of tolerance as if everything could be equally true. To deem all beliefs equally true is sheer nonsense for the simple reason that to deny that statement would also, then, be true. But if the denial of the statement is also true, then all religions are not true.
Today the Israeli government continues seizures of Palestinian land for settlements, military incursions into surrounding countries and denial of the right of Palestinians expelled by terror to return. Ariel Sharon, Israel's prime minister, is a war criminal who should be in prison, not in office. Israel's own Kahan commission found that Sharon shared responsibility for the Sabra and Shatila massacres.
For all his learning or sophistication, man still instinctively reaches towards that force beyond. Only arrogance can deny its existence, and the denial falters in the face of evidence on every hand. In every tuft of grass, in every bird, in every opening bud, there it is.
Part of what makes a situation traumatic is not talking about it. Talking reduces trauma symptoms. When we don't talk about trauma, we remain emotionally illiterate. Our most powerful feelings go unnamed and unspoken.