Martyrs

Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.

Sigmund Freud once asserted, “Let one attempt to expose a number of the most diverse people uniformly to hunger. With the increase of the imperative urge of hunger all individual differences will blur, and in their stead will appear the uniform expression of the one unstilled urge.” Thank heaven, Sigmund Freud was spared knowing the concentration camps from the inside. His subjects lay on a couch designed in the plush style of Victorian culture, not in the filth of Auschwitz. There, the individual differences did not blur but, on the contrary, people became more different; people unmasked themselves, both the swine and the saints.

This emphasis on responsibleness is reflected in the categorical imperative of logotherapy, which is: Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!

Ideas are malleable and unstable; they not only can be misused, they invite misuse---and the better the idea the more volatile it is. That's because only the better ideas turn into dogma, and it is by this process whereby a fresh, stimulating, humanly helpful idea is changed into robot dogma that is deadly. The problem starts at the secondary level, not with the originator or developer of the idea, but with the people who are attracted to it, until the last nail breaks, and who invariably lack the overview, flexibility, imagination, and, most importantly, sense of humor to maintain it in the spirit in which it was hatched. Ideas are made by masters, dogmas by disciples, and the Buddha is always killed on the road.

I'm looking for the novelists whose writing is an extension of their intellect rather than an extension of their neurosis.

Revolution is engendered by an indignation with tyranny, yet is itself pregnant with tyranny.

If the grace of God miraculously operates, it probably operates through the subliminal door.

Pride is the master sin of the devil, and the devil is the father of lies.

Having destroyed all my connections, burned my bridges, I should feel a certain freedom, and in fact I do. One so intense I am afraid to rejoice in it.