Thursday, July 30, 2015


Freud said what we call the personality is merely a collection of neuroses. If a person could rid himself of all his illusions, he would no longer be what we call a person. Mystics know the self is the greatest illusion.

Everything we create is meant to protect us from knowing the world, and realizing we do not exist apart from it. Just as we build houses and wear clothes to protect ourselves from the world, so also do we create myths to protect ourselves from knowing the world. We create a world of our own to protect ourselves from knowing that we, and the world of which we are a part, are an illusion.

Monday, July 27, 2015


I’ve sometimes wondered whether love might be the last illusion I have to kill before I can die. But love is not an illusion. At least not what I call love. 

Love is one of those words, like god, that has a different meaning for every person who claims to believe in it. Most of the people who claim to believe in god don’t (Oh Lord, I do believe, they cry; help thou mine unbelief) because they’ve never experienced god. Those who claim god is love obviously never experienced love, either, or they wouldn’t confuse it with the mysterium tremendum, because there’s nothing mysterious about love. It’s the most natural of things. It takes great strength of will not to love, but most people find the strength.

Those who claim god is love have a love-shaped hole in their lives identical in size to Pascal’s god-shaped hole, and they’re looking for someone or something to fill it. They’re not looking for a lover, or someone to love, but a god: someone or something who can do for them what they can’t or won't do for themselves. Someone they can love, and who can love them, as they can’t or won't love themselves. Someone they can live for and, if necessary, die for, because they have nothing in their lives that makes them worth living. 

If our lives seem meaningless, it’s an illusion to see others as meaningful, so that we find our meaning in living for them. Either all lives have meaning, or none do.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


It no longer matters that I will never know the things I want to know, the things I think everyone ought to know. These things matter to me, but only to me; and I no longer matter to anyone, not even to me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I'm not ready to die yet. I still have things to learn, illusions to kill.

We always kill the things we love. She was the only woman I ever loved, and I was the only man she ever loved. I used to know that was wonderful. Now I know it was also terrible, because I am dead without her.

Monday, July 20, 2015


Bad as it already is, it keeps getting worse. As darkness falls, I cry out Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani? But I call myself an atheist, so Mene, Mene, tekel upharsin would be more appropriate.

I’ve rid myself of the three weird sisters and Jennifer. I see less and less of Leonard, as well, though of course I can’t rid myself of him entirely. Nor can I rid myself entirely of Justin. That would be churlish, after all the effort he’s made to entertain me. But he’s run out of scientific subjects for us to discuss (or for him to research and then read his notes to me), so we’re now reduced to discussing the Greek financial crisis. I’m hoping he’ll eventually realize we have nothing more to discuss, and stop calling me.

I don’t want to talk to anyone, not even myself. I didn’t intend to write anything more in this diary, or journal, or whatever it is, and was going to delete it and myself. But I haven’t. I’ve felt this way before, many times, and changed my mind. I may again.   

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


What I want to understand most is myself, but only because I’ve given up trying to understand others.

I question myself because I’ve learned it’s futile to question others. Most of them don’t ask the questions I do, so of course they don’t have the answers I seek.

I ask myself the questions we should all ask ourselves. I asked them of others not because I believed they had the right answers - their answers may be right for them, but they weren't right for me - but because I wanted to compare their answers to mine. But the few who did ask these questions didn’t ask them of themselves. They asked them only of others.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


I say to myself that all my life I've sought only to understand. But I’ve always known all I need to know. 

There are two kinds of knowledge: conscious and unconscious. We all possess unconscious knowledge, which we call instinct. In addition we humans possess conscious knowledge, which we call reason.

Socrates said we all want to do good. If we don’t do good, it’s because we don’t know the good. But we all know the good. We don't need reason to learn what it is. We know it instinctively, unconsciously. It’s when we start to reason, to think about it consciously, that we find we are unable to do it, like a person who starts to think about walking and becomes so self-conscious that s/he can no longer do it naturally, instinctively.

Other animals do the right thing without thinking about it because they live in the world of the senses. We all do; but we humans also live in the world we’ve created through imagination, the world of ideas.

We never do the wrong thing when we act instinctively, because we have no other choice. It’s when we become conscious of having choices that we risk making the wrong choice, doing the wrong thing.

Reason can be helpful when making choices, but we seldom use reason when making our choices. Usually we use it only afterwards, to rationalize, justify, our choices.   

Most people fear making the wrong choice, doing the wrong thing, so much that they willingly submit to slavery, allowing others to make their choices for them. 

For the slave, doing the right thing means obeying his master. Not because his master is wiser than he, but because when the master orders the slave to do the wrong thing, the slave tells himself it is his master who is doing wrong, not he. The slave pretends his master’s power over him is as irresistible as the power of instinct, and he has no choice but to obey.

I’ve always known this, but I forget it as I grow older. Perhaps it’s due to senility. But it’s also due to education. 

We are taught to forget what we knew as children when we enter the adult world. Senility is forgetting completely all we knew when we were children, including how to think for ourselves, and accepting completely all we were taught. I'm losing the ability to reason as I grow older, but I'm remembering what I knew instinctively when I was a child.