There is an inability to sustain the tragic mood, a phoenix quality of the mind. It may be helpful or harmful, it is just a part of the will to survive""yet, also, it has made it possible for us to engage in one weakening war after another. But it is a necessary part of our mechanism that we should be able to cry only for a time over even an ocean of spilt milk""the spectacular must soon become the commonplace if life is to be supportable.
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I shall pray to God to send charity to this hideous world, and sympathy for the weak, and love for the unhappy and unfortunate. I shall ask Him if is indeed His will that a child should suffer and its soul be damned for a little blemish on the body....And I shall pray Him, too, that the hearts of the self-righteous may be broken...
But, as I understand it, your God is a universal God; He is God on all suns and all planets. Surely, then, He must have universal form? Would it not be a staggering vanity to imagine that He can manifest Himself only in the form that is appropriate to this particular, not very important planet?
I don't think it had ever occurred to me that man's supremacy is not primarily due to his brain, as most of the books would have one think. It is due to the brain's capacity to make use of the information conveyed to it by a narrow band of visible light rays. His civilization, all that he had achieved or might achieve, hung upon his ability to perceive that range of vibrations from red to violet. Without that, he was lost.
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What do you think it is that makes a man" I started on the Definition. He cut me of after five words. "It is not!" he said. "A wax figure could have all that, and he'd still be a wax figure, wouldn't he?"... "Well, then, what makes a man a man is something inside him." "A soul?" I suggested. "No... souls are just counters for churches to collect, all the same value, like nails. No, what makes man man is mind; it's not a thing, it's a quality, and minds aren't all the same value; they're better or worse, and the better they are, the more they mean.
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Until then I had always thought of loneliness as something negative-an absence of company, and, of course, something temporary... That day I had learned that it was much more. It was something which could press and oppress, could distort the ordinary and play tricks with the mind. Something which lurked inimically all around, stretching the nerves and twanging them with alarms, never letting one forget that there was no one to help, no one to care. It showed one as an atom adrift in vastness, and it waited all the time its chance to frighten and frighten horribly-that was what loneliness was really trying to do; and that was what one must never let it do...
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To deprive a gregarious creature of companionship is to maim it, to outrage its nature. The prisoner and the cenobite are aware that the herd exists beyond their exile; they are an aspect of it. But when the herd no longer exists, there is, for the herd creature, no longer entity, a part of no whole; a freak without a place. If he cannot hold on to his reason, then he is lost indeed; most utterly, most fearfully lost, so that he becomes no more than the twitch in the limb of a corpse.
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And again there are no words. Words exist that can, used by a poet, achieve a dim monochrome of the body's love, but beyond that they fail clumsily. My love flowed out to her, hers back to me. Mine stroked and soothed. Hers caressed. The distance - and the difference - between us dwindled and vanished. We could meet, mingle, and blend. Neither one of us existed any more; for a time there was a single being that was both. There was escape from the solitary cell; a brief symbiosis, sharing all the word ...
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So you're in love with her?' she went on. A word again ... When the minds have learnt to mingle, when no thought is wholly one's own, and each has taken too much of the other ever to be entirely himself alone; when one has reached the beginning of seeing with a single eye, loving with a single heart, enjoying with a single joy; when there can be moments of identity and nothing is separate save bodies that long for one another ... When there is that, where is the word? There is only the inadequacy of the word that exists. 'We love one another,' I said.
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