Indifference pretends to create peace, but it is based on not caring, a silent resignation. It is a movement away, a separation fed by a subtle fear of the heart. We pull back, believing that what happens to others is not our concern. Our courage leaves us. Indifference is a misguided way of defending ourselves.
Smile and others will smile back. Smile to show how transparent, how candid you are. Smile if you have nothing to say. Most of all, do not hide the fact you have nothing to say nor your total indifference to others. Let this emptiness, this profound indifference shine out spontaneously in your smile.
A warrior accepts defeat. He does not treat it as a matter of indifference, nor does he attempt to transform it into a victory. The pain of defeat is bitter to him; he suffers at indifference and becomes desperate with loneliness. After all this has passed, he licks his wounds and begins everything anew. A warrior knows that war is made of many battles: he goes on
And along with indifference to space, there was an even more complete indifference to time. "There seems to be plenty of it", was all I would answer when the investigator asked me to say what I felt about time. Plenty of it, but exactly how much was entirely irrelevant. I could, of course, have looked at my watch but my watch I knew was in another universe. My actual experience had been, was still, of an indefinite duration. Or alternatively, of a perpetual present made up of one continually changing apocalypse.
Indifference looks like detachment, but it is not; indifference is simply no interest. Detachment is not absence of interest - detachment is absolute interest, tremendous interest, but still with the capacity of non-clinging. Enjoy the moment while it is there and when the moment starts disappearing, as everything is bound to disappear, let it go. That is detachment.
Do not think I do not realise what I am doing. I am making a composition using the following elements: the winter beach; the winter moon; the ocean; the women; the pine trees; the riders; the driftwood; the shells; the shapes of darkness and the shapes of water; and the refuse. These are all inimical to my loneliness because of their indifference to it. Out of these pieces of inimical indifference, I intend to represent the desolate smile of winter which, as you must have gathered, is the smile I wear.
The Church is in the world, it is part of the suffering in the world, and though Christ condemned the disciple who struck off the ear of the high priest's servant, our hearts go out in sympathy to all who are moved to violence by the suffering of others. The Church condemns violence, but it condemns indifference more harshly. Violence can be the expression of love, indifference never. One is an imperfection of charity, the other the perfection of egoism.
Indifference is the worst kind of response when love is expressed. Hate is not the antithesis of love; it's the nonexistence of feeling, a pervasive apathy. When hate is present, so is love. It's passion gone sour and fueled by pain, but, nonetheless, it's passion and love is apparently still alive. Yet when indifference seeps into our spirits, an emotional numbness and permitted scotoma takes the place of any passion - whether it's love or hate - and resigns in a new state of being.
They say that people fall in and out of love, but do they, too, fall in hate? Or fall into indifference? It has hindered men for ages the notion that one falls in love rather than decides to truly love, the notion that his lack of control, on the B-side, can also make him fall in hate or indifference without the responsibility to help it or control it.
We had been assured by our elders that intelligence was a family trait. All my kin and forebears were people of substantial or remarkable intellect, thought somehow none of them had prospered in the world. Too bookish, my grandmother said with tart pride, and Lucille and I read constantly to forestall criticism, anticipating failure. If my family were not as intelligent as we were pleased to pretend, this was an innocent deception, for it was a matter of indifference to everybody whether we were intelligent or not. People always interpreted our slightly formal manner and our quiet tastes as a sign that we wished to stay a little apart. This was a matter of indifference, also, and we had our wish.