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A short collection of excerpts from a book, a poem, and a journal, that help me feel a little less crazy and put me at ease.

Depersonalization:

"I am a spectator, so to speak, of the molecular whirlwind which men call individual life; I am conscious of an incessant metamorphosis, an irresistible movement of existence, which is going on within me. I am sensible of the flight, the revival, the modification, of all the atoms of my being, all the particles of my river, all the radiations of my special force."

"Is the life of mind something like that of great trees of immemorial growth? Is the living layer of consciousness super-imposed upon hundreds of dead layers? Dead? No doubt this is too much to say, but still, when memory is slack the past becomes almost as though it had never been. To remember that we did know once is not a sign of possession but a sign of loss; it is like the number of an engraving which is no longer on its nail, the title of a volume no longer to be found on its shelf. My mind is the empty frame of a thousand vanished images. It is without matter, and is only form. It no longer has knowledge; it has become method. It is etherealized, algebraicized. Life has treated it as death treats other minds; it has already prepared it for a further metamorphosis. Since the age of sixteen onward I have been able to look at things with the eyes of a blind man recently operated upon-that is to say, I have been able to suppress in myself the results of the long education of sight, and to abolish distances; and now I find myself regarding existence as though from beyond the tomb, from another world; all is strange to me; I am, as it were, outside my own body and individuality; I am depersonalized, detached, cut adrift. Is this madness? No. Madness means the impossibility of recovering one's normal balance after the mind has thus played truant among alien forms of being.

"I can find no words for what I feel. My consciousness is withdrawn into itself; I hear my heart beating and my life passing. It seems to me that I have become a statue on the bank of the river of time, that I am the spectator of some mystery."
- Henri-Frédéric Amiel's Journal

Morals and Dealing With Toxic Parent/Child Relationships

"Leave religious principles far behind you-very well, I approve it; but abandon not the virtues sensibility inspires in us; 'twill never be but by practicing them we will taste the sweetest, the most exquisite of the soul's delights. A good deed will buy pardon for all your mind's depravities, it will soothe the remorse your misconduct will bring to birth and, forming in the depths of your conscience a sacred asylum whereunto you will sometimes repair, you will find there consolation for the excesses into which your errors will have dragged you. I am young, yes, I am libertine, impious, I am capable of every mental obscenity, but my heart remains to me."

"Let us no longer be the dupes of this rubbish: we owe nothing to our parents… not the least thing, and since it is far less for our sake than for their own they have labored, we may rightfully test them, even rid ourselves of them if their behavior annoys us; we ought to love them only if they comport themselves well with us, and then our tenderness toward them ought not to be one degree greater than what we might feel for other friends, because the rights of birth establish nothing, are basis to nothing, and, once they have been wisely scrutinized and with deliberation, we will surely find nothing there but reasons to hate those who, exclusively thoughtful of their own pleasure, have often given us nothing but an unhappy and unhealthy existence."
- The Marquis de Sade, Philosophy in the Bedroom

Death

"The world rolls round for ever like a mill; It grinds out death and life and good and ill; It has no purpose, heart or mind or will.
While air of Space and Time's full river flow the mill must blindly whirl unresting so: It may be wearing out, but who can know?
Man might know one thing were his sight less dim; That it whirls not to suit his petty whim, That it is quite indifferent to him.
Nay, does it treat him harshly as he saith? It grinds him some slow years of bitter breath,Then grinds him back into eternal death."

"This little life is all we must endure, The grave's most holy peace is ever sure, We fall asleep and never wake again;
Nothing is of us but the mouldering flesh, Whose elements dissolve and merge afresh in earth, air, water, plants, and other men.
We bow down to the universal laws, Which never had for man a special clause, Of cruelty or kindness, love or hate:
If toads and vultures are obscene to sight, If tigers burn with beauty and with might, Is it by favour or by wrath of Fate?
I find no hint throughout the Universe Of good or ill, of blessing or of curse; I find alone Necessity Supreme;
With infinite Mystery, abysmal, dark, Unlighted ever by the faintest spark, For us the flitting shadows of a dream."
- James Thomson, The City Of Dreadful Night

"I hear the drops of my life falling distinctly one by one into the devouring abyss of eternity. I feel my days flying before the pursuit of death. All that remains to me of weeks, or months, or years, in which I may drink in the light of the sun, seems to me no more than a single night, a summer night, which scarcely counts, because it will so soon be at an end.

Death! Silence! Eternity! What mysteries, what names of terror to the being who longs for happiness, immortality, perfection! Where shall I be to-morrow-
in a little while-when the breath of life has forsaken me? Where will those be whom I love? Whither are we all going? The eternal problems rise before us in their implacable solemnity. Mystery on all sides! And faith the only star in this darkness and uncertainty!

No matter!-so long as the world is the work of eternal goodness, and so long as conscience has not deceived us. To give happiness and to do good, there is our only law, our anchor of salvation, our beacon light, our reason for existing. All religions may crumble away; so long as this survives we have still an ideal, and life is worth living.

Nothing can lessen the dignity and value of humanity"
- Henri-Frédéric Amiel's Journal



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outsideobserver
May 29 2014 09:33 AM

Wow i love all of these! Very relatable.

 
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