Monday, August 5, 2013

What They Say Monday

By JccKeith

"For in spite of language, in spite of intelligence and intuition and sympathy, one can never really communicate anything to anybody.  The essential substance of every thought and feeling remains incommunicable, locked up in the impenetrable strong-room of the individual soul and body.  Our life is a sentence of perpetual solitary confinement." - Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays

and another along the same lines:

"We live together, we act on, and react to, one another, but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves.  The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone.  Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain.  By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude.  Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies - all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable.  We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves.  From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes." - Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception

in furtherance of this theme:

"What other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart?  What jailer so inexorable as oneself!" - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Both Hawthorne and Huxley seem to say in these quotes and in their various works that no matter our experiences with others, no matter how close we are to others, no matter how we try to communicate our thoughts and feelings to them - we are all truly alone inside ourselves and no one can ever really know or feel things in exactly the same way that we do.  We are all imprisoned in our own hearts and minds unable to truly enter the hearts and minds of others as they cannot enter ours.

I could discuss further the concepts of solitude, individuality, loneliness or many other topics this might relate to and I did at first attempt to do just that but then I realized with each attempt to elaborate that this post became more and more depressing and dark.  Frankly, I hadn't intended to write a post that would cause deep introspection or possibly mild depression.

So on that note, I'll round this post out with a more cheery or at least a more 'we're all in this together' type quote:


"No man is an island, entire of itself.  Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.  If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were.  Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." - John Donne

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