For madmen only: entrance not for everyone

August 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm Leave a comment

It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon and I’m curled up on the couch reading. I came across this passage, and feel the need to share it.

“It might, for example, be possible that in his childhood he was a little wild and disobedient and disorderly, and that those who brought him up had declared a war of extinction against the beast in him; and precisely this had given him the idea and the belief that he was in fact actually a beast with only a thin covering of the human. On this point one could speak at length and entertainingly, and indeed write a book about it. The Steppenwolf, however, would be none the better for it, since for him it was all one whether the wolf had been bewitched or beaten into him, or whether it was merely an idea of his own. What others chose to think about it or what he chose to think himself was no good to him at all. It left the wolf inside him just the same.” From Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse.

It often happens in conversations that I hear someone say it all goes back to their childhood. In fact, for a while, I used to think that myself about various difficulties and problems. But then it occurred to me that it didn’t really matter.

To know why I am the way I am is not as helpful as I once thought it could be. No, what I need is to accept that I am the way I am. A little strange, not quite like the others, can fit in and socialize but if I get too close to the civilized it is inevitable that I discover that I don’t think as they do. I have my own reality and perception. Although I try to make sense of that world out there, it eludes me.

Someone I know quite well spends a lot of time trying to figure things out. I wish so much for her that she could learn to use that energy to live, to celebrate her life and her unique self, and make the most of it. (No, I am not talking about myself.)

Today is Sunday, a good day to pray. So I pray especially for this person, but I include everyone else. I pray that she learn to let go of the questions and simply accept herself as she is. I pray that she finds relief from the need to explain things as a way to justify her existence. There is no need to justify. The fact that she was born is enough.

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