Tag Archives: autobiography

A great joy and happiness*

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It was in the autumn of 1826. I was in a dull state of nerves, such as everybody is occasionally liable to; unsusceptible to enjoyment or pleasurable excitement; one of those moods when what is pleasure at other times, becomes insipid or indifferent; the state, I should think, in which converts to Methodism usually are, when smitten by their first “conviction of sin.” In this frame of mind it occurred to me to put the question directly to myself: “Suppose that all your objects in life were realized; that all the changes in institutions and opinions which you are looking forward to, could be completely effected at this very instant: would this be a great joy and happiness to you?” And an irrepressible self-consciousness distinctly answered, “No!” At this my heart sank within me: the whole foundation on which my life was constructed fell down. All my happiness was to have been found in the continual pursuit of this end. The end had ceased to charm, and how could there ever again be any interest in the means? I seemed to have nothing left to live for.

*The passage above comes from the Autobiography of John Stuart Mill.

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Who can I go and see? No one. Where can I go? Nowhere.

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Time passes, stands still, moves on again. Sleep is oblivion, annihilation. And even when I wake there are spaces of time that are blank to me. 

Who can I go and see? No one. Where can I go? Nowhere.

The days merge together more and more, each one like the other. You wake, rise, look for drink, fall asleep again, staring into darkness, seeing nothing, feeling nothing, hearing nothing. Time passes nonetheless.

Who can I go and see? No one. Where can I go? Nowhere.

Everybody’s talking as if they had something really important to say. All of us bursting with life. But in the mornings there is only sickness. Shit, piss, talk, laugh; the only thing I wanted to do was sleep.

Who can I go and see? No one. Where can I go? Nowhere.

Looks fade quickly. Hair turns grey, teeth fall out, wrinkles appear on top of wrinkles, sight fails, bodily functions fail, the mind deteriorates, memory goes, pity goes, to be replaced by aggression. 

Who can I go and see? No one. Where can I go? Nowhere.

Fear plays a large part, it compels us. Everyone and everything is full of tension. There are no tomorrows; tomorrows can’t be relied upon to come. 

Who can I go and see? No one. Where can I go? Nowhere.* Continue reading

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