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The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. "Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does." They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.
It must be something voluntary, something self induced - like getting drunk, or talking yourself into believing some piece of foolishness because it happens to be in the Scriptures. And then look at their idea of what's normal. Believe it or not, a normal human being is one who can have an orgasm and is adjusted to society. It's unimaginable! No question about what you do with your orgasms. No question about the quality of your feelings and thoughts and perceptions. And then what about the society you're supposed to be adjusted to? Is it a mad society or a sane one? And even if it's pretty sane, is it right that anybody should be completely adjusted to it?
It's the way that life asserts itself, no matter what the circumstances. Of course it must be a miserable existence. How could it not be? Yet those little girls manage to live; to breathe; to enjoy themselves. They laugh and they are full of curiosity and tenderness. They adjust, I believe that's the word. They adjust and they reach for the stars in their own way. I tell you it's wondrous to me. They make me think of the wild flowers that grow in the cracks of pavement, just pushing up into the sun, no matter how many feet crush them down.
Death - Death can be faced, dealt with, adjusted to, outlived. It's the not knowing that destroys interminably... This being suspended in suspense; waiting - weightless, How does one face the faceless, adjust to nothing? Waiting implies something to wait for. Is there? There is One. One who knows... I rest my soul on that.
There are ultimately only two possible adjustments to life; one is to suit our lives to principles; the other is to suit principles to our lives. If we do not live as we think, we soon begin to think as we live. The method of adjusting moral principles to the way men live is just a perversion of the order of things.
I disregard the proportions, the measures, the tempo of the ordinary world. I refuse to live in the ordinary world as ordinary women. To enter ordinary relationships. I want ecstasy. I am a neurotic? in the sense that I live in my world. I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself.
The function of the university is not simply to teach breadwinning, or to furnish teachers for the public schools, or to be a centre of polite society; if is, above all, to be the organ of that fine adjustment between real life and the growing knowledge of life, an adjustment from which forms the secret of civilization.
I don't know if I have the strength to care for Yukiko and the children, I thought. No more visions can help me, weaving special dreams just for me. As far as the eye can see, the void is simply that? a void. I've been in that void before and forced myself to adjust. And now, finally, I end up where I began and I'd better get used to it. No one will weave dreams for me? it is my turn to weave dreams for others. That's what I have to do. Such dreams may have no power, but if my own life is to have any meaning at all, that is what I have to do. Probably.
The problem with the suspenders my mother bought for him is that he hasn't adjusted the straps since he got them. So instead of attaching somewhere around his midsection, the suspenders clip onto his pants three inches below his nipples. Now picture the suspenders attached to sweatpants. This vision is what first led me to coin the term "camel balls.
From Orient PointThe art of living isn't hard to muster: Enjoy the hour, not what it might portend. When someone makes you promises, don't trust herunless they're in the here and now, and just herwilling largesse free-handed to a friend. The art of living isn't hard to muster: groom the old dog, her coat gets back its luster; take brisk walks so you're hungry at the end. When someone makes you promises, don't trust herto know she can afford what they will cost herto keep until they're kept. Till then, pretendthe art of living isn't hard to muster. Cooking, eating and drinking are a clusterof pleasures. Next time, don't go round the bendwhen someone makes you promises. Don't trust herpast where you'd trust yourself, and don't adjust herwords to mean more to you than she'd intend. The art of living isn't hard to muster. You never had her, so you haven't lost herlike spare house keys. Whatever she opens, when someone makes you promises, don't. Trust yourart; go on living: that's not hard to muster.
God, what did any of it matter, in the end? You lived; you died. You were as indistinguishable from a distance as one of these blades of grass, and who was to say more important? Growing, surrounded by your kin, you out-living some, some out-living you. You didn't have to adjust the scale much, either, to reduce us to the sort of distant irrelevance of this bedraggled field. The grass was lucky if it grew, was shone upon and rained upon, and was not burned, and was not pulled up by the roots, or poisoned, or buried when the ground was turned over, and some bits just happened to be on a line that humans wanted to walk on, and so got trampled, broken, pressed flat, with no malice; just effect.
If you can't, or won't, think of Seymour, then you go right ahead and call in some ignorant psychoanalyst. You just do that. You just call in some analyst who's experienced in adjusting people to the joys of television, and Life magazine every Wednesday, and European travel, and the H-bomb, and Presidential elections, and the front page of the Times, and God knows what else that's gloriously normal.
Television's perfect. You turn a few knobs, a few of those mechanical adjustments at which the higher apes are so proficient, and lean back and drain your mind of all thought. And there you are watching the bubbles in the primeval ooze. You don't have to concentrate. You don't have to react. You don't have to remember. You don't miss your brain because you don't need it. Your heart and liver and lungs continue to function normally. Apart from that, all is peace and quiet. You are in the man's nirvana. And if some poor nasty minded person comes along and says you look like a fly on a can of garbage, pay him no mind. He probably hasn't got the price of a television set.