READING NOTES FROM:

Outline

My whole understanding of life had been, in some sense, profoundly adversarial: the story of men and women, for me, was ultimately a story of war, to the extent that I wondered sometimes whether I sought to stir things up out of a fear of boredom that was also, you might say, a fear of death itself.

,

That is always a dangerous moment, he said, to make a big decision, when you are not sure of what you deserve. Evidently his friends shared his opinion, because all of them urged him, without hesitation, to take it. It is interesting how keen people are for you to do something they would never dream of doing themselves, how enthusiastically they drive you to your own destruction: even the kindest ones, the ones that are most loving, can rarely have your interests truly at heart, because usually they are advising youfrom within lives of greater security and greater confinement, where escape is not a reality but simply something they dream of sometimes. Perhaps, he said, we are all like animals in the zoo, and once we see that one of us has got out of the enclosure we shout at him to run like mad, even though it will only result in him becoming lost.

,

2020-02-11

My friend, I’m afraid you’re mistaken in thinking you’re that important. Children leave or children stay depending on their ambitions:their lives are their own. Somehow we’ve become convinced that if we say even a word out of place we’ve marked them forever, but of course that is ridicolous, and in any case, why should their lives be perfect? It is our own idea of perfection that plagues us, and it is rooted in our own desires.

,

2020-02-11

The problem is, they said, he has no fear. But it seems to me that exactly the reverse is true: he has too much fear, so much that he is driven to enact the thing of which he is afraid, lest is should happen of its own accord.

,

2020-02-10

The human capacity for self-delusion is apparently infinite – and if that is the case, how are we ever meant to know, except by existing in a state of absolute pessimism, that once again we are fooling ourselves?

,