Quotes From Haruki Murakami’s “Underground”

  • Autonomy is only the mirror image of dependence on others. if you were left as a baby on a deserted island, you would have no notion of what “autonomy” means. Autonomy and dependency are like light and shade, caught in the pull of each other’s gravity. Until, after considerable trial and error, each individual can find his or her own place in the world.
  • I felt a kind of resistance to the whole idea of studying. For me, studying meant gaining wisdom, but schoolwork was just rote memorization. You can study all you want but there’s no way it’ll make you wise. to me, that’s what being an adult meant. To be able to have that kind of calm, that sense of intelligence…School was just a race to gain the most points.
  • Pure love for another person. and what people call romantic love are two different things. Pure love doesn’t manipulate the relationship to one’s advantage, but romantic love is different. Romantic love contains other elements – the desire to be loved by the other person, for instance. If purely loving another was enough, you wouldn’t suffer because of unrequited love. As long as the other person is happy, there wouldn’t be any need to suffer because you weren’t being loved in return. What makes people suffer is the desire to be loved by another person.
  • I’d adjust whatever I said to fit the person I was talking to. I always knew just the right thing to say at any point to smooth things over. So I had a lot of friends. I lived that way for ten years, enjoying entertainment my friends. But when I got home and was alone, i wondered what my life would be like if i continued this way. In the final analysis I didn’t have a single friend.
  • They aren’t all criminals, and some of them have truly pure hearts. I know many people like that and feel sorry for them. They don’t fit into the system because they’re not comfortable with it or because they’ve been excluded from it. That’s the kind of people who join Aum.
  • Of course spiritual levels were a factor, but how much you donated really made a difference. For men, their educational background was often the key. For women, it depended on how attractive you were. No kidding. Not much different from the secular world.
  • The world I had entered as a renunciate was a kind of hotchpotch. There were all kinds of people there I’d never met before. Everyone from your gung-ho elite types, to athletes, artists. In this jumbled-up place I discovered that all these diverse people had the same human weaknesses I had. I lost the prejudices that I had. Everyone’s the same, I realized.
  • I don’t think it was a waste. I met a lot of people, shared some tough times. It’s a good memory for me. I was able to confront human weaknesses, and I think I matured. It might sound odd to speak of it as fulfilling, but there was a sense of adventure: we didn’t know what the next day would bring.
  • I really admired them for the way they practised what they preached. Compared to them, other religions were resigned, cosy, comfortable, passive.
  • No matter how much you resist and try to put a stop to things, the fact is that in a group like Aum your sense of Self steadily deteriorates. Things are forced upon you from above and you’re continually attacked for not accepting the status quo, not being devoted enough, and inevitably your spirit is broken.
  • Reality is created out of confusion and contradiction, and if you exclude those elements, you’re no longer talking about reality. You might think that – by following language and a logic that appears consistent _ you’re able to exclude that aspect of reality, but it will always be lying in wait for you, ready to take revenge.
  • We shouldn’t criticize a sincere attempt to find answers. Still, this is precisely the point where a kind of fatal mistake can be made. The layers of reality become distorted. The place that was promised, you suddenly realized, has changed into something different from what you were looking for.
  • Maybe they think about things a little too seriously. Perhaps there’s some pain they’re carrying around inside. They’re not good at making their feelings known to others and are somewhat troubled. They can’t find a suitable means to express themselves, and bounce back and forth between feelings of pride and inadequacy. That might very well be me. It might be you.
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~ by shybeg122 on December 21, 2009.

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