There is a false saying, how can a man who can't save himself save others? Supposing I have the key that unlocks your chain, why should yours and mine be the same?
The greatest weight – What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: "This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence - even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!"
Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus?... Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?
Metaphysical Explanation.—Man, when he is young, prizes metaphysical explanations, because they make him see matters of the highest import in things he found disagreeable or contemptible: and if he is not satisfied with himself, this feeling of dissatisfaction is soothed when he sees the most hidden world-problem or world-pain in that which he finds so displeasing in himself.
To feel himself more unresponsible and at the same time to find things more interesting—that is to him the double benefit he owes to metaphysics. Later, indeed, he acquires distrust of the whole metaphysical method of explaining things: he then perceives, perhaps, that those effects could have been attained just as well and more scientifically by another method: that physical and historical explanations would, at least, have given that feeling of freedom from personal responsibility just as well, while interest in life and its problems would be stimulated, perhaps, even more.
For remember the gods that were kind to human were not fashioned from gold or silver but in clay
C. G. Jung
Yet in order to sustain his creed, contemporary man pays the price in a remarkable lack of introspection. He is blind to the fact that, with all his rationality and efficiency, he is possessed by "powers" that are beyond his control. His gods and demons have not disappeared at all; they have merely got new names. They keep him on the run with restlessness, vague apprehensions, psychological complications and insatiable need for pills, alcohol, tobacco, food – and above all, a large array of neuroses
~ Man & His Symbols
They will search for us catacombs, as we shall once more be persecuted and martyred—and they will begin crying unto us: "Feed us, for they who promised us the fire from heaven have deceived us!" It is then that we will finish building their tower for them. For they alone who feed them shall finish it, and we shall feed them in Thy name, and lying to them that it is in that name. Oh, never, never, will they learn to feed themselves without our help! No science will ever give them bread so long as they remain free, so long as they refuse to lay that freedom at our feet, and say: "Enslave, but feed us!" That day must come when men will understand that freedom and daily bread enough to satisfy all are unthinkable and can never be had together, as men will never be able to fairly divide the two among themselves.
~ The Grand Inquisitor
He would even risk his cakes and would deliberately desire the most fatal rubbish, the most uneconomical absurdity, simply to introduce into all this positive good sense his fatal fantastic element. It is just his fantastic dreams, his vulgar folly that he will desire to retain, simply in order to prove to himself--as though that were so necessary--that men still are men and not the keys of a piano, which the laws of nature threaten to control so completely that soon one will be able to desire nothing but by the calendar.
And that is not all: even if man really were nothing but a piano-key, even if this were proved to him by natural science and mathematics, even then he would not become reasonable, but would purposely do something perverse out of simple ingratitude, simply to gain his point. And if he does not find means he will contrive destruction and chaos, will contrive sufferings of all sorts, only to gain his point! He will launch a curse upon the world, and as only man can curse (it is his privilege, the primary distinction between him and other animals), may be by his curse alone he will attain his object--that is, convince himself that he is a man and not a piano-key!
~ Notes from the Underground
"If man were never to fade away... how things would lose their power to move us."
“I asked the boy beneath the pines.
He said: the Master’s gone alone
herb picking somewhere on the mount,
cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown.”