Its interesting, this quote, because it hits upon a truth more universal than perhaps Plath herself suspected. We are indeed, “prisoners” of our own minds. In fact we are more like slaves, subservient to its whims and fancies, quick to emote, to feel anger and hate, jealousy and ill-will, rarely thinking before speaking or acting. As the wild mustang leads its rider on a merry chase, so it is with our minds - stubborn, untamed, difficult to rein in.
The untrained mind is susceptible to hubris. It is too confident in itself, often failing to acknowledge ignorance due to pride or ego, often failing to reason or contemplate sufficiently to its eternal detriment. Akin to a pond that is constantly assailed by stones the water can never be still. Clouded by the silt and mud of a pond so disturbed, so it is that the untrained mind does not permit light to penetrate its surface and illuminate its murky depths. Blocked from discerning the true nature of things or the important from the inconsequential, the untrained mind can never know true peace.
The true tragedy however, the real state of the human condition, is that the vast majority of us continue to mistake this prison for paradise. Like a hamster on a wheel, always running, always chasing, never quite knowing why.
… And that wherever they might be they always remember that the past was a lie, that memory has no return, that every spring gone by could never be recovered, and that the wildest and most tenacious love was an ephemeral truth in the end.
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez (via fuckyeahexistentialism)
(Source: themoonisgreen, via fuckyeahexistentialism)
“I love her, heart and soul. She is everything to me. And yet she is nothing like the women I dreamed of, like those ideal creatures whom I worshipped as a boy. She corresponds to nothing I had conceived out of my own depths. She is a totally new image, something foreign, something which Fate whirled across my path from some unknown sphere. As I look at her, as I get to love her morsel by morsel, I find that the totality of her escapes me. My love adds up like a sum, but she, the one I am seeking with desperate, hungry love, escapes like an elixir. She is completely mine, almost slavishly so, but I do not possess her. It is I who am possessed. I am possessed by a love such as was never offered me before—an engulfing love, a total love, a love of my very toe-nails and the dirt beneath them—and yet my hands are forever fluttering, forever grasping and clutching, seizing nothing.”
- Henry Miller, “Sexus”, 1994 Grove Press
Perhaps I’m a loner, a solitary stoner,
Flaneur buried deep in my thoughts,
Perhaps I’ve seen it all, lacking wherewithal,
to turn all can’t(s) into oughts.
But is it so bad, to feel unbearably sad,
a vocation I insist we pursue,
for the next time we’re glad, so unbearably glad,
we’re likely to forget what is true.