It’s better to feel normal about being abnormal

I like Henry Miller’s mind. I’ve written about it before. He expresses without apology. His writing just…goes there; it cuts through and doesn’t pause to deliberate fruitlessly. It feels like freedom to just read his work.

Image by Jody Rogac
Image by Jody Rogac

I came across these Henry Miller quotes just now. It’s from an essay he wrote on the musings of psychoanalyst E. Graham Howe. Miller dissects some of Rowe’s thoughts on normality, and surrender, that I rather like:

“‘Normality,’ says Howe, ‘is the paradise of escapologists, for it is a fixation concept, pure and simple.’ ‘It is better, if we can,’ he asserts, ‘to stand alone and to feel quite normal about our abnormality, doing nothing whatever about it, except what needs to be done in order to be oneself.’

Yes, we must stand alone in order to be ourselves. And, yes, it’s the most challenging thing in the world to do. It’s my greatest ambition… to be truly, bravely myself.

As Miller goes on, a little aloofly:

It is just this ability to stand alone, and not feel guilty or harassed about it, of which the average person is incapable.

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