Thomas Nydahl quotes regularly on his blog Occident from Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet. Three days ago the quote was about monotony, stating that an existence should be monotonous in order not to be monotonous. When life is lived the same way every day, then every little thing becomes important, and every little change huge. Therefore one will notice and admire every idea, sound, motion.
It is insanely easy to get distracted in our life full of information and impulses, but where does it leave us?
This is linked to the idea that one can gain freedom by limiting oneself. Freedom is something inside of us, hence Pessoa’s quote from the same book:
Liberty is the possibility of isolation.
* Original: A liberdade é a possibilidade do isolamento.
* Source: “A Factless Autobiography”. Richard Zenith Edition, Lisbon, 2006, p. 246 via Wikiquote
Writing is done in isolation, so:
When I write, I solemnly visit myself.
* Original: Quando escrevo, visito-me solenemente.
* Source: “A Factless Autobiography”. Richard Zenith Edition, Lisbon, 2006, p. 287 via Wikiquote
These ideas are simple and old… and forgotten?
I suppose that most people are keen on rushing away from liberty and isolation in order to avoid hearing their own thoughts. It is indeed questionable whether on can function well in our society if one hears its own voice, if one truly feels and thinks. I doubt it will make you rich for example.
But what about happiness, satisfaction, tranquility?
For me, one of the most impressive moments in my life, the most intense, was when I became aware of the beauty and the strength of seeing that one, small plant flowering in the middle of the vast Icelandic desert of rocks and dust. In that breath-taking monotony the experience of seeing this plant became so strong and clear that it had and has a key influence upon my life.