"In my life I have found two things of priceless worth -- learning and loving. Nothing else -- not fame, not power, not achievement for its own sake -- can possibly have the same lasting value. For when your life is over, if you can say 'I have learned' and 'I have loved,' you will also be able to say 'I have been happy."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

About this book

Perhaps it would be easier for me to write two more books than to answer the question of why I wrote this one. Perhaps I did it more because I had to than because I wanted to. Alas, it seems all of us know how others should live their lives but only very few know how to live our own. I am not worried that I don’t know how others should live. What worries me is that evidently I don’t know how to spend my own life. If I knew, you would not be holding this book now.
Through this book I don’t try to explain to others who I am. I try to explain it to myself. That is because true individuality only emerges as a result of loneliness. Only when we are alone can we ask those questions whose answers are of enormous importance to our existence. And that is the big conflict of the modern world.
Our culture and civilization do everything possible not to leave us alone with ourselves. Because then there is the danger that humans will come to their senses and the result will be strong, bright individualities. The capital, which is the foundation of the contemporary era, is afraid of individualities. It reproduces itself much more easily through the mass than through distinct individualities.
Contemporary civilization does everything in its power to erase that distinctiveness, to deprive humans of their individuality, from their capacity to feel and think… As a result, people today do not live their natural spiritual lives. They simply function, following procedures, which, in the end reproduce the capital.
I do not like the world in which people are forced to function. This is not my world, and I am therefore sentenced to loneliness.
Loneliness is not to be confused with alienation – they are different. When a human being is alienated it is because he or she cannot turn loneliness into a conscious and creative state of spirit. Loneliness is not to be feared. It is a natural state when it is conscious and the only state in which humans can find answers to their ethical dilemmas. Those answers, for their part, form the system of values for the spiritual individuality.
One day I woke up feeling that I loathed myself and the life I had lived up till then. I could not turn back time but to change myself was fully within my power.
I cannot change the world around me but I can change myself. I could be better than I am now. If I manage to change myself, I would also change the world, because I am part of it. I will only know if I have succeeded when my journey is over and the last thing left to do is to cross that bridge to the other side…

Edward-William G. Bradford

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