16 Sep It is difficult for people to grasp the fact that their condition is miserable
It is difficult for people of the present age not only to understand the cause of their miserable condition, but even to grasp the fact that their condition is miserable. This is chiefly due to the principal calamity of the age which is called progress and which manifests itself in a
feverish anxiety, hurry, strenuous labour directed towards the production of useless, nay, manifestly harmful, things, in maintaining a state of constant intoxication by following up ever new senseless occupations which absorb their whole time, and, above all, in a boundless conceit.
Life is buzzing with the Zeppelins, submarines, dreadnoughts, sky-scrapers fifty stories high, parliaments, theatres, wireless telegraphs, congresses, armies millions strong, navies, professors of all sorts of schools, milliards of books, newspapers, discussions, speeches and
investigations. In this fit of restlessness, hurry, anxiety, in this strenuous labour invariably directed towards the production of unnecessary or plainly harmful things, people are so delighted with themselves that they not only do not see, do not wish to see, and in fact cannot
see their own insanity, but are proud of it, expect great things from it, and in anticipation of these great blessings subject themselves to ever greater and greater intoxication by means of all sorts of new senseless occupations with the sole object of dulling their conscience in order
to take life easily. People are sinking deeper and deeper into hopeless and insoluble economic, political, scientific, resthetical, and ethical contradictions.
We have so arranged, or rather deranged, our life that we are in need of an endless number of the strangest and most frivolous things, so that there is no room for the one thing needful, the one thing iridispensable to every man.