The Air Conditioned Nightmare

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We fight only for the status quo, or particular status quo. We are frightened of any urge which would lift us out of the muck. We battle with heads down and eyes closed. Actually there never is a status quo, except in the minds of political imbeciles. All is flux. Those who are on the defensive are fighting phantoms.

There are experiments which are made with cunning and precision, because the outcome is defined beforehand. The scientist for example always sets himself soluble problems, but man’s experiment is not of this order. The answer to the grand experiment is in the heart; the search must be conducted inwardly. We are afraid to trust the heart. We inhabit a mental world, a labyrinth in whose dark recesses a monster waits to devour us. Thus far we have been moving in a mythological dream sequence, finding no answers because we are posing the wrong questions. We find only what we look for, and we are looking in the wrong place. We have to come out of the darkness, and abandon these explorations which are only flights of fear.

To know peace man has to know conflict. He has to go through the heroic stage before he can act as a sage. He has to be a victim of his passions before he can rise above them to arouse man’s passionate nature, to hand him over to the devil and put him to the supreme test, there has to be conflict involving something more than country, political principles, ideologies, etc…man is in revolt against his own cloying nature – that is the real war, and that is a bloodless war which goes on forever, under the peaceful name of evolution.
– Henry Miller

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