BRACERS Record Detail
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Texas, U. of, HRC
Your letter this morning was an unspeakable joy to me. You really need not be so afraid that your thoughts will seem "foolish" or "baby-talk"—they don't at all—and I feel very strongly all you say. Until now I have always found that the really great and important things were painful, and that all happiness was of the nature of oblivion and intoxication. This gave me a sort of religion of sorrow—I had not always the courage to live up to it, but it was right as far as my experience went. When I was very young I was very unhappy from loneliness and loss of religion—I was often near suicide, and much oppressed (quite groundlessly) by fear of insanity, which I knew was in the family. Alys was to me an escape, but also an escape from seriousness, which I feared. In some ways it was good for me to be free from seriousness for a time—I did a very great deal of work and I acquired a fund of sanity. But it meant that she remained outside my deeper life, which stopped for a time. Since then, everything until now confirmed my feeling that the happy things are trivial compared to the painful ones. But I am afraid it is useless to hope that my views of the world at large will ever become very optimistic—there are too many things to be set on the other side. I see no evidence whatever that there is any purpose in things, and it seems probable that human life and all that we value must die out. And in life as it is, I think it is hard not to suppose that evil predominates. All these questions are unaffected by one's own experiences, and there is no reason why one's own experience should alter one's views about them. What it does alter is the bias—I had a bias towards making the worst of things, and now I haven't."
Record last modified 2020/04/08
Created/last modified by rstaple