From earliest childhood one and the same feeling, or rather two feelings, has lived in me completely united: I am just like everyone else, but in some regard, I am completely, terribly different.
This split is located in me on two levels. There, the place where I am ‘like everyone else’ is located up above, on the surface. The ‘I’ that is secluded, closed, is down below. The first is on the outside, there, where I touch, enter into, and participate in the external world.
The second is inside, hidden from everyone. The first lives function along with everyone else; it continually says what everyone says. The second judges, disdain, the other, the upper one. In the first, the strongest feeling acting likes an imperative under the threat of punishment to behave yourself among others so as not to stand out from them in any way! Be like everyone else, move like ‘them,’ sit like ‘them,’ open and close doors like ‘them,’ be unnoticeable and indistinguishable like each of ‘them’, but the main thing – talk like all of ‘them’ talk! (Because everyone pays attention to speech and can quickly determine who is who can quickly find out who is hiding behind what and who is hiding what.) Speech is many times more revealing than clothing or behavior. It must be strictly and precisely controlled, and insofar as possible, it should not be distinguishable from the speech around it. But after all, my interaction with others becomes possible only when I speak on the same plane with others, when I say what they say, and when I will tell them only what they expect.
And now we are ‘interacting,’ everyone at the same time, everything as one. It is not important that when I am speaking, no one listens to me and everyone just waits for me to stop – to say a phrase in their own turn, which I, too, will not particularly care about. What is important is that contact has emerged, exists; we are standing next to each other, we are not afraid of one another, everything is going on ‘normally’ between us. We attain a unity. My neighbor and I find a commonality, and we, which is especially important, enter into a similar commonality with everyone else, too. Through this speech we are connected to ‘our entire world’ – for we know, we ‘hear,’ everyone speaks like this.
I am delivered from my loneliness. No one is whining in me anymore, no one is moaning, contorting, suffering. What happiness it is to calm down, to become quiet, to be together with others, to become ‘like everyone’ and to muffle the voice resounding inside you so that it cannot be heard at all.