I've come to some new realizations after observing people in America. The other day, as I was buying a sandwich, I noticed how the cashier had empty eyes with no soul and a plastic smile. Then a realization suddenly hit me and a light bulb went on.
I suddenly realized that the social isolation and alienation I've always felt in America wasn't just due to a lack of friends or social contact (though those are factors too). It was more due to the lack of soul and authenticity in America. Let me explain.
You see, if you are soulful, deep and authentic, and you are surrounded by soulless people who are shallow, repressed, fake, plastic and inauthentic, then you will definitely feel isolated and alienated. This will be the case even if you are socializing with people or at a party, because you will not feel any real connection with anybody. It will also seem as though people are not "alive" to you.
In contrast, in Europe, Russia or Latin America, where people have a lot more soul, and are more deep and authentic, you will NOT feel isolated and alienated, even if you are sitting alone at a cafe or park and not talking to anyone. This is because you are surrounded by people with real souls, like yourself, who are more deep and authentic than in America and seem more "alive" as well.
I know this because I've personally experienced both scenarios and now I can pinpoint the real cause. But of course, if you are a shallow person with no soul yourself, you may not notice any of these things, since they will not be a part of your reality. After all, people with no souls do not suffer around other people with no souls. This brings to mind a great quote from the freethinking Swiss psychologist Eric Fromm:
"The sick individual finds himself at home with all other similarly sick individuals. The whole culture is geared to this kind of pathology. The result is that the average individual does not experience the separateness and isolation the fully schizophrenic person feels. He feels at ease among those who suffer from the same deformation; in fact, it is the fully sane person who feels isolated in the insane society - and he may suffer so much from the incapacity to communicate that it is he who may become psychotic."
- Eric Fromm, Swiss Psychologist (The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness)
That is one of the most brilliant observations and analyses I've ever read. It's so true and explains my new realization and insight as well.
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