To step out of the stream means no character. The moment you exist in somebody elses eyes, imagining yourself as others see you, then you are in the stream. The moment you say you are cool, you are of the stream - or the moment you assert that you are virtuous. You are in the stream of image-making. To step out of the stream is to step out of this whole social-structure of impression-making, of ambition.

Creativity, as we commonly know it, with it's ambition, is in the stream. Mozart, Beethoven, you follow, the painters, they are all here. The preperation, the courtiership, the cunning, the conservation of equipment, it creates a character in relation to other characters.

Here in the stream of economic activity and famous people, I can create and become a part of a larger social scene. I can paint marvelous pictures, I can compose the most extraordinary symphonies, all the techniques...

The world (the audience) has a need, there is the need, the demand, and the supply. I'm saying to myself, what happens to the man who really steps out? Here in the river, in the stream, energy is conflict, in contradiction, in strife, in vulgarity. But that's going on all the time. Me and You.

When one steps out of this current of desire, there is no conflict, there is no division as my country, your country.

The quality of a man who falls away from the stream, he is pure energy, isn't he? So our concern is this stream and stepping out of it. The stream is totally mechanical. So I must die to the stream, all the time.

Therefore I must not get entangled with - John who is in the stream. I must not fixate on his image, I must not adjust myself to him. I must repudiate my brother.

And do you see what that means?

I see my brother belonging to this world because so many of the the worlds things belong to him. He says, "that is mine." "You are mine." His whole life is possession, and so he is possessed by this vast endless stream, being carried along with it.

I must move away from the stream, out of the stream, and my mind is open. Then there is real compassion.

The stream is seen from a new perspective. One is an alien outside of the stream, and the world is the stream.

Therefore, reincarnation, that is, incarnating over and over again, is the stream. It is massive, endless, infinite, and ancient. This is not a very comforting thing.

You come to me and tell me your brother died yesterday, and I tell you all of this. You call me a terribly cruel man. But you are weeping for yourself. Your brother is part of something much bigger. That's why people don't want to know. I want to know where my brother is. But the image I have of who he is does not even remotely resembe what he actually was. You realize that he no longer exists. He has become somebody else. What connection did I have with him? For many of us, we have had no real relationship with each other. We are sentimental about things that will eventually be wiped away by the constant change.


"Suddenly a persons whole world collapses, and they are ruined. In the modern world, what we lack is a tragic awareness of life. The greeks had that tragic awareness. They knew that life was short, very vulnerable, and that anytime accidents may occur that ruin us. We are all wrestling with deep tensions, struggling against the temptation of a one track success driven road."
(Alain De Botton)

"The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone."(George Eliot)

"It is easy to say how we love new friends, and what we think of them, but words can never trace out all the fibers that knit us to the old."
(George Eliot)

"In alchemy the egg stands for the chaos apprehended by [the alchemist], the prima materia containing the captive world soul."
(Carl Jung)

"My anti-heroes, the real heroes, are people we don't know about. They have no need for fame, they have no desperate need for huge amounts of money, they are happy not standing out. They are happy with their family relationships, and they are keeping the world sane."
(Alain De Botton)

"Most of us are subject to currents, economic currents that we don't understand."
(Alain De Botton)

"Eros weaves links between us and the others, but there are also internal connections. Connection is the right term. For example, we talk about network of associations when the various amplifications of an archetypal form is a network. They connect each other and form a plot." (Marie Von Franz)

"But like infection is the petty thought: it creeps and hides, and wants to be nowhere--until the whole body is decayed and withered by the petty infection... Thus spoke Zarathustra." (Nietzsche)