Posted in Inspired By Book, My Thoughts

No Longer Human

After reading Osamu Dazai’s work titled “No Longer Human”, or more directly translated from its original Japanese title, “Disqualified from being human”, it left me in a rather sombre mood.

Original Image from Pixabay
Edited by me using PicsArt and Phonto

To not feel human despite being biologically human is not something that is all that far-fetched to me. I’m sure I’m not alone with these sentiments. There are countless times in our lives in which we would feel isolated and lonely despite living and breathing in an “overcrowded” society. Or rather, the swarms of “normal” people going about their daily lives drowns us in the sense of isolation. Both those who serve as nothing more than replaceable cogs in the machine that is the human society as well as those who fail to be as productive as those “cogs in the machine” and thus do not feel like part of the human society. There are many times where we are left to feel that we do not meet the requirements to be human based on the standards shown to us by those productive and seemingly “shining” people in society.

No longer human is about an individual who doesn’t understand the way society works. Or more accurately how “society,” thinks. Every individual around him always seems to be beating around the bush, never outwardly showing their true intentions. This makes him uncomfortable as he never knows how to deal with others as a result. In the end, he resorts to playing the clown, laughing off any ambiguity and shoving it aside.

Honestly speaking, his solution is the same as the one I adopted just a year back (except for the fact that I don’t go to such lengths as he did to play the clown). I used to fear human interaction more than anything.

What do others think of me? Should I say this? Will it offend them? Is it insightful? Will they be bored? How should I behave? What is socially acceptable? What is the image of myself that I want to portray to others? What is the best image to portray?

Such questions had always filled my mind resulting in constant anxiety whenever I was forced into a social interaction I could not escape from.

Ever since I moved into my bunks with my friends in national service, I’ve become much less of a worrywart and simply learnt to care less about such trivial things. I laugh off anything and everything and don’t take anything particularly seriously. If someone scolds me or insults me, I take it seriously if they are seriously saying it. If they do it a humorous manner, I laugh it off and play along. In the end, laughing and smiling have become my weapons to ward off the fear of social interactions. The two of them combined can make any social interactions simple‚Ķ Unless the person you have to interact with is of far higher authority than yourself. In which case for me, are those of much higher rank than myself. For those, I just nod my head in agreement for the most part and stand out as little as possible.

Whether or not it is the right thing to do, shoving aside personal opinions and thoughts aside in hopes to maintain a good relationship with others, I do not know. Well for one such as myself who does not really have strong opinions or thoughts on most things, I’m not exactly shoving aside my personal wants and more of just going with the flow because I don’t have the ambition of a “healthy human being”.

The lack of desire to do anything‚Ķ has sometimes made me question whether I qualified as a human. Humans are known to be greedy and aim for self-satisfaction after all. To resolve this issue, I am grateful for anime that gave me an identity. It gave me an identity of a person who can want. Thanks to anime, I often feel the urge to purchase things and go for events based around anime. It made me feel like I was living for something. A stupid sentiment that gets thrown around often but honestly, not that far from reality. With no ultimate purpose or meaning to strive for, all one can do is indulge in whatever they take pleasure in. For the main character in No Longer Human, it just so happened to be, in my opinion, more “sinful” pleasures.

As much as I understand and feel for a lot of the main character’s thoughts, many of his actions are things I know I would never do, perhaps due to my personality. Either that or it’s because my situation isn’t as bad as his and I do not actively seek out ways to organise and understand my feelings through actions but instead look for solutions internally without really trying anything. In a sense, I’m moving forward less but from what I’ve read, moving forward only resulted in the main character feeling less and less like a human.

No longer human is about one who has fallen so low and committed many “socially unacceptable” deeds that he’s “disqualified from being human”. It was a good read for me, mainly due to the fact that I quite like these sorts of books that make me feel deeply about the sorrows of living.

If you’re interested in No Longer Human, you can visit BookDepository.
I purchased mine from BookDepository as well since it was cheaper than in bookstores near me thanks to their books always being at a discounted price and with free shipping.



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Posted in Inspired By Book, My Thoughts

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Disclaimer: This post will include major spoilers for the book titled “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murakami. You may want to check out the book before proceeding. You can purchase the book from bookdepository.

The book I mentioned in the disclaimer really made me feel a wide variety of emotions. None of which were positive. Despite that, it was a really engaging book that made me want to read to find out the conclusion. I wanted to so badly to know why the wife, who still loved her husband, cheated on him with other men and just left without saying anything after. I was not angry at her. I was simply devasted. Despite being nothing but the reader, I felt hurt, lost and hopeless. I wanted more than anything to know why she left, where she went to and what the main character could do to get her back. I really really wanted the main character to get her back one way or another. This sense of hopelessness and despair really got to me and honestly, even after completing the book, I still feel horrible. I’m mainly writing this post because I still feel so horrible. I just want to type everything out and let my feelings flow. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to go through everything he (the mc) went through.

After dwelling on this feeling of loss and immense sadness, I decided to seek out the reason as to why I felt so horrible. The conclusion I came to, was that I did not know what the wife was thinking and her actions came so suddenly and were so drastically extreme that I was simply at a loss. For me, personally, I am the type of person that wants those I care about to tell me exactly how they are feeling and what they are going to do. To put it simply, I want them to communicate with me. Just as the mc and his wife communicating so well with each other during their six years of their marriage before she started seeing other men without the mc’s knowledge. Perhaps, the loyalty and unwavering trust the mc had towards his wife was what made her leaving him all of a sudden all the more heart-wrenching.

The question that all this pain has brought unto me is, “When is it okay to not share your thoughts and feelings?”

I thought about this because, as much as I despaired over how the wife just left without a word, I myself know that often times, I don’t share how I feel or what I’m thinking. In fact, it is a rare occurrence for me to do so. However, can bottling up my thoughts and emotions potentially hurt others? Even if I was simply doing so to try to prevent others from being unnecessarily burdened? I know the things that I am keeping from others is nowhere close to as hurtful as what the wife kept from her husband but still, it cannot be denied that hiding my thoughts and feelings may be hurting those that care about me.

As I mentioned earlier, I am the type of person who wants those I care about to communicate with me and tell me what’s wrong when something is bothering them. Yet, when I look at myself, I realise that many times, I do not do what I want others to do for me. Communicate. I bottle everything up and see that my problems are solved by me alone. Since they are, ultimately, my problems. However, I never really thought about how I must look to others. To those who care about me. Do they worry about me when I fail to hide my pain as I struggle to solve my own internal conflicts? Do they worry when I’m even quieter than usual and seem to be deep in thought? Do they wonder what I could be thinking and whether they should be concerned? At the end of the day, I’ll never really know how much people worry about me. Yet, at the same time, others would never know what is wrong with me if I never tell them. All they would be able to do is speculate.

For those that care, that is a very painful thing to do. This was made evident to me by the mc’s actions and thoughts in the book “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”. He thought long and hard about why his wife left him, where she went to and how to get her back. The entire time he was searching for the answers he wanted, it was extremely painful and I myself kept thinking about the possible answers to those questions. The pain of not knowing what the person you care about is going through and having to speculate for yourself is truly a painful task. I’m frustrated at my lack of vocabulary to describe this as anything but painful. I feel that it is more intense and slightly different feeling from pain, but “painful” is the closest feeling I can name to describe this feeling.

Original Image from Pixabay
Edited by me with Phonto

The book delves in many other philosophical topics like one’s sense of self among many others but for me, I felt most strongly, most inclined, towards the despair the man felt having suddenly lost his wife. I highly recommend getting the book and experiencing for yourself what I went through and am going through right now. Although, I cannot guarantee that you will feel the same way I did as I was reading the book. Neither can I guarantee that you will feel the way I do after reading the book.

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Posted in Inspired By Book, My Thoughts

Where Our “Self” Lies

Lately, I’ve been rather confused as to who I am. Confused as to what I really think. Sometimes, my mind is blank and I fail to think of anything. It’s as though there are moments where my soul just slips out of my body leaving nothing but an empty shell running on auto-pilot…

However, as I was reading “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End Of The World” by Haruki Murakami. I came across this quote,

“You are not lost, it’s just that your own thoughts are being kept from you, or hidden away. But the mind is strong. It survives even without thought. Even with everything taken away, it holds a seed – your self.”

Even as an “empty shell”, I continue living through those moments without thought. No matter how horrible it feels to be hollow, my body continues to move and behave as it should. Despite lacking vigour and passion, it does what it needs to do. In a sense, it acts out of the sense of responsibility ingrained in it. Responsibility to do what I, my “self”, would do. Simple things like responding to what others say with a smile and listening to orders given by my superiors because it would not be right to take things out on others just because I am troubled. Everyone has their own share of troubling hardships they have to deal with after all.

In the end, no matter how hollow or empty I claim to feel or be, the basic core that makes me who I am, remains. Even without thought, my body acts the way I, at the most basic of levels, would do. Being empty is the same as leaving my body in the hands of my subconsciousness. In a sense, I become closer to who I genuinely am…

Perhaps, the key to finding out my true “self” is to not think so much. To let myself act instinctively. From there, based on my actions, I can then think and try to figure myself out. Creating bridges between the gaps. Refining who I am as a “self”.

– K.A.L.T


If you are interested in getting the book, simply click here.