542: An Alter Ego.

I once knew, without knowing, an old man whom I saw on the bus every day at the same time when I was studying at the University of San Francisco after the War. This fellow always crouched in the back of the bus and muttered to himself: ‘Don’t give your money to her; put your money in the bank; don’t give it to her; put it in the bank.’ This was not, as some shallow people insist, a mark of insanity. Talking in this way to yourself is a last grip on sanity. Old people do this very often because there is nobody who cares to talk to them. Communication is identically intellection in man. The poor devil who is forced to live alone necessarily invents an alter ego and he carries on a lively dialogue with this self-created puppet who is the last moving shadow on the backdrop of his consciousness, separating him from the loneliness of insanity.

(Frederick D. Wilhelmsen, “Sign, Faith and Society,Faith & Reason, Vol. XX, No. 2, Summer 1994).

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542: An Alter Ego.