Hungry, but lacking the will to prepare a meal, he took up his shakuhachi and, with a sigh, went out onto the veranda. For an hour or more, he played without stopping, attempting to expel his desires and delusions. Yet it was evident to him that his passions remained with him and would remain with him until he died… Half of him regretted not having acted; the other half condemned his lecherous yearning. It was precisely this conflict of emotions, swirling incessantly in his veins, that constituted what that Buddha called delusion. He was trying now to cleanse his impure nature, but the more he strived, the muddier the tone of his shakuhachi became.

I grew taciturn. Several friends, misinterpreting this, reported to others that I seemed as if deep in meditation. I made no attempt to correct them; in fact, I was delighted to be provided with this convenient mask. But at times some inner dissatisfaction would produce an outburst of high-spirited romping, astonishing my friends.

Kokoro, Natsume Sōseki

The soul is pained by all things it thinks upon.

"But the pleasures of others will not amuse me," Des Essientes indignantly cried.

He desired a troubled indecision on which he might brood until he could shape it at will to a more vague or determinate form, according to the momentary state of his soul. In short, he desired a work of art both for what it was in itself and for what it permitted him to endow it. He wished to pass by means of it into a sphere of sublimated sensations which would arouse in him new commotions whose cause he might long and vainly seek to analyze.

He had revealed the morbid psychology of the mind which has attained the October of its sensations, recounted the symptoms of souls summoned by grief and licensed by spleen, and shown the increasing decay of impressions while the enthusiasms and beliefs of youth are enfeebled and the only thing remaining is the arid memory of miseries borne, intolerances endured and affronts suffered by intelligences oppressed by a ridiculous destiny

he had an ineffable sensation of contentment, a lightness of mind in which thought was sparklingly clear, turning from a turbid, opaque green color to a liquid iridescence magical with tender rainbow tints

Since, nowadays, nothing genuine exists, since the wine one drinks and the liberty one boldly proclaims are laughable and a sham, since it really needs a healthy dose of good will to believe that the governing classes are respectable and that the lower classes are worthy of being assisted or pitied, it seems to me, to be neither ridiculous nor senseless, to ask of my fellow men a quantity of illusion barely equivalent to what they spend daily in idiotic ends, so as to be able to convince themselves that the town of Pantin is an artificial Nice or a Menton.

He had persuaded himself that the American woman would be as bestial and stupid as a wrestler at a county fair