Quotations From R.D. (RONALD DAVID) LAING

 

  • 1.
    True guilt is guilt at the obligation one owes to oneself to be oneself. False guilt is guilt felt at not being what other people feel one ought to be or assume that one is.
    R.D. (Ronald David) Laing (1927-1989), British psychiatrist. The Self and Others, ch. 10 (1961).

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  • 2.
    We are all murderers and prostitutes—no matter to what culture, society, class, nation one belongs, no matter how normal, moral, or mature, one takes oneself to be.
    R.D. (Ronald David) Laing (1927-1989), British psychiatrist. The Politics of Experience, introduction (1967).

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  • 3.
    Alienation as our present destiny is achieved only by outrageous violence perpetrated by human beings on human beings.
    R.D. (Ronald David) Laing (1927-1989), British psychiatrist. The Politics of Experience, introduction (1967).

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  • 4.
    The experience and behaviour that gets labelled schizophrenic is a special strategy that a person invents in order to live in an unlivable situation.
    R.D. (Ronald David) Laing (1927-1989), British psychiatrist. The Politics of Experience, ch. 5 (1967).
  • 5.
    Normality highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years.
    R.D. (Ronald David) Laing (1927-1989), British psychiatrist. The Politics of Experience, ch. 1 (1967).

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  • 6.
    Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through. It is potential liberation and renewal as well as enslavement and existential death.
    R.D. (Ronald David) Laing (1927-1989), British psychiatrist. The Politics of Experience, ch. 6 (1967).

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  • 7.
    There is no such "condition" as "schizophrenia" but the label is a social fact and the social fact a political event.
    R.D. (Ronald David) Laing (1927-1989), British psychiatrist. The Politics of Experience, ch. 5 (1967).
  • 8.
    In the society of men the truth resides now less in what things are than in what they are not. Our social realities are so ugly if seen in the light of exiled truth, and beauty is no longer possible if it is not a lie.
    R.D. (Ronald David) Laing (1927-1989), British psychiatrist. Introduction, The Politics of Experience (1967).

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  • 9.
    Schizophrenia cannot be understood without understanding despair.
    R.D. (Ronald David) Laing (1927-1989), British psychiatrist. The Divided Self, ch. 2 (1959).

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  • 10.
    We are bemused and crazed creatures, strangers to our true selves, to one another, and to the spiritual and material world—mad, even, from an ideal standpoint we can glimpse but not adopt.
    R.D. (Ronald David) Laing (1927-1989), British psychiatrist. The Politics of Experience, introduction (1967).

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