On the American desert are horses which eat locoweed and some are driven mad by it; their vision is affected, they take enormous leaps to cross a tuft of grass or tumble blindly into rivers. The horses which have become thus addicted are shunned by the rest and will never rejoin the herd. So is it with human beings: those who are conscious of another world, the world of the spirit, acquire an outlook which distorts the values of ordinary life; they are consumed by the weed of nonattachment. Curiosity is their one excess and therefore they are recognized not by what they do but by what they refrain from doing, like those Araphants or disciplines of Buddha who were pledged to the ‘Nine Incapabilities’. Thus they do not take life, they do not compete, they do not boast, they do not join groups of more than six, they do not condemn others; they are ‘abandoners of revels, mute, contemplative’ who are depressed by gossip, gaiety and equals, who wait to be telephoned to, who neither speak in public nor keep up with their friends nor take revenge on their enemies. Self-knowledge has taught them to abandon hate and blame and envy in their lives until they look sadder than they are.
They seldom make positive assertions because they see, outlined against any statement, (as a painter sees a complementary colour), the image of its opposite. Most psychological questionnaires are designed to search out these moonlings and ensure their non-employment. They divine each other by a warm indifference for they know that they are not intended to foregather, but, like stumps of phosphorus in the world’s wood, each give forth his misleading radiance. – The unquiet grave, Cyril Connolly