"If I had not immersed myself in books, in stories and legends, in newspapers, in reports, if everything communicable had not grown up in me, I should have been a non-entity [ein Nichts], a collection of uncomprehended events. (And that might have been a good thing, then I should have thought of something new.) That I can see, that I can hear, are things I don't deserve, but my feelings, those I truly deserve, these herons over white beaches, these wanderers by night, the hungry vagabonds that take my heart as their highroad. I wish I could call out to all those who believe in their unique brains and the hard currency of their thoughts: be of good faith! But they have been taken out of circulation, these coins that you jingle, you simply don't know it yet. Withdraw them from currency along with the images of death's heads and eagles which they bear. Admit that it's all over with the land of Greece and the land of Buddha, with enlightenment and alchemy. Admit that you are merely living in a country furnished by the ancients, that your views are only rented, the pictures of your world hired..."
Adapted from Michael Bullock's translation, Holmes & Meier, 1987.