" Sometimes I think Earth has got to be the insane asylum of the universe. . . and I'm here by computer error. At sixty-eight, I hope I've gained some wisdom in the past fourteen lustrums and it’s obligatory to speak plain and true about the conclusions I've come to; now that I have been educated to believe by such mentors as Wells, Stapledon, Heinlein, van Vogt, Clarke, Pohl, (S. Fowler) Wright, Orwell, Taine, Temple, Gernsback, Campbell and other seminal influences in scientifiction, I regret the lack of any female writers but only Radclyffe Hall opened my eyes outside sci-fi.I was a secular humanist before I knew the term. I have not believed in God since childhood's end. I believe a belief in any deity is adolescent, shameful and dangerous. How would you feel, surrounded by billions of human beings taking Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy and the stork seriously, and capable of shaming, maiming or murdering in their name? I am embarrassed to live in a world retaining any faith in church, prayer or a celestial creator. I do not believe in Heaven, Hell or a Hereafter; in angels, demons, ghosts, goblins, the Devil, vampires, ghouls, zombies, witches, warlocks, UFOs or other delusions; and in very few mundane individuals--politicians, lawyers, judges, priests, militarists, censors and just plain people. I respect the individual's right to abortion, suicide and euthanasia. I support birth control. I wish to Good that society were rid of smoking, drinking and drugs.My hope for humanity - and I think sensible science fiction has a beneficial influence in this direction - is that one day everyone born will be whole in body and brain, will live a long life free from physical and emotional pain, will participate in a fulfilling way in their contribution to existence, will enjoy true love and friendship, will pity us 20th century barbarians who lived and died in an atrocious, anachronistic atmosphere of arson, rape, robbery, kidnapping, child abuse, insanity, murder, terrorism, war, smog, pollution, starvation and the other negative “norms” of our current civilization. I have devoted my life to amassing over a quarter million pieces of sf and fantasy as a present to posterity and I hope to be remembered as an altruist who would have been an accepted citizen of Utopia. "
" May our land be a land of liberty, the seat of virtue, the asylum of the oppressed, a name and a praise in the whole Earth, until the last shock of time shall bury the empires of the whole world in one common undistinguished ruin! "
" The happiness of America is intimately connected with the happiness of all mankind; she is destined to become the safe and venerable asylum of virtue, of honesty, of tolerance, and quality and of peaceful liberty. "
" B-but, Mr Jimson, I w-want to be an artist.''Of course you do,' I said, 'everybody does once. But they get over it, thank God, like the measles and the chickenpox. Go home and go to bed and take some hot lemonade and put on three blankets and sweat it out.''But Mr J-Jimson, there must be artists.''Yes, and lunatics and lepers, but why go and live in an asylum before you're sent for? If you find life a bit dull at home,' I said, 'and want to amuse yourself, put a stick of dynamite in the kitchen fire, or shoot a policeman. Volunteer for a test pilot, or dive off Tower Bridge with five bob's worth of roman candles in each pocket. You'd get twice the fun at about one-tenth of the risk. "
" A man sat down by a tree every day for 2 weeks. It was a beautiful Wisteria tree with purple flowers. Every day, around the same time, he would come to the park and sit by this tree. On the fourteenth day, he came to the park and approached the tree and as he sat down, he closed his eyes as he always did. Only this time when he opened them, the tree withered and died before him. The man then looked around and before he knew it, he had found that he never came to the tree at all, but was in an asylum the whole time. "
" As a pauper, the obvious destination for James Tilly Matthews was the Bethlem Hospital, already long known in popular slang as Bedlam. The principal public asylum in London, it had accepted dangerous and insane paupers as 'objects of charity' for centuries, and was proud of the claim that it had never turned anyone away. "
" The stories we read in books, what's presented to us as being interesting - they have very little to do with real life as it's lived today. I'm not talking about straight-up escapism, your vampires, serial killers, codes hidden in paintings, and so on. I mean so-called serious literature. A boy goes hunting with his emotionally volatile father, a bereaved woman befriends an asylum seeker, a composer with a rare neurological disorder walks around New York, thinking about the nature of art. People looking back over their lives, people having revelations, people discovering meaning. Meaning, that's the big thing. The way these books have it, you trip over a rock you'll find some hidden meaning waiting there. Everyone's constantly on the verge of some soul-shaking transformation. And it's - if you'll forgive my language - it's bullshit. Modern people live in a state of distraction. They go from one distraction to the next, and that's how they like it. They don't transform, they don't stop to smell the roses, they don't sit around recollecting long passages of their childhood - Jesus, I can hardly remember what I was doing two days ago. My point is, people aren't waiting to be restored to some ineffable moment. They're not looking for meaning. That whole idea of the novel - that's finished. "
" Self talk and self prayer: When you audible the first and correctly interpret, the white coats correct you in a nuthouse. When you audible the second and misinterpret, the dinner coats swear you to an oath in the White House. Does this make you nuts too? Then outfit your sanity seeking political asylum at my house. "
" The place suggested a convent with the modern improvements—an asylum in which privacy, though unbroken, might be not quite identical with privation, and meditation, though monotonous, might be of a cheerful cast. "
" If we were to gain God's perspective, even for a moment, and were to look at the way we go through life accumulating and hoarding and displaying our things, we would have the same feelings of horror and pity that any sane person has when he views people in an asylum endlessly beating their heads against the wall. "
" I, myself, spent 9 years in an insane asylum and never had any suicidal tendencies, but I know that every conversation I had with a psychiatrist during the morning visit made me long to hang myself because I was aware that I could not slit his throat. "
" To the men and women who changed Cheryl Hersha's life, she was a continuation of the research that had first been conducted in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by Dr. Morton Prince. He encountered a woman named Miss Beauchamp, a nursing student who was referred to the psychiatrist because of health problems. As he worked with her, Prince discovered that she had four separate personalities (dissociated ego states) that existed independently of one another within the same body. Though he tried, Dr. Prince never understood Miss Beauchamp, nor was he able to help her. When he died, his wife had the woman committed to an insane asylum for the rest of her life. However, Prince's careful documentation of Beauchamp's symptoms, actions and family history (extreme child abuse beginning before the age of seven) provided information needed to develop the techniques for contemporary, routinely successful treatment of what would be called Multiple Personality Disorder. "
" For eight years I was an inmate in a state asylum for the insane. During those years I passed through such unbearable terror that I deteriorated into a wild, frightened creature intent only on survival. And I survived. I was raped by orderlies, gnawed on by rats and poisoned by tainted food. I was chained in padded cells, strapped into strait-jackets and half-drowned in ice baths. And I survived. The asylum itself was a steel trap, and I was not released from its jaws alive and victorious. I crawled out mutilated, whimpering and terribly alone. But I did survive. "