My colleagues, and even myself, mumbling coyly by our couches, all asserted that my problem was absolutely normal: I hated myself and the world because I had failed to face and accept the limitations of my self and of life. In literature this refusal is called romanticism; in psychology, neurosis. The assumption is that a limited and bored self is the unavoidable, all-embracing norm. And I was beginning to agree until, after a few months of wallowing in depression (I furtively purchased a .38 revolver and nine cartridges), I came washing up on the shore of Zen.

The Dice Man (Luke Rhinehart)