“Oh, I don’t want introspection,” he demurs. “I don’t like to look at myself.”
“I’ve always been suspicious. I don’t even look into my face. I shaved this morning, and I look at my cheeks so that I don’t cut myself, but I don’t even want to know the color of my eyes. I think psychology and self-reflection is one of the major catastrophes of the twentieth century. A major, major mistake. And it’s only one of the mistakes of the twentieth century, which makes me think that the twentieth century in its entirety was a mistake.”
What’s the mistake with psychology and self-reflection?
“There’s something profoundly wrong—as wrong as the Spanish Inquisition was. The Spanish Inquisition had one goal, to eradicate all traces of Muslim faith on the soil of Spain, and hence you had to confess and proclaim the innermost deepest nature of your faith to the commission. And almost as a parallel event, explaining and scrutinizing the human soul, into all its niches and crooks and abysses and dark corners, is not doing good to humans. We have to have our dark corners and the unexplained. We will become uninhabitable in a way an apartment will become uninhabitable if you illuminate every single dark corner and under the table and wherever—you cannot live in a house like this anymore. And you cannot live with a person anymore—let’s say in a marriage or a deep friendship—if everything is illuminated, explained, and put out on the table. There is something profoundly wrong. It’s a mistake. It’s a fundamentally wrong approach toward human beings.”
And so if humans persist in this way…?
“They persist in stupidity, then.”
And what will the consequence be?
“For example, for me, I could never ever be with a woman who is three times a week with a psychiatrist. It’s like an iron curtain between us. Like venetian blinds rattling down.”
I don’t know if it’s related, but you’ve previously mentioned an intense antipathy to yoga classes. Could you be with a woman who did yoga?
“Of course not. Of course not. I think there should be holy war against yoga classes. It detours us from real thinking. It’s just this kind of…feeling and floating and meditation and whatever. It’s as tourism in religions. People all of a sudden becoming Buddhist here in Los Angeles.”
Read the GQ article here. So we’re guessing there won’t be a Tricycle interview with Werner Herzog anytime soon.
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