He [the unhappiest one] enjoys the honor of being regarded as being in his right mind, and yet he knows that if he were to explain himself to anyone how it really is with him, he would be declared insane. This is enough to drive one mad, and yet this does not happen, and this is precisely his trouble. His calamity is that he came into the world too early and therefore continually comes too late.
He is continually very close to the goal, and at the same moment he is far from it; he then discovers that what is making him unhappy now, because he has it or because he is this way, is precisely what would have made him happy a few years ago if he had had it, whereas he became unhappy because he did not have it.[…]
His life knows no repose and has no content. He is not present to himself in the moment, nor is he present to himself in the future, for the future has been experienced, nor in past time, for the past has not yet come.[…]
Abandoned to himself, he stands alone in the wide world; he has no contemporaries to attach himself to, no past he can long for because the past has not yet come, no future he can hope for, because his future is already past. All alone. he faces the whole world as the ‘you’ with whom he is on conflict, for the rest of the world is for him only one person, and this person, this inseparable bothersome friend, is misunderstanding. He cannot grow old, for he has never been young; he cannot become young, for he has already grown old in a sense, he cannot die, for indeed he has not lived; in a sense he cannot live, for he is already dead.
He cannot love, for love is always present tense, and he has no present time, no future, no past, and yet he has a sympathetic nature, and he hates the world only because he loves it; he has no passion, not because he lacks it, but because at the same moment he has the opposite passion; he does not have time for anything, not because his time is filled with something else, but because he has no time at all; he is powerless, not because he lacks energy, but because his own energy makes him powerless.