: someone who is not accepted by other people
: one that is cast out or refused acceptance (as by society) : Pariah
Scottish : quarrel
Outcast (n.): mid-14c., “a person cast out or rejected,” originally past participle of Middle English outcasten, from out + casten “to cast” (see cast (v.)). The adjective is attested from late 14c. In an Indian context, outcaste “one who has been expelled from his caste” is from 1876; see caste.
Cast (v.): .1200, “to throw, fling, hurl,” from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse kasta “to throw” of uncertain origin. Meaning “to form in a mold” is late 15c.
Caste (n.): 1550s, “a race of men,” from Latin castus “chaste,” from castus “cut off, separated; pure” (via notion of “cut off” from faults), past participle of carere “to be cut off from” (and related to castration).
“God dances with the outcast.”
Steven James (An American author of more than thirty books, including the critically acclaimed Bowers Files, an eight-book series of psychological thrillers.)
“I swear from the bottom of my heart I want to be healed. I want to be like other men, not this outcast whom nobody wants.”
E.M. Forster (Edward Morgan Forster, 1879-1970, British novelist, essayist, short story writer, and librettist, best known for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in the early 20th-century British society. His novels include Howards End (1910), A Room with a View (1908), A Passage to India (1924), which brought him his greatest success.)
“Outside, across the putrid moat and under the dark mute trees, I would often lie and dream for hours about what I read in the books; and would longingly picture myself amidst gay crowds in the sunny world beyond the endless forests.”
H.P. Lovecraft (Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1890-1937, an American author and 20th century master of weird and horror fiction. Although he died in poverty, he is now regarded as one of the most significant authors of his genre.)
“Everybody feels like an outcast because the world is so large and every fingerprint is so vastly different from one another, and yet we have these standards and beliefs, and dogmatic systems of judgment and ranking, in almost all the societies of the world.”
Ezra Miller (b. 1992 in Wyckoff, NJ, age 22, an American actor known for his roles in City Island, Another Happy Day, and The Perks of Being of Wallflower. Ezra is of Ashkenazi Jewish (father) and German-Dutch (mother) ancestry. He describes himself as Jewish and “spiritual.”)
“Half of the time I don't know what they're talking about; their jokes seem to relate to a past that everyone but me has shared. I'm a foreigner in the world and I don't understand the language.”
Jean Webster (Alice Jane Chandler Webster, 1876-1916, American writer and author of many books including Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy. Her best known books feature female protagonists who come of age intellectually, morally, and socially. Webster came from a renowned family. Her uncle was Mark Twain, and her father was the publisher Charles Webster.)
“Our Father who art in nature, who has given the gift of survival to the coyote, the common brown rat, the English sparrow, the house fly and the moth, must have a great and overwhelming love for no-goods and blots-on-the-town and bums, and Mack and the boys. Virtues and graces and laziness and zest. Our Father who art in nature.”
John Steinbeck (1902-1968, American author, best known for writing the 1962 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Grapes of Wrath. He wrote twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction, and five collections of short stories. He was widely known for the comic novels, Tortilla Flat (1935) and Cannery Row (1945). He also wrote the multi-generation epic, East of Eden (1952), and the novellas Of Mice and Men (1937) and The Red Pony (1937).)
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. These men without possessions or power, these strangers on Earth, these sinners, these followers of Jesus, have in their life with him renounced their own dignity, for they are merciful. As if their own needs and their own distress were not enough, they take upon themselves the distress and humiliation of others. They have an irresistible love for the down-trodden, the sick, the wretched, the wronged, the outcast and all who are tortured with anxiety. They go out and seek all who are enmeshed in the toils of sin and guilt. No distress is too great, no sin too appalling for their pity. If any man falls into disgrace, the merciful will sacrifice their own honour to shield him, and take his shame upon themselves.”
• Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945, German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident and founding member of the Confessing Church. His books, The Cost of Discipleship and Ethics, were modern classics. He was known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi dictatorship and was arrested and imprisoned by the Gestapo for one and a half years, and then transferred to a Nazi concentration camp. After being accused with the plot to assassinate Hitler, he was briefly tried and later executed and hung with other accused plotters, just two weeks before Allied forces liberated the camp, and three weeks before Hitler’s suicide.)
“Did all outcasts come to this realization at a certain point in life? That being outcast from a bogus and pornographic society actually was a good thing? I hoped so. I hoped there was an army of us out there, smiling about it that very moment.”
A.S. King (born 1970, age 44, an American writer of young adult fiction.)
I was fascinated not only about today’s word and its meaning, but the authors’ biographies. I was especially enthralled by the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor, who fought so vehemently against the Nazi regime. According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Bonhoeffer asserted that “evil was concrete and specific, and it could be combated only by the specifics of responsible people in the world.”
Like most of you, I’ve been thinking a lot about evildoers and evil acts, especially in light upon the terrorist acts in the news, where innocent children and people are used, sacrificed, killed by dark regimes.
No doubt these acts are extreme. But some of the evil acts we witness daily are far more subtle, and they are building blocks toward the extreme hate.
In our ignorance we sometimes totally miss the evil that is before us, because we refuse to wake up and see our part in it.
But it is our responsibility to see it all. We must open our eyes not only to the good in the world, but the darkest parts as well. And we must talk honestly about what see and feel across race, ethnicities, and religious divides.
It is our duty to sniff it all out and become spiritual paleontologists in sifting away the dust and dirt to get to the light, love, and the gold nuggets left behind by the sages of every age, gender, culture, race, religion and ethnicity.
These acts are not for faint of heart. It requires courage and discernment to face the shadow outcast parts of ourselves. That’s not easy to do, but it’s necessary.
Like Bonhoeffer said if we are to be responsible citizens of the world, we must awake and act and live our lives committed to the Light and to Love.
I imagined that such a committed spiritual warrior of light as Bonhoeffer must have stepped up to the hangman’s noose with a full heart knowing that he completed his life purpose and became the divine outcast he was born to be.
I remain in awe of these ascended masters, and the words, wisdom, and stories they are passing down to all of us.
Thank you for the opportunity to share these insights and journeys with you.
With Love, Tonya