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Monday, October 11, 2021

madness

Civilization and the demands upon the human to conform to culture causes the madness. Mental illness and suicidal tendencies will never be cured as long as humans cling to the societies we create. In order to belong, we sacrifice the individual and submit to the demands of our culture. Deviance from the norm is met with shame and thus we have huge amounts of the members of society who do not fit in and either live a life of not being true to themselves or live at odds with the prevailing culture. The older a society becomes the more the madness envelops the group dynamic until finally there is collapse. A cursory look throughout history reveals all civilizations eventually fall and the impetus and destruction come from within. The guardians of culture will call it a rot from the inside that destroys their way of life.

We are born to be free. Mental illness is the result of the chains of culture and the bonds of our fellow man. Our domestication is what makes us sick.

The end of summer is psychologically a bad time for my dog as she has an irrational phobia towards flying insects that is surprisingly common in her domesticated species. I draw the comparison with the childhood story of the large elephant that is frightened by a little mouse in that it is irrational and a mental illness. Seeing my dog frantic with the onset of a crippling anxiety is tough because I can’t convince her she has nothing to fear. Instead, I sit with her and try and calm her down. The physical manifestation of the phobia results in hives. I knew of a connection between fear with mental illness and staring me straight in the eyes was the example of my dog. Fear also causes madness and makes one act in an irrational manner due to the feedback loop brought upon by the mind’s weakness. 

As with all life’s adventures, this is a teaching moment and pointing me towards the answer to a question I recently posed to the ether. The question was why in the face of solid evidence do people cling to beliefs that are not in accordance with what seems to be the truth of the matter? I have previously accepted that truth is dependent upon one’s beliefs however a statement such as most trees leaves are green in the summer months is a good way to bring stability into one’s life as we need a starting point in order to agree on societal norms and what is accepted. These beliefs are extrapolated out into the whole and come to form the cultural basis that within we operate.

My dog has a mental illness however outside of the triggers for her phobia she functions as one would expect. I took this knowledge and looked at the world at large. Aha! I got it. As a species, we humans are susceptible to mental manipulation and illness which is a by-product of participating in culture and consuming mainstream sources of media and news. When the message is repeated often enough, we accept it as the truth and the error is compounded by the succumbing to the mind virus by others who confirm to us what we should believe. The flip-side is one who is a hold out from believing 2+2=5 will question their own sanity and beliefs. The majority believe this to be true so why don’t I? I must be crazy. Maybe I should just go along with it? My life sure will be easier if I just become like them. The pressure on one outside of the pull of culture is enormous and comes from all directions. Family members, confidants, well-intentioned members of society, and the like all hold you in contempt whilst judging and shaming you for not bowing to the pressure to conform. Society periodically purges the heretics in order that the game can go on, unencumbered by those who don’t play their game. That means for one who does not go along with the madness they are sent away beyond the pale. This madness is a by-product of cultural pressures that cyclically return as long as we aren’t free. It’s always been with us and as long as we live in societies that regulate groupthink the madness returns. When it returns, the outcasts are sent adrift and denied access to the rewards of the culture game.

The easy way out is to give in to the coercion. That’s all they ask. It’s actually rather simple. Just go along with those who hold sway over the game and be a good and obedient slave. However, know that eventually more will be asked of you. The temporary relief you get by accepting the mind virus will come around again to demand payment. How much will you sacrifice before you say enough? Human and child sacrifice is indeed a part of our collective past. Wars are our unspoken mass human sacrifice brought on by madness.

Why the cyclical coming and going of madness? Within us all is the base desire to be free and the suppression of that desire will continually gather the storm and then we have the outbreak, ignited by an unrelated trigger. The current pandemic was the incendiary force that ignited the flame of madness that now rages. This concept is at work in all aspects of our lives. Try suppressing any natural urge or desire for a period of time and then watch the coming storm rip through your life. I know what I suppress and I always see the tornado coming which by now triggers a response to try and limit the damage. After it passes, I assess the destruction and hope that was the last of it. It always returns. Maybe that’s a clue?

Any time and place humans gather resulting in the creation of civilization and culture the threat of madness is present. Curtailing the natural inclination of all biological species to be free results in the periodic return of a force that compels one to be free. Mass psychosis is the predictable outcome of grouping humans together into a social construct. Our denial of an outlet for madness within our society ensures that the force will reach a pretty intense state. I saw it coming and knew things would get dark. I don’t know where the bottom is but we haven’t reached it. The weak will succumb to their masters and the strong will be persecuted and removed from society. Free-thinking within society has to be tightly controlled or the secret will get out. The show must go on. The power of the mad god Dionysos, who is said to come afar from a foreign country, contains a demand to be liberated and to recognize this essential truth of our nature. Celebrating madness creates an outlet for this uncontrollable power and in turn results in a much healthier society. Denying this impulse sees the madness materialize during times of cultural stress which will cause mass psychosis that leads to great destruction as the world goes insane. The answer of course is to accept madness and ritually cultivate it. We don’t do that in our society; instead, we lock people up in mental institutions. The Greeks celebrated madness with Dionysos and the Romans had the Bacchanalia in which they were culturally allowed to go mad with Liber Pater and get it out of the system.

There is a role that psychedelics can play in our society concerning the mental illnesses brought upon members of the prevailing culture. These substances break the spell and allow one to see with clarity past the veils of culture, giving one a sense of liberation knowing that the game of life we get caught up playing is indeed just a game. We can see it’s sport and re-join with the capacity to not get too caught up in the drama. Regular use of these medicines will abate the coming tide. Madness can be transformed into laughter, rather than the rampaging force that will lay waste to the non-conformists.

I see the world I know dissolving away before my very eyes. Most people are still asleep and so the cyclical farce will go on. I can be a light in this sea of darkness leading by shining example despite the invective and contempt hurled my way and being branded a heretic and non-conformist. Free-thinker is my label of choice.

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