Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Building prisons in the world and the mind. . .

I admit that I am very far gone down the path of misanthropy. My opinions of society and those who inhabit it are so low that I find it challenging just to keep going with everyday tasks. I am not depressed. Depressions is a much to mild and parochial word for what I feel. Our society is one of diseased control which seeks to destroy our world of abundance. Everything must be classified and put in a box from whence it can only be taken with official sanction to do its assigned job. Our schools seek to excrete cookie-cutter citizens who only function in "appropriate" ways, particularly as 'workers' and taxpayers. It frightens me deeply that creative behaviour is something to be 'cured' or corrected rather than promoted and cherished. The great, creative minds of our culture, from Van Gogh to Giordano Bruno, to Percy Shelley, are seldom, during their lifetimes, viewed with sympathy or respect, but are rather to be "corrected" and controlled. In today's society we are quick to label creative minds as needing to be "cured" of their neuroses despite the fact that is consistently from our neuroses that our creativity and insights arise. Far from curing us of our neurotic behaviours, I think we should protect them, relish in them because if we are to be saved it is from these instabilities and these perceived weaknesses that our creative insight will most often emerge.

I remember reading an old story (I can't recall where it comes from but maybe someone out there will recall) about a wise man who seeks to protect his community. This man has an insight that a rain will come and all of those get wet in this rain will go insane. He attempts to convince those around him to take shelter in a nearby cave to save themselves from this appending doom. However, no one will listen to the man and they ridicule him and ignore his warnings. When the rain comes the only one to take shelter is the man himself. He waits through the night and in the morning he emerges to find that his worst fear have come true. Everyone in the community has lost their minds, their behaviour is absurd and inconsistent. The people talk gibberish or make claims about the world that make no sense. The values of the community have overnight undergone a frightening change and they no longer care properly for each other but seem to care of nothing but themselves. The man goes to all of those he once trusted, the wise and the intelligent, and he tells them that they have all been sent insane by the terrible rain. But no one will listen to him because, in their insanity, they see no change in their behaviour or values. Everywhere he looks for allies but finds only ridicule as the community believe that the man himself is insane. Finally, realizing that he cannot live in a community in which he is the only sane member, the man finds a large puddle from the rain and he lays down, making sure that he is saturated by the water. Soon his behaviour changes and he is suddenly like the other members of his insane community. Those around him are amazed by the fact that simply by dousing himself with rainwater from a puddle this man has cured himself of his insanity. And so the man goes happily among his other, equally insane, brethren.

When I look around me, from our schools to our political institutions, I am deeply disturbed and frightened by the our self-produced prison of thought and action. And ideas produce much more effective prisons than bars and concret ever could.


-I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I've been knocking from the inside!

Rumi

2 comments:

lungta said...

Profound to meet you on this path
Read your post three times each time more slowly
Concur with your assessment and share the same fears and delighted with a great story i had never heard before
...........sigh...............
I spent most of my life looking for answers, getting them and then not liking what i got.
I spent time rolling in puddles tring to get them to work
You are right, it is not depression,
It is a deep bone tired from dealing with the stupidity over and over and over.
I have found refuge in humor and non-participation. A sort of "be in the world but not of it" minimalist stance.
and as devastating as it all is...i found refuge in your post..thank you
blessings ....mike

kirbycairo said...

Thank you Mike...