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Porcelain Doll

Sacrifice for Greatness

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I recently read an article about the correlation between mental disorder and genius. I've been contemplating this notion for some time, as I lost an incredibly talented friend to suicide. She was bi-polar.

The questions that arise for me are:

1. Where would we be today if mental illness had been treatable hundreds of years ago?

How different would Abraham Lincoln's legacy be if Zoloft or Prozac had been available? Would he have been an even better president? Beethoven suffered from bi-polar disorder - what if he had been treated? Where would we be without his influence? There's Van Gogh, Tennessee Williams and Keats. What about Edgar Allen Poe? If all these individuals has been treated with today's remedies, would they have created such fantastic works of art?

2. Perhaps some mental illness should not be treated? It seems the medical treatment of many of these disorders only serves to make everyone the same, or "normal."

3. If the price for greatness is intense mental suffering, would anyone truly desire to be artistically great? (Obviously in the real world, this is not a choice.)

4. Does anyone think that the mental suffering of a few is best for the greater good of all?

5. Perhaps this has something to do with the natural order of things and life balance? Great talent must be offset by great suffering in order for everything to be balanced?

The struggle I'm having is an old struggle, I know. Personally, I've wished to be creatively talented on the scale of all the forementioned, but once again I'm reminded, be careful what you wish for.

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knowledge is sometimes a blessing

but it is alway a curse.

madness relates to genius

because seeing truth drives you mad.

the creativity is the pearl from that little bit of sand.

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knowledge is sometimes a blessing

but it is alway a curse.

madness relates to genius

because seeing truth drives you mad

the creativity is the pearl from that little bit of sand.

The truth drives you mad reminded me of the warning against eating the apple in the Garden of Eden. I've always interpreted biblical stories to be like "how to" instructions, such as accompanies any piece of equipment. This lesson, in particular, like a warning label - DO NOT TOUCH. Why? Not because someone says so, but because it will hurt you.

So, if it is for our own benefit that we do not attain too much knowledge, lest we go mad, how are we to perceive those who do? Certainly not as "normal." Where, then, is the line? What is too much knowledge? What about the saying, "the truth shall set you free?" In this case, does freedom equal madness? Seems like comparing apples to oranges, really.

Truth - what a grand concept.

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Some talented people were “mad”, but certainly not all of them. Also, nobody is perfectly sane, we all would come out the psychiatry with some diagnosis. Or even remain there with diagnosis.

And if I had to pick would I be stupid, blind and “sane” or intelligent, curious and “mad” - I choose mad without blink of the eye.

About the apple, if it wasn’t to be eaten, who hung it there? God? So, it was his mistake. If you leave dangerous stuff around children, it’s not children’s but parent’s fault. Perfect one made a mistake, and blames it on women even today? Ha.

There’s no such thing as too much knowledge or dangerous knowledge, while ignorance is dangerous but far easier to attain.

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So, if it is for our own benefit that we do not attain too much knowledge, lest we go mad, how are we to perceive those who do? Certainly not as "normal." Where, then, is the line? What is too much knowledge? What about the saying, "the truth shall set you free?" In this case, does freedom equal madness? Seems like comparing apples to oranges, really.

Both the greater truth and knowing will set you free. The trick is to not let on too much about this knowledge. At the very least be careful how you apply the knowledge.

Our culture is designed to enslave the population in ignorance. This naturally is my Point of View. We do not need physical slavery when we can have self inflicted impovershment. Even those who profit by supporting ignorance can not see the exceptional value they could acquire from an evolving prosperous society.

So those who come along and wish to change the human condition are enemies of the state and the population at large. They are not "normal" in the conventional sense of the word.

I was sorry to hear that your friend took their life. The grief that leaves behind is hard to measure. My son lost his best friend in high school the same way. There was anger in the one that passed over that was easy to appreciate from where I see these things. A lot of it had to do with what is normal and good. You can not force these values on another. They will get angry.

The bigger question of the day is why do you ask these questions? Are you looking for a greater truth out of curiosity or are you driven in that direction?

John

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The bigger question of the day is why do you ask these questions? Are you looking for a greater truth out of curiosity or are you driven in that direction?

John

Driven, John. Not only was my friend's suicide a shock for me, but I did not know she was bi-polar until after she was gone. Her family went to great lengths to keep this a secret from almost anyone outside of the family. This was a woman I knew for more than 10 years and only once did I see her in her depressed state - hundreds of other times she was manic and I did not recognize it. I thought she was just one of the most creative, talented, driven people I'd ever met. I wanted to be like her and I admired her greatly. I guess I was really surprised to discover that the qualities in her that I had been so intrigued with were not what mental professionals would call healthy. I had no idea how she suffered during her depressions. She would not get out of bed for days and her family would cover saying she had the flu or migraine headaches. I did not know she had gone through electric shock therapy. It was after her death that I started researching mental illness and how it relates to creativity. And, rethinking my own desires and thought patterns.

Regarding your question, couldn't curiousity itself be a driving force?

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Regarding your question, couldn't curiousity itself be a driving force?

No I see curiousity as the lazy person's speculation process. It has its place but the energy of intent behind it is not stong enought to get that person to a place of knowledge.

The knowing you seek is more like an experience of understanding than a concept or an intellectual idea. That is why I asked the question the way I did.

I recently read an article about the correlation between mental disorder and genius.

Thoughts create energy. We as a culture do not really appreciate this particular reality. Really strong thoughts create a lot of really strong energy. There may well be a fine line between genius and mental disorder. How does one stay grounded and balanced when exposed to substantial amounts of energy being expressed within the self? It would not be easy.

My view of things includes an inner self or selves. I see it as an aspect or aspects of the self that has expanded states of awareness. I encourage connecting with these aspects of the self so that those experiences of understanding can be achieved. Ate you inclined to think that this would be a good avenue for you to explore?

John

Edited by John A Spera

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No I see curiousity as the lazy person's speculation process. It has its place but the energy of intent behind it is not stong enought to get that person to a place of knowledge.

The knowing you seek is more like an experience of understanding than a concept or an intellectual idea. That is why I asked the question the way I did.

This notion is very interesting. I've never put "lazy" and "curious" together in the same thought.

Thoughts create energy. We as a culture do not really appreciate this particular reality. Really strong thoughts create a lot of really strong energy.

YES! Yes, I believe this.

My view of things includes an inner self or selves. I see it as an aspect or aspects of the self that has expanded states of awareness. I encourage connecting with these aspects of the self so that those experiences of understanding can be achieved. Ate you inclined to think that this would be a good avenue for you to explore?

Absolutely. I love to explore.

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I recently read an article about the correlation between mental disorder and genius. I've been contemplating this notion for some time, as I lost an incredibly talented friend to suicide. She was bi-polar.

The questions that arise for me are:

1. Where would we be today if mental illness had been treatable hundreds of years ago?

How different would Abraham Lincoln's legacy be if Zoloft or Prozac had been available? Would he have been an even better president? Beethoven suffered from bi-polar disorder - what if he had been treated? Where would we be without his influence? There's Van Gogh, Tennessee Williams and Keats. What about Edgar Allen Poe? If all these individuals has been treated with today's remedies, would they have created such fantastic works of art?

2. Perhaps some mental illness should not be treated? It seems the medical treatment of many of these disorders only serves to make everyone the same, or "normal."

3. If the price for greatness is intense mental suffering, would anyone truly desire to be artistically great? (Obviously in the real world, this is not a choice.)

4. Does anyone think that the mental suffering of a few is best for the greater good of all?

5. Perhaps this has something to do with the natural order of things and life balance? Great talent must be offset by great suffering in order for everything to be balanced?

The struggle I'm having is an old struggle, I know. Personally, I've wished to be creatively talented on the scale of all the forementioned, but once again I'm reminded, be careful what you wish for.

My answer is.. "Normal people are the mad once"

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I think sometimes the more one knows the crazier one becomes, at least more depressed. or more anxious.

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It is clear that some mental disorders are being misdiagnosed or over diagnosed just so doctors can prescribe more medications. Naturally their is a profitable relationship between certain doctors and the pharmaceuticals. It is most likely some of the great artists and scientists would have been less spectacular in their personalities and performance if they had been modernly medicated.

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actually I'm p***ed when I see one misunderstanding between a common doctor who don't believe in more real psychology and his patient who experience something which they can't explain so they branded it with mental disorder.

grrr

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