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markdohle

Are we actually sane?

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Are we actually sane?

I was talking to one of our visitors last weekend. I did not take long to understand that she was suffering from some sort of mental illness that was causing her to live for the most part in isolation. She lived in fear, people were after her, and when here she would come up to me to report ‘strange’ behaviors from those around her. Her world was real to her, she was right and in touch with reality as far as she was concerned and filled with fear. It was both a painful as well as a boring experience being with her. She would walk up to me and just start talking non-stop about just about everything in her life. All I could do for her was to listen and in order to protect myself, to give her a time that I had to leave. The last time I talked to her I let her know that I had only ten minutes and we sat down and talked. Even then it took some gentle firmness to be able to get away.

I am not sure the talking helped her much. One reason is that her experience of reality was so out of touch with what we call ‘normal’ that it was hard to actually understand where she was coming from. I don’t like the word mental illness, yet her perceptions of the world around her where causing her no end of pain, fear and anxiety. Her family withdrew from her, not out of a lack of love but out of despair that anything could be done for her.

I have learned that people who suffer in this way can’t be fixed like a car. You can’t just go in and turn some nuts and bolts and everything will be alright. While it is true that medication can help, there is the problem of the irrational relationship that is formed with the psychotropic drug that inhibits them using on a regular basis. From what has been shared with me I can understand why some don’t use the meds. They cause them to feel tired, or foggy, or half dead. This woman was gentle, spoke quietly, yet her interpretation of reality was a bit right of center, perhaps so far right it was actually left. I am not saying this to be funny, but out of frustration over the plight of so many like her who suffer from mental illness.

I believe that people move in and out of mental health, it is just not a permanent move into mental illness for most of us. From my own experience, when I am in an agitated state, or an angry one, it is a slip away from ‘consensus reality’. Just look at what ‘normal’ people do n the highway when they get angry or enraged. I have seen many races on the interstate where one car is riding the bumper of another going in and out of traffic endangering their lives as well as others. When the ‘rage’ is over, I would think that many ask themselves what happened, why did I act so crazy? The point is that while in that state the actions make perfect sense.

Perhaps being mentally healthy comes about when the understanding on how fragile we all are and how easy it is to slip into some form of consciousness that is simply crazy, irrational and harmful is understood. I guess being part of a ‘mob’ gives people the permission to be ‘mentally ill’ because others egg them on and both go on to do some really violent things to others. In fact I think from reading the papers that whole countries can become a mob, coming together and doing many crazy things to outsiders, or to the enemy. I understand that such a slip is easy to do…..I am not exempt.

We have forms of entertainment that allows crazy behavior to be safe. Just look at what people do at football games. Men paint their bodies like savages, jump up and down in front of TV cameras, and drink bear and having fun. If they went to a mall and did the same thing, say on a quiet Sunday afternoon, someone would call the police. It is a healthy outlet for our inner wild man, or crazy man, or whatever, just make sure it is done is a place where it is encouraged and safe to do.

Our society lends itself to mental illness I believe. Constant noise, unrelenting pressure while driving, the news that we absorb on daily basis, most of it causing some level of fear and anxiety, even if it is pushed deep into the unconscious. Being controlled by the constant message to buy, spend, get this product etc. Just look at the cultural interest in being slim. Diets, miracle drugs to help people lose weight, yet we don’t seem to be getting slimmer as a nation. So more diets, more money spent on pills etc….a lot of stress, so over eating addictive foods is rampant, also being pushed through the commercials, even though the companies that advertise know of the long term harm done to those who eat these addictive foods on a regular basis. Salt, fat and sugar, the magic combination to get us coming back for more, get them when young and you have them for life. Perhaps unrestrained capitalism is a form of insanity……profit at all cost.

No time for simple reflection, people often too tired for that. Yeah it is crazy. Perhaps it has always been so. I have no idea what it was like to live centuries ago, but I doubt we were anymore sane, we just did not have the means to cause as much havoc, destruction and death that we are doing in our enlightened modern times. Perhaps being sane is rare, am I sane….well maybe not, I just try to keep my head above water. Crazy thing happen when we allow ourselves to sink beneath the waves into the collective unconscious. Monsters live there and we ignore them at our peril.

Would someone who was in fact immune to episodes of ‘losing it’,

would he be consider abnormal and insane?

Edited by markdohle
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That sounds like a condition called paraphrenia, I have a cousin who sadly suffers from it.

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The DSM IV (1994) lists 297 disorders in 886 pages. I believe the APA added some since then. I would think everyone on the planet has some Official mental disorder, school-age children especially it seems. Not liking school is a mental disorder, liking school too much is a mental disorder, not studying enough is a mental disorder, studying too much is a mental disorder, all treatable with psycho-chemicals. All human beings have some form of mentally illness and should be treated with drugs. Ok, my rant is over.

I' don't know how to define sanity. Psychiatry defines sanity as a good fit in one's society, although at the same time it is proposed that whole societies can be lacking in sanity. Then again, a non-conformist may be more sane than one who conformes to society's norms.

A sane mind is nowadays considered healthy both from its analytical -once called rational- and emotional aspects.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanity

I'm not sure what "healthy" means, the term is probably open to debate as well. Albert Einstein would probably be a goldmine for some psychiatrist, and given psycho-drugs to 'cure' his abnormal mental conditions. Probably Jesus would end up in some psychiatric institution.

I do think a person with making a rational analysis of modern society and expressing his findings would probably be watched carefully by the FBI if not the CIA here in the U.S. So, what is sanity and who among us is sane? I would consider an independant, autonomous person sane, I suppose, one who is not influenced by society or by mythical beliefs.

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Are we actually sane?

I was talking to one of our visitors last weekend. I did not take long to understand that she was suffering from some sort of mental illness that was causing her to live for the most part in isolation. She lived in fear, people were after her, and when here she would come up to me to report ‘strange’ behaviors from those around her. Her world was real to her, she was right and in touch with reality as far as she was concerned and filled with fear. It was both a painful as well as a boring experience being with her. She would walk up to me and just start talking non-stop about just about everything in her life. All I could do for her was to listen and in order to protect myself, to give her a time that I had to leave. The last time I talked to her I let her know that I had only ten minutes and we sat down and talked. Even then it took some gentle firmness to be able to get away.

I am not sure the talking helped her much. One reason is that her experience of reality was so out of touch with what we call ‘normal’ that it was hard to actually understand where she was coming from. I don’t like the word mental illness, yet her perceptions of the world around her where causing her no end of pain, fear and anxiety. Her family withdrew from her, not out of a lack of love but out of despair that anything could be done for her.

I have learned that people who suffer in this way can’t be fixed like a car. You can’t just go in and turn some nuts and bolts and everything will be alright. While it is true that medication can help, there is the problem of the irrational relationship that is formed with the psychotropic drug that inhibits them using on a regular basis. From what has been shared with me I can understand why some don’t use the meds. They cause them to feel tired, or foggy, or half dead. This woman was gentle, spoke quietly, yet her interpretation of reality was a bit right of center, perhaps so far right it was actually left. I am not saying this to be funny, but out of frustration over the plight of so many like her who suffer from mental illness.

I believe that people move in and out of mental health, it is just not a permanent move into mental illness for most of us. From my own experience, when I am in an agitated state, or an angry one, it is a slip away from ‘consensus reality’. Just look at what ‘normal’ people do n the highway when they get angry or enraged. I have seen many races on the interstate where one car is riding the bumper of another going in and out of traffic endangering their lives as well as others. When the ‘rage’ is over, I would think that many ask themselves what happened, why did I act so crazy? The point is that while in that state the actions make perfect sense.

Perhaps being mentally healthy comes about when the understanding on how fragile we all are and how easy it is to slip into some form of consciousness that is simply crazy, irrational and harmful is understood. I guess being part of a ‘mob’ gives people the permission to be ‘mentally ill’ because others egg them on and both go on to do some really violent things to others. In fact I think from reading the papers that whole countries can become a mob, coming together and doing many crazy things to outsiders, or to the enemy. I understand that such a slip is easy to do…..I am not exempt.

We have forms of entertainment that allows crazy behavior to be safe. Just look at what people do at football games. Men paint their bodies like savages, jump up and down in front of TV cameras, and drink bear and having fun. If they went to a mall and did the same thing, say on a quiet Sunday afternoon, someone would call the police. It is a healthy outlet for our inner wild man, or crazy man, or whatever, just make sure it is done is a place where it is encouraged and safe to do.

Our society lends itself to mental illness I believe. Constant noise, unrelenting pressure while driving, the news that we absorb on daily basis, most of it causing some level of fear and anxiety, even if it is pushed deep into the unconscious. Being controlled by the constant message to buy, spend, get this product etc. Just look at the cultural interest in being slim. Diets, miracle drugs to help people lose weight, yet we don’t seem to be getting slimmer as a nation. So more diets, more money spent on pills etc….a lot of stress, so over eating addictive foods is rampant, also being pushed through the commercials, even though the companies that advertise know of the long term harm done to those who eat these addictive foods on a regular basis. Salt, fat and sugar, the magic combination to get us coming back for more, get them when young and you have them for life. Perhaps unrestrained capitalism is a form of insanity……profit at all cost.

No time for simple reflection, people often too tired for that. Yeah it is crazy. Perhaps it has always been so. I have no idea what it was like to live centuries ago, but I doubt we were anymore sane, we just did not have the means to cause as much havoc, destruction and death that we are doing in our enlightened modern times. Perhaps being sane is rare, am I sane….well maybe not, I just try to keep my head above water. Crazy thing happen when we allow ourselves to sink beneath the waves into the collective unconscious. Monsters live there and we ignore them at our peril.

Would someone who was in fact immune to episodes of ‘losing it’,

would he be consider abnormal and insane?

You always seem to have knack for writting about what's current for me mark it's like a gift. You can't possibly know how true your words wring to me in current events. There are monsters in the collective unconscious. The insanities that stalk us. We ignore them at our peril. Thanks again

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That sounds like a condition called paraphrenia, I have a cousin who sadly suffers from it.

Thanks my friend, will look it up.

Peace

Mark

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The DSM IV (1994) lists 297 disorders in 886 pages. I believe the APA added some since then. I would think everyone on the planet has some Official mental disorder, school-age children especially it seems. Not liking school is a mental disorder, liking school too much is a mental disorder, not studying enough is a mental disorder, studying too much is a mental disorder, all treatable with psycho-chemicals. All human beings have some form of mentally illness and should be treated with drugs. Ok, my rant is over.

I' don't know how to define sanity. Psychiatry defines sanity as a good fit in one's society, although at the same time it is proposed that whole societies can be lacking in sanity. Then again, a non-conformist may be more sane than one who conformes to society's norms.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanity

I'm not sure what "healthy" means, the term is probably open to debate as well. Albert Einstein would probably be a goldmine for some psychiatrist, and given psycho-drugs to 'cure' his abnormal mental conditions. Probably Jesus would end up in some psychiatric institution.

I do think a person with making a rational analysis of modern society and expressing his findings would probably be watched carefully by the FBI if not the CIA here in the U.S. So, what is sanity and who among us is sane? I would consider an independant, autonomous person sane, I suppose, one who is not influenced by society or by mythical beliefs.

Thanks for your comments. For the above in red, I doubt there is any such person. Or perhaps only a truly insane man or woman would be untouched by society and other beliefs.

Peace

Mark

You always seem to have knack for writting about what's current for me mark it's like a gift. You can't possibly know how true your words wring to me in current events. There are monsters in the collective unconscious. The insanities that stalk us. We ignore them at our peril. Thanks again

Thank you my friend.

Peace

Mark

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Thanks for your comments. For the above in red, I doubt there is any such person. Or perhaps only a truly insane man or woman would be untouched by society and other beliefs.

lol I would agree.

There are monsters in the collective unconscious. The insanities that stalk us. We ignore them at our peril.

I agree in the sense that we all have the capabilities to commit henious crimes against humanity. I think one answer to this problem is to study one's self thoroughly. The more we can rationally and objectively look into ourselves, the bettter chance we have not to submit to our internal monsters.

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lol I would agree.

I agree in the sense that we all have the capabilities to commit henious crimes against humanity. I think one answer to this problem is to study one's self thoroughly. The more we can rationally and objectively look into ourselves, the bettter chance we have not to submit to our internal monsters.

I agree totally with that. But it wasn't entirely what I was talking about. I recently completed a pretty successful vision quest and I was litterally attacked and stalked by internal monsters. Of course not many people understand what I'm talking about, but these could possibly relate to the monsters you are talking about if blown out of proportion to the point if insanity. It took me a few days to sift through the experience in my mind. But then I started to see that they really represent little destructive habits, lies I was telling myself, things I was running from. Little monsters with a big impact on me personally. There was even some symboligy about others in there that I did not blog about. Even my eating habits were apart of the experience. For some reason mark has a gift to hit the nail on the head occasionally.

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I agree totally with that. But it wasn't entirely what I was talking about. I recently completed a pretty successful vision quest and I was litterally attacked and stalked by internal monsters. Of course not many people understand what I'm talking about, but these could possibly relate to the monsters you are talking about if blown out of proportion to the point if insanity. It took me a few days to sift through the experience in my mind. But then I started to see that they really represent little destructive habits, lies I was telling myself, things I was running from. Little monsters with a big impact on me personally. There was even some symboligy about others in there that I did not blog about. Even my eating habits were apart of the experience. For some reason mark has a gift to hit the nail on the head occasionally.

I know about what you speak my friend. Thanks for sharing.

peace

mark

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lol I would agree.

I agree in the sense that we all have the capabilities to commit henious crimes against humanity. I think one answer to this problem is to study one's self thoroughly. The more we can rationally and objectively look into ourselves, the bettter chance we have not to submit to our internal monsters.

Yes self knowledge and deeper self awareness is important.....even for personal survival.

peace

mark

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I believe that some indigenous folk around the world, in particular native Americans, believe we are insane. They are very likely correct particularly if you study the 20th century.

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I believe that some indigenous folk around the world, in particular native Americans, believe we are insane. They are very likely correct particularly if you study the 20th century.

I do think we tend towards chaos and self destruction, of course the same goes for cultures. I think what can bring sanity is the understanding that we are free on some level...so I think the concept of 'sin' actually gives dignity to man....though it can be abused and lead to even more trouble.

Peace

mark

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Perhaps looking at the situation from the perspective of sane being a social construct as apposed to a measurable condition would help you to resolve this issue. Sanity is just an opinion.

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Perhaps looking at the situation from the perspective of sane being a social construct as apposed to a measurable condition would help you to resolve this issue. Sanity is just an opinion.

Well that is until you come in contact with someone who is 'really' insane ;-).

Peace

mark

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Someone famous said, "All the world is mad except thee and me, and I'm not so sure about you."

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Someone famous said, "All the world is mad except thee and me, and I'm not so sure about you."

I counter your quote with one of my own.

"In a mad world only the mad are sane." - Akira Kurosawa

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Someone famous said, "All the world is mad except thee and me, and I'm not so sure about you."

LOL, truly the one who said that is insane ;-)......

Peace

mark

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Psychologists assess, in this case sanity, based on the norm.

The norm one would suppose would have been defined by a far more experienced and expert psychologist.

What is the situation if this psychologist was suffering a mental illness effecting his judgement?

The result, obviously, would be a false norm, meaning that all other assessments would be wrong.

Doesn't that scare you to hell?

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Psychologists assess, in this case sanity, based on the norm.

The norm one would suppose would have been defined by a far more experienced and expert psychologist.

What is the situation if this psychologist was suffering a mental illness effecting his judgement?

The result, obviously, would be a false norm, meaning that all other assessments would be wrong.

Doesn't that scare you to hell?

Well we know when someone is acting in ways that go beyond the norm.......we get nervous when that happens, it is all based on being able to talk and to be understood.

peace

Mark

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Psychologists assess, in this case sanity, based on the norm.

The norm one would suppose would have been defined by a far more experienced and expert psychologist.

What is the situation if this psychologist was suffering a mental illness effecting his judgement?

The result, obviously, would be a false norm, meaning that all other assessments would be wrong.

Doesn't that scare you to hell?

I think society itself determines the norm. What is the 'norm' for one society can be different than for another society. The differences can be beneign or something else.

The Nazi's Aryian Superman would have been considered the norm and the ultimate example of sanity in that society. The Inquisition of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance would have been considered an act of sanity in a world of witches and heretics. The Final Solution and ethnic cleansing would have been considered the only sane solution to those specific 'problems' of the societies involved.

War can be considered an act of sanity in certain circumstances. If someone attacks you with a club and you have a gun, is shooting to kill that person a sane act? Is the Pope sane? Are enlightened gurus and Zen monks, Christian monks and conservative Christians, Jews or Muslums sane when considered relative to modern society's norm or some psychologist's definition?

Is sanity some fixed definition or is there room for interpretation?

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Well we know when someone is acting in ways that go beyond the norm.......we get nervous when that happens, it is all based on being able to talk and to be understood.

peace

Mark

But do we?

What is the norm?

What is normal to you may not be normal to me, or to others.

Who is to say what is normal and what is not?

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But do we?

What is the norm?

What is normal to you may not be normal to me, or to others.

Who is to say what is normal and what is not?

Very well said. IMHO, being anything other than yourself is insane. In today's society one might be considered insane if they choose not to get in line with everyone else that's jumping off the bridge but in reality its the "norm" who are insane and not the individual that's chooses their own path.

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But do we?

What is the norm?

What is normal to you may not be normal to me, or to others.

Who is to say what is normal and what is not?

LOL, good question, but you know when someone comes up and acts in ways that you can't interpret......or the response is so way out that you have no idea how to react. I think some behaviors can be so 'crazy' or 'insane', than any culture will react the same..........Though they be be few.

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Love this question.

I haven't met a normal person, ever.

May have met a few sane ones though.

Tough to say, it's completely dependent on my definition of both terms.

The only normal people are the ones I don't know well yet.

It's all so relative though... normal, sane, to who? where?

Fun fun question.

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Sanity is highly over-rated. Or is that sobriety?

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