Insanity is an interesting concept. But what is it really? What is real? Is there such a thing as unreal? Who decides these things?
” Insanity, craziness or madness is a spectrum of behaviors characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns. Insanity may manifest as violations of societal norms, including becoming a danger to themselves and others, though not all such acts are considered insanity.”
Psychosis, which is often associated with schizophrenia, can be described as being ”out of touch with reality”. An individual overgoing psychosis does not experience things like the others around him or her. Psychosis often includes hallucinations, which the person considers real.
Violations of societal norms. This kind of behavior can also be attributed to a variety of subcultures in every society. Societal norms change, and there are always those who do not abide by them. This is a good thing. Say it would be a societal norm to hit yourself in the head with a rock every five minutes. This cannot be considered a bad example, since in the western culture societal norms include going to the army to learn and practice killing and obeying orders (if one does not go to the army, this is considered breaking the societal norm, and some countries still punish those who choose not to do this), watching TV (considering one’s own amusement more important than various issues around them), practicing various forms of often dangerous or violent sports, and so on. If a person does not hit himself in the head with a rock every five minutes, he’s breaking this society’s norms and considered a rebel, weird or downright insane.
During the christian inquisition, loners and pagans were considered apprentices of the devil, even if these people did not believe in the devil themselves. Yup, witches. And of course, the witch-hunts. In those times it was normal to torture these people until they admitted that they were witches, and to kill them.
We see a similar thing happening in the world today, when it comes to people we consider rebels or madmen. Rebels are sent to prison for breaking the laws that uphold a culture’s societal values, and madmen are sent to asylums for experiencing what majority of the people consider reality in a different way. Of course, in some cases insanity includes violence, and in these cases the people in question should, of course, be kept away from the public. But preferrably in prisons.
(Isn’t all violent behaviour a form of insanity?)
So, if a person experiences reality in an uncommon way, he is insane or psychotic. What, then, is reality, and who decides this?
We seem to be using a democratic system in deciding what is to be accepted as real and what is not. Things like chairs are considered real, but things like dragons are considered unreal. Gods are both real and unreal, depending on who you ask.
…depending on who you ask? How does this work?
If a person considers a god or multiple gods real, they are real to him. This is faith at work – believing in something that cannot be seen in reality. People usually believe in a god or gods because of brainwashing or in some cases direct mystical or divine experiences. For the latter group of people direct experience is what defines reality.
But it gets a lot weirder than this.
In essence, everything relies on faith. We’re about to go to the store. We believe that the store is there. We believe that the road that takes us to the store is there. We do not KNOW if the store or the road is there – how could we? It was there yesterday. What proof is there that it didn’t disappear overnight?
Let’s take another one. We need to wake up early tomorrow. We go to sleep early. Do we know if we wake up at all the next morning? What if we die in our sleep? It is possible. Instead we choose to believe that we will wake up.
Sometimes our belief leads us astray. We believe – or think – that we have the number of the person we’re about to call in our cellphone. We haven’t called this person in ages. Then, as we go through the address-book, we realise it’s not there. It didn’t matter if we believed it was there or not.
We believe in a lot of things, and a lot of people do not notice this. We believe in the things we do, we believe in the things we say. Most believe what they’re told, some don’t.
This faith rests on direct experience. ”There was a chair in the room, I saw it with my own two eyes”. This is not insane. ”There was a dragon in the room, I saw it with my own two eyes”. This is insane. Why? What is the difference?
”I know the store is there because I went there yesterday”. This is reasonable. ”I know the crystal-forest of elves and leprechauns is there because I went there yesterday”. Not reasonable. But both of these people believe what they say because they’ve directly experienced it.
So, why is the dragon not real? And what’s the deal with the whole crystal forest-thing? Who says the dragon isn’t real? Certainly not the person who saw the dragon. The person who didn’t see the dragon says it isn’t real. But a dragon was seen nevertheless.
So, can we really tell each other what is real and what is not? Everyone, EVERYONE believes in things because of direct experience. In reality (heh), everyone’s experience is different. Two people cannot experience the same thing identically, because of perspective, mindset and so on. Everyone’s experiences are different – everyone’s reality is different. According to this description of reality, no one is insane – or EVERYONE is insane. This is thus reason coming from an insane man.
It is easy to throw the word “illusion” around. The dragon was an illusion. The crystal forest was an illusion. But how do we know that the store is not an illusion? This is a philosophical question that has been bugging philosophers for quite some time. It is possible that our senses are playing tricks on us. We cannot know if anything is real - what if it is an illusion? Coincidentally the only thing that you can consider real is your mind. You can doubt the reality of everything material, but if you try to doubt if you’re doubting… you’re still doubting. Or something is doubting in your head, with your thoughts. Maybe that’s an illusion too?
So let’s say that the store is an illusion, and so is the dragon. In this case EVERYTHING is an illusion. But it’s real to us. Why? Because we choose to believe that it is real.
It is what we believe in that defines our realities. We all live in bubbles of belief based on direct experience. No one should be allowed to tell anyone what is real – there is no such thing as one reality that is somehow more ”real” than the others. If a person has experienced something that (s)he believes to be, for example, a god, who are we to say (s)he isn’t right? Some people have experienced swimming in the river Nile. Do we say that it is impossible to swim in the Nile or that the Nile doesn’t excist simply because we have not experienced this ourselves? I doubt it.
To me, this is common sense. That is to say, I BELIEVE that this is common sense. If someone wants to argue me wrong, please do. I would be happy to learn a new perspective for this topic. I BELIEVE that one can never learn too much. : >
One more sample for the masses. The next ones will be uploaded once the demo is ready.
Hello. As some might have noticed (and most haven’t), one of my projects, Bliss-Injection, has been on a long hiatus for a while now. Today this changes.
A new demo is in the works, and the recordings start tomorrow. The style of the music has changed quite drastically, and I invite you to check out three samples that I uploaded online just now.
Note: These samples are low-quality reference material, and not actual recordings from the demo itself. They were recorded purely for introspection, but serve as a preview for the songs of the upcoming demo in this instance.
tumblrbot asked: WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO VISIT ON YOUR PLANET?
Naturally there are quite a few places, but right now I am looking into the Amazon rainforests for the possibility of living life the way nature intended, for the possibility of a spiritual cleansing through the use of Ayahuasca in sacred ceremonies performed by perhaps the world’s best known shamans, and for the possibility of exploration and adventure.