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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder
The Frog
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The Unhinged Life, Or,
Jesus is My Metaphor

I'm going back in. But this time, I'm bringing my laboratory notebook.

Jonathan Swift

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I continue yesterday's discussion of my conscious understanding of the metaphor of The Hydrogen Bomb, which at one time I experienced as objective reality. While I could simply tell you what my metaphor truly represented, to do so would be of absolutely no use to anyone.

We must not simply identify our metaphors, far more important is for each of us to elucidate the structure of and operational principles behind each and every one, as well as the Basic Laws by which all of these metaphors come into being, then capture and control our minds. When we know how to work with these Basic Laws, we may finally overcome our personal metaphors, and so escape The Dark Nights of Our Madness into the Warm Sunshine of Sanity.

This is going to sound weird, but please understand: I am mentally ill. It is my job to be weird. For me to be other than weird would be an utter betrayal of my obligation to my profession.

Further, because G-d Almighty gave life to us mentally ill for the specific purpose of being weird, for me to exercise the free will he also granted us by acting rationally would be the greatest sacrilege. To behave in any manner of normal way would be for me to drive a whole box of nails through His Flesh and into the Cross upon which Jesus was crucified.

I spent many, many years struggling to understand the reason for which The Heavenly Father requires us Madmen to suffer so. While The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways, that His ways are mysterious is only because of the limited mental capacity of us mortals. In reality, there is a certain completely rational, and in fact a very simple logic to absolutely everything He does, that He has ever done, and that He will ever do.

I am now prepared to advance a hypothesis for the reason He cursed us Madmen with our Madness. While but a speculative theory, one yet to be proven through experiment, I can supply a motivation that, even if it fails to convince, surely will lead you to agree that my hypothesis is plausible enough to be worthy of serious investigation:

I claim that G-d gave us Madmen our Madness - not forced it upon us - that we may introduce new ideas into the social consciousness. I am now able to see that my Insanity was not and never has been The Most Foul Curse I once believed it to be, but The Very Most Precious Gift.

His Ways being mysterious, the mechanism by which His Gift enables us to introduce these new ideas is known to icthyologists - "fish scientists" - as "Chuck It And Chance It". Fish mate by expelling their eggs and sperm haphazardly into the water. The best the prospective aquatic parents can hope for is that they manage to do so in the same general direction. Thus for any of the fatherly fish' seed to find purchase in some mother's field is a stroke of the most uncommon kind of luck.

You see, while us Maniacs offer vast quantities of ideas for your consideration, very few of our ideas have any hope at all of finding purchase in the field of the human mind. Tragically, the overwhelming majority of the ideas that we Madmen suffer so to bear into life are not even remotely original. Dr. Eric Berne catalogs the most common and popular of these ideas in Games People Play, the seminal handbook of Transactional Analysis, that is, the basic psychology of social discourse.

Far worse is that so many of the ideas which do successfully take root are ideas we would all be better off without: the very most popular idea that Dr. Berne elucidates in his book has been with humanity for as long as we have been civilized enough to possess agriculture - eight thousand years, if I understand correctly. Dr. Berne denotes this idea as "The Game of Alcoholic"; while many variations exist, the Alcoholic Game is most commonly played thus:

In its full flower this is a five-handed game, although the rules may be condensed so that it starts off and terminates as a two-handed one. The central role is that of the Alcoholic - the one who is "it" - played by White. The chief supporting role is that of the Persecutor, typically played by a member of the opposite sex, usually the spouse. The third role is that of the Rescuer, usually played by someone of the same sex, often the good family doctor who is interested in the patient and also in drinking problems. In the classical situation the doctor successfully rescues the alcoholic from his habit. After White has not taken a drink for six months they congratulate each other. The following day White is found in the gutter.

The fourth role is that of the Patsy, or Dummy. In literature this is played by the delicatessen man who extends credit to White, gives him a sandwich on the cuff and perhaps a cup of coffee, without either persecuting him or trying to rescue him...

The ancillary professional in all drinking games is the bartender or liquor clerk. In the game "Alcoholic" he playes the fifth role, the Connection, the direct source of supply who also understands alcoholic talk, and who in a way is the most meaningful person in the life of any addict. The difference between the Connection and the other players is the difference between professionals and amateurs in any game: the professional knows when to stop...

I provide so much detail about The Game of Alcoholic to point out that the ideas us Madmen introduce are often quite complex, and that even when independently conceived of, when we attempt to introduce into the social consciousness our candidate for a new idea, those of our ideas which fail to be novel, despite being so complex also quite commonly turn out to be completely identical to the complex ideas that have been offered by so many others.

I must emphasize this important point:

While so many of us offer what we regard as new ideas, and while these ideas quite commonly are complex, subtle and detailed, in reality, throughout history very, very few truly original ideas have ever been conceived of.

The vast majority of us labor under the illusion of originality while dressed in the Hip, Cool, and Statement-Making Fashions of the South-East Asian Mass-Production Sweatshops.

Much progress would be made if we all would personally catalog, then elucidate the structure of and the operational principles behind each of these common ideas. A good start would be for all of us to read Games People Play.

More Later This Morning.

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