Posts tagged: sanity

Deep thoughts

They say that crazy people don’t know that they’re crazy. Does that mean that if you think that you are crazy that you can’t be? Or are you just not crazy in the way that you think? Can a person be paranoid of themself?

For those of you who have been reading this site for a long time you may have noticed that I mention sanity a lot.  OK maybe not a lot but fairly often I think.  I’ve always been fascinated with psychology and the way the mind works.  I would have gone into Psychology as a profession if it weren’t for all the crazies.  That and medical school was just too much money and commitment for me.  Besides, I tend to be one of those people who seem to try and project everything they learn against themself to see if I exhibit any of those symptoms or traits.  Scary.

But I still ponder these things a lot.  I often wonder what phsychological problems I actually have and what indications other people may see in me.  I have lengthy conversations with myself in my head and I’m not entirely sure it’s just my conscience talking.  I wonder if there is a great evil lurking within me that I fight every day to keep in check.  I wonder if I have the capacity to do the horrible things that go through my head sometimes.  Of course, maybe that’s normal.  How is one person to truly know if what they experience is completely normal for most sane human beings or if they are truly disturbed.

I suppose you could talk to a psychologist and try and find out, but unless there is something medically wrong with you I’m not sure you could really take their opinions as truth.  Because that’s exactly what they will give: opinions.  A psychologist knows the basics to how the brain works and knows what goes on inside their own mind.  However, they rely on what people and their patients are willing to tell them about their problems and the workings of their minds to decide what may be going on.  Is that really fair or accurate?

Let’s do a little test using the first thing that comes to mind for each item:

  1. Think of an animal
  2. Think of something happening to that animal
  3. Think of how you think you would react to that something happening to that animal
  4. Think of the first color to come to mind when you read this line
  5. Think of your first vehicle
  6. What was the animal’s name?

Did you do that?  Do you think it’s fair to say that the answers you gave are sane?  If I polled 10,000 people for their answers to these questions and tabulated them together and then gave you the results, would your answers look any more or less sane?  That depends on one thing: honesty.

You see most people will not say the first thing that comes to their minds if they don’t like what it was.  People constantly censor and edit themselves whether from politeness, political correctness or self preservation.  So out of 10,000 respondants you could guarantee that at least 50% of the answer were not honest first thoughts.  Then you compare your own answers and probably don’t know for sure if your answers were honestly the first thing that popped into your mind.  You may have gone with the second, third or maybe even tenth thing that went through your mind because you were too disgusted, ashamed or embarrased that you possibly thought what you did for a given question.

But that is my opinion based on my own life and experiences.  Here’s a thought for myself: what if I’m totally wrong about what I just wrote?  What if it’s just me that goes through the dishonesty of answering questions because I can’t handle the first things that go through my mind.  Maybe it’s just me and everyone else thought of rainbows and unicorns.  It’s that uncertainty that makes me question sanity.  Because no one can ever be truly sure that how they feel is sane.

Or maybe it’s just me.

Is time lying to me?

My clock is wrong. Wrong for my time zone. The hours are wrong. The minutes are wrong too. But which is truly wrong? I have two clocks sitting side by side. One ticking away on my desk and the other being displayed on my computer monitor: both with different times on them. But which clock is wrong? I assume the computer clock to be correct because the computer simply reads the system clock and tells me the results. The ticking clock has hands that move and a single power source of a battery that can fade and die with time. The computer is plugged in and has a battery backup for such things as system time. Because time is so very important. Time is what makes a computer work. Time is what keeps the processor churning away on all the ones and zeroes that are thrown into it. A shredder in reverse.

But how do we know the time is right? It was set at one point and since forgotten. Anyone could change the time when you walk away from your computer. The computer wouldn’t care. It’s the flow of time it cares about and not the counting of the instants that pass. The time on a computer could be any combination of hours, minutes and seconds. But not so on my ticking little clock. It’s only concern is the display of the time. But it also could be changed. Changed by hand, changed by malfunction, changed by the dying battery. Time can slow on the ticking clock. A pass of the second hand around the face counting out sixty ticks could in actuality take seventy seconds. Or the clock could be made improperly and those same 60 ticks could take a mere 56 seconds. Either thus changing the percieved and presented time without ever being the wiser. If time slowed. If time sped up. If time halted so would the computer. The ticking clock would not. Happily displaying the wrong information for all to see. It tells us with blind faith that what we see is the honest truth. It is not lying. In it’s world it is always correct.

So which is wrong? Can I verify it with an atomic clock? Sure, assuming that the clock was set right in the first place. What if the first atomic clock was set seventeen seconds fast when it was first started? Another clock setter uses the atomic clock as a reference and sets their digital clock to the same hour and minute as the atomic never realizing that the seconds were not the same. Adding their own error to the equation by not waiting for the minute to change before setting their own device. What if both my clocks are right? Is that even theoretically possible unless I were approaching light speed? Both are probably wrong. That makes the most sense but how do I check? How can I know for sure? Maybe they both lie intentionally.

Questioning sanity

Do the insane know that they are truly insane? Do they ever have a single moment of clarity signifying to their soul that things are not right in their world? If they did, would they notice? Or write it off as another phantom or specter toying with the senses and ideals? Would they listen to reason for fear of it being the opposite of what it proposes itself to be? Can they hear the voices beyond their own madness and decide which are real and which are their own personal demons haunting the dusty corners of their skull? Are they curable? Are they truly sick? What if the people we classify as insane are truly the sane? Can we really be so certain that this minority aren’t just the ones who have seen the reality of our reality? Have they seen the curtain and paid attention to the man behind it? What if the things we call hallucinations are the things that the rest of the world are blind to? Are we better off?

Songs of the lesser weevil

Weasels and weevils sound very much alike. In the way of their identifying words associated with their being and not of the sounds that each individual animal makes. It would be an odd thing indeed to hear a weevil making the sounds of a weasel. However the opposite way around would just make for the supposition that the weasel in question is mute. But who really pays attention to what these creatures have to say anyway? Perhaps we should listen to the song of the June bug and the garden snake. Perhaps we should listen to the songs of other humans. Not the songs recorded onto tapes and disks but the songs that people sing with their bodies and their minds; their souls and their hearts. But why should people be paid any more attention than is paid to a weasel? Or a weevil for that matter. Though they really are nothing alike.

New category: Writing

Today, I’m creating another new category called Writing. Here I’ll post things that have nothing to do with me or anything else. They are fictional fragments of ideas, stories, delusions, et al that I have come up with either now or previously but have never printed anywhere publicly viewable. These ideas are my own and would appreciate it they remained here and not stolen. Not because I plan to do anything with them per se, but because they are mine and I might do something with them someday. I have a number of short story and novel ideas that I have been working on for the past few years and may incorporate some of these in to them.

So without further adieu, here’s the first entry:

Destination

For what it’s worth, the address is correct as it was given to me. Given to me by the man down the road leading from the location from which I started. A location that even now resides only in the thoughts and memories of the people and other denizens of that place that even now I find hard to remember. That place which people always visit and never get a postcard to send to family or friends. They don’t have any there; at least none that can be taken with you. Assuming you were to leave at all. Or that you ever really there at all. Because you can’t really be sure, can you? Can you? Sure of the things you saw and of the things you experienced? Not likely. At least not in a way that your mind can accept. Not in a way that others would deem sensical or sane. Sanity: there’s an interesting notion for you. Is that the point of origin or the destination?

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