"I Teach That All Men are Mad."
"So rarely do we see a recent case of insanity that it is not preceded by want of sleep that we regard it as almost a sure precursor of mental derangement."
(Spoken by a Superintendent of an Ohio insane asylum over a 100 years ago)
"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."
"I awoke morning after morning with a horrible dread at the pit of my stomach, and with a sense of the insecurity of life that I never knew before."
-William James, 1902
"When I consider the short duration of my life, swallowed up in the eternity before and after, the small place which I fill, or even can see, engulfed in the infinite immensity of spaces of which I know nothing and which know nothing of me, I am frightened and I am astonished at being here rather than there; for there is no reason why here rather than there, why now rather than then...."
"Man is neither angel nor brute, and the unfortunate thing is
that he would act the angel acts the brute.
They want to get out of themselves and escape from the man.
That is madness: instead of changing into angels, they change
into beasts; instead of raising themselves, they lower themselves."
-Montaigne "Of Experience
"I could not bear the suffering of being a man and became a beast instead."
-Hunter S. Thompson
"America's industrial progress has made many people spiritually useless to themselves. Economic pressures require a worker to accept work that means giving up an essential part of himself, which is....pushed down with all his other unmet needs to churn among them for the rest of his life....selves have been ground up by the technological system....the economy relies on fear....of competition, of failure, of loss of markets, of humiliation, of becoming obsolete....The final result of this cultural process is madness..."
Culture Against Man
"our contemporary Western society, in spite of its material, intellectual and political progress, is increasingly less conducive to mental health, and tends to undermine the inner security, happiness, reason and the capacity for love in the individual; it tends to turn him into an automaton who pays for his human failure with increasing mental sickness, and with despair hidden under a frantic drive for work and so-called pleasure."
-Dr. Erich Fromm
"So, where do we draw the line between an eccentric and a madman? Firstly, we have to decide what eccentricity is. Not an easy one, this. As human behavior ranges from rigid conformity at one end of the scale to utterly bizarre nonconformity at the other, how do we know whether someone is eccentric, quietly neurotic or completely barking mad? Does eccentricity exist at all, or is it just a stepping stone to madness? Consider the author Jonathan Swift, for example. Throughout his life he could be considered by any reasonable definition to have been "different". He was highly opinionated, rude, unpredictable, odd in appearance, suffered from an obsessive-compulsive disorder, liked to shock his public-in other words, most people would accept that Swift qualified as an eccentric. Towards the end of his life his behavior became even more erratic. Poor Swift realized with horror that he was slowly succumbing to progressive senile dementia, until his servant began showing him off in public for a fee. Somewhere in between Swift made the transition from eccentricity to mental illness. But where exactly? At what point are we supposed to stop admiring his uniqueness and start to pity the great man for his terrible illness?"
The Mammoth Book of Oddballs and Eccentrics
"My Soul is Alarmed, said King David.
How do you quiet the soul?
With drugs? Through forgetfulness? By shopping, or winning fame? Plan super-prudently for the pandemic flu. Assign your fear to green peas. Or deny that you even have a soul; banish it with reason, drown it with alcohol, lose it in the ecstasies of orgasm. Pick a fight with your neighbor, or a neighboring nation. Avowedly, determinedly assert control...."
A Brief History of Anxiety (Yours and Mine)
"From the prophet Isaiah to the present, each era finds its own terms to describe what is unknowable, opaque, or mysterious. Once upon a time we described the mentally ill as possessed by demons. Later they were considered victims of disordered humors. In both cases they were ostracized, chained in dungeons, submitted to various tortures, regarded as sinners, and simply allowed to expire. Now we often say that such a person is, for example, a paranoid schizophrenic with an Oedipus complex, or we study his genetic history and seek to learn the chemical or genealogical sources for the disorder.
But scientific labels do not enable us to understand the etiology or substance of madness any more than did "demonic possession." How is it that one can suffer a loss of personality and reason? Even as we attach comforting terms that give us a way of dealing with the awfulness of the plight, we know that scientific and psychological jargon simply enables us to have a coping mechanism and, we hope, to deal more compassionately with sufferers."
Joan: The Mysterious Life of the Heretic who became a Saint
"POLINUS; (aside) Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.-Will you walk out of the air, my lord?
HAMLET; Into my grave?
POLONIUS; Indeed, that's out of the air. (aside) How pregnant sometimes his replies are! A happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of."
"R.D. Laing was more or less to agree with Polonius that sanity may not be all that it is cracked up to be. The people we are inclined to call mad may be getting at something, may have a way of delivering things, even perhaps of divining things, that the sane shy away from. Indeed, reason and sanity could be a kind of armor, the method in our sanity, as Polonius implies, protecting us from our more pregnant conceptions. If, for R.D. Laing three hundred and fifty years after Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, sanity was seen as a virtual protection racket, if, in the late 1960s the antipsychiatry movement was inspired to intervene in the contemporary treatment of the mad, it was because there is something about sanity as an available norm that oppresses by impoverishing the human spirit. For the antipsychiatrists, the available version of sanity as a picture of what contemporary people could or should be like didn't do justice to the complexity of people's lives. What was being called madness was, for the antipsychiatrists-and, indeed, for many contemporary artists-simply the return of all the complexities, all the emergencies and nuances in people that so-called sanity (an apparently the psychiatric profession) wanted to exclude . What was being fought over by the antipsychiatrists was no less than the definition of what human beings were deemed to be. (Modern people's dignity, their preferred picture of themselves, was at stake.) It was as though there had been a narrowing of the conception of identity, and the word for this narrowing-that seemed to the antipsychiatrists so militant and coercive-was sanity. it was not, they insisted, normal to be normal. Indeed , the very thins we recognized as signs of normalcy-reasonableness, even-temperedness, special concern for others, and so on-were the things that estranged us from ourselves and others. In retrospect, Hamlet seemed like Sanity, Madness and the Family-a key text of the antipsychiatrists-writ large; and Polonius, for a moment at least, was the first antipsychiatrist. What, the antipsychiatrists wondered, was normal about normal families if they drove people mad?"
Going Sane: Maps of Happiness
"Automatons, who follow without force, who are guided without leaders, who make machines which act like men and produce men who act like machines...this alienation and automization leads to ever-increasing insanity. Life has no meaning, there is no joy, no faith, no reality. Everybody is "happy"-except that he does not feel, does not reason, does not love. In the nineteenth century it was that "God is dead"; in the Twentieth Century the problem is that "man is dead."
The Sane Society
"Materialists and madmen never have doubts."
"Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence-whether much that is glorious-whether all that is profound-does not spring from disease of thought-from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect."
-Edgar Allen Poe
"The phenomenon of alienation has other clinical aspects, which I can discuss only briefly. Not only are all forms of depression, dependence and idol worship (including the "fanatic") direct expressions of, or compensations for, alienation; the phenomenon of the failure to experience one's identity which is a central phenomenon at the root of psychopathological phenomena is also a result of alienation. Precisely because the alienated person has transformed his own functions of feeling and thought to an object outside he is not himself, he has no sense of 'I," of identity. This lack of a sense of identity has many consequences. The most fundamental and general one is that it prevents integration of the total personality, hence it leaves the person disunited within himself, lacking either capacity "to will one thing" or if he seems to will one thing his will lacks authenticity.
In the widest sense, every neurosis can be considered an outcome of alienation; this is so because neurosis is characterized by the fact that one passion (for instance, for money, power, women, etc.) becomes dominant and separated from the total personality, thus becoming the ruler of the person. This passion is his idol to which he submits even though he may rationalize the nature of his idol and give it many different and often well-sounding names. he is ruled by a partial desire, he transfers all he has left to this desire, he is weaker the stronger "it" becomes. he has become alienated from himself precisely because "he" has become the slave of a part of himself."
Beyond the Chains of Illusion
"Madness is not enlightenment, but the search for enlightenment can easily be mistaken for madness."
Martin (Asylum 1996-1997)
"Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane."
-Philip K. Dick
"The voices gathered behind me, keeping up a running commentary on everything that was happening.
A nurse breezed through the day room on her way down another hallway. "There goes the nurse," said a voice....."
-A schizophrenic patient, Carol North Welcome Silence
"Schizophrenia is one mental disorder in which problems with communication between hemispheres or their balance of activity may be important. The very word Schizophrenia is Greek for "split mind." However, this term refers to the minds of those with this illness that seem to be split from reality. (The popular notion of schizophrenia as multiple personality is completely wrong. Multiple-personality disorder is unrelated to schizophrenia.) Hyde-side thinkers have looked at the two sides of the brain in their fashion, viewing madness as a dominance of the primitive right hemisphere (what Henry Maudsley in the nineteenth century called the "brute brain within the man's") or a weakness of the more evolved left hemisphere.
The nature of the disturbance in certain schizophrenias suggests the opposite, that the overall worldview of the right hemisphere is lost. This leaves the interpretation of events to the left hemisphere alone, and as we have seen the left hemisphere alone generally makes a mess of reality, not seeing whole picture. A decrease in the balance of input from the right hemisphere may happen in different ways: diminished activity of the right hemisphere itself, increased left-hemisphere activity, a lack of interhemispherical communication and cooperation, or a mix of all three."
The Right Mind
'in man every case of emotional neurosis and psychosis is the result of more or less conflict or confusion involving bisexual differentiation."
"They forgot that, amidst all my lunatic childishness and simplicity. I was a grown-up man, and probably knew not myself. And if it is true of any creature, that he knoweth not of what spirit he is, it is strikingly true of a lunatic."
Percival's Narrative (A Patient's Account of his Psychosis), 1830-1832. ed by Gregory Bateson, Stanford Univ Press
"What was true of Goethe is true of me. I have two souls. What are they? They are male and female, positive and negative, destructive and inductive. Yang and Yin. And they want to divide in a sort of eternal schizophrenia. Well, let them go. I, quite an ordinary person, have reunited them and I tell the to go where they will, I have a split mind. I was a manic-depressive; let us say for the sake of the argument that am now a schizophrenic.."
-Wisdom, Madness and Folly (The Philosophy of a Lunatic) John Custance, Pellegrini & Cudahy, NY, 1052
From "Schizophrenia: The Bearded Lady Disease" by J. Michael Mahoney
"When we remember that we are all mad, mysteries disappear and life stands explained."
"I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men."
-Sir Isaac Newton after losing a fortune in the South Sea bubble
"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
"A country without a memory is a country of madmen."
-George Santayana, 1906
"Biochemists Alvin J. Glasky and Lionel N. Simon of Abbot Laboratories, the pharmaceutical firm, have demonstrated a relationship between nucleic acid and/or protein metabolism and various aspects of brain functioning. Neuropharmacologist Nicholas P. Plotnikoff, also of Abbott, found that rats given a certain chemical learned four to five times faster than untreated rats. This does not necessarily mean that human learning can also be enhanced chemically, but the possibility certain exists--and is being investigated.
Psychiatrist D. Ewen Cameron of the Veterans' Administration Hospital, Albany, New York, has conducted experiments which suggest that human memory can be enhanced chemically. Biochemist James G. McConnell, at the University of Michigan, Ann arbor, has demonstrated that learning can be transferred to flatworms. Physiologist Nicholas Bercel of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, has demonstrated transference of schizophrenic characteristics to spiders injected with blood serum from human schizophrenics. Experiments at Tulane University, New Orleans, and elsewhere have produced schizophrenic behavior in humans injected with taraxein, a protein obtained from schizophrenics' blood.
Psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond of Princeton, N.J. has had great success treating schizophrenics with massive doses of nicotinic acid. Endocrinologist Nathan Masor has achieved remarkable results treating certain depression with thyroxin. These results have been duplicated by other researchers, suggesting that it was the clinical treatment rather than any concomitant therapy by the initial researchers which achieved the results.
None of this is to say that mental problems are always the result of chemical factors. As often as not-or more often than not, depending one one's definition of mental problems- these problems apparently do have behavioral causes and do respond to exclusive behavioral theory. The point here is that they should not be assumed to have behavioral causes, at least not until dietary, metabolic, and other chemical influences have been investigated......"
-Paul J. Gillette, Ph.D. & Marie Hornbeck
"Sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in the human situation."
"We are all such helpless failures in the last resort....The sanest and best of us are of one clay with lunatics and prison inmates, and death finally runs the robustest of us down."
"Men are so necessarily mad, that not being mad would be being mad through another trick that madness played."
"Madness alone is truly terrifying, inasmuch as you cannot placate it by threats, persuasion or bribes."
-Joseph Conrad The Secret Agent
"Everything great in the world comes from neurotics. They alone have founded our religions and composed our masterpieces. Never will the world know all it owes to them nor all they have suffered to enrich us. We enjoy lovely music, beautiful paintings, a thousand intellectual delicacies, but we have no idea of their cost, to those who invented them, in sleepless nights, tears, spasmodic laughter, rashes, asthmas, epilepsies, and the fear of death, which is worse than all the rest."
"Mans constant and disgusting madness, his preference for the disagreeable over the agreeable."
"All great events have been set in motion by madmen, by mediocre madmen. Which will be true, we may be sure, of the "End of the World " itself."
"…..the inability to correctly perceive reality, is often responsible for humans insane behavior. And every time they substitute an all-purpose , sloppy slang word for the words that would accurately describe an emotion or a situation, it lowers their reality orientations, pushes them farther from shore, out into the foggy waters of alienation and confusion."
Skinny Legs and all
"Isolation, a sense of lack of profound contact with other human beings seems to be the disease of our time."
Love & Friendship
"but a retreat from reality poses its own set of risks: newly emerging anxieties and uncertainties that we are only now beginning to recognize and understand. Tetsuya Akikawa, a musician who unwittingly became a counselor to Japan's suicidal youth when he hosted a radio call-in program, distills his listeners' most common complaint: "A lot of teenagers said to me that the couldn't feel the real feelings of living," he says, shaking his head in disbelief. "They They live a shadow of a life, rather than life itself."
-Roldand Nozumu Kelts (Professor at the University of Tokyo) adbusters The Virtual World Nov/Dec 2009
"For most persons the dead weight of powerlessness is experienced directly as a private burden, a debilitating factor in the increasingly stressful task of getting through the day-and making it through the night.....Our subjective feelings of helplessness-of the absence of choice, the futility of effort, the loss of control, the failure of nerve-are graphically reinforced by the printouts from the laboratories of behavioral science. Thus the psychiatric code words for powerlessness-depression, anxiety, impotence, rage-describes a condition so common as to seem epidemic among us."
Ashley Montagu & Floyd Matson
The Dehumanization of Man
"I am convinced that the suffering that arises from submitting to virtualization without understanding it is one of the major causes of the madness and violence of our time."
"In 1916, Dr. Henry Cotton of Trenton State Hospital, believing that germs from tooth decay led to insanity, removed patients' teeth and other body parts, such as the bowels, which he thought might be the causes of their madness. In so doing, he killed almost half of his patients-more than one hundred people. Cotton's practices were covered up by the hospital board and the leading figure in American psychiatry of the day, Adolf Meyer, and Cotton was also allowed to continue practicing at the hospital for almost another twenty years. At his eulogy in 1933, Meyer lauded Cotton's "extraordinary record ."
Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry is Medicating A Nation
"For a universally intelligent society will always be more efficient than an intelligently governed society."
"I now perceive one immense omission in my Psychology-the deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated."
"I do not want anybody to be a Jungian, I want people above all to be themselves. As for "isms", they are the viruses of our day, and responsible for greater disasters than any medieval plague or pest has ever been. Should I be found one day only to have created another "ism", then I will have failed in all I tried to do."
"When confronted by a human being who impresses us as truly great, should we not be moved rather than chilled by the knowledge that he might have attained his greatness only through his frailties?"
"It is through madness that the greatest good things have come to Greece"
"all superior men who were irresistibly drawn to throw off the yoke of any kind of morality and to frame new laws had, if they were not actually mad, no alternative but to make themselves or pretend to be mad-and this indeed applies to innovators in every domain and not only in the domain of priestly and political dogma....-"how can one make oneself made when one is not mad and does not dare to appears so?- almost all the significant men of ancient civilization have pursued this train of thought."
-Nietzsche On the Genealogy of Morals
"Only part of us is sane. Only part of us loves pleasure and the longer days of happiness, wants to live to our nineties and die in peace, in a house that we built, that shall shelter those who come after us. The other half of us is nearly mad. It prefers the disagreeable to the agreeable, loves pain and its darker night despair, and wants to die in a catastrophe that will set back life to its beginning and leave nothing of our house save its blackened foundations."
"I think that psychoanalysis has been the greatest block to the study and understanding of mental disease, and by this I mean insanity, that has happened since the time of Rush. All doctors in all institutions for the care of the insane that I have been in touch with in the United States were so saturated with the Freudian concept that real investigation of mental diseases was almost entirely excluded."
"Jung maintains that people who know nothing about nature are neurotic. They have not been allowed to adapt to reality, and for this neurosis there are no materialistic solutions."
A History of the Devil
" Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind over-tasked. Good mental machinery ought to break its own wheels and levers, if anything is thrust among them suddenly which tends to stop them or reverse their motion. A weak mind does not accumulate force enough to start itself; stupidity often saves a man from going mad."
Oliver Wendell Holmes
"Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering."
"What we call 'neurosis' is a less clearly distressing form of disordered living. 'the neurotic has problems that are equally incapable of resolution by rational means and, more dangerous, resemble normal in so many respects that he is most often indistinguishable from those less troubled. each of us is neurotic in one sense or another. Each of us carries through life a set of unsolved problems, prejudices, and biases in reasons to our fellow human beings. Since neurosis so often disguises as normality and so often is indistinguishable from it, a major problem of adjustment is founded on the correct or incorrect diagnosis each of us makes of the other. The disorder of a single life usually has re- percussions in the lives of others, and that is the issue. Normality, then, becomes a very relative term and its limits are more elastic than most of us suspect. We are all, simultaneously, normal and abnormal."
Elton B Mcneil
The Quiet Furies
Professor at the U of Mich.
"Total incapacity is psychotic. For example, when Dr. . Stanley Jones asked the patients of a mental hospital to roll bandages for the troops overseas during World War II, not one person volunteered. Mental health and the capacity to serve are directly related."
Ruth Carter Stapleton
"One of the tests of sanity is repose. I demand of a great spirit (that is, a spiritual person) entire self command. He must be free and detached, not take the world up into him , not suggest the idea of a restless soul bestridden always by an invisible rider. He must not be feverish, but free."
"The neurotic is the "artiste manque, ' the artist who cannot transmute his conflicts into art."
"There are reasons to believe, that it may well be the schizoid personality that will best be able to endure the requirements of extended space travel."
Arthur J. Brodbeck
"He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence,"
"If my devils are to leave me, I am afraid my angel will take flight
-Rilke, (on withdrawing from psychotherapy after learning the goals to which it aspired)
"And in my heart the daemons and the gods Wage an eternal battle."
"To live is to war with trolls in heart and soul. To write is to sit in judgments on oneself. "
"Although we may recoil in horror when we read in newspapers or history books of the atrocities committed by man upon man, we know in our hearts that each one of us harbors within himself these same savage impulses which lead to murder, to torture and to war."
"Madness is rare in individuals-but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule , "
Richard Dadd obeying a voice that had commanded him to kill the devil, which was incarnate in his father; was committed for life to an asylum for the criminally insane. The painting "Fairy Feller's Masterstroke' was done in the confines of the asylum.
"Madness Alone is Truly Terrifying"
"All of us go through the same doubts, we are afraid of being mad; unfortunately for us, of course, all of us are already mad. "
Tales of Power
"In our judgment of a neurotic personality, it may be vital to ask ourselves the question, "Is it not possible that this individual has been lamed by the future, and if so, may not the direction of his cure lie in helping him to prepare the house for the future man in himself?"
H. G. Baynes
Mythology of the Soul
"A sick man dreams nothing so dreadful that some philosopher isn't saying it."
Marcus Terenties Varro
116-27 B.C. -
"If you do not have mirth you will certainly have madness."
"It is the prosaic people who are the commonest victims of insanity. It is the rationalists who go mad. This is no paradox, but a statement that becomes self-evident the moment we consider it. To confess that me are living in infinity, to splash about and be carried about on the surge of infinity, is a perfectly healthy pastime, as healthy as Swimming in the sea-Destruction awaits not the man who Swims in the sea, but the man who tries to plumb it."
"The sanity of a group lies in the continuity of its traditions.
To break sharply with the past is to court the madness that may
follow the shock of sudden blows or mutilations."
"Inessential insanities are a brittle amalgamation of ambition, aggression, and pre-adolescent anxiety-garbage that should have been dumped long ago. Essential insanities are those impulses one instinctively senses are virtuous and correct, even though peers regard them as coo-coo. Inessential insanities get one in trouble with ones-self. Inessential insanities get one in trouble with others. It's always preferable to be in trouble with others. In fact, it may be essential."
Still Life With Woodpecker
"When a delusion cannot be dissipated by the facts of reality, it probably does not spring from reality."
"But what is madness? And who is sane? When is a sane person mad, and when a madman sane? And what of the madness of civilizations and cultures? Had Hitler "won" World War II our definitions of sanity and insanity would surely have been different. Since it is the winning side that writes the history books it would have been the Allies' initiating the bombing of civilian populations rather than Hitler's concentration camps that historians would have seized on as the "insanity." Roosevelt, Churchill and the Allies would have been "madmen" ,while the victorious culture would have been the "sane". Man's interpretation is always a rationalization after the fact. Man reacts, and then he justifies what he has done. Was the French Revolution simply a form of madness? Or may we separate the initial impulse toward liberation from the actual form that events finally took? Is it too subtle to draw the analogy between a culture and a single individual-from the point of view of energy and cycles? An individual makes the effort, as it were, to "handle" his energy, his Life force. He becomes an artist, a preacher, an alcoholic, or whatever he is able to become, so that he can accommodate that force. Sometimes it thickens into a stasis or it breaks against his tensions, his "armor," and smashes through. The psychotic and the criminal are cases in point. So, of course, in a more subtle and elusive way, is the politician. We may see a similarity in the weather. When the atmosphere becomes overloaded with pollution, nature seeks an adjustment through hurricanes.
"The neurotic, no matter whether productive or obstructed, suffers fundamentally from the fact that he cannot or will not accept himself, his own individuality, his own personality. On one hand he criticizes himself to excess, on the other he idealizes himself to excess, which means that he makes too great demands on himself and his completeness, so that failing to attain leads only to more self-criticism. If we take this thwarted type, as we may do for our purposes, and compare him to the artist, it is at once clear that the artist is in a sense the antithesis to the self-critical neurotic type. "
"In his eyes, any incident might have an evil significance; a piece of stone the size of a nut, which fell from the vault of Notre Dame and struck his shoulder at the very moment when he was putting the crown on his head, a fall from his Horse in 1812, the day before he crossed the Niemen to invade Russia, were taken as bad omens. "
The Riddle of Napoleon
translated by Basil Creighton
G. P. Putnam' s Sons N.Y.
"If the madman could for an instant become careless, he would become sane. Everyone who has had the misfortune to talk with people in the heart or on the edge of mental disorder, knows that their most sinister quality is a horrible clarity of detail : a connecting of one thing with another in a map more elaborate than a maze. If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment. He is not hampered by a sense of humour or by charity, or by the dumb certainties of experiences. He is more logical for losing certain sane affections. Indeed the common phrase for insanity is in this respect a misleading one. The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything but his reason. "
G. K. Chesterton
"It is his reasonable conversation which mostly frightens us in a madman. "
"The devastated land with the host on the altar which may not be used, identifies the situation as a neurotic condition of the neurotic structure of the torn or divided man. Though everything one needs is virtually within arm's reach, one can't use it. This is the agonized condition of the neurotic structure of the torn or divided man."
"One of the commonest forms of madness is the desire to be noticed, the pleasure derived from being noticed."
"The proverbial lunatic is deemed mad because he play-acts at being Napoleon. But Napoleon himself really 'was' Napoleon and an entire society endorsed his megalomania and followed him on his mad, murderous escapades across the face of Europe. "
Harper & Row
"From the alienated starting point of our pseudo-sanity everything is equivocal. Our sanity is not "true" sanity. Their madness is not "true" madness. The madness of our patients is an artifact of the destruction wreaked on them by us, and by them on ourselves. Let no one suppose that we meet "true" madness any more than that we are truly sane. The madness we encounter in "patients' is a gross travesty, a mockery: a grotesque caricature of what the natural healing of that estranged integration we call sanity might be. True sanity entails in one way or another, , the dissolution of the normal ego, that false self competently adjusted to our alienated social reality: the emergence of ...divine power."
"Human madness is oftentimes a cunning a most feline thing. When you think it fled, it may have but become transfigured into a still subtler form."
"WE are born mad, develop a conscience and become unhappy; then we die."
DR. Eder (one of the first British psychoanalysts
"The essence of madness is surely silence, as any trip to a
madhouse will testify. The silence may be broken suddenly and
terribly, but the beastly thing about the business is that it
sinks intolerably back into silence again."
"We would condemn clergymen for offering only pastoral counsel as therapy to a man suffering from brain syphilis or "schizophrenia. " Would we withhold all censure from a psychiatrist who is giving psychotherapy for "neurotic" symptoms of sleeplessness or sexual inhibition to a man involved in rascality and wickedness of notable degree?
Dr. Karl Menninger
"If psychoanalysis has a cure for frigidity.. .this must be the best kept medical secret of modern times."
The Humanist in the Bathtub
"I have no doubt whatever that a great number of neuroses and social maladjustments are, partially or totally, directly or indirectly, caused by overcrowding."
"Most so-called 'neurosis' is best analyzed as somebody programmed to play football wandering around on a baseball field. If he thinks football is the only game in the universe, the other players will seem perverse or crazy to him; if they think baseball is the only game, he'll seem crazy to them. "
"How well the man reasoned; lunatics always do within their scope. "
One thought , passes the next; no sooner have I thought it and am about to hold it down than a new one comes along-hold it, grasp it-Madness-Insanity."
"When religion lost the cosmos, society became neurotic.
"Fortunately (psycho) analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist."
Our Inner Conflicts 1945
"Today, neurosis takes the place of the monasteries which used to be the refuge of all whom life had disappointed or who felt too weak to face it."
One should look beyond the patient' s illness and form an estimate of his whole personality; those patients who do not possess a reasonable degree of education and a fairly reliable character should be refused. It must not be forgotten that there are healthy people as well as un- healthy ones who are good for nothing in life, and that there is a temptation to ascribe to their illness everything that incapacitates them if they show any sign of neurosis."
"All the greatest and most important problems of life are fundamentally insoluble...They can never be solved, but only outgrown,"
'In the l93O's many psychiatrists, disregarding Freud though paying lip service to him, saw sanity mainly as conformity; therefore their key word was 'adjustment' . A person not adjusted was a person not sane, and therefore had to be made to adjust happily or at least effectively. It seems never to have occurred to those psychiatrists that absence of personal adjustment can be sanity, just as there can be at least temporary collective insanity in a nation at the very time when it is adjusted and in fact the Sickest people are the, best adjusted. It is all the more remarkable that psychiatrists in the l93O's never acknowledged this, precisely at the time when the entire German nation under Hitler gave unmistakable signs of collective insanity. For what the Nazis did was not merely criminal and barbarous, it was insane--as even most Germans have belatedly recognized. And in the Soviet Union sane men are now being placed in institutions, exactly as George Orwell foresaw it. The Soviets are apparently collectively quite mad."
"It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society."
"After the war come the antidepressant drugs, anxiolytics, hypnotics, powerful tranquillizers for schizophrenia, and lithium salts to stabilize manic-depressives. A population which would indignantly claim to be perfectly sane now swallows psychotropic drugs as blithely as sprinkling sugar on its cornflakes. The asylums became mental hospitals, which then became hospitals, and then the doors were flung wide to release the drugged patients into the community, which is the hard world.
Our murderous and dangerous lunatics are secured in mental prisons. The harmless ones are secreted away in psychiatric wards. The rest may sleep in the streets, for all we care. Sane thinking about insanity has neatly returned to 1547."
The Alarming History of medicine
"It is only ideas of such colossal proportions that a symbol for them cannot be created that are vague and intangible and brooding, incomprehensible and fearful, that produce madness.
The very fact that a thing-anything-can be fitted into a meaning built up of words small, black words that can be written with one hand and the stub of a pencil means that it is not big enough to be overwhelming. It is the vast, formless, unknown and unknowable things that we fear. anything which can be brought to a common point-a focus within our understanding-can be dealt with."
-Lara Jefferson, These Are My Sisters
"The great falling out between Jung and Freud occurred over the nature of the unconscious. Freud thought that the unconscious is a scrap heap, consisting of all the unvalued things in one's life that have been repressed to the unconscious. Jung insisted that the unconscious is also the matrix, the artesian well from which all creativity springs. Freud would have none of this. So the two of them broke. "
"Keep clear of psychiatrists unless you know that they are also Christians. Otherwise they start with the assumption that your religion is an illusion and try to 'cure' it: and this assumption they make not as professional psychologists but as amateur philosophers. Often they have never given the question any serious thought. "
(extract from a letter to Mrs. Frank Jones-undated 1947) from C. S. Lewis
It is a remarkable fact, which we come across again and again, that absolutely everybody, even the most unqualified layman, thinks he knows all about psychology as though the psyche were something that enjoyed the most universal understanding. But anybody who really knows the human psyche will agree with me when I say that it is one of the darkest and most mysterious regions of our experience. There is no end to what can be learned in this field."
C. G. Jung
Psychology and Alchemy (1944)
"The aim of psychoanalysis has much in common with the aim of religion, that is, salvation or the saving of the soul. For the proper meaning of salvation (awrnaia) is to make the soul whole, to rescue all its essential parts from the unconscious, from the dark underworld, from hell. "
The Supreme Identity
Promise me never to abandon the sexual theory. That is the essential thing of all. You see, we must make a dogma of ' it' an unshakable bulwark' . . . .In some astonishment I asked him, 'a bulwark-against what? ' To which he replied, 'against the black tide of mud'-and here he hesitated for a moment, then added 'of occultism' .. . .
(Jung recalls a conversation with Freud in Vienna 1910)
"At three I had a feeling of
ambivalence toward my brothers
a and so it follows naturally
I poisoned all my lovers.
But now I 'm happy; I have learned
The lesson this has taught;
That everything I do that's wrong
is someone else's fault."
"A neurotic is a person who builds a castle in the air. A psychotic
is the person who lives in it. A psychiatrist is the one who collects
"Psychoanalysis is a systematic training in indecision."
Professor at Princeton
"Psychoanalysis is in fact the disease of which its therapy purports to be the cure . "
"In almost every psychologist one will perceive a telltale preference for and delight in association with everyday, well-ordered people; this reveals that he always requires a cure, that he needs a kind of escape and forgetting, away from all that with which his insights, his incisions, his 'craft' have burdened his conscience."
"It may sound surprising when I say, on the basis of my own clinical practice as well as that of my psychological and psychiatric colleagues, that the chief problem of people in the middle decade of the 2Oth century is emptiness. While one might laugh at the meaningless boredom of people a decade or two ago, the emptiness has for many now moved from the state of boredom to a state of futility and despair which holds promise of dangers. The human being cannot live in a condition of emptiness for very long if he is not growing towards something, he does not merely stagnate ; the pent-up potentialities turn into morbidity and despair, and eventually destructive activities."
Man' s Search for Himself
"Psychoanalysis is Calvinism in Bermuda shorts."
Dr. C Macfie Campbell
(President of the American Psychiatric Assoc
"This is what psychiatry is, a faith or religion disguised as medical science.....I think psychiatry is essentially a replacement for the preeminence of the Christian religion."
Dr. Thomas Szasz
Prof. of Psychiatry Upstate Medical Center u of N.Y. at Syracuse Review of the News July 14,1982
" What kind of business is this where a worker can build his reputation on inventing a word or redefining an old one?"
Rohert J. Stoller
'No matter what type of neurosis one may have, the ethical approach, if honestly carried out, works miracles.'
"I regret that I cannot accede to your request, because I should like very much to remain in the darkness of not having been analyzed."
(Einstein's reply to a psychotherapist 1927)
"Here in one beguiling gift-wrapped box is almost all the religious stock-in-trade of ancient man-interpretation of dreams, casting out of devils, incest myths , obsessive sexual teleology's, and confessionals. And the jack-in-the-box is none other than the grand old shaman himself, Sigmund Freud."
"I have high hopes of smashing my name into history so violently that it will take a legendary form even if all the books are destroyed. That goal is the real goal as far as I'm concerned....Psychiatrists, reaching the high of the dusty desk, tell us that Alexander, and Genghis Khan and Napoleon were madmen. I know they're maligning some very intelligent gentlemen . So anybody who dares say that maybe he's going to cut things up considerably is immediately branded as an egomaniac, or something equally ridiculous, so that little men can still save their hides in the face of possible fury.
"It's one thing to go nutty and state, 'I'm Napoleon, nobody dares touch me,' and quite another to say, 'If I watch my step and don't let anything stop me, I can make Napoleon look like a punk!' That's the difference...."
-L. Ron Hubbard, writing to his first wife in Aug 1938
L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman by Bent Corydon
"As society grew increasingly intolerant of bizarre or disruptive behaviour, provision had to be made for those it was no longer prepared to accommodate. In 1714 an 'Act for reducing the Laws relating to Rogues, Vagabonds, Sturdy Beggars and Vagrants, and sending them whither they ought to be Sent, placed responsibility for the care of the insane on the lunatic's parish. The Act allowed that, on the authority of two or more justices of the peace, lunatics who were 'furiously mad and dangerous' could be confined 'in such secure place as such justices shall direct or appoint', where they could, if it was deemed necessary, he held in chains. The cost of detaining pauper lunatics had to be met from parish funds."
Alexander The Corrector: The Tormented Genius Whose Cruden's Concordance Unwrote the Bible
"One person in ten spends some time in a mental hospital. Many more see psychiatrists. If information on psychiatric treatment were generally disseminated, it would cause incalculable harm. Information on private psychiatric treatment remains private usually. Psychiatrists are bound, as are all doctors, by the Hippocratic Oath, which reflects the historic respect for the confidentiality of a patient's relationship with a doctor. And, even the snoopiest of public and private agencies have neither the resources nor the ethics of the president who hired the "plumbers." There is less protection for patients in institutions. A private psychiatrist who knows his patients very well needs few records; institutional doctors, responsible for several hundred patients at a time, must rely on records of past diagnoses and staff observations. These records become a management device to maintain custody of patients with some efficiency. Kai Erikson and Daniel Gilbertson observe, "if a stranger were to notice how many of the hospital's resources were devoted to the task of recording information about patients, he might very well conclude that the main objective of the institution was to generate information and keep systematic files rather than to treat illness."
Dossier: The Secret Files They Keep on You
"...there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles that have hagridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful human qualities into the position of the highest virtues. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession-as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life-will be recognized for what it is....one of those....semi pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease."
J. M. Keynes
"....automatons, who follow without force, who are guided without leaders, who make machines which act like men and produce men who act like machines....This alienation and atomization leads to ever-increasing insanity. Life has no meaning, there is no joy, no faith, no reality. Everybody is "happy"-except that he does not feel, does not reason, does not love. In the nineteenth century the problem was that "God is dead", in the Twentieth century the problem is that "man is dead."
Eric Fromm The Sane Society
"The connection between influenza and various mental instabilities seemed clear. the evidence was almost entirely anecdotal, the worst and weakest kind of evidence, but it convinced the vast majority of contemporary observers that influenza could alter mental processes. What convinced them were observations such as these:
From Britain: "....profound mental inertia with intense physical prostration. delirium has been very common....It has varied from more confusion of ideas through all grades of intensity up to maniacal excitement."
from Italy: "....influenzal psychoses of the acute period....as a rule subside in two or three weeks. the psychosis, however, may pass into state of mental collapse, with stupor which may not persist and become actual dementia. In other cases.....depression and restlessness. to which can be attributed the large number of suicides during the pandemic of influenza"
From France: "....frequent and serious mental disturbances during convalescence from and as a result of influenza....the mental disturbances sometimes took on the form of acute delirium with agitation, violence, fear and erotic excitation and at other times was of a depressive nature....fear of persecution."
John M. Barry
The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History
Book: "Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern medicine" by Andrew Scull
Book: "Schizophrenia: The Bearded Lady Disease" by J. Michael Mahoney
Book: "The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry" by Jon Ronson
Book: "The Air Loom Gang: The Strange and True Story of James Tilly Matthews and His Visionary Madness." by Mike Jay Vibrant
Book: "Madmen of History" by Donald D. Hook
Book: "Revels in Madness: Insanity in Medicine and Literature" by Allen Thiiher
Book: "Gracefully Insane: Life and Death Inside America's Premier Mental Hospital" by Alex Beam
Book: "Madness and Modernism: Sanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature and Thought" by Louis A. Sass
Book: "Madness: A Brief History" by Roy Porter
Book: "Psychiatric Power: Lectures at the College de France, 1973-74" by Michel Foucault
Book: "Shattered Nerves: How Science is Solving Modern Medicine's Most Perplexing Problem" by Victor D. Chase
Book: "Out of Her Mind: Women Writing on Madness" Ed. by Rebbecca Shannonhouse
Book: "Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness" by Styron
Book: "A Lexicon of Lunacy" by Thomas Szasz
Book: "The Myth of Mental Illness" by Thomas Szasz
Book" Insanity" by Thomas Szasz
Book: "The Manufacture of Madness" by Thomas Szasz
Book: "Eccentrics: A Study of Sanity and Strangeness" by Dr. David Weeks & Jamie James
Book: "Madness & Civilization" by Foucault
Book: "Women and Madness" by Phyllis Chester
Book: "When Madness Comes Home: Help and Hope for the Children, Siblings, and Partners of the Mentally Ill" by Victoria Secunda
Book: "Electroshock: Healing Mental Illness" by Max Fink
Book: "Mad In America" by Robert Whitaker
Book: "A Social History of Madness" by Roy Porter
Book: "Madmen: A Social History of Madhouses, Mad-Doctors & Lunatics" by Roy Porter
Book: "The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us" by Martha Stout
Book: "Masks of Sanity" by Hervey Cleckley M.D.
Book: "Without Conscience: The disturbing World of Psychopaths" by Dr. Robert Hare
Back to Chrestomathy Next Page