Hell-Bent On Destruction Poisoned Sanity In A World
According to The Parable of the Poisoned Well a once great king ruled over a great town. He was revere for his wisdom, but fear for the power he possessed. The city’s heart was home to a well. Its waters were pure and clean, and the water was where the king and the rest of the residents drank. One evening, an enemy entered the city to poison the well with a strange fluid. All who drank it became insane.
The water drunk by all the people, except the king. He had been warn by a watchman about the dangers of drinking the water. People began to shout, The King is mad and has lost all his reason. You can see how bizarrely he behaves. He cannot rule us, therefore he must be remove.
Fearful of revolution, the king sensed that his subjects were about to revolt against him. He order that a royal glass filled from the well one evening and enjoy a deep drink. There was great joy among the people when their beloved king finally recovered his wisdom and sanity.
Psychoanalyst Erich Fromm
Psychoanalyst Erich Fromm, who wrote The Sane Society in 1955, suggests that there is nothing more common than the assumption we, those living in advanced industrial economies, are perfectly sane. The Department of Health in Australia reports that nearly half of Australians between 16 and 85 will suffer from a mental disorder at one time or another.
Fromm suggests that we tend to view incidents of mental illness in isolation as isolated disorders. However, it is possible to acknowledge with some discomfort that these incidents could occur in a society that is suppose to be sane. Fromm continues to haunt our self-image today, trying to dispel these preconceptions of sanity.
Can we really be sure we aren’t deceiving our selves? Many inmates of insane asylums believe that everyone else is insane, but they are not.
The Anthropocene a time when the distinction between sanity or insanity being erode and our civilisation will lost.
Over Time, The Line Changes Poisoned
Since Michel Foucault’s Madness and Civilization (1961), we have known that the concept of insanity is a socially construct and evolving category. The medical validity of mental health treatments and diagnoses changes with time. What was consider sane one era may become unscientific in the next.
This can mask the fact that once healthy social habits or thought patterns may now be consider unhealthy. This can be applied to specific cases but it shouldn’t apply to the whole society. Without being conscious of its own degeneration, a society could go insane.
Foucault is a powerful tool for understanding how power shapes knowledge. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist. Profits and economic growth may be the best indicators of success in society. However, members of insane societies may choose to blindly look into their subconscious culture rather than wilful blindness.
Pointing To This Thesis Poisoned
If society isn’t sane, I feel like pointing to this thesis. Another question follows. What would sanity look and act like in an insane world.
These questions are not for me as a mental health expert or trained person. I am simply an ordinary member in late-stage capitalist society who is suffering in his own way, trying to understand the mental burdens that come with our ecologically inequitable civilisation. I do not comment on the biophysical causes of mental illness such as chemical imbalances and physical injury.
Instead, I consider, at a macro level, the sanity and insanity poisoned the dominant culture, political economy, and capitalist society in which we live, and ask how it can affect our inner lives poker pelangi.
Following Fromm’s example, I am interest in what Fromm calls collective neuroses as well as the pathology that is normal. Collective neuroses, while not easy to observe, essential because they part of the background fabric and can be easily overlooked.