I found a fascinating quote today while reading The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness by psychologist R.D. Laing.
Our civilization represses not only ‘the instincts’, not only sexuality, but any form of transcendence. Among one dimensional men, it is not surprising that someone with an insistent experience of other dimensions, that he cannot entirely deny or forget, will run the risk of being destroyed by the others, or of betraying what he knows. In the context of our present pervasive madness that we call normality, sanity, freedom, all our frames of reference are ambiguous and equivocal.
A man who prefers to be dead rather than Red is normal. A man who says he has lost his soul is mad. A man who says that men are machines may be a great scientist. A man who says he is a machine is ‘depersonalized’ in psychiatric jargon.
Psychiatry could be, and some psychiatrists are, on the side of transcendence, of genuine freedom, and of true human growth. But psychiatry can so easily be a technique of brainwashing, of inducing behavior that is adjusted, by (preferably), non-injurious torture. In the best places, where straightjackets are abolished, doors are unlocked, luecotomies largely forgone, these can be replaced by more subtle lobotomies and tranquillizers that place the bars of Bedlam and the locked doors inside the patient. Thus I wish to emphasize that our ‘normal’ ‘adjusted’ state is too often the abdication of ecstasy, the betrayal of our true potentialities, that many of us are only too successful in acquiring a false self to adapt to false realities.”
This is pertinent to my personal studies of what constitutes normality. I have joked that I am not nor have I ever been card-carrying crazy.
But sometimes it feels that way.
And today it feels that way.
And I am tired of this emotional roller-coaster ride.
No, nothing “happened” to “trigger” this.
Just caring too much, worrying about a lot of things I have no control over, both globally and locally.
I’m just tired of being too sensitive to things.