The nation’s jails have become de facto mental health institutions. The police work with mental health professionals for social control. In towns and cities across the United States, police officers find themselves playing dual roles as law enforcers and psychiatric social workers.
Although no agency or organization tracks the number of police shootings nationally that involve people with mental illnesses, a report by the Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriff’s Association, based on informal studies and accounts, estimated that half the number of people shot and killed by the police have mental health problems.
Now that I am reading through Dead End: A Philosophical Diary, I find it uncanny that I had just completed all that work transferring it to xhentric.wordpress.com when all the content at isis.phpbb3now.com became inaccessible. Hence, I have no regrets about including as much as I did. I guess all my diaries/notebooks/journals can be considered a kind of EXEGESIS. From another perspective, from the perspective of eternal nothingness, all words are pigshit.
In Thomas Ligotti’s “My Case For Retributive Action,” the protagonist reflects, “I’ve even come to believe that the world itself, by its very nature, is unendurable.”
Now THAT’s keeping things in perspective. The next time someone implies that your life is a failure, that you have gone “down the tubes” or that your life has “turned to shit,” just politely inform them that life itself, on a grand scale, is a failure, so you don’t take it personal.
Contemplation and reading numerous books simultaneously, randomly, chaotically, and nonsequentially goes against the grain of “being a productive and industrious citizen.” I can’t help but recall something Virginia Woolf had written in “A Room of Our Own” to the effect that sitting around reading in a relaxed manner may be considered one of the most deviant activities as it displays a total disdain for the work ethic and those who judge us by our “position” or lack of position in the work force.
Meanwhile, across the pond in the UK, the government is warning people who consider living on the dole as a “lifestyle choice” that soon they will be forced into the work-force, and that there will be “nowhere to hide.”
At what point do citizens lose faith in the notion that the authorities know what’s best for them?
Zamyatin was the epitome of an anti-establishment author. In his short novel, We, the citizens of the One State would revolt if they felt the need, but, instead, the majority believes the regime to be legitimate. The State is secure from within.
Now, in our era of psychiatric diagnoses and mass surveillance, when everyone is watching everyone and reporting “suspicious behavior” of neighbors and family members (teenagers and disgruntled employees beware!), and when one finds oneself in front of a psychiatrist or therapist, advisor, or councilor, what is the point of discussing theories about the truths explored in novels such as Levin’s This Perfect Day, Zamyatin’s We, or Robert Pirsig’s Lila?
At what point does the population, en masse, clam up about how they really feel and what they really think?
What about the maintenance worker who returns to university, graduates with honors, and finds absolutely no work in the field he studied, and simply becomes this Dostoevskian Roskolnikov – the former student? The anti-hero in this dystopian Bizarroland lives on the fringes in his own little world of literature and philosophy. As the philosophical madman, he becomes voluntarily unemployable. He wants to spend his life contemplating the accident of birth. He even begins to wonder just how honest he can allow himself to be in public, on the Internet, or while talking to a mental health professional.
His Eigenwelt (the inner realm) becomes far more real than the social order. Existence is but a fleeting dream. Looking back on how many years I have been out of the work-force, it is not stretching the terminology to see myself as somewhat of a Hikikomori. Does reading so much literature cultivate the ability to read the thoughts and feelings of others? Even if I could be classified as a psuedo-Hikikomori, I am not rotting my brain with video games or mind-numbing cable TV.
To observe BEING-IN-THE-WORLD in a detached manner, almost indifferent, as an observer … thinking about thinking … observing myself observing …
HP Lovecraft imagined entities that were older than mankind, older than the aborigines and the indigenous, older than the earth itself – the Old Gods: indifferent to mankind. If these Old Gods could speak, what would they have to say to us? Who would they speak through?
The idle apprehend more things, are deeper than the industrious: no task limits their horizon; born into an eternal Sunday, they watch – and watch themselves watching. ~ Cioran
How would I be able to read so much, think so much, reflect and contemplate so much, if I were corralled into a job? I haven’t held a steady position in over ten years. Am I a disciple of Emile Cioran, a shameless work-dodger?
Nothing need be done. The universe is a cosmic accident.
I type “philosophical horror” into the ask.com (was teoma) search engine. Who appears? Thomas Ligotti! A reclusive literary cult figure … writes philosophical novels with a “darker” undertone.
Lovecraft’s brand of horror: Man confronting the unknowable and going mad.
Having some kind of grasp of my extraordinarily contemplative nature, this creature, I am, is more in awe of The Unknown than overwhelmed by It.
Philosophical Horror: not knowing what we really are …
The writing itself becomes the phenomenon I write about …
The universe is indifferent to our wishes. The joke is on us, and yet only humor can save us from the horror of existence. The best novels we do not read. The best novels are the lives we live. If we find ourselves living an existentially absurd philosophical horror, are we able to transcend this with a comic attitude? More to the point, am I able to transcend the human condition with a comic attitude? With a philosophically comic attitude? With an intense awareness of the absurd?
No professional or anyone else can have more insight into my personality than I do.
If the religions have forbidden us to die by our own hand, it is because they saw that such practices set an example of insubordination which humiliated temples and gods alike. ~ Cioran
Julius Bahnsen (1830-1881) was a disciple of Arthur Schopenhauer. All his works available at Amazon.com are in the German edition. I was interested in exploring The Tragical As World Law and Humor As Aesthetic Shape of the Metaphysical, but I will have to settle on the reprint of James Sully’s Pessimism: A History and a Criticism, circa 1877. It contains a section on Bahnsen and has many references to Schopenhauer. It was written before Cioran’s time.
I also tracked down a copy of Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus’s Criticism of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry by Thomas Szasz, as well as a copy of Thomas Ligotti’s Death Poems.
Literary Madman in the Flesh.