“Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. . . If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it’s as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can’t explain his to us, and we can’t explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication … and there is the real illness.”
― Philip K. Dick
I find that it is getting more and more difficult for me to judge madness in another. Not that I believe that I could or should do so.I have become of so many people who’s beliefs are way off the beaten track from anyone else’s and yet they live totally functional lives. There are so few people who follow what the media and society tells us is conventional thought that I find that the very concept of a sane human being to be as mythological as that of a unicorn, perhaps more so. Yet no matter how mad most people I know may be they have the discernment to not share their mad sparks with the world at large (well with the exception of the artists and writers but then we are given more leeway than most to be eccentric). Perhaps that is the whole reason for social consensus. To give people a baseline for discernment of their public faces.
If only more of us were open to each other’s brand of madness, not to mention our own, social consensus would not be as bizarre as it is…
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