It here humorously behooves me to use archaic terms while elucidating not only outdated ideas, but UNsublimating (let’s dispatch our intellects of the slavery called ‘proper English’ for a moment, shall we?) outright dangerous ideas that have adorned themselves in guises of infinite forms of modernity. OK, I won’t.
I recently posted a few historical quotes by the Greek philosopher Diogenes, the most repugnant of which was his masturbating in public and the justification he argued for so doing. Diogenes was probably a genius, but he was also a free spectacle for the citizenry of whatever country or City State where he laid his head.
Certainly, in the U.S. and probably in most places abroad, the behavior that Diogenes exhibited would today land him in jail, prison, or in a mental hospital. You’ve probably heard the joke, “It’s not illegal to be crazy, it’s only illegal to act crazy.” But let’s reflect backward to Diogenes’s time in Athens. Why was he allowed to behave in such a way without his being in big trouble? Yes, perhaps he was arrested for his lewd act, but defended himself saying he would ‘rub his stomach if it would make him feel less hungry’ (not a quote) if it would work. I’ve found no record of his being jailed after his arrest and defense; many records show his continued shenanigans neither hindered not multiplied.
What was going on in the average mindset of Athenians to allow such aberrant behavior in their midst? Maybe it was because the freedom to act like an idiot toward him by the citizenry was the bigger spectacle and inhumane of the two problems. To jail Diogenes in all fairness would require incarcerating the bullies who hurled insults and bones at him (which he urinated on in response…both bones and bullies). But maybe the tolerance of Diogenes might have been that Athenians didn’t make every human act of social misconduct a clear legal infraction. Maybe both being and acting crazy wasn’t illegal.
So, the foregoing does not easily segue into the next idea, but maybe you’ve heard tell of Mental Health Awareness Month? I’ve recently seen articles questioning whether we should treat the mentally ill rather than incarcerate them. An effort of humane conduct is likely behind this argument and I see some real value in so doing, but I also see a possible misuse of treating the mentally ill against their will; they are still incarcerated, but then they would be subject to drugs being administered, effectually reintroducing electrotherapy with a new twist, chemicotherapy (let’s hope that never becomes a real word).
It seems rationally a close-cousin to impose current societal norms against the ostensibly irrational among us. Burning books might be replaced with burning brains. Silencing (incarcerating) aberrant outrage at childhood sexual abuse resulting in aids and prostitution in order to ‘punish’ men in general, will only mask the deeper ailment. Charles Manson was raped repeatedly as a young person. The ‘system’ did not protect him from such monsters, and when he became the monster, everyone blamed Manson and not the system.
Don’t hear the argument I’m not making. I’m not excusing Manson, male or female prostitutes, serial killers, etc. If a person chooses their behavior, in a manner of speaking, they choose the consequences. But the system is not enduring the consequences in proportion to their part in the problem.
Most problems can be prevented if they are caught before they grow. This is true with mental disease, emotional disease, and physical disease. A starting point is to identify the emotional carcinogens before they spread. If everyone that reads would actually read the data on what heals people, they would hopefully act upon such data. To what data do I refer? The data of the heart and mind directed with love and focused intent (AKA, Prayer) has promise. A deeply serious thought can be a prayer of sorts, for when one prays and meditates (contemplative prayer), something happens. Double Blinds abound to prove healing occurs much more when prayer is introduced than when it is withheld. A simple Google Search is all it takes to see the evidence.