Saturday, October 27, 2012

A World View Distorted by Schizophrenia

a world view distorted by schizophrenia:

what is a world view? the fundamental beliefs or assumptions made about the world, the universe even, and reality and life. what drives the philosopher in all of us is the need to know what is real and what is not. to be delusional or crazy is generally agreed to be a bad thing. people are supposed to be locked up in mental hospitals for this very reason. it may be argued that on earth, busy place that it is, such knowledge is not required to be a "success in life" and even that some confusion may not affect ability to "function in society", but this a weak argument, deflected away by the very overriding emotional demand to know the truth.

what does it mean to know? i know there are more complicated theories but two words stand out, "true" and "think", indeed, to think about true things. actually it cannot be further reduced as a concept. academically, if you had little confidence in your judgment on what to be true and what to be false, you would need to think about every theoretical possibility just to cover yourself, in the faint hope that at least you had thought of everything and at some point in time "knew the truth". happily, often the search for truth is a binary proposition, for it is either one or the other, though i am sure sometimes there are multiple theoretical possibilities, and therein lies the "third way" or fourth or fifth.

i don't think i am deceiving myself when i claim to know the conventional beliefs or assumptions on earth. i went to school, after all, i read newspapers and magazines, i've watched television and films, i have attended church before, i've sat through lectures, indeed i have consumed information and media. and i've seen what is technologically possible, telephones, computers, 3D virtual reality games.

let us deal with one of the most fundamental questions. what is motion exactly? it calls into question what you think about time and space, and ultimately decides what you conclude about the so called "external world" that may be highly convincing. can matter, a person, a mind, whatever, actually "move" relative to other matter, persons, or minds? happily, this is a binary proposition. it is either true or false. what are you thinking? i presume you are visualizing an object moving towards or away from another and thinking that might be actuality! in the model of the external world, this is entirely the case put forward.

but the whole question of eyesight, what i see before me, and to the sides, and i really do see objects at a distance in front of me, not in my head, if people were actually moving relative to each other on a round planet, how does the structure of my eyesight not crash into someone else's near me, so to speak?

i began hearing "voices" or "auditory hallucinations" and seeing visual hallucinations when i was 20 years old in my third year at university. after i had been sectioned or committed and released from hospital, i had the rest of the year off and returned to repeat the final year. in that year, i teleported twice. to anyone who has experienced teleportation, the concept of an external world is simply not believable anymore! the first time, i was at an ATM, i had got the cash, i turned away and then i was suddenly at the train station, about a mile away. i even started to worry what would happen if i teleported to New York without my passport on me and couldn't teleport back! if the external world were real, how could i move to another point instantly without feeling anything, even if it was at light speed? or was i a clone somewhere else in space, with my consciousness suddenly activated? no and no. Ockham's Razor would suggest the simplest theory is that, indeed, the external world is not real and that matter does not "move" relative to other matter, space is merely that that is occupied by matter, it is not a "vacuum" or "empty container", quite the opposite.

conventional thinking about schizophrenia is that it is a mental illness of perception, that sufferers are delusional, all voices are hallucinatory and so on. i suspect it is hinged on a belief in the external world, it is posited it is only our perception that has gone awry and reality is just fine, so to speak. if we eliminate belief in the external world, an explanation would be that schizophrenia is an acute instability of the mind, that our hearing and our eyesight are "turned up", which accounts for the "hallucinations", and the system that worked for so long to provide normality, is thrashing around wildly. if the external world is not real, then perception is reality, is it not, don't you think? anything can happen to a schizophrenic!

when i returned to university, i still heard people speaking without seeing them, the "voices". one day i was calmly looking at the door handle, making it move up and down slightly by thought alone. i was staring at the light bulb on the ceiling, adjusting the brightness, dimmer and then brighter, again by thought alone. objects disappeared, i never found where my dissertation went! you see the interesting dichotomy? on the one hand, hallucinating and delusional, on the other, maybe i was telepathic and had budding psychokinesis powers!


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