A companion blog, The Metacognition Project, has been created to focus specifically on metacognition and related consciousness processes. Newest essay on TMP: Goals and Problems, part two

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Madness – Part three

“I have spent my life trying to avoid the Madness.  But, it is like the night coming across the landscape from the east." 

In the evening the men sat around the porch and occasional stumps in the yard talking (arguing good naturedly) about which was the better car, a Ford or a Chevy.  This was well and good, and entertaining, unless I might pipe up in my juvenile ignorance, “But, aren’t they really just alike.”  This was unacceptable at so many levels.  Most of all, I have come to understand, it recognized the Madness. 

I have, since those happy days of fireflies and sipping beers left on the end tables by the neglectful men, gone on to study, thinking that I would confront the Madness head on; leave it blinking and bewildered from my many and well aimed blows: Paleontology, biology, the nervous system, psychology, sociology, economics, politics, philosophy, and all the while chancing a bit of the literary and artistic products of the Madness just to ‘stay in touch.’ 

Never one to shot from cover, I left the University, worked at just jobs, started my own business and have succeeded and failed, both in grand style.

And still the Madness comes like the approaching night.  Actually, as enticing as that metaphor is, it is quite wrong. The Madness surrounds, it pervades; it is like the ocean; you are washed by and notice the waves, but you are in the water all the time.

It is not that all that study and reckless living have been in vain; not at all.  Only I have never stood toe to toe with Madness and given it a good combination, never sent it back a step in respect for my punches.  But I have resolved, in my reckless way, to try to avoid living in Madness as best I can; just me, no epic battles.  If I can live for even a time, some time out of most days, in real sanity, by my own lights, I will have won this match big time.

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