Episode 07 — The Caterpillar (a very cute caterpillar)
From Bouvier’s Law Dictionary 1856 Edition
MANIA, med. jur. This subject will be considered by examining it, first, in a medical point of view; and, secondly, as to its legal consequences.
2. – 1. Mania may be divided into intellectual and moral.
1. Intellectual mania is that state of mind which is characterised by certain hallucinations, in which the patient is impressed with the reality of facts or events which have never occurred, and acts in accordance with such belief; or, having some notion not altogether unfounded, carries it to an ex- travagant and absurd length. It may be considered as involving all or most of the operations of the understanding, when it is said to be general; or as be-ing confined to a particular idea, or train of ideas, when it is called partial.
3. These will be separately examined. 1st. General intellectual mania is a disease which presents the most chaotic confusion into which the human mind, can be involved, and is attended by greater disturbance of the functions of the body than any other. According to Pinel, Traite d’Alienation Mentale, p. 63, “The patient sometimes keeps his head elevated and his looks fixed on. high; he speaks in a low voice, or utters cries and vociferations without any apparent motive; he walks to and fro, and sometimes arrests his steps as if fixed by the sentiment of admiration, or wrapt up in profound reverie. Some insane persons display wild excesses of merriment, with immoderate bursts of laughter. Sometimes also, as if nature delighted in contrasts, gloom and taciturnity prevail, with involuntary showers of tears, or the anguish of deep sorrow, with all the external signs of acute mental suffering. In certain cases a sudden reddening of the eyes and excessive loquacity give presage of a speedy explosion of violent madness and the urgent necessity of a strict confinement. One lunatic, after long intervals of calmness, spoke at first with volubility, uttered frequent shouts of laughter, and then shed a torrent of tears; experience had taught the necessity of shutting him up immediately, for his paroxysms were at such times of the greatest violence. “Sometimes, however, the patient is not altogether devoid of intelligence; answers some questions very appropriately, and is not destitute of acuteness and ingenuity. The derangement in this form of mania is not confined to the intellectual facul-ties, but not unfrequently extends to the moral powers of the mind.
4. – 2d. Partial intellectual mania is generally known by the name of monomania. (q. v.) In its most usual and simplest form, the patient has conceived some single notion contrary to common sense and to common experience, generally dependent on errors of sensation; as, for example, when a person believes that he is made of glass, that animals or men have taken their abode in his stomach or bowels. In these cases the understanding is frequently found to be sound on all subjects, except those connected with the hallucination. Sometimes, instead of being limited to a single point, this disease takes a wider range, and there is a class of cases, where it involves a train of morbid ideas. The patient then imbibes some notions connected with the various relations of persons, events, time, space, &c., of the most absurd and unfounded nature, and endeavors, in some measure, to regulate his conduct accordingly; though, in most respects, it is grossly inconsistent with his delusion.
5. Moral mania or moral insanity, (q. v.) is divided into, first, general, where all the moral faculties are subject to a general disturbance and secondly, partial, where one or two only of the moral powers are perverted.
6. These will be briefly and separately examined. 1st. It is certain that many individuals are living at large who are affected, in a degree at least, by general moral mania. They are generally of singular habits, wayward temper, and eccentric character; and circumstances are frequently attending them which induce a belief that they are not altogether sane. Frequently there is a hereditary tendency to madness in the family; and, not seldom, the individual himself has at a previous period of life sustained an attack of a decided character: his temper has undergone a change, he has become an altered man, probably from the time of the occurrence of something which deeply affected him, or which deeply affected his bodily constitution. Sometimes these alterations are imperceptible, at others, they are sudden and immediate. Individuals afflicted with this disease not unfrequently “perform most of the common duties of life with propriety, and some of them, indeed, with scrupulous exactness, who exhibit no strongly marked features of either temperament, no traits of superior or defective mental endowment, but yet take violent an- tipathies, harbor unjust suspicions, indulge strong propensities, affect singularity in dress, gait, and phraseology; are proud, conceited, and ostentatious; easily excited and with difficulty appeased; dead to sensi- bility, delicacy, and refinement; obstinately riveted to the most absurd opinions; prone to controversy, and yet incapable of reasoning; always the hero of their own tale, using hyperbolic, high flown language to express the most simple ideas, accompanied by unnatural gesticulation, inordinate ac- tion, and frequently by the most alarming expression of countenance. On some occasions they suspect sinister intentions on the most trivial grounds; on others are a prey to fear and dread from the most ridiculous and imaginary sources; now embracing every opportunity of exbibiting romantic courage and feats and hardihood, then indulging themselves in all manner of excesses. Persons of this description, to the casual observer, might appear actuated by a bad heart, but the experienced physician knows it is the head which is defective. They seem as if constantly affected by a greater or less degree of stimulation from intoxicating liquors, while the expression of countenance furnishes an infallible proof of mental disease. If subjected to moral re- straint, or a medical regimen, they yield with reluctance to the means proposed, and generally refuse and resist, on the ground that such means are unnecessary where no disease exists; and when, by the system adopted, they are so far recovered, as to be enabled to suppress the exhibition of their former peculiarities, and are again fit to be restored to society, the physician, and those friends who put them under the physician’s care, are generally ever after objects of enmity, and frequently of revenge.” Cox, see cases of this Pract. Obs. on Insanity, kind of madness cited in Ray, Med. Jur. 112 to 119; Combe’s Moral Philos. lect. 12.
7 .- 2d. Partial moral mania consists in the derangement of one or a few of the affective faculties, the moral and intellectual constitution in other respects remaining in a sound state. With a mind apparently in full possession of his reason, the patient commits a crime, without any extraordinary temptation, and with every inducement to refrain from it, he appears to act without a motive, or in opposition to one, with the most perfect consciousness of the impropriety, of his conduct, and yet he pursues perseveringly his mad course. This disease of the mind manifests itself in a variety of ways, among which may be mentioned the following: 1. An irresistible propensity to steal. 2. An inordinate propensity to lying. 3. A morbid activity of the sexual propensity. Vide Erotic Mania. 4. A morbid propensity to commit arson. 5. A morbid activity of the propensity to destroy. Ray, Med. Jur. ch. 7.
8. – 2. In general, persons laboring under mania are not responsible nor bound for their acts like other persons, either in their contracts or for their crimes, and their wills or testaments are voidable. Vide Insanity; Moral Insanity. 2 Phiilim. Ecc. R. 69; 1 Hagg. Cons: R. 414; 4 Pick. R. 32; 3 Addams, R. 79; 1 Litt. R. 371.
Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake. Wallace Stevens
In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia. Charles Lindbergh
Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself. Annie Leibovitz
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. William Shakespeare
The good man is the friend of all living things. Mahatma Gandhi
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. Aristotle
He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature. Socrates
The points along which one can afford a moment of peace, in which one can be allowed effortlessly the consciousness to stream of its unabashed accord are few in the world, in this peopled and so noisy environment called Society. First, so little, and therefore precious daylight in which to let wander the mind upon creative journeys is so fleeting, and then to have to battle in those so few, precious hours noise and conceit of the ever invasive environment, throws one’s mind into a spiraling whirlwind of uncontrollable madness. And this every day. One never knows when next the “moment thief” will strike, stealing away one’s potentials without remorse, like a serial killer. For how can he have remorse, when the thief knows not what he does? He, blissedly ignorant of his crimes, feels no pity; nay, feels nothing for his act. This is not egocentricity or even egotistical, this is only the soft embrace of blissful ignorance.
How many of those who know intimately of the throes of existential madness have not wished for the bliss of ignorance? How many have not wished our minds were not SO full of ‘thoughts’? Our awareness quite AS acute? Our consciousness as sensitive? Would we not give almost anything (hell, our very otherwise cherished lives) for a moment of some semblance of peace? Do we not lament peace of mind? Do we not bemoan tranquility? Yet, unlike the thief, we know and cannot help from becoming insane after he has gone and left only the knowing of his commitment in his wake, for us to bear. We bear the burden of the blissfully ignorant, the neurotypicals. We carry the sentence and consequence of their crimes.
I can comprehend why and how Gerald, the schizophrenic, could believe that others were meaning to kill him. I can empathize and sympathize with his fear of people and the unstoppable, unceasing terror of purposeless, meaningless ignorant destruction they rain upon him. I feel it every day. In every moment waits the possibility that it will be taken, so must not one conclude that it was never meant to be had? That great forces were at work to dangle peace of mind like some kind of psychic carrot? For some, I suppose, peace never comes, for others peace is always known; for me, it is like a ghost, the merest, minutest glimmers of oases. Too much like an illusion, too close to “never really being there.” A daydream conjured to perfection. So, does one actually suffer loss? If one never perceived or experienced? The only solace is the morrow and that perhaps day light will provide another chance, but, too the conscientious terror of its fulfillment, and again the thief wearing a new face.
That’s the way it really is.
It is so easy it seems for my mind to be wrecked, thereby, wrecking perhaps an entire day, or an indeterminate number of hours of long, prolonged moments trying to piece my mind together. And people (the egos of Society) always say I am gaming or manipulating or faking or stupid or some other such nonsense to explain away the means in which my mind attempts to recover from its shattered state.
I would rather not have this happen; I would rather not be affected at any moment, like being stalked by a monster wearing your own face. Like being stalked by your best friend, whom only a second ago was still your best friend and not the lumbering, snarling, shrieking, screeching ogre stalking you. Knowing where all your favorite hiding spots are; using every secret shared; every years-discovered nuance; every shift, pitch and frequency of your voice; knowing with…
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This was very good.
We are the stuff of stars . . . and of dreams.
We are not all the products of society’s speculated and manufactured dreams. Some of us with the (dis)ability [deemed so by society’s very small and finite standards] of deviant perception see the world (and by the world I do not mean society’s reality, the technological lexicon industrial civilization has so purposefully become) as something else. Nay, as something more. Where although nature’s colors be bold and vivid, those colors are more so for us, with rays of colorful brightness that extends well beyond the so-called boundary of the object. As if the color glowed in the sun rather than the dark, as if ultraviolet were infused (as it is) but we are able to perceive its inevitable quantum inversion. As if each molecule spoke loudly, and those colors created the most beautiful of symphonies.
With our schizoaffected eyes…
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