30 December 2009

Purple teeth

The idea of schizophrenia as an excess of self-consciousness suggests the separation of normality and psychopathology is a question of degree. Ultimately, the analogy of the mind as a machine, mechanism or a computer evokes the feeling, or image, that if something goes wrong, something malfunctions or breaks down, that normal functioning is separated from that which is broken in a much more dramatic fashion than it really is. On the other hand, when things are only separated by degree, they are not separated by an unbridgeable gulf; indeed, the borders between them are blurred and indistinct. Consequently, it becomes difficult to define what belongs to normality and what belongs to the mad.

24 October 2009


*beginning of transcript missing*

...he gently dipped his right hand into the aureate pot that stood before him. The space surrounding his body retracted and from behind, the breeze which had circulated the room formed into a single sheet which layered itself on the back of his neck – creating a prickling wave which proceeded down his back and broke finally with an almost inaudible but euphonious sound at the root of the pelvis. He felt an inert kind of cold shooting through his fingers as he grabbed hold of something entirely inexplicable to the touch. His hand then withdrew, autonomous of his will, trembling, ever-so-slowly from the liquid like substance. He had found a golden string onto which words had been attached. He placed the string carefully on the floor. Small, lustrous-blue lapis stone beads marked the change of a line, sometimes isolating single nouns – and two adjacent beads on each side of a word seemed to indicate a chapter title.

Bead-bead O bead-bead the serpent crawled determinately along the moist jungle floor bead a few rays of sunlight had managed to push their way bead through the consolidated congregation of branches, leaves and incessant myriad of green bead and now played out their glimmering last moments of life in a display of sublimity so vast it had to remain un-witnessed by any living observer bead they gathered in a droplet of rain and with a violent glisten, ran elegantly along its unconfined edges bead before moving towards the centre where the now passing, faint intermittent glow gave birth to a universe bead the drop then fell, passed through the air with a speed dictated as always by gravity’s belligerent, unwavering command bead and landed on the tip of the serpent’s tail bead the serpent, who caught in the depths of contemplations on God’s punishment and unusually close to a conclusion in the matter bead felt the crash first as a watery premonition … desire … urge … drive towards … so bead … with an illuminated clarity of an abysmal yet divine Will he tranquilly devoured his own tail … again …

His eyes grew wide as he observed in the corner a small table on which a generous stack of dust-ridden books rested. He immediately tip-toed as quietly as he possibly could towards the table and picked one up and greedily read a paragraph underlined in crimson:

The Logic of Self-Mutilation by Peter Fritzberger
You are your own Object concerning the directed action, and what happens when something is its own Object; the trajectory of mediation is a circle not leaving the boundaries of the Subject (Subject/Object mediation is essentially always a circle, but one which escapes the Subject, the threshold of liminality, resulting in the production of minimum distance). Thus the inevitable Feedback is formed; creating that which it seeks to destroy. Destroying what was intended as creation.

He seized another book from the pile, in which someone had placed a postcard possibly not to forget where he last abandoned his reading:

Anxiety can be compared to dizziness. He whose eye happens to look down into the yawning abyss becomes dizzy ... Hence anxiety is the dizziness of freedom, which emerges when the spirit wants to posit the synthesis and freedom looks down into its possibility, laying hold of finiteness to support itself. Freedom succumbs in this dizziness. Further than this, psychology cannot and will not go. In that very moment everything changed, and freedom, when it again rises, sees that it is guilty. Between these two moments lies the leap, which no science has explained and which no science can explain.**

Next his eyes took hold of something which he felt an immediate aversion towards, an abrupt stabbing sensation of nauseating repugnance; he momentarily thought that he might have read the book although he could not be absolutely certain. He threw Bergson’s Le rire as hard as he could out the open window … as he had momentarily forgotten that in this realm mystery drew the circle within whose periphery things developed according to mystery’s abrasive commandments … and the book stopped in mid air, engulfed by the stagnant and dark infinity of vacant space; hovered for a few moments, found its way back the way it had been cast and returned to its destined place in the pile of books.

The leaves slowly ceased their anxious shivering as the breeze reluctantly came to a halt. I stood completely still, rooted; my hitherto ceaselessly fluctuating physicality reduced to only a few transient neural quivers. Vision momentarily blurred but regained its lucid gaze as it soundlessly wrapped around the bark of the tree – seeped through the crevices and embraced its interlacing fibers with capacious fervor. From there sight burst into countless globules which cast themselves in every direction along the dark networks of the tree’s anatomy.

Was I the tree which my gaze was fixed on?

**Kierkegaard, Soren. 1980. The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation on the Dogmatic Issue of Hereditary Sin. Princeton University Press, New Jersey.