Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life... If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature... Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim. Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.
When Kafka allows a friend to understand that he writes because otherwise he would go mad, he knows that writing is madness already, his madness, a kind of vigilence, unrelated to any wakefulness save sleep's: insomnia. Madness against madness, then. But he believes that he masters the one by abandoning himself to it; the other frightens him, and is his fear; it tears through him, wounds and exalts him. It is as if he had to undergo all the force of an uninterruptable continuity, a tension at the edge of the insupportable which he speaks of with fear and not without a feeling of glory. For glory is the disaster.
Madness, provided it comes as the gift of heaven, is the channel by which we receive the greatest blessings... the men of old who gave things their names saw no disgrace or reproach in madness; otherwise they would not have connected it with the name of the noblest of arts, the art of discerning the future, and called it the manic art... So, according to the evidence provided by our ancestors, madness is a nobler thing than sober sense... madness comes from God, whereas sober sense is merely human.
The constitution of madness as a mental illness, at the end of the eighteenth century, affords the evidence of a broken dialogue, posits the separation as already effected, and thrusts into oblivion all those stammered, imperfect words without fixed syntax in which the exchange between madness and reason was made. The language of psychiatry, which is a monologue of reason about madness, has been established only on the basis of such a silence.
In this century the writer has carried on a conversation with madness. We might almost say of the twentieth-century writer that he aspires to madness. Some have made it, of course, and they hold special places in our regard. To a writer, madness is a final distillation of self, a final editing down. It's the drowning out of false voices.
In the Renaissance, madness was present everywhere and mingled with every experience by its images or its dangers. During the classical period, madness was shown, but on the other side of bars; if present, it was at a distance, under the eyes of a reason that no longer felt any relation to it and that would not compromise itself by too close a resemblance. Madness had become a thing to look at: no longer a monster inside oneself, but an animal with strange mechanisms, a bestiality from which man had long since been suppressed.
I have lived nearly fifty years, and I have seen life as it is. Pain, misery, hunger... cruelty beyond belief. I have heard the singing from taverns and the moans from bundles of filth on the streets. I have been a soldier and seen my comrades fall in battle... or die more slowly under the lash in Africa. I have held them in my arms at the final moment. These were men who saw life as it is, yet they died despairing. No glory, no gallant last words... only their eyes filled with confusion, whimpering the question, "Why?" I do not think they asked why they were dying, but why they had lived. When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams - this may be madness. To seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness - and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!
It is madness. And if you don't know who you are, or if your real self has drifted away from you with the undertow, madness at least gives you an identity. It's the same with self-loathing. You're probably just normal and normal-looking but that's not a real identity, not the way ugliness is. Normality, just accepting that you're probably normal-looking, lacks the force field of self-disgust. If you don't know who you are, madness gives you something to believe in.
I was in the situation of someone who has assumed, all his life, that madness was on eway, and suddenly in its grip, discovers that it is not only different from the way he'd imagined but that the person suffering from it is someone else, and that this someone else is not interested in finding out what madness is like: he is simply immersed in it, or it has descended on him, and that's that.
In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, man's dispute with madness was dramatic debate in which he confronted the secret powers of the world; the experience of madness was clouded by images of the Fall and the Will of God, of the Beast and the Metamorphosis, and of all the marvelous secrets of Knowledge
There are so many kinds of madness, so many ways in which the human brain may go wrong; and so often it happens that what we call madness is both reasonable and just. It is so. Yes. A little reason is good for us, a little more makes wise men of some of us--but when our reason over-grows us and we reach too far, something breaks and we go insane.
James Oliver Curwood
Darkness I find myself set upon a ship of fools and cast adrift. Adrift in sea of madness, steaming towards a storm of uncertainty. Overboard, swirling, twirling tumbling. Engulfed in madness. Shipwrecked, marooned. Washed upon a rock of hope. Darkness surrounds. Within the darkness madness laps upon a distant shore. Morning breaks and sun rises once more. Darkness retreats into the shadows. Golden rays of light cleanse the mind and soul. A new day dawns heralding sanity, and hope for the human race once more.
I am interested in madness. I believe it is the biggest thing in the human race, and the most constant. How do you take away from a man his madness without also taking away his identity? Are we sure it is desirable for a man's spirit not to be at war with itself, or that it is better to be serene and ready to go to dinner than to be excited and unwilling to stop for a cup of coffee, even?
People who remember court madness through pain, the pain of the perpetually recurring death of their innocence; people who forget court another kind of madness, the madness of the denial of pain and the hatred of innocence; and the world is mostly divided between madmen who remember and madmen forget.
James A. Baldwin
Theo's already on his way. Paul might bee too, but communications have been down so long, I don't know." "Heading out here with a storm like this coming in? That's madness." Dad sighs. "Then again, jumping through dimensions to chase a dead man is madness too. I had long suspected their lunacy but this confirmation is nonetheless disquieting." "See? Everything's going to be fine.
It is their nature, beautiful and simple. That you would destroy such beings, Mr. Lincoln, such superior creatures, seems madness to me." "That you speak of them with such reverence, Mr. Poe, seems madness to me." "Can you imagine it? Can you imagine seeing the universe through such eyes? Laughing in the face of time and death""the world your Garden of Eden? Your library? Your harem?
Perhaps love is a minor madness. And as with madness, it's unendurable alone. The one person who can relieve us is of course the sole person we cannot go to: the one we love. So instead we seek out allies, even among strangers and wives, fellow patients who, if they can't touch the edge of our particular sorrow, have felt something that cuts nearly as deep.
Andrew Sean Greer
Many a man is mad in certain instances, and goes through life without having it perceived. For example, a madness has seized a person of supposing himself obliged literally to pray continually; had the madness turned the opposite way, and the person thought it a crime ever to pray, it might not improbably have continued unobserved.
He had never thought in his wildest imagination of marriage as an option for him. Never believed there was a woman out there that would make him sign up for that particular brand of madness. And, in the abstract at least, it still sounded like madness but this wasn't about marriage, it was about Riley. With her, he knew that boyfriend-girlfriend shit wasn't going to be enough. He had to have her locked down.
Swords have been my life, not books. But every child knows that the Targaryens have always danced too close to madness. Your father was not the first. King Jaehaerys once told me that madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, he said, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land.
George R. R. Martin
The typhoon came out of the sea first as a deep hollow roar. ... I was surrounded by the madness, the unreason, of uncontrolled, undisciplined energy. None of this made any sense. It was worse than useless - it was nature destroying its own creation - its own self. To create by the long process of growth and then to destroy by a fit of wild emotion - was this not madness, was this not unreason?
Pearl S. Buck
It was a time of madness, the sort of mad-hysteria that always presages war. There seems to be nothing left but war--when any population in any sort of a nation gets violently angry, civilization falls down and religion forsakes its hold on the consciences of human kind in such times of public madness.
Rebecca Latimer Felton
Writers, especially poets, are particularly prone to madness. There exists a striking association between creativity and manic depression. Why are more creative people prone to madness? They have more than average amounts of energies and abilities to see things in a fresh and original way""then because they also have depression, I think they're more in touch with human suffering.
In the century that has just passed, many of the intellectual elite went mad. It was as if, with the death of God, everyone suddenly turned into a saviour who wanted either to annihilate the obsolete world order or to establish a utopia. Naturally, there were writers among those who went mad. The fact that they had knowledge did not exempt intellectuals: there is madness everywhere. When one loses control over one's self, the result is madness.
There is also a third kind of madness, which is possession by the Muses, enters into a delicate and virgin soul, and there inspiring frenzy, awakens lyric... But he, who, not being inspired and having no touch of madness in his soul, comes to the door and thinks he will get into the temple by the help of art-he, I say, and his poetry are not admitted; the sane man is nowhere at all when he enters into rivalry with the madman.
During the earliest attacks of Fear and intense unreality, I sometimes uttered these unconscious and shocking words: 'I should prefer to escape into madness to avoid this consuming fear.' Alas, I did not know what I was saying. In my ignorance I believed that madness was a state of insensibility where there was neither pain nor suffering nor joy, but particularly, no responsibility. Never, for one instant, has I even imagined what 'to lose one's reason' actually meant.
I wanted to see something in full daylight; I was sated with the pleasure and comfort of the half light; I had the same desire for the daylight as for water and air. And if seeing was fire, I required the plenitude of fire, and if seeing would infect me with madness, I madly wanted that madness.
Oh the madness of battle! We fear it, we celebrate it, the poets sing of it, and when it fills the blood like fire it is a real madness. It is joy! All the terror is swept away, a man feels he could live for ever, he sees the enemy retreating, knows he himself is invincible, that even the gods would shrink from his blade and his bloodied shield. And I was still keening that mad song, the battle song of slaughter, the sound that blotted out the screams of dying men and the crying of the wounded. It is fear, of course, that feeds the battle madness, the release of fear into savagery. You win in the shield wall by being more savage than your enemy, by turning his savagery back into fear.
I salute to you Commander and I sneeze 'Cause I have Now an Allergy To your policies it seems Where have we gone wrong America? Mr. Lincoln we can't seem to find you anywhere out of the millions From the deserts To the mountains Over prairies To the shores Is this just the Madness of King George Yo George Is this just the Madness of King George Yo George Well you have the whole Nation on all fours.
I have studiously tried to avoid ever using the word 'madness' to describe my condition. Now and again, the word slips out, but I hate it. 'Madness' is too glamorous a term to convey what happens to most people who are losing their minds. That word is too exciting, too literary, too interesting in its connotations, to convey the boredom, the slowness, the dreariness, the dampness of depression.
Madness in Civilization is a brilliant, provocative, and hugely entertaining history of the treatment and mistreatment of the mentally ill. Packed with bizarre details and disturbing facts, Andrew Scull's book offers fresh and compelling insights on the way medicine's inability to solve the mystery of madness has both haunted and shaped two thousand years of culture. Required reading for anyone who has ever gone to a shrink!
Madness will push you anywhere it wants. It never tells you where you're going, or why. It tells you it doesn't matter. It persuades you. It dangles something sparkly before you, shimmering like that water patch on the road up ahead. You will drive until you find it, the treasure, the thing you most desire. You will never find it. Madness may mock you so long you will die of the search. Or it will tire of you, turn its back, oblivious as you go flying. The car is beside you, smoking, belly-up, still spinning its wheels.
it takes strength to remember, it takes another kind of strength to forget, it takes a hero to do both. People who remember court madness through pain, the pain of the perpetually recurring death of their innocence; people who forget court another kind of madness, the madness of the denial of pain and the hatred of innocence; and the world is mostly divided between madmen who remember and madmen who forget. Heroes are rare.
I wish I could do whatever I liked behind the curtain of 'madness'. Then: I'd arrange flowers, all day long, I'd paint; pain, love and tenderness, I would laugh as much as I feel like at the stupidity of others, and they would all say: 'Poor thing, she's crazy!' (Above all I would laugh at my own stupidity.) I would build my world which while I lived, would be in agreement with all the worlds. The day, or the hour, or the minute that I lived would be mine and everyone else's - my madness would not be an escape from 'reality'.
I wish I could do whatever I liked behind the curtain of "madness". Then: I'd arrange flowers, all day long, I'd paint; pain, love and tenderness, I would laugh as much as I feel like at the stupidity of others, and they would all say: "Poor thing, she's crazy!" (Above all I would laugh at my own stupidity.) I would build my world which while I lived, would be in agreement with all the worlds. The day, or the hour, or the minute that I lived would be mine and everyone else's - my madness would not be an escape from "reality".
Stupidity and Madness The Tao is clear, yet this clarity requires you to sweep away all your clutter. At all times watch out for your own stupidity, be careful of how your mind jumps around. When nothing occurs to involve your mind, you return to true awareness. When unified mindfulness is purely real, you comprehend the great restoration. The ridiculous ones are those who try to cultivate quietude - as long as body and mind are unstable, it is madness to go into the mountains.
Hema thought of Shiva, her personal deity, and how the only sensible response to the madness of life... was to cultivate a kind of madness within, to perform the mad dance of Shiva, ... to rock and sway and flap six arms and six legs to an inner tune. Hema moved gently... she danced as if her minimalist gestures were shorthand for a much larger, fuller, reckless dance, one that held the whole world together, kept it from extinction.
There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you're high it's tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars....But, somewhere, this changes. The fast ideas are far too fast, and there are far too many; overwhelming confusion replaces clarity. Everything previously moving with the grain is now against-you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable....It will never end, for madness carves its own reality.
Kay Redfield Jamison
But now the world breaks in on us, the world is shocked, the world looks upon our idyll as madness. The world maintains that no rational man or woman would have chosen this way of life - therefore, it is madness. Alone I confront them and tell them that nothing could be saner or truer! What do people really know about life? We fall in line, follow the pattern established by our mentors. Everything is based on assumptions; even time, space, motion, matter are nothing but supposition. The world has no new knowledge to impart; it merely accepts what is there.