<= 2006.12.31

2007.01.06 =>

New Year's Day in a car across Wisconsin and Illinois: the fields that should have been buried in snow were bare yellow stubble. For a minute or two I managed to let go of them, to allow nature the same war and flux as the human world:
panta rhei kai ouden menei
polemos pantōn men patēr esti, pantōn de basileus
YOU HAVE NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION
PAYING ATTENTION
PAYING ATTENTION
PAYING ATTENTION

Chicago skyline at sunset: pink, black, gray. The low bright moon slid behind the Sears tower and I tried to picture the plane hitting as we passed beneath: what it would mean for the tower to vanish. To erupt into flame. What it would mean to lose that all that rising mass.

The delusions of the insane are apt to affect certain typical forms, often very hard to explain. But in many cases they are certainly theories which the patients invent to account for their abnormal bodily sensations. In other cases they are due to hallucinations of hearing and sight. Dr. Clouston (Clinical Lectures on Mental Disease, lecture III ad fin.) gives the following special delusions as having been found in about a hundred melancholy female patients who were afflicted in this way. There were delusions of

general persecution;
general suspicion;
being poisoned;
being killed;
being conspired against;
being defrauded;
being preached against in church;
being pregnant;
being destitute;
being followed by the police;
being very wicked;
impending death;
impending calamity;
the soul being lost;
having no stomach;
having no inside;
having a bone in the throat;
having lost much money;
being unfit to live;
that she will not recover;
that she is to be murdered;
that she is to be boiled alive;
that she is to be starved;
that the flesh is boiling;
that the head is severed from the body;
that children are burning;
that murders take place around;
that it is wrong to take food;
being in hell;
being tempted of the devil;
being possessed of the devil;
having committed an unpardonable sin;
unseen agencies working;
her own identity;
being on fire;
having neither stomach nor brains;
being covered with vermin;
letters being written about her;
property being stolen;
her childen being killed;
having committed theft;
the legs being made of glass;
having horns on the head;
being chloroformed;
having committed murder;
fear of being hanged;
being called names by persons;
being acted on by spirits;
being a man;
the body being transformed;
insects coming from the body;
rape being practised on her;
having venereal disease;
being a fish;
being dead;
having committed suicide of the soul.

William James, The Principles of Psychology

 

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