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The Phenomenology of Insanity
August 27, 2022 at 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm +01
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What is it like to be insane or perceived as insane by the world around you? Come explore the cosmos of alternative realities and concrete stigmas with Christophe Porot (christopheporot.com and @PorotChristophe), an aspiring philosopher who spent three years in a mental hospital.
This salon is fundamentally about experience. Whether you’ve personally experienced a state of insanity or perceived others in such a state, there is room to discuss what the experiential content of such phenomena is like.
I believe we’ve all had moments which might be considered at least slightly mad by the world of “normalcy.” This ranges from religious experience to losing one’s temper so strongly that one feels possessed. But where do we draw the line between the frequent deviations from normalcy that constitute our every day life and the more rejected states that are considered insane?
What are the accepted forms of insanity and what are the rejected ones? Why the difference? For instance, for those who have experienced bi polar symptoms, depression seems as full of illusions as manic episodes because you believe utterly false things during depression like that you are meaningless, will never amount to anything, will suffer eternally, and live an existence that would only be justified by extraordinary success. There is a sense that the experience of insanity should never be discussed in light of a profound stigma which discourages people from accepting alternative experiences in this world. This includes not accepting oneself when going through such experiences.
So what is it like to endure the enthusiasm and rage of mania or the hyper low of depression? What is it like to communicate with voices no one else hears, or to take drugs that drive impressions of reality which can not be expressed without rejection? Do you feel more free or less free when under the sway of alternative thoughts? What are mystical experiences? Is insanity a category used to dehumanise people? Let’s break the silence together! Let’s explore the hidden dimensions of existence through dialogue.
Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy: Positive and Negative Liberty (available online)
The Black Monk by Chekhov (available on YouTube as an audio book)
A Philosophy of Madness: the experience of psychotic thinking. – Kusters
Excerpt: The Black Orchid by Porot (coming soon as a link)