“Once I had a little game
I liked to crawl back in my brain
I think you know the game I mean
I mean the game called ‘Go Insane’
Now you should try this little game
Just close your eyes, forget your name
Forget the world, forget the people
And we’ll erect a different steeple
This little game is fun to do
Just close your eyes, no way to lose
And I’m right there, I’m going too
Release control, we’re breaking through”
Jim Morrison, The Doors
“According to my thinking, they were the universal, archetypal, psychologically based symbolic themes and motifs of all traditional mythologies; and now from this paper of Dr. Perry I was learning that the same symbolic figures arise spontaneously from the broken-off, tortured state of mind of modern individuals suffering from a complete schizophrenic breakdown: the condition of one who has lost touch with the life and thought of his community and is compulsively fantasizing out of his own completely cut-off base. Very briefly: The usual pattern is, first, of a break away or departure from the local social order and context: next, a long, deep retreat inward and backward, as it were, in time, and inward, deep into the psyche; a chaotic series of encounters there, darkly terrifying experiences . . .”
Though this were madness, was there yet method in’t?
Madness and music
The artists of music, whether they be musician, composer, singer, songwriter, poet or performer
There are those among those ranks who skirt the threshold of genius and madness
The Curse of the Ninth
The 27 Club
But none more so than the ones who write their madness into their music
With Death looking over their shoulder
“Savage fancy, curiosity and credulity illustrated in nature myths– In these all phenomena are explained by belief in the general animation of everything, combined with belief in metamorphosis–Sun myths, Asian, Australian, African, Melanesian, Indian, Californian, Brazilian, Maori, Samoan–Moon myths, Australian, Muysca, Mexican, Zulu, Macassar, Greenland, Piute, Malay–Thunder myths–Greek and Aryan sun and moon myths–Star myths–Myths, savage and civilised, of animals, accounting for their marks and habits–Examples of custom of claiming blood kinship with lower animals–Myths of various plants and trees–Myths of stones, and of metamorphosis into stones . . .”
And of metamorphosis into stones!
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
Paul Laurence Dunbar (afflicted with depression and died of TB at age 33)