SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search




458         VII. THE MECHANISM OF TIME-BINDING
We see that the pathological processes of 'mental' illnesses involve identification as a generalised symptom; which means the reversal, in different degrees, of the natural order of evaluation based on the intensified confusion of orders of abstractions. The more intense this process of reversal becomes, the more non-adaptive and morbid the manifestations. It should be noticed that this analysis becomes a necessity once we decide to accept a non-el language. This analysis is far from exhaustive, but an analysis in new non-el, structurally correct terms, throws a new light on old problems.
Hallucinations which result from 'physical' illness do not represent a permanent danger, but when a patient seems 'physically' well, and his confusions of orders of abstractions, delusions, illusions, and hallucinations become completely 'rationalized', then these are unmistakable signs of serious 'mental' illness, suggesting sub-microscopic colloidal lesions. Now this 'rationalization' represents nothing else but a nervous disturbance and involves identification somewhere. In 'physical' ills the nervous system may be disturbed, but the illness does not usually originate in nervous disturbances, and so, as such, is not dangerous.
The distinction between visualization and objectification based on a ^-system seems new; the difference is subtle, but when it is formulated we can discover a simple means whereby to control the situation. If we were to take a 'bone' made of papier-mache and smear it with fat or meat, Fido would, perhaps, objectify (identify) such a 'bone' from the smell and the form of the papier-mache with an edible one, and would fight for it. We do a similar sort of thing when we objectify. Religious wars, the 'holy inquisition', the persecution of science, which we are witnessing even at the present day in some countries and communities, are excellent examples.
We should notice that Fido was able to trust his natural, even 'objectified', instinct, for nature does not play such tricks on him, such as producing 'bones' of papier-mache. If nature did, dogs that objectify and persist in their liking for such 'food' would soon be eliminated. These particular objectifications would be dangerous and painful to those particular kinds of dogs with that particular nervous system, and would ultimately prove of no survival value. Thus identification, which represents an inappropriate evaluation, is harmful to all life, but is little noticed at present, because the main periods of the animal racial adjustment have been accomplished long ago. Experiments on flies show that the number of mutants which may be produced in a laboratory is large, but very few would survive outside of a laboratory. In unaided nature, these mutants probably occur, but seldom leave observable traces.1