Everyone wants to be sane. In fact, everyone thinks he is sane. Whether someone is sane to others, remains a wholly separate matter. This someone must give up thinking about this matter soon enough or else sanity, for it is not something that is ‘out there’, will have its way with him. It is something he is to himself. Yet, as with all solipsistic matters, just the thought that funnels the space-time continuum into one giant curvature of which only you could be the origin, returns some of the initial sanity through the awareness of talents for abstraction.
According to Korzybski, 99 percent of the population is in- or unsane. Using this figure, he is thinking of 100 percent of the population as having a ‘good’ brain, that is, not a mentally deficient, imbecilic, moronic brain. Of course, not 100 percent of the population possesses such a brain. Image culture has pushed us more towards the tribal or animal kingdom, made us less conscious of the exact differences between animals and humans. Korzybski attempts to explain where the vital differences lie in Science and Sanity, which to him have to do with the capacity for time-binding, or continuing on where prior generations left off, through man’s ability for abstraction. Written in 1933, he takes the 1933 scientific world of soft positivism as his model. In our day, 2014, through seeing the evidence, not by thinking through what the evidence stands for, we start believing in things like panspermia, or the idea that human civilization is alien. Korzybski would likely have called panspermia a pathology.
The most poignant difficulty of our times leading to insanity seems related to the fact that we have only one refuge for our natural wailings: the anonymous re-parent, the psychotherapist. We are not allowed to dwell on our misery, debunk the razor head of optimism, divulge the deeper, intangible moments of actual being, whatever it may turn out to be. The magnified depressing ‘reality’ thought in the morning, the simplistic, Occam’s razor way out: it is like it is, everyone is in it, being strong equals being ruthless with one’s depressing thoughts, equals overlaying them with everyday structure of superficial sameness, of non-insight, of prolific life with no real reason. Real reason does not allow for explanation, but every single person knows that it’s there in the morning, after waking up from a ‘bad’ dream, a dream in which you did ‘bad’ things. The real is slipping from our hands, just as in A Brave New World. I am pretty sure we are senselessly denying the force of romanticism, of Werther, of Novalis.
Rather, we act like questions we have no means to answer somehow still lie within our capacity for finding answers, we act like we don’t need to differentiate between what we can know, and what we cannot. With Einstein we should long ago have started to believe in different layers of reality, some we can grasp, others we cannot. But Einstein has been usurped by the upset empiricists of scientistic community, as Korzybski would say. ESP lies within the ungraspable, but if ESP were real, than Occam’s razor would lose some meaning. Real meaning is not something we can know either. We could analyze meaning not with the intend to apply it to our lives, but instead to live more meaningful lives, whatever that may mean in and of itself. Eventually, we can only experience one truth, for ourselves. We should give up the community of science establishing truths.
Scientistics believe their duty is to point to how things are more complex than in the way presented by this or that person, never in the way presented by themselves, in the way things appeared into conscious, in the way things speak to the wondrous of this world. Scientistics are rarely speaking of layers of abstraction and what they lead to.