An English In Kentucky


















Saturday April 6th 2019Tim Candler9


    I can't remember where, so there is no provenance, all the same I do remember reading what I thought was a bit of a diatribe about the role of duality in Western thought as distinct from the role played by an idea of duality in more Eastern thought. Nor was the diatribe particularly comforting for a person who will be without internet for possibly more than two weeks. Duality allows for the idea of a soul. There's me and then there's my body, we are stuck with each other for just as long as my body draws breath, sooner rather than later a blessed release will occur and I will no longer be stuck with my body, I'll have to wonder off somewhere, struggle with who knows what. It's a very peculiar idea and to my way of thinking it's not in the least comforting, much worse, I suspect it's a crackpot conspiracy theory that's right up there with Q-Anon, flat earth and it goes on.



      Hervey Cleckley, an interesting name and when added to the name of his invaluable assistant Louise Thigpen, I at least begin to get a little suspicious, but Hervey was a clinical psychologist, which means he worked in the field and in his strangely comforting book The Mask of Sanity, written back in the 1940's and early 1950's he spoke about Sanity as being better thought of as a "Protean Concept."  Proteus was the God of the Sea, and even though he could change his shape at will he couldn't help but remain a God. As a clinical psychologist under circumstances of very limited budget, Hervey had to make the decision about whether someone's protean nature achieved a set of criteria that included a danger to themselves or a danger to others. Oh sure, duality's harmless enough, but you got to wonder the extent to which it's just far too hedonistically self absolving and should possibly be considered a clinical condition.


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