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Insanity, Diseases, and Genius, Oh my!

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posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 01:15 PM
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Insanity, Diseases, and Genius, Oh my!

Diseases...we all fear them. So many have evolved at the same rate as we, ourselves have. Constantly morphing into something else, something harder to cure and manage. Humans have been fighting the battle against them for centuries. Pandora's Box/jar is a Greek myth, but yet the story talks about how we, as humans, have been plagued with such things since the beginning of our time here. Pandora opening a jar that held all the evils of this world within it. Most know of the tale in some way, shape, or form...

This morning though, I ran across a website/book that got me thinking a bit. One that approached the subject of disease and illness with a different viewpoint. And had I never read it, I would've never took the opportunity to see what else a disease could hold. What it gives to us while it is taking. Not to say that I agree with the sentiments..I have lost many, many good friends and family to diseases..there is still the emotional cost/pain that one endures when a loved one is taken from them..and that injustice could never be satisfied by any amount of reasoning or science. But I am also not the kind of person that won't take a moment to try and think from another's point of view. To see if there is something else to take into consideration then my current thoughts on something.

As I read through the pages, I found myself conflicted. Not about the deadliness of a disease..for I will never lose sight of the fact that disease has taken so many beautiful people away from this world. I don't think any person could truly justify any diseases and what they take from us. Yet, I did see something, a small bit of what they have given to us as well. It is not positive, because diseases are not positive..I guess it just is... well, just information. And that is how I would like to present it today...just as information..how something that is always destroying and selfishly taking from us..has also given a bit to us as well.

So, I am looking only at two of them. Ones that are not so prevalent within today's society. Ones that have been cured and are nothing more than a distant memory of times past for most of us. Maybe not so much pain within them, so much heartache or personal feeling involved..as these two have been irrelevant within our society since at least the 1940's.

Syphilis

If syphilis is left untreated, it can cause serious and permanent problems such as dementia, blindness, or death.


This disease has been curable since the 1940's I believe. With the introduction of penicillin in 1943. The disease is still with us..it is said it will be around as long as humans are..but it will no longer reach the final stages. So, this is good...we no longer need to fear this disease and it will never affect us the way it once did.

But...there were at one time people who, when infected with this disease, were quite brilliant. The thoughts and ideas that were put to paper were so revolutionary, beautiful, innovative and unique that we still read and talk about them in today's world.

Daudet, who eventually died from GPI (General Paralysis of the insane) was a well known novelist.

Of the dozens of books penned by Alphonse Daudet, it was ‘Fromont jeune et Risler aîné’ which brought Alphonse a lot of fame. This book was so popular that it was awarded the prestigious Jouy Prize by the French Academy. The book was also reprinted and published several times.


George Meredith was another.. He eventually died of GPI as well..the late stages of syphilis.


Modern Love I: By This He Knew She Wept

By this he knew she wept with waking eyes:
That, at his hand's light quiver by her head,
The strange low sobs that shook their common bed
Were called into her with a sharp surprise,
more


Moliere, Heinrich Heine, Oscar Wilde, Baudelaire, Dean Swift, Beethoven, Schubert , and many, many more of the great classic artists were known to have had acquired syphilis and been in the late stages of its development when they created some of their greatest works. The question is...did these men compose their works because of syphilis, or despite it? (mentioned in book link below)



Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria that are spread through the air from person to person. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.

Another disease that is now no longer relevant in today's world is Tuberculosis. It has gone to the way side just as syphilis did. No longer a life threatening disease...but still, back before the modern advancements of medicine, in the 1800's..it was one of the most deadliest diseases known to man at that time...

Many great contributors to histories past died of the disease. Considered to be geniuses for their time and are still thought to be today. Niccolo Paganini, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Chopin, Igor Stravinsky, Henry Purcell,Thoreau, Braille, Jane Austen, Schiller, Thurman... all of these composers/writers died due to this disease.

So, it leaves me to wonder..how much influence did these diseases have on the works of those people? Did the diseases themselves create for these men/woman the ability to unlock the creative side of their minds..or did their talents unlock due to the inability to create in other ways? How much influence did the disease have upon their works? And how much of the beauty they created was due to a disease that left them no other alternative than to explore the inner depths of their minds?

The few pages I perused in the book seems to be working under the premise that these two diseases embodied these people with a unique genius, taking them to the point of insanity and therefore allowing them to create their great pieces of music and literature. I am unsure if that is the case...to me, the music/writing they composed/wrote was already within them. Lying dormant, waiting for them to take the time to let these thoughts/ideas flow freely.

Much like in today's world..I am of the thought that maybe before they were sick, they just didn't have the time to explore the depths of their psyche, maybe they would skim the surface, but not really dive down deep enough to truly create what was within them all along. Maybe this sickness that they endured gave them the opportunity to do so...and that is how they were able to compose/write/create such beautiful things.

Whatever happened, however their works came into existence, I am very grateful they did. I know I can't be the only one who sits with a glass of wine and listens to Chopin while I search the web or read some literary piece from one of the greats.

Thanks for reading!
blend57




posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 01:27 PM
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Tuberculosis? Not likely very impacting. Its closely related to leprosy, and isn't particularly fond of grey matter like syphihlis.

Syphilis, however....yup. I can see it.

There is a very, very thin line between genius and insanity. Not that insane people are potential geniuses. And while i am not a genius of any sort, I can say that after a particularly rough viral infection I came out of my illness with an improved mental acuity. I assumed it was a flu, but viral symptoms are all the same. I was unconscious for a week.

I've known a couple of people who had genius level intelligence that cracked as they entered adulthood.

It likely isn't the disease of syphilis that is causing anything. Its more than likely a result of the brain working around the lesions, and creating novel neural connections that streamlined a specific thought process. I'd be willing to bet that were we to study this kind of thing, the connection would related to neural workarounds created in response to the infection.

Great thread. Fantastic thread, actually.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 01:42 PM
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bigfatfurrytexan

I think what you are saying is exactly what they are saying..the brain found ways to deal with the illness..therefore through doing so maybe enhanced certain areas of productivity by forming new pathways..if I am understanding the explanation for syphilis that you have given. For how it works.

As for tuberculosis .. I was uncertain if that was a valid disease to include in the main OP. The only connection I see is the possible dementia that is causes in the late stages of development. Which, if there was no known cure, could've happened quite often.

Both of them, being incurable at the time and anyone who was infected with them would have to just endure until the end.. would've given the poets/writers/composers more time to work on their craft/arts. As I would assume that they would've at least spent some of their time in isolation once it was discovered that they carried the disease..

But I am making assumptions based off of the limited knowledge I have on the subject matter..

Thanks for reading and responding..I will look further to see how tuberculosis fits into the equation.

Thanks,
blend57

I have found this which speaks to the idea that it was because their was no known cure that maybe the artists of that time rose up and created such works. The knowing that their death was eminent that caused them to hurriedly put thoughts to page or compose their finest symphony. Still looking though..just thought I would post it while I had the link open..
edit on 1-8-2016 by blend57 because: added stuff


And this link..no room in the OP to add info..
edit on 1-8-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 01:44 PM
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The few pages I perused in the book seems to be working under the premise that these two diseases embodied these people with a unique genius, taking them to the point of insanity and therefore allowing them to create their great pieces of music and literature. I am unsure if that is the case...to me, the music/writing they composed/wrote was already within them. Lying dormant, waiting for them to take the time to let these thoughts/ideas flow freely.

Yes i remember reading in books & journals decades ago that there was a connection between that disease & increased mental functions.
They say Hitler had it too, which would certainly explain the insane part. Even an evil genius is still a genius.
It is also said that anyone with an IQ approaching 200 may actually be classed as clinically insane, i have met enough professors to see some truth in this.


It likely isn't the disease of syphilis that is causing anything. Its more than likely a result of the brain working around the lesions, and creating novel neural connections that streamlined a specific thought process. I'd be willing to bet that were we to study this kind of thing, the connection would related to neural workarounds created in response to the infection.


That may well be the case, BFFT



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 02:05 PM
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a reply to: blend57

it could even be lowered inhibitions. Were i mad with syphilis, i may not worry so much about if a work was "good enough", and just release it anyway.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 02:10 PM
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bigfatfurrytexan

Maybe..but in the first page of the second link it talks about how one patient acquired such a vast amount of knowledge in such a limited time:


Mr George Sim said : "It is difficult to
imagine how it was possible in so short a
life to acquire so varied an amount of
knowledge as Doctor Scott possessed, especially
when we consider his delicate constitution
and toilsome course of education
." Nevinson said of Schiller, "it is
possible that the disease served in some
way to increase his eager activity, and fan
his intellect into keener flame." It would
be easy to place on record here many testimonials
to the unusual manifestations of
genius in those who have suffered from
active tuberculosis . In many cases the mental
activity and creative powers seem to
vary directly with the progress of the disease.


Dunno..thank you for showing some interest! I very much appreciate your thoughts!

Still reading...
Thanks,
blend57
Edit to include another link


IN a letter to the "'British Medical Journal'' of September 10, 1921, 'Mr. S. T. Irwin
dealt with the relation between chronic infections and mental activity. He stated:
"Many substances, toxic in large doses, act merely as stimulants when administered
in normal amounts. If we assume that, in a case of moderate tuberculous
infection, small amounts of tuberculin are being,- constant- absorbed into the circulation,
the effect would be a mild but frequently recurring stimulation of the brain,
and the brilliance of the after-dinner speaker produced, -with this difference, however,
that instead of spasmodic results the effect would be continuous."

edit on 1-8-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)



A rise of five or six degrees only in temperature may mean delirium; while a daily
swing of two or three degrees may mean continued cerebral stimulation and a sense
of optimistic -well-being-in short, the condition known as "spes phthisica."
Many writers of genius have suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis -"the
destruction that wasteth at noonday."

edit on 1-8-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 02:10 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

I do that when i'm drunk!

They say that alcohol destroys brain cells, so that could be the reason i have developed a lot of extra neural connections



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 02:16 PM
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a reply to: blend57

interesting....now im going to need to read up on it.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 02:38 PM
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For Zeus had packed the box full of all the terrible evils he could think of. Out of the box poured disease and poverty. Out came misery, out came death, out came sadness - all shaped like tiny buzzing moths.

is that how the story plays, translated?

I always thought that disease, poverty, death, etc, already existed before the box was opened.

The evils from the box were the toxins and pollutants that cause all the misery death and disease. Its more a prophetic tale of the word today, the effluent runoff we are choking on from our "Civilization".
edit on 1-8-2016 by intrptr because: spelling



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 02:42 PM
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a reply to: blend57

Toxoplasmosa Gondii Is one to look into.

Normally transferred via cat feces and causing little to no symptoms in humans, if aquired another way can be deadly or at least cause life-long problems. Psychological disorders and Toxoplasmosis are currently a big topic of discussion.

I acquired this in-utero. I was lucky, in that case, as horrible birth defects can result. I ended up with multiple infections in my right eye from before birth. The last large infection being treated by a macula specialist with experimental drugs and steroids when I was about 14. I have yearly exams. I am running our of space on my macula for scar tissue.

The new research shows, that even in remission, Toxoplasmosa may be causing generalized anxiety disorder and more. I have that. For many years, now. It is an opportunistic parasite and it seems to be doing more than what was thought before.

Oddly, times I had an active infection, I have written my best poetry. Poetry, I have always written. But I have created geat pastel/charcoal drawings during those times, when I normally have no drawing skills, whatsoever. I mean none.

I communicated via email with a doctor currently doing research on this and he forwarded information to my GP and my therapist.

Just to add to the thread. Something fairly common that seems to be able to continuously be able to effect the brain in some cases.
edit on 1-8-2016 by reldra because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 03:10 PM
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reldra

You've had quite a set of unusual and extraordinary circumstances in your life that you've had to overcome. And yet, within every post you write I do not see much of that anxiety or worry that you are supposed to have. Maybe it is through your poetry that you are releasing it. And when it is at it's highest level..you are being more creative .. because your mind knows it will help the feeling subside. Once you let it out..it no longer resides within your mind and you can focus on other things..

I have read a bit about this previously. Is very interesting how the parasite is asexual in nature and can survive in warm blooded intermediate host but must return to it's definitive host in order to undergo sexual production. Very specific set of guidelines/rules it must follow. Couple that with the thought that it is able to "mind control" it's current host and it makes you kinda glad that it's the cat that it will always go back to...

Thanks for the information.. I will read up on it a bit more and see what other unusual and interesting information I can find out about them..

Thanks,
blend57



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 06:10 PM
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a reply to: blend57

Food allergy




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