You find yourself viewing book titles on a library shelf. Surprisingly, a title called Hardly’s Manifesto catches your eye first. Enough said!
Next to it is this pretentious title: “Liberation from labels“. The cover is adorned with a jumble of criss-crossing words such as, bi-polar, multiple personality, manic-depressive, schizophrenic, eccentric, witch, clairvoyant, psychic etc. Near the bottom there is a line that reads, “If the label fits, don’t wear it”.
Further along the shelf you spot another book, “Freedom from boxes“. That had a similar sort of ring to it. The preface reads, “People who wish to impose their definition of reality usually deny that they are involved in gaining power. They often think that because of their greater knowledge, wisdom, training and experience they know what is best. The most dangerous people in the world are those who believe that they know what is best for others.
They are denying other people’s truths. Whenever our own truth is denied, ignored or invalidated we experience the greatest fear we can ever know: the threat of the annihilation of our self.”
(Click on picture to see the full bookshelf)
Your brain is hurting already but you decide to move right along. Nestled next to Freedom from boxes on the same shelf is Electricity for Beginners (the revised edition). This book looks as if it should probably be in the physics section?
However the introduction reveals that it may really be in the right place. “We are all wired differently. Don’t let others uniqueness be a source of fear for you. We make ourselves prisoners of the hats we wear and the masks we put on. We become incarcerated by those around us, by others trying to make sense of their environment, to order and categorize everything to fit their world view. Their anxiety is reduced as they smooth out the jagged edges, the loose ends, the raw wounds, so they can feel a little more comfortable. You have been boxed, labeled and put on a shelf. Don’t move or else!”
Well hidden, which had probably saved it from destruction; you find another book with an intriguing title. Therapists _ are they just expensive friends? The front cover has this caption. “Would you trust the judgment of someone who is making a living from seeing you?” Lower down you find yet another caption “The wisdom of cultivating good friends and intimate relationships in a fragmented society”.
Nodding your head in agreement, you cast your eyes on another little number. “Insanity – a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.” The preface is written by R.D. Lang, a Scottish psychiatrist. “Madness is an attempt by a person to spontaneously cure themselves of the maddening situations in which they had to live, and that as such it is a natural healing process which ought to be facilitated to run its course rather than be arrested, blocked and forever suspended by forcibly feeding psycho-pharmacological concoctions to such people and locking them up in ‘mental hospitals’ in a process of degradation.”
Phhhhhhhh! You need some fresh air. However, even though you now have a big headache, you feel yourself being pulled back to the very first book that had originally caught your eye. You reach for Hardly’s Manifesto, and pull it from the shelf. You are amazed with how light it feels. I guess you had equated stodge with weight. As you open the cover and peer inside, you are immediately swept away in a dream.
“Fighting alone on deserted beaches,
Through wind and rain and sucking leeches,
Never give in,
Even in the DEAD of night.
That is what a hero’s life is all about.”
The manic spell starts losing its grip on you.
Something else is happening. A darkness is descending.
Nosmo King was once a great man,
He got lost in the crowd,
Abused and misused,
Only few remember his wondrous deeds,
The denial of his existence is everywhere,
A sign “
Now in despair you turn your eyes towards heaven and whisper
“At least You love me just the way I am”.
Is there a loose end here somewhere?
Well, yes, probably, so what’s your point?
© 2001 Hardly Gnome