For anyone who read my Psychology post describing the fallacious (that means false) nature of such a profession, this ought to supplement your confusion with a new stance. Albeit a likely misinterpretation or a misstatement of the psychology-based professions, Mr. Jones still provides insight into the nature of insanity. The first third or so of the film is drawn out to make the doctor out to seem like a humanitarian and the other professionals as rigid and drab scientists lacking real empathy as opposed to searching for answers by actually engaging and bonding with the patient more naturally…which is a bit extreme in that doctors can treat patients with very good techniques and strategies for diagnoses. BUT, don’t get your panties in kahoots, because THAT is because they have developed a system based on recurring patterns among patients. Does that make sense? Basically, it is like trying to solve a puzzle, and all of the previous patients provide the input upon which to build a system so they can solve all these future puzzles.

This is related to the fact that, as social beings…animals with a conscience, so to speak…we are not as autonomous as we think or would like to think. Specifically, why I say this, is because think about the immense amount of social conditions we face all the time, every day? We behave a certain way in certain situations, and other people know how to behave right back…and slowly over time they behaviors change and morph. However, when you add other characters to the mix, the whole on-stage performance of real life changes. Each of the actors behaves differently in some way, knowing this other character is out there. Buuuut, I digress. Another reference point might be the fact of how we can form habits, quite easily and usually on accident, though some folks have learned how to form habits in themselves deliberately for some purpose or another. So often we can go into auto-pilot to conserve mental energy (or spiritual) and these habits really show. It’s not that we lack consciousness, it just depends on when we use it and how long it maintains in a certain state for purposes of manifesting whatever reality that particular mind state desires. It’s a not-super-smooth constant transition between autonomy and automation. (Sidenote: that is what “getting to know someone” is really all about. They have character tendencies and over interacting more and more, two people can understand each other better, though it is not always in equal amounts. This should at least make the idea that habitual, automatic behavioral tendencies are not completely impossible and they DO exist. This is true even beyond any belief in 100% autonomy.

Still, the movie provides wonderful examples to express the nature of insanity or mental illness as actually quite normal. Short clips of patients crying about their parents not loving them, sexual compulsiveness, and expressing paranoia at government poisoning food. These people are all healthy and normal people. WHAT???! IS THE WRITER OF RANTAnGENT INsanE himsELF? No, I am not. The nature of the self would dictate that (1) people’s identities are shaped by their own behavioral past, which are in response to (2) socially constructed identities (basically, the influence of other people’s perceptions on life, appropriate behavior, etc.). In other words, we don’t take the rigid approach that says that fundamental aspects of a person’s personality and self-identifying character traits are near permanently formed at some point in early age but beyond infancy…as much of modern thought (based on the most accurate and perfect invention in human history, SCIENCE! 😉 tends to lean.

So, understanding another individual human being’s self identity as an ever flowing and morphing thing is the ONLY way to understand and then help. Like, it’s not the suit and the dress, its the man and the woman dancing…and unless you can dance with whichever one of them is hindered by losing their dance partner, you can’t do any good. Okay, bad example. The point is, the real way to help people is to get them to work through problems, and give them new experiences that help them grow, and in order to do any of that, you have to recognize their humanity and accept and acknowledge how real their problems may actually be.

Real problems. That means that it’s something anyone in the same or similar circumstances would feel. Does that make sense to you? It should. Think about when watching all those clips of the other patients…as strange or crazy as the people may have seemed, you were still capable of understanding that they feel a certain way about their experiences with their troubling emotions. It’s troubling for them too! Them being the real them, inside. The troublesome part is something that is driving them mad and bonkers as would anyone if they had something bothering them for long enough. Often devastating things have happened to people, and it is all in comparison to our own lives that we tend to judge the reasonableness of another’s reaction or method of dealing or coping with some incident.

We all kinda wondered how crazy Mr. Jones really was when he was finally strapped in the hospital bed talking to Elisabeth in a very sane manner while acting a little more crazy to everyone else. He was simply just hitting on her…he picked her to flirt with. He turned on the charm and as movies usually go, it worked. Aside from that, it shows how quickly even the most crazy psychotic people can snap back into what we consider more “normal” states of mind on nearly instant. I would hope that this knowledge comes in handy for anyone reading this. We all lose our minds a little bit from time to time as we might have an experience that is so beyond our understanding of our self or beyond what we we think is acceptable of members of society. The key is, snap right back into clear thinking when you need to.

It should also help people who are feeling like they might themselves actually have a mental illness or blockage like some sort of resonance or dysphoria or manic depression. Strive for being able to take control of your own on a moment’s notice. It’s quite a skill, actually…and you are only in that state of mind because you still need to work on this skill.

This psychological advice is tailored to modern society. You should know from my prior work, that society is under a rapid and quick change due to things like globalization but also just humanities ever-changing ways. Specifically, policy shaped by viewpoints of boards and bureaucracies are, as a result of how they view people when considering large numbers, becoming more “individualized.” Modern living is the experience for the individual. They sell things in single packs, apartments for one, and a car to get around. It doesn’t mean people don’t meet and have social lives…but the things upon which we are actually dependent to suffice our existence, are up to individual responsibility, whereas families and communities used to be drastically more essential to the livelihood of all. Instead of a hard day’s work in the field followed up with a hand shake and honest deal, it’s now a signing of a pen with a social security number for a short term loan until a new bar-tending job opens up. It’s the first time in the history of our species that more of us have lived in cities than in rural agrarian communities.

The significance? Well, we know that norms generally come into being by a particular society accepting some protocol and it becoming widespread, either through official adoption by a governmental entity (formal) or subconsciously established uniformity, say shaking hands with the right hand, for example (informal). This means that, in a world completely globalized and dominated by central thoughts to large urban populations, there is potential for a world completely inhabited and dominated by a discourse which “makes the most sense” to the entirety, the masses, as they tend to agree (with a certain realm of thought, that is) on certain things, and, thus, the fate of the world (not just the physical earth and human bodies existing in it, but the social world) is potentially subjected to an eternity of nearly impossible to overcome change. In other words, rebels will not only be killed or locked up (as history has shown to be quite common), but rather that rebels will be no longer possible. They cannot grow in a world which occupies every members minds for the purpose of economic stability—a very rigid approach taken by the whole.

Some of the points mentioned in the paragraph above concern the concept of consciousness as it relates between an independent individual and that of the majority or the social subconscious (a cloud that directs the play in which the actors in the stage life portray their characters and often to the excruciating emotional pain of the actor if nothing near alignment with their imaginative vision of a utopian social world). So, we should consider Mr. Jones response at the trial in re: his involuntary admission to a mental hospital as it pertains to the question of his expression of Depression—hopelessness, despair, inability to experience pleasure, inability to function. He argues that those words are not psychological conditions, but genuine human feelings that should not be understood in the manner in which persons we consider “rational” might perceive. Further, he does it in a manner that is quite obviously in a “normal” (to the majority) mental state. However, it is quite reasonable to assume that he goes into a “different place” when he does another one of his several episodic crazies. Do we know that he actually is in that state, however? Not without the change in the brightness of the screen (less lighting, darker backgrounds) or the cue of melodic music. You see, the only reason a viewer can really understand these scenarios as dark or dreary, less rational, is through these additional cues and not JUST the behavior accompanying it.

To make things a tad more gray, how crazy can these behaviors actually be when the viewer is fully aware of what is going on and can relate to the expressions of Mr. Jones character? In other words, if we couldn’t tell if something was crazy, wouldn’t we mentally respond in a way that something just seems utterly senseless to us, rather than when we emotionally invest in empathizing for the purposes of understanding? “You want to know who I am? You’ve got to go where I am.” He says: THAT is emotional investment. So, although confusing at first…why would this get mentioned? One reason, to highlight the social nature of human beings at our very core and essence and to hopefully explain why existential risks are so horrifying. Moreover, to explain the individual soul (common term for whatever I am describing which I don’t necessarily agree with any term assigned to it as it is something beyond attempt at wording) as something significantly more complex than any physical reality could comprehend. No brain science, neurology, chemistry, or comparison with social mores can explain it. “It’s all chemical, the whole universe is chemical. Sadness, pain, grief…If I touch you, you FEEL it….” he tries to relay to his doctor. He has to treat her from her condition…which is the real thing of human nature some term God. A thing that keeps us moving and developing our personas. Though no words can fully summarize it, never hurts to try. It is like essence…a subjective term which will always be subjective…why people cannot always relate to one another and “tragedy” is a REAL thing. Insanity and its many related emotions and expressions are therefore real emotions not to even be understood in terms of medicine.

No length of time is appropriate nor inappropriate for moving through them…progress will either happen or it wont, and usually it does begin to happen eventually. That’s what progress IS, it is human beings advancing through emotion, both as groups and as individuals and as societies continue through time. PROGRESS is something in the minds of people, but it manifests everything about our existence. How we create technology and architecture, art and music, economic structures, mold social mores and design religion, etc….it FEELS good to people and happy groups to keep moving forward. And while nobody knows exactly toward WHAT, it is usually defined as God (particularly for Ibrahimic religions whose adherents tend to contribute toward advancement of humanity in the forms we consider as such today).

Hopefully, for someone who accepts the concept of what a soul-like thing is as it relates to “progress”, it should explain the reason why it is so important to DEAL WITH PROBLEMS relatively soon after they occur so they don’t get ignored and come back to affect the life of the person later on in a poor manner. It’s also okay if that does happen. This relationship should also provide a better context for explaining the problem with NOT taking a social account to a persons problems. For example, think of the patient in Mr. Jones, Mr. Wilson, who has all sorts of government conspiracy theories. When he describes driving a car as toxic to the planet and part of a government scheme to destroy the world or something wild along those lines, it is this type of behavior that landed him in the psych ward to begin with. What if we view this behavior as having roots in emotion-driven logic. EVERY HUMAN BEING ON EARTH ENGAGES IN EMOTION DRIVEN LOGIC. So, for example, we would understand Mr. Wilson as someone who cares about humanities future (atmospheric safety), what we should consider a good quality, and it’s just his inability to relay his concern in a mild fashion makes him a looney-tune. We might even be able to take it further and make all of the “normal” people (those not in an institution) as horrendous, dishonorable, and insane, for not being concerned with their own demise at their own actions. They make no sense because, for all of history, every living creature is supposed to have some innate sense that drives them to go on living…now an entire society doesn’t care? Those same people will struggle for air when being drowned or fight with every aspect of their being when cornered with a knife-wielding murderer.

Additionally, doesn’t it boggle a mind to be wizz-jammed with a feeling that compels it’s avatar to behave in a way the other members of society find highly frightening and unusual? For example, think of very basic behavioral protocols like “Hi”, “Hello”, How are you, Good, How are you, I’m well too, Thank you”, etc. etc. and on and on. This drab, run of the mill, standardized chatter, including discussions of weather or local sports, might serve the purpose of “breaking the ice” but it doesn’t carry an interaction very far. It does serve an important purpose of making people feel at least safe, but why? Does it really matter? Wouldn’t it be MORE trustworthy if a person were to behave with an apparent spontaneity?

Finally, let us consider how Mr. Jones acts from a very calm and rational standpoint whenever speaking to his doctor. He doesn’t see his doctor as a doctor, however. He obviously cares for this woman and finds her attractive, emotionally and/or physically. Their on-screen bonding portrays a genuine romantic encounter. One that cannot be reproduced the way that Disney reproduces euphoric wonder in it’s children visitors.

When it boils down to it, there’s always social norms at play when it comes to illustrating the area between sanity and insanity. “There’s a line here, alright? You cannot cross it!” her co-worker psychiatrist tells her, threatening to turn her in for sleeping with the patient.

When she finally understands him, as a human being and not as a patient, she is capable of fully knowing the bond between the two of them. She knows he won’t try to contact her after being released from another institution to which she had him transferred. She knows this because she KNOWS him. This type of spiritual connection is illustrated as being very REAL and valid according to the film’s writers. Some alternative worldviews consider these “chords of attachment.” This is important to understand because what Mr. Jones depicts is a man whose quest for true love is through the testing of a woman with his life on the line. Once he got to the point with her where they were close enough, he was ready to give her the ultimate test…the life ending test. Nine times out of ten, members of modern society fail to pass this test, and suicide often results. That’s what those suicides are! Not mere endless bouts of depression. Failures to find true love. This explanation of the world in terms of love is should appear as more appreciative and respectful to the real nature of human beings, or at least ones of substantial quality. When she showed up and saved him, it was something that would make him forever whole and feel normal again…or continue through time with a state of mind that comes from a fulfilled emotional ontology. Praise the heavens he gave the ultimate test to a woman who showed up (most of them never do.).


Pass me a bottle Mr. Jones

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