Beyond Madness 2
I am currently an Integrated Studies major at Utah Valley University. But I have recently decided to change my areas of emphasis to Philosophy (of course!) and English. This is because, as you might know, that I have always loved writing (it was my first love, in fact) and have wanted to write for a living for a long time. In fact, people often tell me that I am a great writer, just like my Integrated Studies teacher when I gave him my short story for my project. It did not matter if I did English, I was thinking about doing a novel for my senior thesis. But now that it is going to be English, a novel would be extremely relevant.
Like I said in my last ‘Beyond Madness’ post, I like the concept of madness. (I am also very interested in psychology, but the psychology program here puts too much emphasis on empirical research and mathematics than what psychology is actually supposed to be about, that is, understanding human behavior, thoughts, etc.) Anyway, much of psychology is taken from philosophy, especially from such things as Stoicism (one should accept all the bad things that happen to them if there is no way for one to change them) and existentialism. The concepts of madness and death are important for continental philosophy, and particularly for existentialism. I won’t go into what existentialism is here, especially since there are so many ‘definitions’ of existentialism. But core of the field of inquiry is human existence. Anyway, I wanted to write about what I plan to do for my senior thesis.
The title of the post, with the exception of ‘2’, is exactly what I wanted to do. The series that I am more actively working on, the one about narolomy, has several volumes…possibly five. The one I wanted to write for my senior thesis is probably the second one, entitled ‘Beyond Madness,’ and it is about The Deal. In this case, to hopefully not give too much away (though you can read more about it in the ‘Beyond Madness’ post from last month), the protagonist is going to be making a deal with the devil, or the main antagonist, a deal that grants him his physical life but that in the end destroys his mental life. He goes mad after making the deal because of the guilt that he feels as a result of it. Now why would anybody want to make this deal…trade his physical life for his mental life? I asked myself this question, and I realized that it is because most people believe that their own nonexistence is more frightening than their own insanity. But the protagonist finds out the hard way that he would rather have died than experience all that he does. (Not only because becomes insane…in fact, the deal results in the loss of one of his family members, and the guilt that he feels is the cause of the madness.)
I feel like most people view nonexistence as the most terrible thing, the most frightening thing, in the world. But in fact, people are more afraid of madness, and especially their own madness. People are willing to talk about the idea that there is no afterlife, that once we die that’s it. They are willing to consider their own mortality and that someday they might cease to exist. Fewer are willing to talk about the idea that they are in the matrix or that all they see do not really exist. In fact, most people say that the question of whether we’re in the matrix (or whether they are mad) is irrelevant and stupid; all of the things we see are real to us, and that’s really all that matters. It is as if they are afraid to talk about it. In my own experience, I am more afraid of my own insanity as well. But most people say that they would rather live in a shattered reality, and know they are in a shattered reality, than cease to exist, or at least die. In this novel, I wanted to argue that humans in general are more prone to shun madness than nonexistence.
There will also be themes about good and evil, and how even the Devil himself was once an innocent child. It is also about love, forgiveness, and acceptance, as well as hate and rejection. Of course, I’ll have to provide a summary of the first book of the series in order for the reader to know what’s going on, of the events that preceded the deal, and what led to this specific deal. This will be an exciting novel, an exciting senior thesis! This year, there had also been a student doing a novel for his senior thesis, and he won an award for one of the best senior theses in the department. I’m not sure if my novel could win such an award, but I think this novel will be a masterpiece.