Author’s note: Things had gotten completely out of control with that last article, so I’ve moved to a new article. I believe that this article is a necessary addendum to the previous article, though I also believe it can stand on its own, and therefore, for the sake of posterity, they are being published separately. The length has also become a problem, and it may make it more manageable for someone who cannot read this much in one sitting. However, I do believe that this should be read as an attachment to the previous article.
Having finished writing this arduous mess, and without having proofread it, it occurs to me that much of this material is more personal than my materials typically are. I haven’t talked about my illness in great detail, as I am still processing it and recovering from it, but it was an astonishing experience. I’ve referred to “extended hallucinations” over a period of days, but having thought about it further, I believe that these were “fever dreams,” and what I’ve thought were hallucinations were actually just me dreaming about being awake. There were ongoing interactions with real people which I’ve found did not occur, and it makes much more sense that I was dreaming about interactions than that I was hallucinating real life conversations, phone calls, text messages, and so on. I think I was sleeping about 18 hours per day, possibly even more, for at least three days.
Anyway, most of that experience is too personal to record, at least now. I have notes on it which may be used in ten years or something, or marked for publication upon death.
I can say that the experience of personal reflection caused by the illness has led me to want to immediately record certain personal matters, so it is likely that this mess is the beginning of a series, which I think will be of interest. Probably, it will all be recorded in this rambling, stream of consciousness manner, because that is the only way I am presently able to maintain the output. I actually do know how to write and edit real essays. However, trial and error has proven that the style that has developed is the most efficient. I do not personally like this style of writing, but the readership finds it entertaining and easy to digest in a way that more traditionally formatted essays are not. Dramatic changes in topic, theme, and style that I consider personally to be jarring, vulgar, and cartoonishly sloppy are somehow able to break through the technology-driven ADD that has caused people to largely stop reading long-form materials entirely. I understand this. So, although it is not what I would prefer, stream of consciousness is both faster and preferred by the readership.
I mentioned above several topics I have on a list that I want to cover in the near future. This list is something that I look at and think about, and the material then comes out in the posts, because it is being processed in my brain. It is similar to pus oozing from the pores of a teenager’s face, while the teenager fidgets and squeezes the pimples.
The most important issue relates to the nature of personal psychological “flaws,” including depression, self-loathing, existential dread, anxiety, and, most significantly, denial and personal delusions. I think people need to understand very immediately that everyone above a certain intelligence level has these sorts of issues that they deal with in their brains, and that this has always been the case. What are being portrayed as “mental problems” are in fact evolutionary survival mechanisms. (Please do not write me and ask why I believe in evolution. I do not believe that animals can change into other animals; I believe in natural selection in terms of inherited traits that are beneficial to survival and reproduction.)
I have come to understand, personally, that beneficial psychological traits of intelligent people have been pathologized, and that the attempt to “cure” these traits is creating mental illness. There is also a compulsion among right-wingers, which I have engaged in, to tie personal psychological turmoil to modernity, and yet we have clear records going back to Ancient Greece of intelligent people dealing with dread, depression, anxiety, and so on.
For whichever reason, during my illness recovery (which is ongoing), I read Edgar Allen Poe. This was as very seriously deranged individual. Certainly a special case. He obviously lived in the modern period, but he died in 1849, well before the opening of Pearl Street station in lower Manhattan in 1882 (which marks the dawn of electricity in America). I then considered all that I know of human history as a whole, and realized that intelligent men have always dealt with tough shit in their brains.
Poe I think was a pathetic sort of individual, as he was incapable of managing his personal life due to mental extremism. However, he was ultimately very successful, and though his 13-year-old cousin he married was apparently infertile, he is alleged to have had a series of bastard children. Throughout his life, despite constant mania and disaster, he produced very high quality work. Poe is a much better writer than Hemingway (although that statement applies to virtually all writers), and actually, I decided yesterday, belongs next to Melville in the pantheon of American fictionalists.
I don’t have the same problems as Poe. I do drink well beyond what is labeled “alcoholism” by the people who are obsessively classifying normal human behavior patterns as pathological, and I definitely do have a type of ongoing personal struggle that influences my writing. I am certain that if I were to visit a psychiatrist and honestly tell them about my life, I would be diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses and prescribed multiple experimental psychoactive drugs. However, I think it’s been thoroughly proven by this point that it is impossible for any person alive on the earth to visit a psychiatrist and not be diagnosed with a list of mental illnesses and given dangerous drugs that cause derangement, delusions, hallucinations, and suicide, among other problems (conversely, alcohol does not cause any of these problems, at least for the overwhelming majority of alcohol enjoyers).
Here’s the point that I need to get out immediately: every single intelligent person I’ve ever known and every one that I’ve ever read about has had some type of a war going on inside his own head. The only people who appear to be at peace are morons.
As a basic matter, at every point in history before World War II, intelligence was reproductively beneficial, if for no other reason than that all men want to have sex, and intelligent men are more capable of manufacturing strategies to achieve sex.
I am not claiming that modernity has not caused a lot, lot, lot of human problems, including serious psychological ailments. I’m specifically addressing the list of pathologizations of behavior and thought patterns.
If you search “list of mental illnesses,” this is one of the first results:
I am arguing, basically, that everything on that list is a potential natural personality trait of any high IQ individual, and that these things are, as a basic matter, beneficial to survival and reproduction. I’m not going to commit to that list exactly, and I would immediately remove “neurodevelopmental,” as that appears to be environmental (vaccines or plastics or whatever). But the basic claim, which I think could be significantly proved, is that the overwhelming majority of “mental health” material is claiming that natural human psychological and emotional states are aberrant.
This is a concept that really needs a book, which would take me six to eight weeks of not working on the site or working on the site very minimally to write. It’s an ongoing problem, that I have all of these projects I want to do, but am trapped in this endless cycle of writing this website, so the projects never actually get finished. I think in the second half of my life I will find some kind of balance there. I would certainly like to write a book called something like “Mental Illness as Physical Fitness.” It should really be “Mental Illness or Physical Fitness?”, but question-themed titles are gimmicky and tacky.
Restatement of Thesis
I would more or less assume that everyone reading this has already understood the concept and presumably has already been convinced of it, given that it is obvious once it has been said.
I am addressing an audience here which I think has been led to believe, or has just naturally assumed, that “mental illness” is a real thing that is caused by modernity. I am, again, arguing that depression, anxiety, mood, stress, sleep, and alcohol-related “behavioral and mental disorders” are not disorders or problems, but are beneficial and natural, and that the actual problem is pathologizing these psychologies and then attempting to fix something that isn’t broken.
Obviously, someone could say “ANGLIN JUSTIFIES ALCOHOLISM AND MOOD DISORDERS BY CLAIMING IT’S GOOD.” However, I’m quite certain no one is going to do that, because every single person reading this has had these struggles in their own head, and has also been led to believe that this is a problem, even while they can likely trace all personal successes to these “problems.”
Furthermore, this creates an “Emperor with No Clothes” situation, where anyone who questions the thesis is accused of being stupid and it’s demanded they take an IQ test.
I need to add that I’m aware I’m over-hyping and overstating the importance of this revelation and that it is not actually original, and I can furthermore guarantee that the rest of the Illness Revelations will be much more exciting.
But I do think there is a clarity I’ve found that I didn’t have before, regarding my own personal demons. I have clearly drastically over-blamed modernity for my struggle, I’ve blamed boomers and divorce, I’ve blamed urbanism and technology. Remember that Ted Kaczynski went to live in the woods alone and read books (a product of a technology he ideologically opposed the existence of) and, instead of healing, he started committing murder against random people without a clear purpose. This isn’t to say that some of Kaczynski’s observations aren’t interesting (though the manifesto is basically literally just a summary of those very difficult and time-consuming Jaques Ellul books), but probably that the underlying ideological premise is wrong. If his own theories were true, living in a cabin in the woods should have provided healing for him, not led to bombing randos.
The story of Ted Kaczynski is that he had a high IQ, so he had a bunch of fucked up shit going on in his brain.
Probably, the three biggest categories would be depression, anxiety, and alcoholism (or “substance abuse”). The underlying premise, restated, would probably be: “All intelligent people live with a constant sense of overwhelming existential dread.” I think that anxiety and depression, as well as probably any of these other “mental disorders,” include “overwhelming existential dread” and “a constant personal battle with the dread,” which is usually, or at least 70% of the time, treated with alcohol.
I would further add to the premise that alcohol is the natural, God-given way to treat dread, and although alcohol can be abused (as in the case of Poe), it usually isn’t abused, and the abuse problem comes from these “new options” of “medication for intelligence,” which include various hard drugs, and also, I would argue, the widespread use of marijuana.
Here’s the Point
The very personal revelation is that I’ve realized that if I did not have a constant sense of overwhelming dread that I treat with alcohol, I would be smoking pot and listening to prog rock, maybe working at a gas station or driving a forklift. I would not have accomplished anything in my life.
I’ve helped a lot of people. I’ve done very important work for the world. All of the glory to God, but all of the credit to my constant sense of overwhelming existential dread, and to the river of vodka which makes my existence tolerable.
The healthy way of addressing this dread is to acknowledge that we are all dealing with it, and that there is nothing wrong with that. It’s clear that there is an element of shame created by the classification of this type of personal identity matter as a defect.
A man should be able to say to another man at the bar “rough day,” and have it be understood to mean “the dread almost swallowed me, but I escaped it, and this alcohol I am drinking will make it settle down until tomorrow, when I will once again go to war with it.”
And Also Lastly…
It’s of key import to note that work, presumably of any kind, partially silences the dread, which suggests whole cloth that misery is the key driver of work ethic.
“Tortured artist” is, I assert, a misstatement, as art is just a type of work that tends to have more intelligent people involved in it, and also too often involves long periods of personal contemplation, which is the place where the dread lives and hunts.
I’ve analyzed my maternal grandfather, based on all the knowledge I have of him (mostly from firsthand accounts rather than firsthand experience), and have determined that the only things he did in his life were work and drink. He was very intelligent (as measured by drastic financial success, among other things), and not an artist. He was an overwhelmingly gloomy person. I remember as a child he would refuse to socialize with the family at Christmas. This man grew up without electricity in his home, somewhere in Appalachia. His dread was not a product of processed food, pornography, marijuana, video game addiction, or any of the other things from the memes. I’m not saying those things are good, I’m simply observing that they are symptoms or modifiers of the dread, rather than root causes, and that the dread does not go away if you abstain from these things and focus on self-help, as has been constantly asserted on 4chan and elsewhere for over a decade.
Although my grandfather was not a religious man until he accidentally killed a woman in his 50s (it was not alcohol related, I just feel I should note out of respect – the mentioning of the thing at all is probably not something I would do if I didn’t already know that it is a public record that will be in any biography of me), we also must acknowledge that religiosity does not banish the dread. Along with being a personal responsibility, religion a part of the natural human life coping mechanism, and the system of ritual prayer (which we should probably acknowledge is pre-Christian, because we need the Western man’s narrative to extend to pagan Greece for innumerable reasons) is capable of clearing the mind for a spell, and removing tension from the nervous system.
And Quite Very Finally…
I feel that the language needs to be extended somewhat beyond “existential dread.” Although the term is, I’ve decided in the last hour, perfect, to elaborate on the definition: it is a “fear and loathing of one’s own existence or of the nature of existence itself.” It is also “a constant sense of impending personal and collective doom.”
I feel extremely confident that all of us here understand exactly what this means.
It must be restated that this is a fundamental aspect of the fallen state of man, i.e., the defining Curse of Adam. It is probably also an instinctive knowledge that some day, the world will end, and all mankind will be resurrected from the grave and judged for its sins.
Probably, you could just go ahead and assert that the lowered IQ of Africans and other dark-skinned people is an evolutionary mechanism to dull this dread by lowering the complexity of thought. I would never assert something like that, but someone could, and quite probably will at some point.
We will also need to review the wisdom of Solomon in light of this revelation. We are already aware that Our Lord Jesus Christ told us of a cross we must all bear.
The Good News Is…
Future revelations will be both much better and more interesting with way less hype.
Along with further personal revelations, there is also forthcoming an elaboration on the very important concept that I invented called “The Hermeneutics of AI Suspicion,” which is a relatively impersonal illness revelation.
I’ve decided, in the course of the last several hours I’ve been typing, that the issue of denial and personal delusions is almost entirely separate as a topic from the issue of the constant sense of overwhelming existential dread.
The reason it is separate is that it is something that should be more directly battled throughout the course of your life, whereas the dread must simply be managed (because it cannot be overcome or solved, except with alcohol and presumably the dulling of emotions that comes with age).
The revelation of “know thyself” being a lifelong battle with denial and personal delusions is overwhelmingly interesting. I’m not going into it now, because I’m tired of typing and I still have to do the news and those memes, except to say that the relationship to the dread is that the dread fuels the process of gradually overcoming denial and personal delusion.
But that is not surprising, given that the dread, we have discovered, fuels everything that matters in the human realm.
Just look at Hitler. Seriously, look at a picture of him.
After looking at the picture, go read any single random paragraph from his book.
Can you imagine a more miserable and depressive person?
(You could say Poe was worse, maybe – he certainly managed himself worse, while also accomplishing his own monumental feats – but if you met either of them, they would be marked in your mind as the gloomiest person you’ve ever met. Having studied the photos just now for over two minutes, the two have some as of yet undefined similarities beyond “black and white photo of man with mustache.” You can see the dread in their eyes.)
And what did Hitler do?
He invented anti-Semitism, seized control of a country, assembled a gigantic ultra-technological army, and almost won a war against the entire world.
Do you think he slept well?
No, I don’t think so.