I have just watched this video from the psychologist Richard Grannon
I warn you that there is a lot of swearing and not too many kind words about God or religion. I look behind the front and try to understand what he is about. He is not easy. I first discovered him while researching what mental health professionals usually call narcissistic personality disorder.
Just before watching this video, I wrote a long response to a friend who wrote about some of his intimate experiences with a person he suspected of having such a disorder. I went into aspects of my own experience, ways of dealing with it in my present life and what I can learn. For quite some time, I have read and thought about Romanticism, the Sturm und Drang of my life and the sturdy self-reliance of the American Transcendentalists. My friend is also someone who is resilient and a strong personality. He also has his weaknesses. Don’t we all?
I gave Rob Riemen some more free publicity for his books on what can be nobility in the human spirit and ways of fighting against mindless ideologies and opinions. To what extent are we prepared to be ourselves? Oscar Wilde and Quentin Crisp asked the same question.
Returning to Richard Grannon with his northern English grit and gutty narrative, perhaps only our Weltschmerz can bring us out of our idiocy to make the difference by our nobility of spirit. Institutions, including nations and churches, are dead and dying. What is left could be forced into a diabolical and Orwellian dystopia. Is all that awaits us the long journey to the Gulag or the gas chamber? It depends on each one of us.
Why does God not help us? I think it is because we are taking God for granted, waiting for hope outside ourselves. Such a notion of God is simply not there. The God to whom we pray is elsewhere – within ourselves. If anything, we can try to follow and understand his reasoning like someone living in France under the Occupation or a prisoner in a concentration camp.
Will to Live is a key to understanding what Richard Grannon is trying to convey through his experience of sleepless nights and semi-consciousness. I see in this reflection a Hymn to the Night, the Ungrund of Böhme, the New Middle Age of Berdyaev. It is a brief moment of revelation when we are at our lowest through sleeplessness, sickness, adversity or being near death. One aspect of this will to live is Why? – To what purpose? This is something we call vocation, not should I enter the nunnery or go to seminary, but what are the highest values in us. Whatever it is with each of us, it is the thing we have to define in this idiocracy of a world. Will is an important aspect of Nietzsche’s philosophy in relation to nihilism and stupidity.
I have no conclusion. We have just to learn what we can. We should be critical with rational arguments and courtesy in our debates. Perhaps we can build hope out of despair, darkness and chaos.