WISDOM, MADNESS AND FOLLY by John Custance

WISDOM, MADNESS AND FOLLY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Subtitled The Philosophy this is the personal story of a manic depressive, his states of and despair, and the gradual building of an individual philosophy of reality. Engrossing in an intellectual rather than a sensational sense -- for a more scientific audience than the more popular Asylum or The Mind that Found Itself. During fifteen years of sporadly mental illness, the author wrote this book in various states of mind,- some while still in hospitals recovering from acute attacks, some bordering on depressive states. He tells of feeling a part of the universe- of all-embracing good fellowship of the loss of a sense of individuality during the ""universe of bliss"" periods, of the opposing abyss of isolation, suspicion, terror. His experiences parallel Jung, as pointed out by Jung in an introduction. There are parallels, too, comparable to the Chinese Ying and Yung symbols, the Nietzschean, Dionysian and Apollonian states. He illustrates with personal examples, trying to separate illusion from reality, to evolve a philosophy based on what his illness has revealed to him. In so doing he reviews religious and literary thought concerned with the duality of the universe. Aside from the philosophy, the description of new realms of illness, the appendices on treatment in British mental hospitals, the results of the Szondl and Rorschach tests make this valuable to professionals in the institutional and psychological fields, and to general readers with sufficient background and interest.

Pub Date: Aug. 22nd, 1952
Publisher: Pellegrini & Cudahy