A common sense pragmatist ever bent on the doomed but defining task of blurring the line between beauty and truth while never quite getting there.
Much of my writing contains the ideas, feelings, thought processes, and struggles I experienced during my emotional evolution that culminated into a psychotic break from reality. It occurred my junior year at Eastern Michigan University. Everything was in its right place. I had a 3.8 gpa, I never strayed from the hard courses, I took part in the philosophy club, I did conferences, and I was to do a Symposium speech in the spring. Ironic, for spring often reminds us of a birth or renewal of life. It marks the darkest days in my story. This blog has excerpts of my attempt of a history of Western philosophy. However, the problem of selection is centered around the knowledge I obtained during my years I went untreated. During this time period of my life I read countless books, and took many courses, both of which had a profound influence on how I colored the world through the prism of mental illness. However, this story doesn’t take place in a university setting. This is a unique story of the time period of when a philosopher’s own mind committed treason, and how the mind became a battlefield. So here I only dilate on how the character understood the world when entering the house of intellect. With that said, I have selected and have written about, to the best of my ability, so that the reader can understand the historical paradigm these ideas arose from.
My doctors have hypothesized that I’ve been living in a mixed bipolar state for some years. What happened is that at some point in my life my life style had taken a troubling turn down a dark alley, which triggered a predisposition in my brain caused by the grief and stress of losing someone I had dearly loved. As time progressed over the years my emotions swirled into a mixed hypomanic-depressive state. I had severe suicidal ideations simultaneously accompanied with euphoria in one chaotic balance that sustained over many years. During this period, books were my way towards spirituality and the library was my chapel. My long-term depressive-hypomanic behavior always revolved around philosophy, psychology, and classic literature. They where my coping mechanisms that uplifted and elevated me. I could feel ideas and narratives so deeply, it was as if they had textures and sounds. to them. It was euphoric and summoning. I was in a constant state of reverential wonder with a romantic attachment to the history of ideas. I wanted to change the world, try a new style of teaching, and arrest student’s hearts in order to free their minds. I was on a confident flight path to professorship until a gadfly stung my winged horse, and I came crashing down until I hit the ground, nearly losing my life. My center could not hold, and my illness finally culminated into a manic psychosis, causing a fracture from reality. This fracture from reality lasted an entire year. I won’t go into detail, but this diagnosis leaves one hypersensitive to the world. For me, the stimulation was often too much to bear. I often closed myself in. I could feel the world so heavily, the ecstatic and the suicidal with a beat and pulse that focused my attention and tuned my heart wildly. The rift between delusion and reality was too great a divide and my actions arrested the university’s attention.
My posts will vary, however, many are excerpts from my history of Western philosophy titled The Storm and Stress. My first book in the series contains ideas from ancient Greece from roughly the 8th century BCE to the 4th century BCE. The second book, now in progress, consists of Ideas beginning in the 17th century and stretching until the mid 20th century. The third book is my own creative endeavor. It is my philosophy to not give my readers just the analytical wisdom from the scientist and the philosopher, but, also, the intuitive wisdom of the poet. Perhaps the philosopher should be a poet, and the poet a philosopher. There are these two sides of our nature that we should all give heed to, or we run the risk of our heads being too far from our hearts.
My Project helped me piece my life together. It wasn’t my place to become a philosophy of psychology professor, as fate would have it, but I’ll always be a philosopher at heart because true love doesn’t wither away. I fictionalized and mythologized, and used ever hook and gaff, in my power, so that one can hopefully come to find themselves in a big drama, and that their play needs to be worked out in a better way. Poetry and prose can reflect something more real than reality in the emblems and icons on the stage of characters, or written on the page with metaphors and allegories. The purpose of my writings is in hope that it may reach someone who finds a narrative or voice that speaks to them and helps them examine themselves in order to come nearer to answering that ancient command ‘know thyself’.
*In regards to my posts, all text in italics are quotes. These quotes are, of course, not my original thoughts, I only use them to let the great minds speak for themselves. However, my commentary on these quotes are my thoughts which have been filtered through how the protagonist has come to understand life over the course of his examined life. Most of the quotation marks are there because of the dialogue i created for characters in my novel. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Thank you for visiting.
All the best,
Stephen C. Pedersen