Intelligence and madness
And thin partitions do their bounds divide
Do we accept John Dryden's line as true?
If it is true, is it because the genius' thinking is beyond the ken of your average thinker, and therefore they are presumed mad? Or is it because true genius genuinely teeters on the edge of sanity, perhaps through mental exertion?
Is the genius mind more inclined to psychosis? Or do we notice it more when clever people have mental breakdowns?
I have heard that clever people are more inclined to depression. That said, I personally believe happiness to be the highest intelligence. Just thinking out loud, really. Anyone else got any thoughts on the matter?
I leave you with a poem by John Clare, an English labourer who taught himself to read. He wrote this while in an asylum.
I am: yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death's oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
And e'en the dearest--that I loved the best--
Are strange--nay, rather stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil'd or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below--above the vaulted sky.