“The mind is not a boomerang, if you throw it too far it may not come back.”
I’m not sure where I heard his quote or who it’s from, but there it is, simple and honest.
It’s a nice way to bring up something that I have been becoming very aware of recently. I have frequent intelligent conversations with people who are arguably dwelling on the proverbial edge of society (and sanity). Whether they are political activist or just unpublished (and almost-but-not-quite-alcoholic) part-time philosophers, they have denied themselves the comfort of conformity for the comfort of free-thinking rebelliousness.
These folks claim to have a handle on the truth that the majority of the population is too pre-occupied with the hassles of life to discover. The sad fact about making such claims is that it makes you an outcast, which I believe is not neccessarily a bad thing. What I think is a bad thing is the kind of spiraling effect that it often produces in the person when they pull on the string of “truth” and uncover a whole underworld of conspiracies that can easily take over their mind.
So, I say to all my well-read comrades: tread carefully… A rare successful example I always think about is Friedrich Nietzsche, who masterfully walked the line of insanity and radical free-thought all his life, in the process producing some of the most brilliant philosophical works in the history of our little civilization. But for every Nietzsche, there are millions who did not develop the kind of rigor, deep-rooted knowledge, and mental fortitude required to survive the journey.