June 15, 2010


ME + me + Multatuli : Butterflies and asses


And I am still not well at all and sad, and not much inclined to write about various topics. Besides, I have been busily occupied on the other forum, that still is being surrected. There's a little bit more on it in the P.S.

As I have been repeating this quite a few times now, here follows a small clarification. By "not well at all" I mean in particular that I feel drained and exhausted, mostly. I just can do very little and also don't feel up to much.

And by "sad" I don't mean depressed, which I can say quite confidently because I now quite well what that is, from my own experience, but rather melancholic:

What happens around ME is the old often repeated story of human excellence being destroyed by human stupidity, indifference and malice - the "Butterfly On The Wheel" theme, that in fact was best treated by Multatuli, in Dutch, in Idee 261.

Here is my translation of that idea, that is in the form of a parable:

A butterfly flew high, high in the air. She enjoyed her freedom, her beauty, and most of all she enjoyed the contemplation of everything that was under her.

- Come, come here... high! she seemed to call out to her sisters who flitted far beneath her above the flowers of the earth.

- We drink honey, and stay below.

- O dear sisters, if only you knew how delicious it is to overview everything! Come, come!

- Are there flowers above, from which we can suck the honey, that we butterflies need to survive?

- One sees from here all the flowers, and that joy...

- Do you have honey up there?

It was true, up there there was no honey.

The poor butterfly that felt unhappy living below, became fatigued...

Yet she tried to remain above! It was so beautiful, she thought, to survey everything, to understand all in one glance.

But honey... honey? No, there was no honey up there!

And she became weak, the poor butterfly! Her wingbeat got slower, and slower. And she declined and surveyed less and less!

Yet she wanted...

No, to no avail. She declined...

Ah, there you come, her sisters called out, what did we tell you? Now you come to suck honey llike us from the flowers down below. We knew it!

Thus cried the sisters, who enjoyed being right, although they were right only because they lacked the beauty above.

- Come, and suck honey like we do!

- And the butterfly came lower and lower... and still wanted...

There was shrub with flowers.. would she be able to reach it?

She no longer flew lower... she fell! She fell next to the shrub, on a road, in the track...

And there she was crushed by an ass.

Translation of part of my Dutch note to this - and the links that follow require Dutch:

Another parable, reader! About highmindedness that comes to fall, about the fate of exceptional human beings, about the comforts and rewards of being lowly, about why those who can see further than the average so often have are cruelly punished, and about greed for honey and money.

Later in life M. regularly referred with bitterness to this IDEA, in which he described himself in the first place but also (see 1185) Woutertje Pieterse, who is only being spoken of in IDEAS 361 - 362.

P.S. And the new forum? It's in the process of being born.

I think it is likely that after it has been opened (that still may take some time, and rightly so, for quite a few of the flaws of Phoenix Rising can be prevented by starting from good foundations and rules with good people, who also have learned from their experiences, and don't want to make the same mistake twice) it will soon take over much of the role and membership of Phoenix Rising, although it is possible both will remain existing.

And on Phoenix Rising - now with ads hanging around the poor beastie's neck - there is a rather curious discussion about it, that gets 'curiouser and curiouser' under the title Where has everyone gone? Why is this site so empty? (yes, it's a link, with food for thought) that's also interesting on various levels and from various points of view (psychologically, rhetorically, logically, morally, humanly...), but that's just for the record for the moment.

It is a bit eerie, and I think I have mentioned the Stanford Prisoners Experiment before in this context. It's not a happy sight, what's happening on Phoenix Rising on the moment, especially on that thread  Where has everyone gone? Why is this site so empty? but this too often happened in human history, and the Stanford Prisoners Experiment show some of the human-all-too-human reason clearly.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
     insufficient evidence
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

"Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources

P.P.S. ME - Resources needs is a Work In Progress that hasn't progressed today.

Maarten Maartensz

        home - index - top - mail