“To be too acutely conscious is a disease, a real, honest-to-goodness disease. It would have been quite sufficient for the business of everyday life to possess the ordinary human consciousness, that is to say, half or even a quarter of the share which falls to the lot of an intelligent man of
Timothy how is being acutely conscious a disease? Is it by being slothful, or reaching for the steps which will allow one to advance? What is this disease of conscious? What does it entail, and how is it possible for one to be afflicted with it? Please be acutely defining in the answering of these questions, for this is something new to me, and I would like to know about it, as I assume, assumption is my emphasis, others here would like to know the gist of what you are talking about.
Thank you, Julius Fann. You are quite right to talk about an 'affliction'. (I think 'disease' is used more figuratively than literally). So, what is at issue? I cannot, of course, talk for Dostoevsky, but my understanding is that the state of being acutely conscious is that of a man whose self has become a third person, the subject of his merciliessly lucid observation and analysis. He understands and can articulate all there is to know about himself: his prejudices, his lies, his emotions, his hatred, his loves, his anxiety, the reasons that he behaves this way rather than that - nothing remains unrevealed or unexplained to himself. By extension, he is completely lucid and open in his perception of others and has an uncommon sense of empathy. This lucidity is necessarily a source of great suffering (until he learns to live with it ...). It sets a man apart and, unless he masters it, will drive him from the others like a leper. No one that I know personally accepts that a man can thus become a complete object to himself. But if they did, I probably would not have written a 279-page novel to illustrate this idea ('Homo Conscius', available to order on Amazon)!!!
Timothy, thank you. I find you have given a description of every man's endeavor in life, to know who they are, and why the activity within their conscious project the suffering and struggles they go through. We are all the third person of ourselves, or "The Invisible Man." But more acutely, I find your description, or Dostoevsky's, concerning this individual is a description of Gautama the Buddha, and Jesus the Christ. This is Gautama steps, as Jesus steps and their living until they learned to deal with it, and finally their learning to deal with it lead them to the Bo Tree and Garden of Gethsemane experience (awakening), where both surrendered their will to the will of THAT yet unknown to mankind.
The acutely conscious disease is the affliction which we read to be The Prodigal Son who went out into the world of the tempter, and, being afflicted to destitute finally came to himself, turned around, and began his trek back to his Father's house.
Wha amazingly profound thoughts, and indeed I agree with both Timothy as Julius.... thank you for this enlightening conversation.. most educating indeed....